Is The Division Worth $60? - Beta Review

I've been waiting for the Division beta for a long time. I really thought this was going to be one of the best video games of the console generation. Everything single detail got me more excited. Ubisoft is making it, and they're usually pretty good at making complete, realistic worlds. After playing the beta for 4 days straight, I can tell you that while I'll still play the final game (with a March 8, 2016 release date), I'm not that excited anymore. Again, remember my judgement is purely based on the beta, plus the trailers and gameplay that has been shown so far. Meaning that my opinions could change for the better (or the worse) once the game comes out. With that being said, let's talk about The Division!

The Good

Sweet Graphics
Now, lets start with the visuals. When I first started playing the beta, I was a bit disappointed. The trailers at E3 were absolutely stunning. And truth be told, it probably looks much better on PC. But once I accepted the fact that it was downgraded, I was able to appreciate that it still looks great. The lighting, snow, animations, faces, etc. It runs quite well. Didn't have any frame drops or stuttering. Let me be clear, it's not the prettiest PS4 game. But the environment and scale of the worlds are impressive.

Solid Gameplay
Now, gameplay is pretty simple. But it works perfectly. It's a third-person tactical-cover based shooter. While you're playing, it draws comparisons to Destiny. You go around taking missions, killing enemies and searching loot. And just like Destiny, the Division is best served with friends. I specially enjoyed the dark zone. In this 'mode' you fight other players in order to get the best loot. It can lead to some pretty intense moments.

The Bad

Bland Environment
Now, it didn't take me long to realise that despise the size of the world, it feels dead. It doesn't feel very interactive or open at all. There simply aren't enough in-door locations. 90% of the buildings are closed. I would love it if you were able to enter houses, supermarkets, offices, etc. Therefore, Going from mission to mission seems like a lot of running around.

Repetitive Missions
I've noticed this problem in a couple of Ubisoft's titles. The mission design is not very good. Most of the ones I did were the typical 'kill all the enemies and go from checkpoint to checkpoint'. It doesn't seem original, and consequently, it's not very fun.

Upgrading Isn't Rewarding
This one actually surprised me. Most games get you to deeply care about upgrades. Each new item has different designs, colors. And the way they present their loot is special. They're basically saying: "HOLY CRAP! LOOK AT WHAT YOU JUST GOT!" The Division's loot system doesn't feel that way. It felt bland and monotonous

Overall: The Division looks like a fine game. Solid graphics and gameplay will hook multiplayer lovers. However, the bland environments, repetitive missions and loot system keeps me from pre-ordering the game. I'll probably check it out when it goes on sale.

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