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Published on February 4th, 2016 | by Don Parsons

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Three for Thursday – The Best of The Division’s Closed Beta

Since it was announced a few years ago, Tom Clancy’s The Division has been the biggest blip on my radar. Before my Destiny obsession, Ubisoft had me on pins and needles with their persistent online shooter MMORPG. Of course, as each subsequent year began and progressed, I was always letdown with a delay. 2016 is finally the real deal, however, and after several hours with the closed beta, I can confirm that my wants and desires for The Division are built on a solid foundation. Here’s three reasons I’m still standing by The Division when it releases in early March.

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The Cover System

Ghost Recon Future Soldier was a favorite game of mine last generation. I loved the cover system, and The Division is built around what feels like a refined version of said-cover system. Snapping to cover is intuitive. Moving from cover point to cover point is simple, and shows your path with a thin white line. Cover feels important, and every time I was roaming New York City and I came into a confrontation, I was moving around in cover, ideally flanking my enemies. I won’t use a full bullet point on this, but the gun-play feels great too.

The World

While The Division isn’t a typical post-apocalyptic setting, complete with monsters and zombies and such, it still falls into that category when describing the world. The post-apocalyptic setting is a personal favorite of mine, too, which was one of the reasons I was so enthralled with this game to begin with. During my exploration, I was not disappointed in the slightest. The city is massive, and most importantly, seamless. Once you load into the game, that’s it. The only transitions are when entering or leaving the Dark Zone, or during cut scenes. The world is also exceptionally rich to explore. Random mobs, random events happening, and random things to loot. I’m really looking forward to exploring New York City more extensively.

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The Dark Zone

This one interested me last year at E3, and then worried me when I first stepped into the blended PVP/PVE environment. A buddy and I actually went in together, got our feet wet when we were far too under-leveled, and stopped for the night. Of course it’s a beta, so there wasn’t much story-wise, which is understandable; however, it led us into the Dark Zone a little too early. Enemies were trouncing us, both AI and players (though, admittedly, we instigated two of those PVP battles). But a few days later, I spent an hour running around in the “safe zone”, got some new gear, and went back into the Dark Zone. I then spend several hours playing, most of the time hunting AI enemies and rogue agents (those that kill other players). I ended up thriving on the adrenaline rush that occured when I popped a flare to signal for a chopper so I could secure my loot. Playing by myself, it was terrifying, waiting alone at a beacon everyone could see. The best times were when this happened, and I saw a group of four people roll around the corner. My heart stopped every time. Luckily for me, I was left to my own devices and got to play mostly-hassle free. But those moments cemented my future love for the Dark Zone.

Tom Clancy’s The Division comes to stores soon enough, and I have waited patiently to get my grubby little mits on it, so I can wait a little while longer. Though I was a little sad as soon as the beta ended, there is another one, which is an open beta, in a few weeks, so I’ll get to quench some of my thirst at that point. Sure, I have some reservations, but at this point not many. I’m mostly concerned with end-game, and if I will continue to love and enjoy it like I did Destiny after finishing up the main game. Hopefully, like Destiny, that is just the beginning. At either rate, March can’t come any quicker right now.

Did you participate in the closed beta? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author

got into podcasting in 2007, and transitioned into writing in late 2008. In late 2011, he went from blogging to writing for a small site called Vagary.tv. Don attended E3 for Vagary.tv in 2012. Now, Don is one-fourth of the foundation of Critically Sane.



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