Tom Clancy’s : The Division has had a very rough first year. Plagued by bugs and a poor interpretation of flow, the game struggled through the first 8 months of its release, and has only recently began to stabilize. Along with Patch 1.6 that released a few weeks ago came the final DLC package of the year, titled Last Stand. So, it seems fitting to go back and look over the DLC packages from the previous year. How does Last Stand stack up compared to Underground and Survival?
Random tasks are assigned in the sewers under Manhattan, and the Strategic Homeland Division must remedy these situations. From protecting important infrastructure to clearing out the remaining faction’s presence in the sewer, the SHD rises to the occasion to assist the JTF where possible.
The gameplay is the exact same as standard missions, with periodic resupply boxes and the standard 4 factions from the base game: the native Rioters, the murderous Rikers, the deluded Cleaners and the shadowy Last Man Battalion. The one caveat of the DLC is that each mission is randomly generated from a set pool of map tiles, connected together to create the mission. Players can challenge themselves with difficulty modifiers to earn more rewards, changing aspects of the game such as losing all remaining ammunition upon a reload, to applying a constant damaging effect. Players bring their gear as is. There are no respawns in the entire map. Players may chain together up to 3 missions at once, for greater reward.
To be frank, this mode is lacking. The modifiers are interesting, but the gameplay is not fundamentally changed in any way, with the exception of a few new environmental hazards. The missions begin to get repetitive, and the amount of loot awarded is quite subpar compared to the other two DLCs, made up for the fact that NPCs will drop loot. Furthermore, the mode is still riddled with bugs several months after release. The environment is rather nice, but begins to stale after a couple playthroughs. It is difficult to matchmake for.
Underground is priced at $14.99 CDN.
Replayability – 4.5/10
Enjoyability – 5/10
Value – 4.5/10
An experimental cure for the Green Poison has been located in the Dark Zone, and a team of 24 SHD agents are deployed via helicopter for retrieval purposes. As the helicopters lift off, a blizzard sets in and begins to worsen, causing the helicopters to crash in the “Light Zone” of the Manhattan map. Players now must make their own way to the Dark Zone to extract.
The general gameplay remains the same, with being a cover based third person shooter. However, numerous additional systems have been added to deepen the gameplay and add more strategy. Most notably, the player has contracted sepsis in the crash, limiting the amount of time they have to extract to one hour. The sepsis timer can be stopped with the use of medication that the player can find on the map, extending the time that the player can spend in the game. In addition, the player must occasionally consume food to provide healing and re-enable natural regeneration, as well as water to increase and maintain item detection range. The Survival game mode also adds a temperature system, adding purpose to the cosmetic clothing system. Players must put on clothing to keep warm, and prevent from freezing which will damage the player. Crafting becomes very significant, as the player can craft weapons, clothing, gear and skills from Workbenches in safehouses. This mode is available in a PvP and PvE format.
Once again, this DLC seems lacking, adding only 1 game mode to the game. However, the Survival mode is by far the deepest game mode added, forcing the player to be tactical in managing their meager resources, as ammo supply boxes are not present anywhere and the player must also juggle their food and water, and their medicine. The game mode can become frustrating against seasoned players who know of the location of the static loot spawns, but with enough good planning players should consistently be able to reach the Dark Zone. Loot is still awarded even upon an unsuccessful run, but significantly more loot is available if the player succeeds in extracting. Each playthrough will vary from the last, although the loot locations do not.
Survival is priced at $19.99 CDN.
Replayability – 7.5/10
Enjoyability – 7/10
Value – 8/10
Data relays left in the Dark Zone when the JTF evacuated have begun to come online, still transmitting precious operations data. Division agents must reach these terminals and upload the data back to the server before Rogue agents are able to do the same.
The gameplay is nearly identical to the base game, still a cover based third person shooter. Players can kill PvE spawns for SHD tech, a resource used to purchase home base fortifications and boosts. Each team’s home point contains 3 automated turrets which can be activated for 250 SHD tech, and 1 Pulse fortification, tagging nearby enemies, available for 250 SHD tech. Each point has 3 terminals, all of which must be controlled before a team can begin an upload. Once a point is controlled, the controlling team uploads 10 Data per second. In addition, boosts can be purchased for 2000 SHD tech at common terminals, which will either increase Data upload speed by 60% (16 Data instead of 10), or award Data for PvE and PvP kills. The game mode is an 8 versus 8 PvPvE experience, with the player’s team showing the Division and the opposing team showing Rogue, and lasts until one team can reach the full upload of 15 000 Data, or whichever team has uploaded more after 20 minutes. All player gear is normalized to max rolls.
Initially, the DLC seems lacking again, as it adds solely the Last Stand game mode. However, after several matches, I have to say that Last Stand is pretty good. As a PvE player myself, two of the things that really turned me away from the Dark Zone is the nature of players and not knowing if they’re peaceful until it’s too late, and the fact that many players in the DZ have max rolled gear, unlike me. However, with Last Stand’s gear normalization and team based combat, I actually have a fair chance of taking some people out. The loot is plentiful in this mode, as Last Stand caches award 4 items, and are easily obtained. Unfortunately, there are only 3 maps set in the DZ and the gameplay can begin to stale after a while, but I can see myself enjoying this a lot in the future.
Last Stand is priced at $19.99 CDN.
Replayability – 7/10
Enjoyability – 8/10
Value – 8/10
The first thing that struck me with the DLC was a glaring lack of content. 3 DLCs introducing 3 gamemodes? Seemed like pretty poor value, in my opinion. However, aside from the wash that was the Underground (which wasn’t really that bad), the DLCs add some deep, meaningful game modes. Survival is very good, almost offering a complete revamp of The Division’s gameplay, and Last Stand adds some decently balanced PvP to the game. Loot is pretty worthwhile from all three gamemodes. Overall, I’m decently satisfied with the DLC as a game, however I would like to see more story advancement in future DLCs.