Tom Clancy’s The Division
Tom Clancy’s The Division plot:
On Black Friday, a smallpox pandemic, transmitted by a virus planted on banknotes, sweeps through New York City. The disease, known as “Green Poison” or “The Dollar Flu”, causes widespread chaos, and Manhattan is placed under quarantine. The U.S. Government activates sleeper agents in the population who operate for the Strategic Homeland Defense Division, or simply “The Division”, to assist emergency responders, now called the Joint Task Force (JTF), in restoring order. In Brooklyn, the protagonist, a Division agent, assists the JTF before planning to depart for the Quarantine zone with fellow agent Faye Lau. However, the VTOL meant to take them there is destroyed in an explosion, killing the Division Commander along with most of the second wave and wounding Faye Lau. Arriving in a JTF helicopter instead, the Division agents reclaim the James A.
Farley Post Office Building as their base of operations. From there, the agents undertake assignments to rescue important personnel, help in restoring the base of operations to full working capacity and combat criminal groups, such as the Rioters, common street thugs in New York who generally want to take advantage of the quarantine, the Rikers, escapees from Rikers Island, and the Cleaners, insane New York Sanitation workers who wield flamethrowers and believe everyone is infected. In the course of the game, the agent helps rescue important personnel like Dr. Jessica Kandel, Captain Roy Benitez and Paul Rhodes. These personnel head the Medical, Security and Tech wings of the base of operations respectively. Agents also recover a sample of Green Poison. Studying the sample reveals the virus was manufactured and then modified heavily by a controversial biologist named Gordon Amherst.
Eventually, the agents find footage of Division agent Aaron Keener going rogue and killing other agents, having gone insane after witnessing the chaos and destruction caused during the breakdown of order following the initial outbreak. It is also discovered Keener and the rest of the first wave of agents who went rogue along with him are assisting the “Last Man Battalion” (LMB), a traitorous and facsistprivate military company that was abandoned by the government during the evacuation, and are now hostile to it. Working together, these two groups destroyed the VTOL and killed the Commander to weaken Division operations in New York. Intercepting a signal from the Russian consulate, the agents attempt to rescue Vitaly Tchernenko, a Russian virologist who claims to have information on the Green Poison.
However, he is kidnapped by Keener and the LMB before the Division can reach him. After helping the JTF secure supplies and weapons, the JTF and Division agents launch an attack on the LMB’s base, the evacuated United Nations headquarters. The agent finds footage of Keener and his fellow rogue agents abandoning the LMB, with Tcherneko as their prisoner. The leader of the LMB, Charles Bliss, attempts to escape in a helicopter, but the agent destroys the vehicle, killing Bliss. Lau informs the agent that with most threats destroyed or weakened, New York is approaching stability, but an unknown signal leads the agent to a secluded laboratory. There, they find Dr. Amherst’s remains, having discovered that he has died from exposure to his own virus. They also find a message from Keener, showing he has the technology to manufacture a new strain of Green Poison and intends to do so, and mysteriously tells the agent to explore the center of Manhattan, called the “Dark Zone.” The agent is informed that the information in the lab will further the development of a vaccine and is shown a recovered message from Amherst. In the message, Amherst reveals he engineered Green Poison as part of his eco-terrorist plan to decimate the human race and preserve the planet.
The Division takes place in mid-crisis Manhattan, an open world with destructive environments that are free for players to explore. The player’s mission is to restore order by investigating the source of a virus. The player character can carry three weapons, and explosives like sticky bombs and smart mines to fight against enemies. Players may take cover behind objects during firefights to avoid taking damage from enemies, and to give them a tactical advantage when attacking. As the game is set in a third-person perspective, the character model is visible.
As players progress, they earn experience points (commonly known as XP) and currency. They can use this currency to buy weapons and gear, and use the points to learn new talents and skills. The player’s gear is categorized into five levels: worn, standard, specialized, superior, high-end, and gear set items, each with a specific color code. Gear can be either bought, or found as in-game loot, or crafted from gathered materials. The storyline missions involve objectives that are relevant to their respective wing of the Base of Operations, which serves as the player’s home base. At the player’s home base there are three wings which are the Medical, Security and Tech wing. Playing missions for a wing grants the player points for that wing which the player can spend to gain access to new talents, perks and facilities in the Base of Operations. The player will receive intel videos from each head of the wing at certain progression points, which the player can watch. The intel received is specific to its wing, with the Medical wing giving virus reports on the outbreak, the Security wing giving insight into each in-game enemy faction and the tech wing providing camera footage. The game features a dynamic, time-based weather system which may bring benefits or disadvantages to players. For instance, storms can hinder player’s visibility and make aiming difficult. The game features a day-night cycle which will change the behavior of enemies in the game.
The Dark Zone is the player-versus-player competitive multiplayer mode featured in The Division, where a lot of high-end weapons are left behind when the military retreats in the game. It is separated from the main campaign and has its own progression system. Higher quality items can be found within the Dark Zone, but are considered “contaminated”; contaminated loot can be stolen by other players, and must be flown out via helicopter in order for them to be available to the player after they leave the Dark Zone. Players can be accompanied by several co-operative partners and other neutral, player-controlled agents. These people, however, can turn against the player at any moment, going rogue. Players’ level and ranking may drop if they die too often in the zone.