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We went hands-on with Tom Clancy’s The Division

by Eric Frederiksen | January 19, 2016January 19, 2016 7:30 am PDT

For an overview of the video itself, read on:

We start out with some standard player-versus-enemy combat. After my partners and I were done putting down the computer-controlled enemies, we collected our loot. I took a moment to equip some new gear and customize my weapons with the game’s straight-forward customization system. The game features a sticky cover system that works really well for the most part. I did have a tough time getting over cover at a few points, but moving from cover to cover and climbing up onto elevated platforms worked well and felt genuinely useful in combat. You can also see us using some of the tactical abilities here, such as Pulse, which highlights enemies and gives a brief combat buff like you’d see in an MMORPG.

After a while, we decided to head to the Dark Zone, the game’s dynamic dungeon and player-versus-player zone, where you can team up to take on high-level enemies or betray your teammates and walk away rich… if you can survive long enough to get out.

A good, trustworthy team is going to be most successful here, but even then it can be tough going if another team decides you look juicy. If you pick up with a random group, though, beware. If you’re not partied up, they can betray you at any time, and if you are in a party, they can drop out and betray you all the same. You’re never truly safe in the Dark Zone. But the heavy AI enemies drop the best gear, making the difficulty and danger appealing and profitable.

Next, we had a look at one of the game’s more unique storytelling elements, Echoes, which let you walk through a recorded event as it happened. It’s mostly just a classic audio log, but the unique visual gives it a bit of flavor that standard audio logs lack.

And finally, Ubisoft leveled us up to level 20 – out of a level 30 cap – and plopped us into a tough story mission where you can see some multi-level combat going on.

If you like what you see here, make sure to check out my thoughts on combat and tactics in The Division, an in-depth look at the Dark Zone, and some background information on the events that inspired the game.

The Division hits PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 8. Later this month, it heads into beta as well.

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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