Can The Division Be Trusted With The Absence Of Pre-Release Reviews?

One of the most highly anticipated games of this year is finally due to release this coming Tuesday and expectations are high. The Division was originally revealed back in 2013 and fans have had a long wait to get their hands on with the full, finished product. Having said that, Ubisoft have held 3 play tests now with a Closed Alpha test, a Closed Beta test and an Open Beta test. It’s fairly uncommon for a game to undergo this many beta tests before the full product and it’s unclear whether the purpose was to stress test the servers or to drive up hype for the game.

On the 3rd of March Ubisoft Massive revealed that there wouldn’t be pre-release reviews due to the online-centric nature of the game and the difficulty in replicating the live environment, as opposed to a simulated one. Some may recall this same thing happening with another online-centric game called Destiny that itself is being heavily compared with The Division. Due to the MMO aspects of the game, developers have a hard time simulating how populated the live environment would be come full release to the masses.

Writing on the official Ubisoft blog, the corporation explained:

“The Division was always designed to be a seamless online experience, giving players the option to play solo or group with fellow Agents to tackle missions and infiltrate the Dark Zone as a squad. Thanks to the feedback and participation of a record-setting 6.4 million players in the beta, we know many of you took up arms with others and saw first-hand how The Division’s unique gameplay experiences were brought to life by a large and active player population.

Since it’s impossible for us to populate the servers in a way that would adequately replicate playing The Division on launch day, reviewers will start playing the game along with everyone else when it’s released on March 8 – after the servers go live officially and globally at 00:01AM Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT). We anticipate there may be some impressions posted online within the first few days of launch that were based on experiences with The Division Beta, and we look forward to seeing streams, videos, and opinions that provide accounts of final, in-game conditions.”

Ubisoft’s reputation has taken a turn for the worst in recent years and many within the industry have taken to being wary of Ubisoft titles and as such it’s a fair response from some gamers that the lack of pre-release reviews could spell trouble for The Division. As someone who got hands on with The Division throughout all 3 closed and open tests, I can personally verify I had very few network issues in my time with The Division and my most serious issue occurred in the Open Beta test. You see, I was already a few hours deep into the Open Beta and when I was running through the Madison Field Hospital mission on hard difficulty to attain higher-end gear, network issues kicked in right before the boss and I experiences severe lag/connectivity issues that resulted in the loss of all my progress in the mission.

For a game that is so reliant upon online features, it truly could be make or break if the game suffers from similar network issues at launch since it’s proven this can seriously damage a games reputation. Whether it be Halo: The Master Chief Collection or, more recently, Street Fighter V which also featured network issues at launch, such issues leave a bad taste in people’s mouths and for a new IP like The Division, it could be harmful. However, would reviews even point out issues like this? Street Fighter V still received glowing reviews from major sites despite its lack of content and network issues so perhaps we shouldn’t be too reliant on reviews anyway.

Now, a lot of people might argue that people should wait for reviews and wait a day or two before jumping on this game which is a fair argument. After all, there’s no immediate reason that you’ll need to buy the game day one or pre-order the game. However, with a game like The Division with all the pre-order incentives and the desire to start the quest for loot, it’s understandable that some might find it difficult to resist the temptation.

It remains to be seen whether The Division will have a stable launch but I certainly hope it is since I’ll be jumping in on the action as soon as the servers go live and I sincerely hope that network issues are kept to a minimum as I’ll be looking to progress as much as possible within The Division come Tuesday.

How do you feel about the absence of pre-release reviews for The Division and do you think the game can be trusted? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.


Have your say!

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  1. Nope it’s Ubisoft, let the reviews and real world play be out there before considering purchase.

    • @Ucouldntbemorewrong:disqus

      Sounds like someone is salty about Ubisoft.

  2. As much as any other game, I’d say.

    Besides, it’s not as if there isn’t a beta out there for people to get their hands on, or otherwise glean information from. And if you’re THAT concerned, why not wait for the review embargo to be lifted, rather than following an inexplicable compulsion to buy it day 1?

    Not really understanding the point of asking such a question.

  3. It isn’t bad, people don’t really care about reviews from sites anymore not to mention you don’t have to buy The Division day 1, wait a week or so if you would like.

    • Well i have amazon prime so i do have the incentive for getting it for $47 free shipping, so there is kinda a preorder incentive there
      But i totally agree, mostly yea if theres no other incentive i would have waited, and the review embargo thing, personally i dont care….i stopped trusting reviews. I think most reviewers are paid these days, and hell i love far cry primal, most people i talk to do, yet most reviewers didnt like it.
      So yea, listen to gamers not reviewers , or better yet play it at a friends house first

      • Agreed, there’s really no rush to actually buy the game, and most of the time I find that reviewers don’t really know how to review games anymore, they turn into opinion pieces which is really not a review, being that a review would be an objective look at what the game is and what the developers set out to achieve and how all of that works and whether or not it works well, instead, we get a subjective article talking about how much the reviewer didn’t like it for their own personal reasons, which is really not a review, like I said, it’s an opinion piece.

  4. Gaming is a hobby dependent on disposable income. If you not sure if this game is the game for you but really want to buy it day 1, just get a disc version and sell the game used if you don’t like it. At most you will lose $20.

    Otherwise wait for the reviews.

    This article is immensely stupid and fear mongering for no reason.

    • Jesus, calm the fuck down lol. God forbid a gaming website try to write an opinion piece on a highly anticipated game and gain some traffic for their website.

      • God forbid somebody call a gaming website out for a stupid article disguised as an opinion piece.

  5. How do you feel about the absence of pre-release reviews for The Division

    This is nothing new for the industry and the publishers have every right to embargo the reviews, given it is the publishers who release the review editions of the games. Considering this is an online game if there was no embargo for the reviews the reviewers could have various experiences that aren’t great solely because of the lack of people online.

    This article is really revealing this website to be amateur in nature. You guys don’t seem to have a handle on how the industry works.

  6. From a gamers point of view, ive played around 5 hours of the game today and not had any server issues (xblive) its played smooth, and Ive enjoyed the game a lot, for me its not about how much levelling up, loot there is etc, its how much you enjoy it, its totally working for me

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