After a month of twiddling thumbs and watching PC and Xbox One videos online, I got the chance to jump in and play the Underground DLC for Tom Clancy’s The Division on the PlayStation 4.
The plethora of content comes at a good time, with the community running out of patience with the repetitive content they grind on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, the DLC brings agents to a completely new area of Manhattan, where each visit is unique to the last.
That’s exactly where Ubisoft Massive listened, the cries of gamers looking for a unique experience that doesn’t run its course a week after picking it up. The PvE experience will feel similar to those who’ve worked through Diablo 3, with dungeon warfare the main course. Every time you start a mission in the Underground, the areas you visit are completely randomized, different to the last and different to the next.
Impressively, the areas don’t suffer from the chopping and changing and hold a great level of detail you’d expect from the world above. Lighting doesn’t suffer due to the lack of daylight and destruction makes them chaotic situations feel more realistic. It’s worth noting that locations will become recognizable after a few hours of playing, just where they’ve been positioned is changed every mission.
A heap of new features also make it into the fold, including environmental traps, alarms, and a jammer used by enemies to disorientate you and your squad. Unsurprisingly, the same enemies from the vanilla game will feature, but feel slightly more menacing with new tools at their disposal.
Another feature added in the expansion brings a higher level of difficulty to each mission you play, with rewards much greater for those who make it through the other side. Gamers can add five “Directives” to each mission, adding a handicap that includes disabling the map and draining your health bar gradually among others. While tough, they offer variety and a game like The Division needs as much variety as possible.
You can unlock more Directives over time, giving you something to work towards while also collecting the range of new loot on offer. Speaking on loot, the Underground has become the home for loot farming, with a recent update now buffing the selection of gear enemies drop. Along with the four new Gear Sets, other rewards and loot chests are guaranteed at the end of every boss fight.
Playing the game alone can be exciting but also frustrating. Each mission is a “no respawn” area, meaning one death will send you back to the start and all your work vanishing into thin air. Unless you have a considerably decent setup, playing the Underground solo isn’t really advised and unfortunate for those unable to play with friends.
Away from the Underground, Ubisoft has added a brand new Incursion “Dragon’s Nest”. Personally, the Incursion is the best outing yet, bringing gameplay mechanics that require your team to think and act in unison. Split into two main parts, you’ll find yourself battling against the Four Horsemen before fighting a fire engine that sprays fire. It’s difficult without proper exotic protection and rewarding on completion.
The Underground is a step in the right direction for Tom Clancy’s The Division. Ubisoft listened to criticism regarding the game repetitive nature and battled such scrutiny with missions unique every time you play them. While the expansion isn’t solo-friendly, those can still find enjoyment in the Dragon’s Nest Incursion and the plethora of weapons and gear on offer.
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