It’s been just under a month since players were first fully exposed to Ubisofts desolate and expansive world of The Division. Since its March 8th release it’s broken countless sales records and currently sits comfortably at the top of the UK charts, well above Far Cry Primal. However, much like its envisioning of an empty, ruthless Manhattan its community is starting to search for life elsewhere.
The honeymoon faze is officially over and the games cracks, hidden from the more casual gamers iron sights by its multi-million dollar marketing budget and overwhelming list of side-quests, are starting to show. Whether it is the repetitiveness of the endgame grind, the rise in cheating on PC or incorrect Damage per Second calculation on weapons, there are several major problems that need to be fixed to maintain the longevity of this potentially iconic title.
The Division – Image courtesy of Shakm
Let me start of by saying there are no issues with the overall feel or gameplay present within The Division. The games flawless mechanics and the interactive world showcase some of the best explorable environments ever seen in an MMO. It is a true delight to explore every inch of its haunting world, but not long after the plethora of side quests are finished, every shrieking survivor is saved and the last ringing phone is answered, the cyclical façade of this title becomes apparent. It is the Endgame where it truly begins to suffer. I, like so many others had higher expectations of The Division’s endgame than simply grinding away hours for slightly better loot, or getting ambushed in the Dark Zone for my royal blue camouflage scarf. I’m aware the stagnancy present is something that all MMOs must address, but this must be done early on if they have higher aspirations than the preowned shelf, next to Rainbow Six: Siege and Battlefield: Hardline.
The life of a gamer is a fickle one, where titles are interchanged once the slightest sight of boredom sets in and Ubisoft should be asking is how it maintains its incredible number of players once its main story credits roll, something which has been neglected already. The cause of Destiny’s sharp decline should have been a martyr for all future MMOs, a lesson that repetitiveness without true reward and to constantly ignore the community is not the way forward if you want your title to have a long life. This is something which will hopefully be dealt with after Incursion, the game’s first DLC drops tomorrow.
Please help us Ubisoft – Image courtesy of Shakm
Incursion is free and will include a brand new area to explore, the Falcon Lost Operation and other team based game modes, one being the intriguing dynamic of supply drops. These drops will take place hourly within the dark zone, be available to anyone and will come with high rewards, whether Dark Zone keys, weapons or cosmetic items.
The crates will be heavily guarded by AI enemies and the equipment will not have to be extracted once obtained and cannot be looted. However it is a first collect basis, so the race is to be the first to the drop. Ubisoft have also listened to their players desires on a smaller scale. Trading between players, a clan system and easier party features will be introduced, including cameras for downed agents, meaning you can help your party with vocal instructions rather than stare at your lifeless corpse waiting to be revived.
What does the future hold for The Division?
The next month is make or break for The Division. When first released it came with a video showcasing Ubisofts vision of its first year, covering all of its future DLCs, reinforcing its desire to support its community and create a long lasting adventurous title. Hopefully Ubisoft answers its main critiques, expanding on its breath-taking world and gameplay.
The ride from your first player creation to the final mission is a truly unique and unforgettable experience when shared with friends and it is truly remarkable achievement to say that the most prominent negative is the lack of diversity once the main story is completed. To have this potentially unforgettable title undermined by its final act would be a massive injustice to what I regard as the most immersive co-op experience on the market today.