My first Ubisoft game ever was Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag. And what a title with which to start! I loved that game, right up until the bitter end. And I mean that quite literally. I put 137 hours into Black Flag. It was just plain old unadulterated fun. I did practically everything.
I accomplished everything, even the smallest of tasks. I did assassinate Roberts in the end, but the tragedy in Jamaica took the heart out of me. It wasn't the same sailing the Jackdaw with her gone. So I retired.
Still, I was so enamored of the game I could not wait until Assassin's Creed V Unity came out. Except it turned out to be a real turd by any measure you use to determine if you should shell out that much money on a premium game. It really soured me to Ubisoft as a publisher. The game was so unready, and so badly ported to the PC. I pretty much game up in Ubisoft at that point.
So I was not looking at Tom Clancy's The Division at all. The first clue I got about how could it might be was in this post by Mr. Luvva Luvva. I thought it was nothing more than a first person shooter. So I went to one of my friends who is heavy into first person shooters. Now, he had not taken part in the betas, but he was really looking forward to the game. We talked about it and that convinced my I should give it a try.
Holy cow, Tom Clancy's The Division is awesome. From the, "I've just got to get that one upgrade" to "I've just got to get me a new hat to wear," it is an MMO lover's WOOT dream. And yet it is a first person shooter - or more accurately a third person shooter unless you go into scope view. It reminds me a lot of Unreal Tournament, a first person shooter I just loved in the days of LAN parties. Who remembers those? Who remembers, "HEAD SHOT!" Yeah, you better believe my second weapon is a marksman's rifle with a 12 power scope! Why use a clip of 30 rounds to accomplish what can be done with one well aimed shot? Not to mention it makes the looting process a lot faster.
Okay, there are times when spraying lead will save your butt. However, you'll never take down a Cleaner boss if you can't hit his tanks. Know what I mean? Ha Ha. You would if you played the game. And yeah, there are boss fights in this game just like in any MMO. You can run them alone, or you can team up with others. There's a decent random match making system in the game that will choose them for you. Or you can team up with friends. Either alone or together, they ate fun and challenging even on normal difficulty, which is as low as you can go. Of course, there are only two levels. That last and the difficult level. I find normal to be more than challenging enough.
You can also just explore a dystopian New York City. Not long after I established my base of operations I was walking down the streets trying to make them safe again. I'd just finished a fire fight with some rioters, and finally had a chance to look around. That's when I realized I was standing in Time Square. Incredible. You've got the freedom to go where ever you like, even if it's way over your level. I look for loot. I look for evidence of what happened. I look for looters and criminals to shoot in the head. It's a complete three dimensional environment too which makes it much larger than it seems. You can explore the streets, take to the roofs or the underground, and also go into some buildings. So it's got left-right, up-down and in-out. What else could you want?
To date I've got 15 hours invested and I'm a third of the way through the story line. I am at level 10 of a level 30 cap. I'm taking my time. The friend whom I consulted about the game a few weeks ago has already capped out. He rampaged through the game! I'm not so quick, nor so good at it I think. And that doesn't matter. It's self paced.
The game isn't perfect of course. No game is. And there were a lot of people out there who are so jaded they'll down vote anything that doesn't match their expectations 100% - even if their expectations were idiotic. Even if it's fun. As for me, I may play this as much as Black Flag. If I had to give it one personal detractor it's there are aren't as many side mission and play options as was in Black Flag. The only thing I can hunt for are rioters. The Dark Zone sounds a lot better than the multiplayer in Black Flag though. I suppose that's a good offset even if it doesn't match my play style as well as the hunting things did. All in all, I'm pretty sure I'll get $60 worth out of this title. I'd also like to see more of dystopian New York city. That'll likely come with DLCs, which I'll have to purchase as I wasn't going to shell that much money out until I knew I'd enjoy it. If you're part of The Division and want to watch out for me, I'm agent Mabrick1986. Cheers!