We have been waiting for The Division to launch since the moment it first got revealed at E3 back in 2013. After waiting for almost three years, we finally got our hands on the game, albeit an open beta. Although the content was limited, it gave us a pretty good idea of what to expect from the final product. First thing to know about the game is that it’s divided into two different regions –one is designed specifically for four-player cooperative play, while the other region called The Dark Zone features both AI enemies and human players. The beta gave us two story missions to go through along with a portion of Dark Zone, and here’s our take on it. Let dive deeper into the details through our The Division Open Beta review.
Visually, The Division open beta looked amazing. The amount of detail that has been put in the game’s depiction of Manhattan is absolutely staggering. The map is almost an exact replica of Manhattan, so all the buildings that you see in the real city are also present in the game. Each building has its own feel and look to it, and if you look hard enough, you may even find your home building in the game. The snowy weather also adds a nice spin to the gameplay, making it feel like you’re actually living the Christmas time.
The main character is mute, but unfortunately that is how most RPGs are these days, so can’t really blame the developers for sticking to the trend. Fortunately, people surrounding your character do have voices and it seems they will be the one to carry the story forward. The beta didn’t really tell us a lot about the story, but what we do know is that a virus broke out, killing millions of people worldwide. The remaining few formed factions to survive. These groups are divided into six different categories. First of all, there’s The Division group, which the main character will represent, and this group has sided with another faction called Joint Task Force (JTF). JTF is an amalgam of different services, including army, police, doctors, firefighters, etc. Then there are four enemy factions – Rioters, Cleaners, Rikers, and Last Man Battalion. The Division and JTF will try to clean up the streets of all of these groups, come March 8.
There were a lot of concerns regarding The Division’s gameplay, but we have to say that it really won us over. It is an RPG, so the higher-level enemies would feel like they are dealing a lot of damage, especially in the beginning. However, as you progress through the game, you will get better weaponry, allowing you to take care of the all kinds of threats almost instantly. The loot is divided equally in the PvE Zone and The Dark Zone (DZ). However, the likelihood of finding legendary loot is way higher in DZ because the risk factor there is pretty high. Everything you collect in DZ is contaminated so it can’t be used until it is extracted. However, there’s just one problem with extraction – it’s not as easy as it sounds. Every single player in DZ is there for the same reason, i.e. better loot. And when they see that you’re trying to extract your loot, they will try their very best to kill you and take your loot. So to sum up, we can say that DZ is a high risk and high reward area.
Apart from weaponry, there are skills, perk, crafting, and talents in the game, but we didn’t get a chance to experiment with them in the beta release.
The two main missions we played were brilliantly done and required us to change our tactics every time we played them. The Dark Zone is a completely different ballgame as the stakes there are always high. You never know who you’re going to come across, you never know if the people you’ve encountered are trustworthy or not, and your loot is never safe until it has been successfully extracted. This makes for an exciting and thrilling ride. Knowing all that, it is advised that you get a team before the official launch, so that all four of you can divide different roles amongst you and then really dominate in both PvE region and The Dark Zone. The Division didn’t really have our interest before the beta, but after spending over 20 hours into it, we have to say that the official launch just can’t come soon enough.