Since the day I first saw Tom Clancy’s The Division I knew I had to have it. Since its release I have spent countless hours ignoring my real life obligations and diving into the game and I haven’t been disappointed. However, while this action packed RPG style shooter launched with much fanfare and tons of positive reviews, the game isn’t without its flaws.
Considered by many to be barren of content, with awkwardly fragmented character progression, and a world that feels unengaging at best, the Division hasn’t managed to appeal to everyone. However, with the release of the game’s first major content patch; Incursions, many of these issues had the chance to be resolved. This meaty patch introduced the game’s first raid-like Incursion, more gear, loot-trading, and a host of other goodies for fans new and old to dig their teeth into.
Excited and eager to test out the new features and see if this patch could quell some of the more negative aspects of the game, I put my real life obligations on hold once again (pizza for dinner again?) and jumped into the game. While I already enjoyed the Division, I still went in with mixed thoughts, after all not all patches change games for the better. How exactly would Incursions stack up and would it be able to fix many of the games inherent flaws?
It turns out that I had little to worry about. Within my first few hours trying out Incursions I was pleased, within the first day I was thrilled, and within the first 48 hours I was almost ecstatic. While the game was lacking in content at launch, it was clear that Ubisoft had done their very best to correct that problem in Patch 1.1. In fact, there is so much to do that you will likely find yourself hard pressed to complete it all anytime soon. Even better, there is a huge potential for lasting entertainment on almost all the new content.
Assignments, for example, are automatically obtained as soon as the player logs in. They last for a limited time, come in several varieties, and allow the player to obtain various in game rewards. Not only do Assignments automatically give the player something to do right out of the gate, they also make completing the task at hand feel worthwhile, something that was lacking in the game until this point. Assignments also have the potential to encourage players to interact, while many can be completed solo, others do require a group to complete.
Also encouraging teamwork, while still staying true to the PvP aspect of the game, are the Dark Zone Supply Drops. As the name implies, a supply cache is airdropped into the Dark Zone at random. These drops occur multiple times a day and contain non-contaminated gear of all types that is ready to use without the need for extraction. As you can imagine, these supply drops are heavily sought after. Sometimes players flock to the area and the last player (or team) standing wins or a solitary lucky soul who happened to be in the right place at the right time will manage to procure the cache before anyone is wiser. No matter who gets the gear, Dark Zone Supply Drops add an element of excitement and anticipation to the game, as well as some good old-fashioned world PvP with a purpose.
While the Division has a huge PvP aspect and it is right that it should, it has felt a little full on and perhaps a little overwhelming up until this point. This was especially evident in the Dark Zone where marauding high level players hunted lower level players for sport. Certainly fun for those doing the killing, not so much for those being killed. With the introduction of a new bracket specifically for players with a Gear Score of 160+, Rogue players are fewer and you actually stand a chance of winning the battle. Death by Rogue has become a rarity instead of a constant happening. This quells the rage inspired by these acts and allows players to better enjoy their Dark Zone experience and extract gear with a higher success rate.
Adding even more to the desperately lacking PvE aspect of the game is Falcon Lost; the games very first incursion. Available in the Stuyvesant area, players must be level 30 to enter this raid-like mission. Incursions are made to be part of the end game experience, so Falcon Lost is tough. In fact, I have yet to manage to complete it. While some may feel discouraged at the overall difficulty of Falcon Lost, it is made to be end game content. With this in mind, it makes sense that it is a challenge. So get in, gear up, gather a group of tried and true friends and enjoy this.
Of course, nothing is ever all sunshine and rainbows. While there is very little to nitpick about Patch 1.1, it isn’t perfect. Littered with bugs, glitches, and other issues ranging from big to small; this patch is a mess in this department. Bugs have been so bad in this patch that a fix was implemented soon after launch. While many will write this off as pretty standard, considering the smooth launch of the original game, it seems bizarre that a patch would bring about so many problems. Perhaps it stands as a testament to how much content Incursions actually contains.
If you are on the fence about the Division, now is the time to purchase or come back to the game. Incursions has tapped into just a tidbit of the full potential the game has to offer and has turned the game into what it should have been right out of the box. With a little bit of something for everyone, a more worthwhile game experience, and content to finally keep us busy, Incursions won’t leave you disappointed and with another patch just on the horizon, here is hoping the rise into excellence will continue.
Pros: Content, content, content!
Cons: Major bug issues, especially on XB1.