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:
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:
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:
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:
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.