The Division Is Being Slammed by Negative User Reviews on Steam, Metacritic and Amazon

In Spring 2016, there is no bigger game than Tom Clancy's The Division. More than three years of development and tens of millions of dollars have been poured into Massive Entertainment's latest game, and Ubisoft has confidently backed the title with a similarly large advertising campaign.

Early indicators point toward The Division's monumental success. It has quickly propelled itself into stardom by becoming one of the most played games on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and on PC platforms UPlay and Steam. It's also achieved the rare feat of becoming the number one most popular game on Twitch. At this point, it's safe to say that it's sold more than a million copies and is on trajectory to become a financial success.

But not everyone is happy with The Division, and if user reviews are anything to believe there is a very vocal and large group of gamers who haven't enjoyed their time with the game. PC gamers in particular have had a bone to pick with ​The Division as it currently stands with Mixed reception on Steam with over 6,000 reviews. Roughly 40% of the early reviews are negative, citing a variety of issues stemming from gameplay design to its unique hybrid multiplayer structure.

One of the most commonly referenced shortcomings of the game is its repetitive mission design. User reviews explain that the game doesn't deviate far from its "kill waves of enemies, kill a boss, pick up loot, repeat" format through the 10+ hour adventure, as explained in this review by Eragoon78:

 

All in all this is an OK game for people who love to grind and do the same thing over and over. However, I did not realize how bland this game was really going to be. The "missions" are simply to go kill a bunch of trash mobs, fight an OP boss or 2 and struggle to kill him and then maybe get a tiny bit of loot. Then you repeat this process over and over. I used to play WoW and did raiding, I could put up with grinding for gear, but doing it in the division feels like torture and pain.

In addition to repetition, The Division appears to suffer from a variety of technical woes, some of which are specific to the PC version. There are graphical, gameplay, and performance issues impacting many players, as explained in user xxDeva's review:

 

Encountered a few graphical issues (bodies floating after death, screen flashing and models for different environments fading in over each other. I've been stuck twice by climbing on top of something then coming down the opposite side and getting trapped behind different objects (had to fast travel out of one of them and had to blow myself up with grenades the second time)

And then there's the server unreliability which has caused lost progress, inability to play the game during certain times of the day, and more. This has been a key factor for some people requesting refunds on Steam.

Steam isn't the only place where gamers are voicing their opinion, either. On Amazon the game currently has a 2.5 rating average, while on Metacritic the game stands at a 5.8 User Score. 

Once again, reviews on these sites mention repetition and even poor A.I, as seen in this Metacritic user review by Rizilliant:

 

The AI is so dumb, that they will literally walk at you, stand out in the open, and pop out of cover like clock work.. To cover for this, enemies were made bullet sponges.. A dozen rounds to the head, is an easy kill.. Theres also very little variation in enemy archetypes.. Even when donning a different aesthetic, they act exactly the same as others.. It makes for very bland gameplay, when the main function is too easy..

Another review by SocratesPOV on Metacritic does a good job of explaining why some gamers are unhappy with the experience, which includes reference to the game's extremely limited character creation, as seen below:

 

The game try to fit in two categories who are in contrast: it could be a tactical third person shooter but the extremely simplified enemy AI doesn't require extreme coordination to get rid of hordes of standing-by peons shrouded with hoodies and scarfs which, apparently, are made of some mystical material that absorb damage as if you were shooting with a NERF gun. This because the developers felt to blend in MMO or even MMO-RPG elements. But is The Division a MMO-RPG? With a poor character customization , both aesthetically (a pool of 8 faces to choose from) and technically (few skills to choose from and no talent system so far), and non existing decisions to be taken , all set in a completely ignorable story in a nearby future, with no particular enemy , or no point in doing what you are doing if not for the sake of doing something, i would say "No". I'd also like to add that there is no way of crouching if not behind cover, no way to crawl, no stealth, no melee attacks,the little interaction with the surrounding (the above stated "crouching behind cover" and thats it) feels clumsy.​

After playing The Division for a few hours, I'm inclined to agree with a lot of these reviews, although I wouldn't rate the game as harshly. My primary concern is that the gunplay lacks feedback. In The Division, when you shoot someone in the head the game makes no effort to communicate your well-aimed shot to you, and enemies eat bullets like sponges. The weapons also sound and feel nothing like real guns. They might as well be airsoft guns. This is an issue that is particularly apparent when transitioning from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where the game successfully communicates shots to the body and head with notable visual and audio cues.

While thousands of us are unhappy with The Division, there is an equal if not greater proportion of the community that is loving the game. There are many positive reviews on the aforementioned sites, strong impressions on forums, and even a high scoring review by Cheat Code Central. So, as usual, this video game isn't for everyone.

If you haven't purchased The Division yet and are thinking about getting it, I would advise watching at least an hour of gameplay on Twitch. Based on my experience, the game's frequent downtime, repetitive gameplay, and other negative qualities are well-communicated via livestream. If you happen to like what you see, then maybe the game is for you.