We need our base up and running.
Despite the massively multiplayer ambitions he did add in the game's early trailers, Open World's cooperative shooter, The Division is not a MMO.
Its realistic recreation of Midtown Manhattan will not be populated by human players throughout like, say, Day Z.
Rather, you'll only find large groups of random players in Destiny-style social hub areas that occupy small specific pockets of the world map.
For the majority of the game, you'll simply partner with up to three co-op buddies and battle AI enemies across a series of discrete story-driven missions.
This is where my hands on experience kicked off.
With New York rapidly descending into chaos following a biological attack with a small pox infected currency deliberately introduced into circulation on black Friday.
After quickly customizing your character, selecting from a relatively modest collection of pre-made faces and hairstyles, a chopper dropped me near the Hudson Piers on route to the game's only mandatory mission.
Establish a command center at the historic post office across from Madison Square Garden.
Once activated, this expansive, regal building becomes your home base for the rest of the game providing a place to receive missions, purchase gear, craft items and interact with the game's characters.
It also serves as a driving force behind the game's narrative.
The base consists of three wings, medical, tech, and security.
And each branch contains its own storyline with dedicated missions that eventually result in related unlocks and upgrades.
After walking through the front door and claiming the post office, my first real taste of The Division's combat came as my squad and I set out to rescue the doctor who eventually supplies the medical missions.
Interestingly, the overall moments of moment combat feels more like an RPG infused with shooter mechanics rather than a shooter layered with RPG trackings.
Enemies, for example, absorb an absurd amount of damage.
Far more than you'd expect based on the games grounded universe The controls feel oddly un-shooter like as well.
In order to throw a grenade for example.
you must hold left on the D pad, select a grenade type, bring up the throwing arc by holding the left trigger, and finally throwing your explosive with the right trigger.
Once I grew accustomed to these game play idiosyncrasies however, I still found plenty of things to love about the Division's action The sticky cover and health systems both work well, but more importantly Enemy AI proved savvy enough to demand strong squad tactics from me and my teammates.
If we didn't hold the line we would get blanked and murdered, but if we successfully laid down suppressive fire and forced the opposition into a corner we could flank them and save ourselves the bloody fire fight.
And, when strategy didn't quite pan out, I was generally able to rely on my character's special skills to turn the tables.
The division's upgrade and progression systems are expensive, offering three separate categories of both passive and active abilities.
Skills are most definitely active, allowing you to save, unleash an enemy seeking mine.
Or, break out a riot shield and march into the crossfire unscathed.
The loot system is equally robust, with dozens of individually upgradable pieces of gear and a huge selection of weapon mods so you can turn any firearm into your own custom killing machine.
But honestly, the options felt overwhelming.
But I suspect the game RPG roots will shine through and the entire experience will open up after a few hours of upgrading and customizing your character.
The one major question that remained, after my hands on time...
What will we find as we explore the streets of New York City?
I was able to engage in a few simple side quests, but I didn't have much time to explore.
What we find in Campments of Survivors, a diverse collection of environments, special loot that rewards collectors.
Guess we'll have to wait for the division's long awaited data to launch later this month.
Your division affiliation has been disavowed.
You are now marked as rogue.
A member of your team has been disavowed division affiliation.
[SOUND] Your team will be marked rogue.
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