The Division Beta Impressions: Hunt or be hunted


The Division feels like the game I always wanted Destiny to be. In The Division you explore downtown Manhattan in NYC as you attempt to bring order to New York after a devstating terrorist attack using a virus that has brought society to its knees. You can decide to go at it solo in the PvE side of things or team up with a group of 3 other players to take part in main story missions, side missions or random encounters that help towards building up your Base of Opeations; the hub almost of The Division as the centre of your mission.

The most striking part about The Division is just how immersive the game is. Thanks to Ubisoft Massive’s aim of re-creating New York on an almost 1:1 scale, the game does a far better job of sucking you in than Destiny does. As someone who’s never been to NYC, it wouldn’t be too far from the truth to now tell people I have, if that’s a sign to just how immersive The Division can be.

The interesting take on The Division is that the game can be played solo, in co-op or in PvP. The vanilla game is fairly standard as RPG games go but it’s the PvP area of ‘Dark Zone’ as it’s called where The Division gets really interesting, and also very dangerous.

You see, in the Dark Zone you are thrown into a completely different complex from the main game and the seamless transition from PvE to PVP is a great technical feat on Ubisoft Massive’s part that goes a long way in keeping the player immersed in the game.

As soon as you step into the Dark Zone your whole playstyle has to change, you have to be ready to adapt, you don’t know the intentions of the other players you come across in the Dark Zone but it’s precisely this tension that builds up that makes me sure this is the section of the game that I’ll end up sinking the most time into by the time the game officially launches.

My first foray into the Dark Zone was when I was completing a solo mission to enter the Dark Zone and I wasn’t sure what to expect. As someone who’s been excited for The Division since it was first revealed back in 2013 I had heard some information about the Dark Zone but even that did not prepare me for what happened next; within a minute I was dead.

While initally this served as a rage moment for me I quickly realized that this was actually more of a wake up call, I had to be more cautious in the Dark Zone and I needed backup. That’s when I got together with 2 other friends and let me say the Dark Zone is a much safer place when you team up with allies.

When venturing the Dark Zone with a group you quickly realize that people are less likely to attack you but you also realize you can be the ones who hunt other people in the Dark Zone. It’s much easier to pick someone off that’s wandering alone and it’s better the one hunting than to be hunted… Right?

Well melodrama aside there’s also a lot of fun in just meeting new people in the Dark Zone thanks to the proximity voice chat implemented in the game which brings me to one of my top rules for the Dark Zone: Always use a mic! Not only does it allow you to interact new people but it also has the added benefit of making you much less of a target of you decide to take a go at the Dark Zone solo.

You see, as fun as it is venturing the Dark Zone with a group of your friends sometimes you either want the thrill of going at it alone or you simply don’t always have friends online to play with so the next best thing is having a mic so that you can communicate and co-operate with other players in the Dark Zone and before you know it you could even find yourself making new friends.

Another thing that quickly becomes apparent when you’ve spent some time in the Dark Zone is to get your loot extracted as soon as possible becausa that yellow bag your player carries is literally a target on your back and you would be foolish to think that you don’t get targeted if you’re carrying loot so get it extracted as soon as possible.

The beta has since been extended to end on February 2nd and I’m looking to sink a lot more hours into this game before the beta ends and since I’ve completed the limited amount of missions a valuable in the beta I’m going to be roaming the Dark Zone and eagerly awaiting the full release of The Division later this year in March.

How have you been enjoying the beta for The Division? Let us know in the comments below how your experiences have been in the Dark Zone and whether you’ve been the hunter or the hunted.


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  1. Lots of fun. 35 days away!!!

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