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4 Things Tom Clancy’s The Division Does That Other Games Don’t

All the way back in 2014, Destiny promised gamers a new kind of MMO experience, but was only marginally successful. Two years later, Tom Clancy’s The Division pretty much nails every element Destiny fell short of. For a more specific rundown of what works so well, here are the four most crucial things The Division does that other games of its ilk don’t.

1. A Chilling World

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The moment your helicopter drops you off in snowbound, post-pandemic Manhattan, you’ll be surprised by just how accurate, and spooky, it looks. And it only gets better from there. I’m not normally one for realistic backdrops in games, but as I made my way up a department store with a massive, flame-engulfed Christmas tree, I was a changed gamer. While The Division boasts a fairly realistic world, it’s still a very action-centric experience that doesn’t get bogged down by espionage complexity. Overall, it’s a nice balance between Tom Clancy’s more tactical titles and Destiny’s run-and-gun gameplay.

2. Co-op Play With Depth

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One of the first things you’ll notice, probably within the first few hours, is each sprawling story mission is tough to conquer solo. Luckily, The Division offers one of the more accessible co-op experiences. Not only is it simple to assemble a team, but there are also myriad ways to get through some of the campaign’s tougher sections, and you can really feel each player complementing one another in terms of style and perks. A lot of the base upgrades you receive throughout the game greatly affect your online teammates, and a smart combination goes a long way. Even when you’re not involved in a story mission, it’s often wise to travel as a group, because you never know what kind of hairy situation is around the corner, and you might be a few levels behind.

3. Addicting Progression

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One of the most daunting, but ultimately impressive, aspects of The Division is its complex progression system. There’s a lot to know about buying, selling, crafting, modding, and upgrading, but the learning curve is on the friendlier side. One of the things you’ll notice is how Manhattan has been divided into various zones, and there’s a fair amount of grinding necessary to reach the suggested level for many of the story missions. But it’s just so damn fun to stroll around in search of side missions, encounters, ECHOs (3D holograms that let you revisit moments from the past for clues), and tonnes more. Also, building up your base of operations’ three wings (Medical, Security, and Tech) is highly rewarding and will have you scouring the map for specific upgrade points.

4. The Dark Zone

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After you’ve honed your skills and levelled up significantly (lest you be killed instantly), you’ll want to get familiarized with that big, red, quarantined zone smack in the middle of Manhattan—otherwise known as The Dark Zone. Thankfully, you don’t have to tackle this deadly area until you’re ready, but it serves as a great counterpart experience in tandem with the campaign. Here you’ll find the rules and rewards are somewhat different, and this is also where the PvP experience really kicks in. While you should be prepared to die a lot, the upshot of this area is new gear and a whole new progression system. Still, gotta re-stress that is way more challenging and unforgiving than the majority of the story. After biting the dust, just make sure you get to your corpse fast, or someone else will steal your loot. If you’re looking to up the tension, this is where it’s at.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Check out the trailer below.

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