The Division is an open world, third person RPG shooter set in future Manhattan.
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Pro Fun team shooter gameplay with RPG elements
The core gameplay for the division is a cover based third person team shooter, however over the course of the game you can customize your solider in a lot of different ways to keep things interesting.
You can unlock various active skills to use during combat, passive perks that buff up your solider and talents that activate when you perform a certain action like getting a headshot. Although it starts simple, as you progress through the game you can then modify and upgrade a lot of the abilities to keep things interesting.
On top of all this the loot and gear systems make it really fun to continually upgrade your solider. You have over 10 slots for various bits of gear that have a primary attribute that will improve either your DPS, health or how powerful your active ability are.
Weapons also have multiple mod slots, so you can add on different scopes, silencers, grips etc that make meaningful changes to gameplay.
Pro Open world freedom
Once the introduction to the game is played through, all missions for the game can be unlocked by just walking around the map. The player is free to choose any mission they would like to try, though some may be too tough depending on the player and mission skill level.
The game is set in a living breathing world, in addition to the primary missions you will randomly encounter a variety of side missions you can do for additional experience and rewards.
Pro Pleasing graphics
While not up to par of the promotional material Ubisoft showed off a few years ago (not much of a surprise, this is Ubisoft after-all), the graphics are quite good and can easily be set on max setting with a smooth 60fps for those with good components in their computers. Even when using a mid range rig the graphics can easily be on high while getting above 30fps.
In general what is present in the game is a winter city that is in a pre-opocolyptic crisis. The snow is randomized and can sweep in and out of the city at any time making for a beautiful representation of snow storms in a city. The city itself is pretty sparsely populated, which allows for less tax on the graphics, but of course the excuse is that it is basically an abandoned city other than the bad guys. There will be a few civilians in the streets but mainly you are alone out there until you run into trouble.
Pro Great use of a cover system
The cover system in the game is quite intuitive. The player can easily crouch behind an object for cover (being that it is highlighted, so the player knows where they can cover) with one button press. Once in cover, any other area within a certain distance will highlight letting the player know they can run to the next spot for cover.
This is done through a singular button press while being held down. This makes for an easy way to run from cover to cover with little effort. Which allows for flanking enemies and just an overly easy way to move around without taking too many bullets while in a fire fight.
Pro Great matchmaking
This game has made it very easy to group up with friends, nearby players, or random players looking for the same content. Grouping from the player menu is always available, and when you enter a mission you can choose to look for players to join you as well as set the difficulty. Also looking at the ISAC map lets you see friends' locations and invite them to group.
Pro Lots of fun to play with friends
The missions get hard fast, so the game forces you to co-ordinate with your team and ensure you have the right team composition to beat the more difficult missions. You'll have to keep track of the locations of all your team to make sure you're not getting flanked, be in position to rescue downed friends and let people know when you spot a sniper or a boss.
Pro Class can be changed at any time
The class system for this game allows for the player to change class and perks at any time, meaning anyone can take on the role of their choosing at the drop of a hat. While this may cut down or replayability due to not having to play through multiple times to experience each class it does make for a great way to test out each one and their perks to land on one of the player's liking.
Pro Rich crafting environment
Every piece of gear and every weapon can be customized with different Mods. But the game does not stop there, as a player can actually alter attributes of individual pieces, deconstruct old gear for parts, and find and build gear from blueprints.
Con Poor enemy NPC chatter
The in game chatter of the enemy NPC is laughably bad. As you are shooting them one by one they constantly say the same things that are not really relevant to the situation such as calling you names or just simply stating that you should "get lost". This can be immersion breaking and asks the question what the devs were thinking when putting this type of chatter in the game in these situations.
Con Boring grinding system
After hitting level 14 - 15 most missions are either way to high or to low to go back to play. So you are stuck doing awfully boring side missions that become quite repetitive, most are Hostage Rescue or Zone Decontamination and require no effort. The next missions start around level 20, which seems to be a way to force players into the Dark Zone.
Con Boring repetitive side-quests
The side-quests in the game tend to consist of the same tasks over and over again, this is repetitive and can get boring due to not much changing up in side-quest gameplay.
Con Awful AI system
AI will run all over the place and then stand in front of your turret for no reason.
Con Constant server downtime
Servers are always dropping connection and causing users to lose around 15 to 20 minutes progress.
Con Low level graphics (in comparison to E3 & early screenshots)
Con Repetitive cover-based shooting
Literally the only mechanic in the game. There are no other true ways to avoid and attack enemies.
Con Crashes a lot on GTX 770
Con Cheaters running amok on PC
Many players complain about cheaters on PC as it is easy to game the system currently. The problem being that any user who modifies their local memory can then change what happens in the online game. An issue discovered by users in the public beta that Ubisoft promised to fix but never did. It fundamentally breaks the online component of the game as it is too easy for anyone to cheat.