Meta-Review: The Division (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

TheDivisionThough The Division came out last week, due to the online nature of the game’s progression, most outlets chose to delay final reviews until this week. With a host of on-line-centric games undergoing significant server issues during there opening day(s), such decisions are wise, though less helpful to early adopter consumers. That said, with the passage of time, The Division seems to be getting some pretty solid reviews. With a few exceptions, the game seems to be pushing a solid 80/100 which is nothing to be ashamed of – especially when taking the vanilla product of what will likely be a multi-year expansion-driven product.

Here are what the reviewers have to say:

TheDivision-DarkZone

The ExaminerI’ve been waiting for this game for nearly three years and I must say that I was skeptical heading into The Division’s launch, however, now that I’ve had the chance to soak up everything this game is, I’m confident in saying that it is the start of something amazing. Despite the cynics who might try to marginalize what this game truly is, it’s something you must experience, whether that is with friends or on your own. The Division shows you can have both an incredible online multiplayer experience, while staying true to the roots of an immersive campaign. The Division is a magnificent revelation and one that was well worth the wait. (5/5)

The TelegraphThe Division might be some kind of futuristic fruit machine at its core, but pulling the lever feels great and  you’re always winning something, whether it be a visual treat, a memorable encounter, or a new pair of gloves. For a game built around the shallow need for incremental improvements, there is a surprising amount of depth when you dig into character and gear statistic tweaking, too, which only makes the tight squad action of the minute-to-minute gameplay even stronger. (4/5)

Game Informer: If you can accept its myriad tonal inconsistencies and buy into the bullet-sponge combat, The Division is an intriguing social shooter that taps into the addictiveness of loot grinding in a novel setting. The game has suffered from the occasional network outages and some progression-crashing bugs, but these seem more like hiccups in the road rather than deal-breaking problems. Ubisoft now has a solid foundation for operating its first persistent open world. If Massive and co. make smart additions to the end-game content and keep a steady stream of new activities for players to enjoy, I could see this game going strong years into the future. But if the Dark Zone and PvE environment don’t evolve, I’m not sure many people will be left in New York City come the winter. (8/10)

Giant Bomb: It’s a shame that more attention wasn’t paid to The Division’s story. The side missions didn’t need to be as repetitive as they are, and that’s disappointing. But there’s a real foundation here that makes this worth paying some attention to, provided you don’t intend to just shoot your way through the missions by yourself. As a solo game, The Division gets quite boring, and trying to marathon your way through all the side stuff you’ll need to do to unlock every upgrade feels more like a chore than a thrilling video game. But enough of the different components work well enough to make for a good start. At times I had my doubts, but I came out of this one wanting to see at least the first couple of planned updates and ready to play more, when it’s available. (4/5)

IGN: There’s definitely some decent meat to chew on in The Division, but it’s usually surrounded by too much gristle to enjoy it for long. Both in combat and out, there are some clearly good ideas, especially the tense and dangerous Dark Zone. But they’re not spread evenly or interwoven cleanly enough to form a cohesive, consistently enjoyable loop. Ultimately, The Division’s overly busy, conflicted design philosophies drown its best ingredients in a bland slurry that never quite comes together into a cohesive dish. (6.7/10)

Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar

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