Hello Gamers, the holiday season is coming to a close and the New Year has begun. Back on December 20th, Ubisoft released the latest DLC addition to their very popular title Tom Clancy’s: The Division, for PS4 consoles and it is an amazing expansion and probably one of my most favorite in a very long time.
First, let me set up the backstory here, since there is a little bit of context for this new expansion. It begins with an insane super storm that is consuming New York City. Of course, you and a group of Division agents must gear up to go into the storm to extract antiviral medication in the dark zone before rival groups claim it first. The backstory may be a bit thin, but the change in game play mechanics make up for the lack of deeper storytelling.
As simplistic as the backstory is, Survival brings lots of new changes that elevate the core game and make it an entirely new experience. It provides players with a great sense of purpose, which makes the game play feel intense, meaningful, and challenging. Everything you collect can be used to increase your chances of surviving your mission, but what really makes it stand apart from the rest of the game, is the perfect amount of tension the mode provides.
From the moment you start up Survival mode, you are constantly being bombarded with complications that threaten your life. You begin the game with a terrible infection that constantly needs to be suppressed with medication. You must also scavenge the city in freezing temperatures that will chip at your health if you don’t find shelter or sources of heat, and eventually hunger and thirst begin to affect your character. You are forced to be on edge at all times because you need all those resources to keep yourself alive and healthy enough to make it to the extraction zone.
Changing simple game play elements like making your character require food, water, and medication, create a sense of urgency for the player, and in my opinion, this makes us connect to our characters on a very human level. The reality of a super storm seems like a possibility and if we actually needed to walk out into that storm, we would need to find the same major resources to survive. For me, this change in game play mechanics created a new perspective. Not only did Survival force me to find a new way to play The Division, but it showed me new ways to manage resources more efficiently, and helped me to relate to my character, which never happened in the base game.
After a few runs through Survival mode, I kept putting myself in my character’s shoes, and wondered how insane it would be if it were me having to run through a frozen wasteland of Manhattan searching for items to keep warm and a place to take shelter. I thought the reality of that situation would be truly horrifying. Sure enough, its this same concept that truly makes me appreciate gaming as the greatest form of entertainment.
Finally, what I believe makes Survival so special, is the fact that it reshaped the way the original game could be experienced by the player. In its subtle changes, it creates this constant struggle, and pushes you to keep moving forward in the worst possible conditions. These changes make every enemy encounter and gunfight feel like it could be your last moment, especially when you manage to have better gear, and face off against rival players in PVP.
These exhilarating moments provide some of the best risk vs. reward elements and if you luck out, it could make the difference of surviving or not. If and when you finally manage to survive and extract out of the Dark Zone, you feel the greatest sense of accomplishment which makes for a truly rewarding game play experience.
If you’re interested in checking out Survival mode it is now available on all consoles.