The Division’s Dark Zone Could Be Its Best Feature
The Division open Beta has exposed a number of things when it comes to the game. The level of weapon modifications, talent builds and just how cold blooded players can be. The Dark Zone has proved to be best feature found within the Beta, combing various elements from other games into one neat package.
From the moment you enter The Dark Zone, you can already hear people going for each other’s throats. Echoes of gun fire, booming explosions and the very faint ripples of speech. It’s essentially the Wild West of The Division. Relationships between players are rarely the same, with initial encounters acting as awkward psychological interviews.
Guns pointed forward, eyes fixed, judging player movements and mannerism, it’s all part of the experience. Paranoia isn’t just a feeling in The Dark Zone, it’s a mechanic. There’s numerous times in which players will aid each other taking down enemies, only to turn on each other. Witnessing a gang of players cover each other, only to bask in betrayal is fascinating.
The Dark Zones provides a platform (much like DayZ, H1Z1 and even Kane & Lynch did) for players to become supportive and welcoming community members, all while planning something much more devious. It gives the whole experience a sense of depth that lends itself well to replaying over and over again.
It’s not uncommon to see pack mentality form, even more so when two rogue agents are on the run. The whole Dark Zone grabs their pitch folks and charges towards flagged players, resulting in some brilliant fire fights. Punishing those who have killed other players by killing them, there’s a slight sense of hysterical irony to it all.
I can’t help but revel in the thrills of the Dark Zone. Though, at least in Beta form, it lacks any real direction, the chaotic elements allow it to flourish. Tense stands offs married with uniting together to kill enemy NPC. The thrill of wondering if the next extraction is about to end in mass blood shed. Those hectic seconds spent running away from would be killers, it’s fantastic. The Dark Zone could well be The Division’s defining feature.