Everything Wrong With The Division: A Helpful Guide

I’m absolutely loving The Division. And WOW, is there a lot wrong with The Division [official site]. Ubisoft’s obsessive-compulsive need to create games that feature maps designed for the obsessive-compulsive to clear may be becoming a little farcical at this point, but having spent many happy hours tidying up Far Cry Primal, I now find myself spending even more happy hours ticking off icons in their barely-an-MMO third-person shooter. And the reason is simple: the action is good. It’s fun to have gun fights while gliding between cover, picking out enemies with carefully placed headshots, then being told by passers-by that without you there’d be nothing to live for.

Despite being an online game, you can solo pretty much everything apart from the Dark Zone, the game scaling for teams of one – no need to have other people spoiling it for me. It’s endlessly rewarding to find a better gun, pair of gloves, mod for your jacket, or build your own, or buy one from a store. And it features checkpoints in extended quests, which is something I’ve never seen in an MMO before. So yes, lots of good reasons to be having a splendid time with Ubi’s phenomenally successful shooter. But oh good grief, it’s a bloody mess.

I’m going to stress again before I begin, because I’ve been so cheeky in the title, that this is my favourite game so far this year. It is, by a million miles, not the best game so far this year – it’s dumb as rocks that got held back at rock school, it’s repetitive, it’s… well, everything this article’s about. But the truth is, I’ve been finding spare time I didn’t think I had, giving up hours of sleep, and sneaking extra play into work time, because I’m absolutely hooked. At level 29, and about to play the final story mission, I’m in a fine position with plenty of experience to explain why it’s such a pile of crap, too. So let’s start with the reason I’m not playing the final mission right now:

Server Doesn’t Serve

As I write this, the servers are currently down. Down to suit US sleepyheads, and not UK rise-and-shiners like me. Down for THREE HOURS. And they’re down every single day. The game’s been out for two weeks today, and they’re still pulling the damned thing offline for huge chunks of the day, as if we’re still in the middle of a closed beta. Which is dreadful. And quite a boring complaint – sorry about that. But I want to be playing!


Tom Clancy’s The Division attempts a very serious tone. The corpse of the former best-selling person who put his name on the fronts of books other people wrote is apparently still propped up at a desk somewhere in Ubisoft’s HQ, ensuring that everything Is Very Important when it comes to running around and shooting pretend people. Super-small pox (which inexplicably isn’t called “Big Pox”) has killed most of the people in the world, Manhattan is overrun by rival groups of thugs and terrorists, and you’re trying to recover the city by, um, I dunno, collecting new vests I think. Characters are grimdark worry-lines with feet, imploring you to understand the severity of just how absolutely awful everything is, and how with your help things might become fractionally slightly less completely awful maybe a bit. And then when you get to a safe house, each quest-giving automaton (complete with repeated identical faces) is a HILARIOUS WACKY STEREOTYPE!

It’s so peculiarly incongruous to the tone the game works so po-faced to achieve, to have a sniffling simpering clot worrying about allergies and how things are too dirty, or a mumsy mum mummishly mumming about everyone getting home safe in time for tea. This one’s angry! This one’s a sycophant! This one’s a gun-lovin’ Southerner! Each is completely dreadful, a misguided attempt at humour that undermines the arc of the game, and isn’t in the least bit funny in the first place. Tom Clancy will be rolling in his office chair.

Press F To Space X

Clearly The Division was originally intended to be played on a controller, and that’s just fine. But I’m playing on PC, with all the added benefits of a mouse to aim, so my left hand is rested on a keyboard, with a set of controls designed by a deranged baboon. It’s hard to convey quite how bloody batshit it all is, so I’ll describe the set of keys necessary for modding a new scope onto your weapon, without laboriously clicking on all the written-out keyboard commands all over the screen:

‘I’ for inventory
‘Left click’ on the gun you want to mod
‘F’ to mod that highlighted weapon
‘Left click’ on the mod slot to change
‘Space’ to select that mod slot
‘Left click’ to choose the mod you want from a list bottom right
‘Space’ to use that mod
‘Esc’ to back out of weapon
‘Esc’ to back out of weapon type
‘Esc’ to back out of inventory (not ‘I’!)
‘Esc’ to back out of an entirely other menu that you didn’t click through to get here in the first place

That’s all.

The completely random assigning of Fs and Spaces and clicks is quite extraordinary. And wholly unintuitive. X strips a weapon of mods if you’re in the right screen, but you then have to press Space to confirm. It’s just so strange! G to compare your current weapon with a new one, but then sometimes it’s F to change which weapon is being compared, sometimes that doesn’t do anything at all. Different rules for shops and inventories. It’s like the person at Ubisoft carrying the keyboard controls to the game tripped up on the way, sent them cascading all over the floor, and realising no one was looking just picked them up in fistfuls and shoved them in.

May I See A Menu?

The inventory/modding screens are dreadful, but prove to be the highlight of The Division’s menus. Because by Odin’s armpits, they feel like an oasis of exquisite design when you’ve been at the crafting. Available only from one location in the entire game, crafting is done by gathering recipes for weapons and equipment, then “parts” gathered from buildings all over the city, then selecting them from a list… no, sorry, selecting them from two lists. The first list is a dummy list to trick you into thinking you’ve selected a particular type of crafting, while the second is a terrifying list that leaps from type to type without warning as you scroll. Find something you want to craft, and rather than telling you if it’ll be better than your current version of said item, it gives you a ballpark for what it might end up being. Craft it, by holding down Space for ages, and it’ll then have a set of statistics completely unrelated to anything it previously suggested, and be incomparable to your current weapons until you either equip it or Esc out of the – maybe – successfully created object.

Then there’s the perks, skills and talents, an absolute clusterfuck of a menu where things are listed by priority both horizontally and vertically within the same window, improvements are obfuscated by this confusion, it declares to you that new mods are available for skills when there aren’t, and it ends up feeling easier not to worry about changing what you’ve already got for fear of having to navigate it another time.

There are SO many menus, all of them contradictory, all of them requiring a juggling of keys and mice, none of them smartly laid out of instinctive to use. It’s… well, it’s impressive, really.

Farce Travel

Manhattan isn’t an enormous play field, but it’s a heck of a slog to run long distances through it, not least because the streets are filled with angry men (and sniping women) trying to kill you all the time. So the game has Safe Houses, unlocked by discovering them, little hubs from which new side quests and encounters become available, and so-called “fast travel” points. This is not fast travel. I’ve no idea how much loading The Division does on the fly when I’m running around, but it must be a heck of a lot to make moving through the city as seamless as it is. Because bloody hell, it takes forever when you try to leap to a safe house. (Naturally by pressing X from the map, then press Space.) You may as well be laboriously flying there on a griffin for all the speed it adds to proceedings. Coupled with a lack of movement speed improvements (there’s one top-end skill that temporarily adds faster movement with a massive recharge time, but it’s designed for combat, not traversal), it means The Division is a pseudo-MMO that never lets you move any more quickly. Just those wheels in the bottom of shoes like the cool kids in the mall have would be something.

Radiating Hate

As you’ll have noticed, so much of what’s wrong with The Division is in how it communicates itself to the player. And I think the absolute nadir of this is radiation levels. There are zones on the map, marked in red, that are irradiated, and harmful if you don’t have the correct level of protection. It never in-narrative explains what protection levels are, or how you get them, but it does hide in the strangest place (the abilities menu, of all places) what your current level is. However, in randomly appearing pop-up hints both on screen in-game and in loading screens, it informs you it’s to do with the mask you’re presently wearing. It is, in no sense, to do with the mask you’re presently wearing.

I spent so long trying to work out how to find masks with a radiation protection level higher than 1. I went to vendors all over the map, scrutinised the (obviously) cluttered and unhelpful descriptions of all of them to see where it mentioned what level they protected against, whether it was a mod thing, whether I could change the level using the game’s dice-rolling reconstruction table, whether it was something I needed to craft, and eventually gave up assuming it was something that would become available to me later on. Weird, since it was giving me missions that required going into level 2 radiation at the time, but I ran out of options.

When nothing was coming along at the point where I was meeting level 3 radiation, I realised I had to be missing it. So I googled, found poorly written SEO articles designed to catch such searches, and eventually learned from one of these sites that it had nothing to do with the masks it so clearly stated it was to do with. And then finally learned for myself that improved protection against radiation comes from… upgrading the medical facility in your main base with features nothing to do with radiation that come with the perk of improved protection.


Even the game itself doesn’t know.

The Unkindness Of Strangers

A very strange little feature put in the game, and then I imagine sort of forgotten about, is your ability to help out random civilians in the streets by giving them some of your supplies. You’ll see them get scanned by the game’s daft use of orange squares and lines (I was going to give this its own entry, but this is already too long), and then if you press F on them for long enough, at the right distance, without them walking off, you’ll give them a bottle of water, can of soda, or at worst, a medkit. I have still yet to figure out what water and soda and energy bars are for – something about augmenting the effects of medkits or something – because the radial menus to select them (and indeed the other one for selecting special bullet types) is so astronomically broken that selecting them is near-impossible. So I give these away with gusto (I tend to say, “Please don’t want a medkit, please don’t want a medkit” as the information whirs its way onto screen, and then give one anyway because I feel too guilty). The response is not only effusive and ridiculous praise, but also always a dropped item. Every time. It’s not helping a stranger. It’s paying for a random drop. That drives me crazy.

What’s even more strange is when you don’t manage to F on them (ew) in time, they become irate with you, screaming abuse! Woe betide you take too long to hand over the bottle of water they’ve just asked for, and then try to give it to them three seconds later – you are SCUM!

This gets even more weird when strangers don’t want anything (which is most of them), who watch you run past and then when you’re clear of them, shout abuse at you for a thing you didn’t just do. “Woah, I’m not the enemy here!” they might cry as you run into the distance, not thinking about them. It’s a really odd game, no mistake.

A Little Stroll

Right, obviously everyone hates it when a game stops them from moving at top speed for any reason, and no publisher enjoys doing this to players more than Ubisoft. There are entire Assassin’s Creeds I’ll never play because I can’t bring myself to dawdle around the future silver rooms instead of running around stabbing strangers. The Division does this a little at the start, but then only in one particular place, and it’s just so flipping strange. It’s when you enter the main base. All the safe houses, when “fast” travelled to, plop you inside. Not so for the Base Of Operations, which deposits you just outside so you can, for no reason AT ALL, walk at the most extraordinary slow pace through its dull, featureless entrance tunnel. It’s presumably there to mask load times when entered from the open world but then why not at least put me directly inside after travelling via the map? Like every inexplicable decision in the game, I’m just left thinking, “How? How is this a thing in a game?” And you get to walk out just as slowly too! Just take a look at the view!

A Pox On Both Your Houses

It would be completely fair for me to write an alternative article entitled “Everything Right With The Division”, in which I celebrate why I enjoy the cover shooting so much, the smart use of Watch_Dog’s text-in-the-world, the pleasure of clearing its jam-packed map, and how much fun it is to shoot Cleaners in their fuel tanks, but it wouldn’t be as cathartic. The above may seem like nitpicking at times, but it’s crucial to understand how central to the experience every part of it is. This is a splendid game, buried beneath a series of amazingly stupid design decisions. I’m loving it despite itself.

I could have included great sections about how abysmal the writing is, the absolutely ludicrous plot which can be summarised as: Find a way to create a vaccine and for some reason then things will get better even though everyone’s already dead or immune. But, well, it’s an Ubisoft game, we expect the core story to be freshly shat from the bottom-hole of a donkey. I should have included a section, or perhaps an article dedicated solely, to the madness that is random lines of dialogue appearing written in text within the pre-rendered cutscenes about how small pox works, or enemy leaders. It’s so bloody funny, and certainly wasn’t intended to be.

But I’ll stop here, having had my cake and bloody gorging on it. I love The Division, even though it’s such a load of old bollocks. I think you might too.

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Top comments

  1. Aliasalpha says:

    The game would have had a far different tone if you were trying to stop the antagonist running around giving everyone syphilis...
  1. BaconAndWaffles says:

    I have assumed that the glacial walking pace to get into your base is because it is loading your specific instance on the fly (on the sloth?).

    I agree with so many of your points – love the game, lots of room for improvement.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      A well timed combat roll will get you in fast enough to see much of the base load :)

      • AngryAnt says:

        Yup do a roll. Also if you happen to have the double tap to roll, you can just keep mashing W to roll forwards and that works inside the painfully slow pace (double space doesn’t for some reason).

    • Samfisher says:

      There’s no reason to do any on the fly loading when you already fast travel it from the map. If you walk in from the open world that would be understandable.

  2. Sleepery says:

    I’ve shot poor Alex, whoever he is, about three hundred times at this stage.

  3. Ethaor says:

    I’m surprised not to see one of the most recurrent complain in the community, the bullet-sponge bosses. There are no bosses, Ubi just made almost regular AI very very tanky. That got to be the worst “Boss” design of any video game on top of simply not being fun.

    • dancindan2589 says:

      That’s probably because 1.) that issue has been done to death and 2.) the people who are enjoying the game knew early on that the enemies were going to be bullet sponges, and they’re fine with that. Hard to have a tiered-difficulty looter-shooter without enemies that can take progressively more damage, so honestly, that point is a fairly moot one.

    • MiniMatt says:

      I’m not really fussed by bullet sponginess any more than I’m fussed by the hundred and fifty sword whacks at this or that boss monster’s ankles I have to take in any other game.

      Instant healing medkits/health potions, unlimited supply of turrets to throw from my pockets, a backpack perfectly able to hold 52 sniper rifles – it’s not a realistic shooter experience, we get it. That’s fine, it’s Diablo with guns, it’s not Arma.

    • Ethaor says:

      eheh fair enough. I’m not talking about the general spongyness though, I agree it’s also what ties it to the rpg genre, I’m just talking about the uninspired bosses.

      I find they are a hassle and as inspired as cheating AIs are to strategy games.

      • gwathdring says:

        Cheating AIs are kinda essential to a lot of strategy games.

        Short of something like the now-famously-victorious Alphago, AI usually simply cannot effectively compete with humans without an edge.

        This means unless you require playing on Easy Mode or what-have-you to beat the game … you’re not going to be challenged by an AI that doesn’t take some kind of shortcut.

        Even if we ignore programmatic shortcuts … in what way is running off a laptop that’s the computational equivalent of a top-10 super computer from five years ago and doing millions of brute-force calculations of optimal play not also cheating in the case of an AI that doesn’t use programmatic short cuts?

    • yogibbear says:

      They all have different strategic weak points. You CAN melt them all. You just suck at the game if you think they are bullet sponges.

      • KDR_11k says:

        The weak points won’t take more than 30-40% of the armor off a yellow, that’s still a ton of bullets needed to finish them off. And with some types the weak points can be very hard to hit. E.g. machine gunners have a tiny red packet at the back, in the middle of their backpack. Since they turn towards you immediately you need someone else to distract them, if nobody is available you won’t be hitting that.

        • lhl says:

          Tactical Pulse to increase crits and Smart Cover or First Aid with Boost will let you melt any NPCs out of challenge mode. (For concrete numbers, at level 30 with a high-rolled SMG you should be able to do 500K+ burst DPS. I’ve seen M1As do 1M or even 2M damage headshots.)

    • KDR_11k says:

      Well, there are enemies literally called “Boss” by the game…

      Definitely frustrating when some Terminator dude in his bullet-proof hoodie just walks through your hail of machine gun fire until he’s right next to you and negates your cover. Especially when it’s a machinegunner who stops shooting for five seconds every minute or so and if you leave cover while he’s shooting you die in split seconds (and he slowly walks towards you so you may have to leave cover just to get away from him). Oh and no matter how inaccurate their weapons are supposed to be the yellow enemies can get you to low health in one attack from long range. Even with a shotgun that normally has a hard damage falloff after like 5 meters.

      I seriously wonder if buffing your health even does anything. It feels like no matter how much health you have you’ll always be at low health after one attack from a yellow.

    • sg1969 says:

      There might not be a lot of variety in boss fights, but aren’t most bosses in most games pretty much bullet sponges anyway? Why should the Division be any different?

  4. Premium User Badge

    Philopoemen says:

    As soon as i reached the end game, the major thing that I want now is the ability to craft higher level crafting items more than one. at. a time.

    Using the keyboard, I have to hold down Space turn 5 blue pieces into one yellow piece, which would be fine if i only had 5 pieces. But I have 150.

    I now hold Space, to craft one item, then for some reason have to hit Escape, to go back so I can hold Space down again. Rinse and Repeat 30 times…

    • scudly says:

      Honestly this was the thing that made me finally create a custom macro with my Logitech keyboard. Now instead of having to press Space for just the right time and then Escape after some more time I can press one button to do one item of crafting.

      Sure it doesn’t do all of them at once, but it’s a start dammit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      It’s just as bafflingly bad with a controller :/

      • Aliasalpha says:

        I’d not be surprised if the materials conversion thing was a little bit worse on controller because, at least in the case of my PS4, it has a bit of a delay between being able to press circle which often leads to me pressing it 3 times on the assumption that it didn’t register. That of course means I’m back to the root crafting menu and have to go through the whole thing again to find the blueprint I’m after…

    • Rajel says:

      I made an account just to let you know that you can keep holding Space when your crafting, then just hit ESC and it will automatically start crafting next one. I just did over 250 blue Fabrics this way, just have to get timing down.

      What we do for our games.

  5. Blaaaaaaag says:

    Not a very important note, but on the controls side, you don’t ever have to ‘left click’ or use your mouse at all in the menus. You’ve made the menu controls ever so slightly more complicated than they actually need to be.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Or you can double-click instead of pressing space in the inventory. Still clunky.

  6. Potocobe says:

    Thanks for the article. Lots of my online friends are playing this game and begging me to buy it and play it with them. I’m not doing it. This game sounds like a console port from hell. Further proof that good game mechanics can be ruined by bad controls and UI. If…IF they ever patch the game up to the point where it sounds like it’s finished being made I might give it a go on someone else’s computer but this 40GB game will never clog my hard drive in the state it’s currently in. How on earth can you recommend what sounds like a repetitive, grindy, poorly performing, B-movie plot having, generic clusterfuck of a game to anyone with a PC?

    • Tekrunner says:

      Because it’s a lot of fun to play.

      • vahnn says:

        That’s extremely subjective. I hated it.

        • Tekrunner says:

          “Rock, Paper, Shotgun – PC Game Reviews, Previews, Subjectivity”.

          Potocobe is asking how John Walker can love and recommend the game despite its flaws. I’m not in JW’s head, but given what’s written in the article I think my response is fairly accurate.

    • scudly says:

      Also it’s really, really pretty. It’s hard to describe how the simple fact that in the year 2016 the simple fact of fog making things properly foggy makes for one of the most beautiful games of the year.

      Honestly in the fog it’s amazing how the light gets cast from everything it should be and illuminates little pockets of the fog with the appropriate color. I know it’s not a terrible difficult thing to do, but it’s something most games don’t seem to do and thus it looks amazing.

      • MiniMatt says:

        It really is very pretty. Blizzards feel cold, fog feels foggy – I think even the sound stage is muffled in fog too.

        Art assets don’t feel re-used, even if a lot of them are, the placement is really good. A lot of rather disturbing set dressing that your attention is not blatantly drawn to but you just happen to notice as you’re jogging along – evidence of car crashes, fires, disturbing mob lynchings.

        And it runs very happy on “high” settings @1080p on my very modest i5/gtx960 at 45-65fps

  7. dancindan2589 says:

    Not trying to be a twat here, but just fyi – the masks/filter levels have nothing to do with irradiation and everything to do with viral contamination. The masks have different levels of virus filters in them, and the contaminated areas have different levels of virus contaminant in them. One other thing – the random civilians who you can give food/water/medkits to for random drops will “deactivate” if you run past them, and their “deactivation” has little to do with how long you’ve spent standing there staring at them. This happens to me all the time – I won’t stop in time, and the second you go an inch past them they no longer offer you the drop. It’s annoying, but mostly preventable if you know what to look out for. Otherwise, yeah, I agree with just about everything in the article. I’m loving the game but it certainly has its fair share of shortcomings.

  8. pepperfez says:

    dumb as rocks that got held back at rock school

    So good.

  9. Sandepande says:

    I had more problems with The Witcher 3’s UI… Now whose fault is that?

  10. mavu says:

    A word of warning:

    Once you reach level 30, the game just stops having a ‘story’ and giving you levels. Pretty much everything else stays the same. do missions (hard-mode or challange-dailies for extra rewards), hope for better loot, repeat.

    I completely agree that the game is a very solid cover shooter thats a lot of fun, if you can live with the same 3 types of enemies differing in color and size of their healthbar.

    But the non-existent endgame is a let-down.
    I suggest waiting a couple of weeks, for a lot of copies going to ebay and getting it then. (mostly applicable to console versions, I guess, which by the way feel slightly less weird in menus than the described PC version. Slightly)

    • Sandepande says:

      Yeah, given that it’s taken me ~15 hours to get to level 13, I think I’m cool that the game ends at level 30.

      The killing and the environments probably stay the same even if I have a super-duper rifle and funky armour.

    • sg1969 says:

      That’s a pretty stupid statement… I mean, I am lvl 30 now, and I still have a quarter of the map to explore, and I’m guessing more story missions too…

  11. veerserif says:

    What really irritates me is the auto-activation of sidequests just by getting near them. No, I don’t want to do this mission, I’m literally just trying to sprint 500m! And then it’ll mark that mission as “failed”.

  12. Jakob91 says:

    To me you’re all talking non-sense while saying you played a game requiring Uplay as I’ve never been able to register a single game on this ***** platform. The servers are ALWAYS offline whenever I try.

  13. Conundrummer says:

    The awful button-salad that makes up the menu navigation is deplorable, and easily the worst thing about the game.

    However, to anyone complaining about the “bullet sponges” and “no bosses”: After 15 minutes of trudging through the snow, and quietly dispatching easier enemies, the lead-up to and engagement of a boss (yes, there are bosses, people are wrong, go figure) is great, and forces you to use actual teamwork and strategy in place of running to locations where the AI can’t protect it’s head. They have weak spots that cause different debuffs, and strengths that you have to work to avoid. Occasionally they can be gamed, and they’re often a little easier than I’d like, but when so much of the game, like Borderlands, can be mitigated by clever turret placement and regular heals, the big ol’ boss sponges require you to wing it a bit more. I love it.

    The comparisons to Destiny are probably very apt, but for me, this scratches an itch located somewhere between the skin-of-your-teeth Horde mode for Gears of War 2 and the emotional fight-or-flight of Killing Floor.

    • KDR_11k says:

      The no-bosses complaint comes from how similar the yellows are to other types of enemies and how liberally they get thrown into regular waves so the final showdown with the boss of a group doesn’t feel any different to previous “miniboss” encounters because they’re usually the same enemy copy-pasted into different places. And especially since the same boss type can appear at the end of a lengthy story mission or a quick sidequest. Other loot games may have strong named enemies thrown into regular quests and such but at the end of an act you get a unique boss that’s memorable. And named enemies usually differ in some way instead of being complete repeats of enemies you fought a dozen times already.

  14. aliksy says:

    I appreciate this kind of article. I’m always ranting about the little annoying things in games and my friends either politely nod, or in rarer cases go on about how the devs have a reason for everything and it’s not that big a deal anyway just get used to it.

  15. foszae says:

    If for a moment i could believe the plot truly was freshly shat instead of being some triassic coprolite, i’d consider buying an Ubisoft game again. But I’ve watched Let’s Plays, and it’s obvious their staff haven’t even seen a warm asshole in aeons.

  16. hoodah says:

    Yeesh, if the contamination filters baffled you, good luck managing your abilities, gun Talents, or basically anything going on in the Dark Zone – which, by the way, you failed to opine upon in any way, shape or form… kind of an odd thing to omit, as it is, like, the entire end game.

    • John Walker says:

      An odd complaint to make about an article that stresses that I have not reached the end-game yet, and indeed am soloing the game.

      • SenorWTF says:

        I know it’s a few days old, but I’ve got a pretty solid playerbase who would love an extra guy on PC. My U-play username is the username for this post. Don’t hesitate. Yeah, the game is glitchy, unintuitive, and kinda dry, but I’ve found playing with other people makes up for that. I also solo’d the campaign, all side missions, and all collectibles, but after I hit 30, I went ahead and made some friends. Totally worth it.

  17. yogibbear says:

    OMG the current patch just came out and the Dark Zone is fun now! There were 2 groups of 4 Rogues (8 total) working together holding out a roof and slaughtering the rest of the server, then the rest of us all got our act together and worked out way into getting up there and fighting back. Last guy escaped on a manhunt and we chased him around the entire map through DZ-06 and into the sewers and back out again. It was BRILLIANT. Absolutely loving this game after 120 hrs I’m still playing it.

  18. Flappybat says:

    That’s a biohazard symbol!

    The matchmaking for missions has been my biggest gripe. Get into groups with AFK players so you have to leave, huge loading screens both sides despite SSD. Join a group and get put 300m away from the objective even if you were standing right next to it. Leave a group, put hundreds of meters away in a safe house. I believe you also get a loading screen if everyone leaves after a mission too.

  19. semablack says:

    Heh well half of your “ISSUES” with this game sounds like you just don’t want to play a game for its content. Most of what is stated is an opinion that isn’t really valid. I mean just for one tiny example your “Farce Travel”…yeah… SURE LOOKS like its faster than taking the entire journey on foot to me. Unless I’m just seeing things. I will agree with you though that Ubi has a hard on for pointless mini-quests and map clutter. But all in all the game is fine, just people who like to be spoon fed with a platinum spoon and then wish to be slashing/shooting away with no consequences or fears should just go play Darksiders or DMC or something of that nature, because clearly you just want to kill something insignificantly.

  20. zul says:

    Could not agree more with every single point! The game is so crazy-uncle-tom insane with some of its core mechanics, but at the same time an absolute joy to play. I can’t even think of the last game that has had this level of disparity between features. I am enjoying it by not taking it seriously at all (how can you?) and not letting the weird development decisions get in the way of my covershooting.

    Oh, and as I type this it looks like an update started downloading. I wonder what it fixes?

  21. JasonofArgo says:

    I’m getting a little sick of seeing games that are just great “in spite” of themselves, and yet people still say it’s great fun and worth 60 dollars? Yeah right, you can get six ten dollar titles off Steam instead that are all fun just because they’re fun, not because they try to be fun in spite of idiotic design decisions. Everyone KNOWS these AAA titles will be mostly garbage, yet they throw money at them anyway because… I dunno. There’s bunches of other collectathons and almost-RPGs that don’t require slogging through muck just to feel like you didn’t waste your money and time.

    • zul says:

      I agree. I happened to get the game for free bundled with a keyboard, but otherwise I would not have spent $60 for the game. It’s a $30 game for sure.

    • Sandepande says:

      We “throw money” at them because we think it’s worth that much. Nothing wrong with that.

  22. damnsalvation says:

    There’s already a “big pox”. Well, “great pox”. A disease far more terrifying and deadly than smallpox. Syphilis.

    • Aliasalpha says:

      The game would have had a far different tone if you were trying to stop the antagonist running around giving everyone syphilis…

  23. Premium User Badge

    RealWeaponX says:

    Yep, pretty much spot on. Still great fun, but soooo many issues.

    By the way, in the menus you can double click guns and mods etc. instead of figuring out what key they’ve randomly assigned, but you still have to use Esc to go back instead of right-clicking like every other game ever.

    Has anyone else noticed the random barks of friendlies in firefights as well? My JTF guys love to cry about how the Cleaners are coming, or how they didn’t sign up to fight a PMC, while in fact being attacked by Rikers.

    Also, no single shot/burst/auto toggle :(

  24. Badfinger says:

    I know the downtimes are a pain in everyone’s butt, but Massive specifically made a reply regarding the positioning of the game’s downtime (Australia is very unhappy). Massive is a company in Sweden, so they roll out the changes during the middle of the business week during working hours so they can properly monitor that everything is being patched and coming back up properly.

  25. Aliasalpha says:

    Almost everything that shits me about the game, at least in terms of mission design, (don’t get me started on the optics zoom level) can be summarised by the Missing Person: Alexis Kwan side mission (Minor spoilers, obviously).

    Doctor Kandel asks you to track down her ex wife and see if she’s okay, nice idea and a good potential hook for a story thread. You go to the support group you’re told she regularly attended where you can ask about her, you can’t of course; it’s just another bit of magical hyper-surveillance ceaselessly spying on absolutely everyone echo and even if there were people, you don’t have a voice, presumably because silent protagonists are cheaper what with the not needing to hire voice actors or write scripts and all that. Oh sorry, I mean “Good for immersion”…

    You find out where her place is and go there to find another echo which leads you to what is apparently the doctors place although I only realised that long after the fact. Alexis is writing a goodbye letter to Dr Kandel since she’s evidently getting sick, there’s no explicit statement of exactly what she’s going to do next but the implication is suicide. Naturally there’s only one suicide spot that all the cool kids in NYC use regardless of their chosen method so you get a marker pointing you there (seriously, it’s “I’m going to kill myself, bye” and then you get a marker across the sector because… er… SHUT UP! That’s why!).

    You trudge all the way across the map, killing whoever gets a bit fighty with you enroute and find her by the a crashed removalist truck, she’s pulled a piano out of the back and is sitting in the middle of the street in a wintery disaster zone playing Chopin. It was a lovely bit of music and an incongruously peaceful scene, I genuinely sat there listening until it looped because I enjoyed it so much.

    Which brings me to my final whine, I also sat there until the music looped because I had NOTHING TO FUCKING DO! I obviously couldn’t talk to her because the virus had a weird effect on Division agents and rendered us all mute, unable to write or even communicate gesturally. She eventually says words to the effect of “Oh hello, I knew someone would come if I started playing again”, I can’t tell if this is some delusion she’s having through a combination of being a famous pianist without an audience and the mental trauma of being (probably) terminally ill or if this was her weird arse distress signal but there’s no option for interaction at all.

    I couldn’t ask if she was okay
    I couldn’t say the music was good
    I couldn’t try to talk her out of killing herself
    I couldn’t ask (or even tell) if she still planned to kill herself
    I couldn’t tell her that Dr Kandel was worried about her
    I couldn’t tell Dr Kandel that I found Alexis because the mission was over
    I couldn’t ask Dr Kandel how things went after the fact

    Alexis was gone when I went back there, did she get rescued by the JTF or did a bunch of cannibals grab & BBQ her the second my back was turned? Is she Keyboardist or Kebab? I suppose that it’s Schrödinger’s Kebab, until you investigate in depth about the content and collapse the quantum superposition, the meat both is and isn’t concert pianist…

    You want to make a silent protagonist? Well firstly you’re a cheap bastard, hire some writers & actors and secondly realise that SOMETHING has to take up the narrative slack. Send a scan of the goodbye letter to Dr Kandel & SHE can be the one who realises where Alexis is going. When you get there and find her alive, you can open a comm channel (established as possible in the Russian consulate mission) so they can talk and actually RESOLVE A FUCKING STORY THREAD FOR ONCE UBISOFT!!!

    If it keeps going like this, someone is going to end up in ancient underground ruins being controlled by an alien macguffin and stabbing a friend because killing everyone is the only way they can think of to get out of the tangle of bullshit they got themselves into…

    • Sandepande says:

      It wouldn’t be out of place to allow the player to press ‘F’ or its console equivalent to interrupt the playing.

      Mayhap they really like their Chopin.

  26. Anti-Skub says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention the random lines the NPC’s repeat every 3 seconds.

    “Something is wrong with me, I think I need a doctor”
    “My back is all fucked up, I need some meds”
    “Something is wrong with me, I think I need a doctor”
    “My back is all fucked up, I need…”

    Or the fact that the friendly soldiers don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between the different groups of enemies. You’ll be attacked by some Cleaners and they’ll start yelling that the Rikers are coming, then 2 seconds later “It’s the LMB”.

    Or how about your pocket Garrus starting every single fucking line with “WARNING!”

    “WARNING! Contamination detected”
    “WARNING! Incoming hostiles”
    “WARNING! Your shoelace is untied”
    “WARNING! The time is ten past two”

  27. Unsheep says:

    Its a shame media can’t do the same with every game:
    * everything-wrong-with Dark Souls
    * everything-wrong-with Skyrim
    * everything-wrong-with Stardew Valley
    * everything-wrong-with Her Story
    * everything-wrong-with Superhot

    Maybe then we’d get more accurate and fair descriptions of games.

  28. GenialityOfEvil says:

    I was really hoping they’d patch out the NPC freakout. I don’t know how many times I’ve sauntered past someone only for them to scream “I’m not the one you should be pointing that thing at!” Pointing what thing? Was my fly down?

  29. Retne says:

    All the above, although I quite like the daft quest givers at safe houses. Yeah, one dimensional and all, but I only want a quick interaction with them, not a life story or any amount of time that would give them more than one dimension. And I like the juxtaposition of daft vs the rest of the game.

    There’s one more that annoys me which is when you look something and can’t see what you’ve looted ’cause the camera is too high. Just plonk the text on the screen in the middle, please, Ubi.

  30. xyberviri says:

    Are you high or just stupid?
    Contamination zones aren’t contaminated with Radiation, they are contaminated with the virus. IE its a biological contamination zone. Think “all of the water in Rio De jaNeiro”

    Also they dont have any Radiation warning symbols anywhere they are all biological contamination warning symbols everywhere.