The Division’s latest update, Survival, arrived earlier last week. This new expansion added a brand new game mode to the base game simply known as Survival mode. So now people are asking, is it good? Let’s find out how people received the new update in this The Division Survival review.
So first and foremost, what exactly is Survival mode? Well, it’s basically The Division’s take on the battle royal multiplayer games that have grown popular in the past few years.
It plays like a much more polished H1Z1 or The Culling with up to 24 players struggling to complete an objective while fighting the forces of nature, AI mobs, and each other.
Players will start with nothing but the clothes on their back and a basic weapon. From there they need to manage their temperature, hunger, thirst, and health as they try to reach the Dark Zone to acquire some medicine and then evacuate out.
To help them survive, they must scavenge and find warmer clothes, sources of heat, better weapons, as well as materials to craft the necessary items needed to enter and leave the Dark Zone.
There’s both a PvP and PvE version of the new game mode. With the former giving out better rewards than the latter.
And that’s Survival mode in a nutshell. So, is it good? In an oddly roundabout way, to answer that question you need to answer another one first: did you like The Division?
The Division Survival Review: The Good
Popular YouTuber TotalBiscuit has never been quiet about how much he dislikes loot based shooters and The Division was no exception.
He didn’t enjoy the base game and like a good percentage of players stopped playing the game once the hype had died down.
However, with Survival, he finds himself actually enjoying it and coming back to the game. Almost precisely because it plays nothing like the original game.
Turning The Division from a loot based grind shooter to a battle royal type game definitely opens up the game to people that didn’t like the core gameplay loop of the base game.
For those like TotalBiscuit that found the grindy nature of The Division unappealing and unfun, then it seems Survival is the way to go since it changes the fundamentals of the game’s nature to something that is condensed to hour long sessions and very different from the original.
It might also be the most polished and well-designed battle royal game in the market since many of the others are in Early Access.
The Division Survival Review: The Bad
In a funny way, Survival’s greatest strength might also be its greatest weakness.
While it may appeal to people like TotalBiscuit who did not enjoy the base game as it was, it is definitely a turn off for people that liked The Division’s core gameplay and expected more of it.
A review on Forbes by Paul Tassi has Tassi on the complete opposite spectrum as TotalBiscuit. Unlike the latter, he actually enjoyed The Division. And unlike TotalBiscuit, he does not enjoy Survival.
For all the reasons that TotalBiscuit may like Survival, Tassi did not like it for those same reasons.
It’s far too different from what he enjoyed in The Division that he feel it’s an unnecessary new mode. He does admit that it’s more of a taste thing than anything else and that Survival is just not for him. But he still can’t help but feel disappointed that this is the direction Massive went in designing The Division’s second expansion.
He ended his review saying:
“Survival might not be a step backward for The Division, but it’s like the game has taken a hard right turn and started marching in a direction that doesn’t make any sense.”
In the end, it’s a very polarizing difference between these two reviewers. But it seems to boil down to whether or not you actually enjoyed The Division for what it was when it first came out.
If you did, then you might view Survival as just a new gimmicky game mode that doesn’t add anything substantial to the main game.
If you didn’t, then Survival might be the breath of fresh air that The Division needed to get your attention because of how different it is from the main game.