On Saturday the 12th of February 2016, Ubisoft in conjunction with MegaRom launched The Division at The Internet Solutions Chill Lounge in Bryanston.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a large banner for The Division that immediately got me excited about getting some hands-on time with the game. Luckily, I wouldn’t have to wait too long, as Megarom made sure that there were enough Xbox consoles and PC’s available for us to get down to business straight away. I instantly gravitated to the PC section, as the mouse and keyboard beckoned me. After creating my character and playing through a short tutorial I was finally able to explore what was left of Manhattan after the virus know as “Green Poison” had devastated the city and its population. The first thing I noticed was how visually stunning the game looks, and the amount of detail that Ubisoft had put into the city. Manhattan feels real and strangely alive, as the panic that the virus caused is apparent in every part of the city, from vehicles abandoned in the streets to the garbage lining the sidewalk.
Another aspect of the game that I quickly had to get to grips with was its RPG elements. My hands-on time with the game left no doubt that The Division is an RPG game, as headshots won’t necessarily take out an enemy in one shot, and numbers continuously pop out as your bullets find their targets. The best part of these mechanics is that it forces the player in True Tom Clancy style to think strategically about how they approach a situation.
Just as I was getting to grips with the game, the power went down (which in my opinion added another level of realism to the event). Fortunately, the guys from Megarom quickly sorted out the problem, as we took advantage of the break and stuffed ourselves with classic survival foods such as cookies, doughnuts and energy drinks.
After spending some more time with the Division and learning about all its intricacies such as perks, skill trees and crafting, we ended the day as any self-respecting person living in Manhattan would, with hotdogs and hamburgers.
Although I had spent quite some time playing the Division it still feels that there is loads more for me to learn and experience before I can even begin to form a final opinion on the game, but from what I played at the event I was really impressed with how well the mechanics worked, how fluid it played and how good the game looks.
Thanks to the MegaRom and Ubisoft team for a fun and hugely enjoyable launch event.