Entering the Dark Zone – The Division Hands-on Preview

It’s definitely hard to judge a game fully when it keeps emphasising that the portion on offer is just a miniscile percentage of the whole game. With something like The Division, a lot is on offer here and from what we’ve played – we feel like there’s still more to show.

During EB Games Expo, we’ve played the Dark Zone portion of The Division – the PvP section of the game or multi-player. In the Dark Zone, anything goes really as squads of three must find an objective package and extract it. If you’ve ever played the recent Ghost Recon titles like Future Soldier and Advanced Warfighter then you’ll feel comfortable with the basic mechanics The Division offers.

The game sits on the tactical level of the shooter scale as weapons do kick a lot in the game so smart short bursts is required to manage the recoil. It’s imperative you take cover and move from position to position which offers that tactical level I would expect from a game with Tom Clancy in the title.

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Teamwork is vital here in a game where you can be instantly taken down with a few shots. Ubisoft at the show has setup a proper audio rig that allows us to communicate with our squad level which was the biggest advantage as communication was important. I couldn’t imagine this game without communication as each of us called out enemies and revives.

In the PvP match we’ve played, there was a few other squads of agents doing the same objective plus a series of NPC bad guys. This is where the ideals of The Division kicked in on whether you will help the other squads secure the loot or… take it all for yourself.This type of gameplay was really hard to analyse during a public expo event where players will just jump in and shoot virtually anything. It was pretty much the case here as nearly every squad went rogue and ended up taking each other down than actually focusing on the objective. This might change when the game goes live and we can see the consequences.

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The Dark Zone was only a minuscule taste of what The Division has to offer. There was nothing on the actual open world of the game but we finally get to see the mechanics in action. I was happy the game sat more towards the tactical side than an all-out shooter which represents some realism that Tom Clancy games are known for. I’m still keen to try out more and hopefully The Division pans out to be what it intends to be.

The Division hits Xbox One, PS4 and PC 6th March 2016.

Founder and Creator of Respawn Ninja. News Editor and covers shooter esports such as Call of Duty, CSGO and Rainbow Six Siege.

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