Urban warfare, that’s what you’re signing up for when you purchase Ubisoft’s The Division for PS4, Xbox One or Windows. In The Division you are an agent, a member of shadowy government agency that’s tasked with putting things right after a cataclysm brings New York City to the brink of implosion.
Weapons and skills give you the abilities and resources you need to take down the forces that threaten America’s crown jewel. You’ll use them to learn about the virus that infected the city and take out the forces threatening to keep it from ever recovering. Just as your real-life house acts as a base for all the activities that you do, the Base of Operations acts as your center for everything that goes on in each District.
The Division: Base of Operations
When you begin The Division you’re walking the streets of Brooklyn, New York. You’re just learning what it means to be an agent and the last line of defense from bad guys. Really, The Division developer Massive Entertainment uses that area as a holding tank for new players to get used to the game’s systems and how they work.
Once you cross into Manhattan, your first quest is to establish your Base of Operations. It’s a huge, imposing building that served as a United States Post Office sometime before the Joint Task Force moved in to use it as a command post for their activities. With the Joint Task Force gone, the building is left to your character to defend, protect and improve.
Improvement is the key thing were the Base of Operations is concerned. First, you’ll need to go on missions and recruit leaders for your Tech, Medical and Security operations. Once you’ve saved them, they’ll dispatch you on missions for their department. Completing each of these mission grants you currency to improve that specific department. All missions in The Division reward you with some value for each department, but story missions pack the most.
After you’ve earned enough Tech, Security or Medical currency, you can reopen and rebuild portions of your base that are sorely needed. Early on, a lab for investigating the virus’ origins is available, for example. Your Base of Operations visually changes as you open new areas. Your character also picks up new mods and skills as you unlock new and useful resources. The blast shield that characters who like to deal a lot of damage use? It’s available only after you’ve powered up the Security Wing.
Some area upgrades for the Base of Operations don’t directly unlock skills or mods. Instead, they allow you to get frequent item drops without leaving the safety of the old post office.
The Base of Operations is like a tiny bazar too. You can buy weapons, mods and gear from its vendors. Crafting is also available, along with a guy behind the stair well that lets you pick up any promotional items that you’ve gotten from a season pass or UPlay.
Crates at the Base of Operations allow you to stash extra weapons and refill on stock you may be short of. That last bit is why it’s so important that you return there when you are in the area. Bullets and grenades aren’t exactly plentiful in most missions.
The Division: Districts & Safe Houses
You can walk back to and fast travel directly to your Base of Operations once you unlock it. That being said, trekking all the way back to it isn’t always convenient. New York City has no working modes of transportation besides the pair of boots your character has on their feet.
Each district in mid-town that you visit has what’s called a Safe House. At these Safe Houses are other vendors, ready to provide you with gear, weapons and other items to buy. Each Safe House also has a briefer from the Joint Task Force and a bulletin board to give you a real-time assessment of the Missions and Encounters that are available to you in that district. Think of the Safe Houses as home away from home. You can only fast travel to a Safe House once you’ve visited it at least once.
The districts themselves are carved out of neighborhoods in Midtown Manhattan, each with their own distinct character and charm. Also, they have their own dangerous group of enemies who are ready to kill you the moment that they see you.
Your character has a Level that governs what skills you have and what options you have available to you. Each District is built around a certain Level brackets. It’s a good idea to stay within the areas that your Level allows you to be in without being under-powered. Should you get caught by enemies that have higher levels than your own, you’ll wish you’d have stayed in a safe place.
Good luck saving New York City in The Division.