What is The Division?
The Division is the most recent game to come from the Tom Clancy video game franchise. It was only released a few weeks ago, and it has been received more or less positively by the gaming community. Users have praised the game’s entertaining multiplayer experience and looting mechanics, but they have criticized the small size of the game’s world, as well as the short length of the main campaign. In The Division, you play as a member of a top-secret government division (get it?) who has been deployed in response to an epidemic. The player completes various missions in order to help the United States government rebuild New York City, via cover-based third-person shooter gameplay.
I’ve played around in The Division for a few hours, and it’s a lot of fun to play with friends. I also immediately noticed that the game had a lot of similarities with other games that have seen popularity over the years. The game has great multiplayer, smooth shooting mechanics, and loot-based, RPG-esque mission grinding. If you like games that have these sorts of features, you’re in luck. In this article, I’m going to talk about some video games that have some of these features. Without further ado, here’s a list of the top five best games like Tom Clancy’s The Division.
5. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
Yes, in an article about games similar to a Tom Clancy game, I think it’s only natural that you talk about another Tom Clancy Game. In case you’re unfamiliar with the Tom Clancy series, I think it’s important that I mention that this game isn’t a prequel or sequel to The Division. In terms of story, it’s entirely unrelated. However, fans of The Division should appreciate the great gameplay and multiplayer-oriented progression that comes with this game. In Rainbow Six Siege, you play as a member of a counter-terrorist team, who engages in all different kinds of tactical warfare to ensure that the integrity of the area is not compromised. The game places a very strong emphasis on teamwork and strategy on your team, which I think is really great.
This game’s biggest draw, in my opinion, is environmental destruction. I think a big pitfall that a lot of tactical shooters fall into is that they become too repetitive. You run down a hallway, and the first guy to see the other guy wins. It keeps gameplay from ever becoming challenging, and it often feels like the winner is just the person who has been playing for longer. In this game, you’re able to shoot through walls, ceilings, and floors. You’re able to rappel through windows. The maps that you play on feel less like static maps, and more like playgrounds. Each match feels unique. The only reason why I decided to place Rainbow Six Siege so low on this list is because I feel it lacks the same open-world, RPG-style appeal that The Division is receiving so much praise for. Plus, there’s no single-player campaign to speak of, so if you’re looking for a nice story, you aren’t going to find one. The next games on this list are a bit more well-rounded, I think, but Rainbow Six Siege is still well worth your time.
I have always thought of Bulletstorm as one of the most tragic games of the last generation. It had a horrible marketing campaign and an awful PC port, which meant that it sold poorly, which meant we’ll likely never see a sequel. It’s unfortunate, because I think that this game is pretty fun. In Bulletstorm, you play as the leader of a team who is looking for revenge. It sounds pretty generic, but I assure you that this game is one of the most inventive games that I’ve played in recent memory. Level design is fantastic, and the different weapons in this game are insane in terms of variety. The game itself is absolutely over-the-top, which means that combat is as satisfying as it comes. Gunplay isn’t quite as smooth as it is in The Division, but I think that the game’s creativity makes up for that.
Another one of Bulletstorm’s greatest strengths is also one of its greatest flaws: it’s a “funny” game, which, paired with its gratuitously gorey combat, makes the game feel very reminiscent of games like Duke Nukem or Serious Sam. In my opinion, if you’re making a game that is meant to be funny, you have to do so very carefully. I think that this game does a good job at skating the line between comedy and cringe, but it does wobble into “Was this dialogue written by a high schooler?” territory from time to time. Another big issue: multiplayer is pretty much dead. Like I said, this game didn’t do very well commercially, which means that not many people are playing it. Still, the campaign is really, really fun (albeit short) and I think that if you enjoy the RPG/looting mechanics in The Division, you’ll like this game. Keep in mind, though, that you’re in for humor a lot more crass than you might find in the Tom Clancy game.
3. Borderlands 2
In my opinion, Borderlands 2 is like an upgraded version of Bulletstorm. Honestly, the entire Borderlands series is pretty good, but for the purposes of this list, I’m only going to talk about the best game out of all of them. In Borderlands 2, you’re able to choose a character who runs around in an open-world, completing all different kinds of missions, killing enemies, and scoring loot. The general mechanics of this game are really similar to the general mechanics of The Division, and I think I would go so far as to say that the original Borderlands game kind of pioneered the whole “run, gun, loot” genre, or at the very least made it a lot more popular. Plus, this game allows for co-operative gameplay, which becomes almost essential once you start getting to more repetitive or difficult missions.
Like Bulletstorm, Borderlands 2 also has its own quirky sense of humor to it. However, the humor isn’t so much crass as it is Internet-based. It feels much more tasteful, to me. A lot of the humor is more “meme-y”, which may be a turn-off for some people. Personally, I think that the humor never really feels ham-fisted, and it fits into the game’s overall zany atmosphere perfectly. Still, The Division is definitely a more serious, non-offensive game, so I opted to place Borderlands 2 behind other games that are equally as serious. Not to mention, this game’s multiplayer is kind of limited in comparison to the next games on this list. You’re able to invite other players into your game, but it’s lacking that open-world, MMO feeling that I think The Division brings to the table. Still, Borderlands 2 is probably my personal favorite game on this list, and I think it’s a must-have for anyone looking for a great loot-based, open-world shooter.
2. Destiny: The Taken King – Legendary Edition
This game may be a more polarizing choice. If you’re out of the loop, Destiny is one of the more controversial games that I’ve seen in a long time. People are very torn on how to view this shooter-RPG. In Destiny, you run around the galaxy to complete missions. Although missions can be completed to progress the story, a lot of the campaign-related missions can be completed relatively quickly, which means that most of the time, you’re completing missions to grind for XP, or for loot. (If you’ve been playing The Division recently, you should be intimately familiar with this overall concept.) In my opinion, a lot of the controversy surrounding Destiny was due to the fact that a lot of people massively overhyped it. People were expecting some huge, open-world, space cowboy type experience, and instead they got a standard, grind-y shooter RPG.
Plus, you may have noticed that I am explicitly talking about the legendary edition of Destiny here. Another one of the bigger issues that people have with Destiny is the fact that they release massive expansion packs, which are often as expensive as the base game. In my opinion, this just means that this game is just like every other MMORPG with expansion packs. Still, I think it’s important that you buy the full version of the game, to ensure that you’re able to access the same amount of content as everyone else. This game has been out for a while, but the online community is still alive and well. There are always people to jump into a raid with, and there is always new, better loot for you to acquire. I think this game is a natural jump for people who like The Division, but I also think that the next game on this list outpaces Destiny in a lot of different ways.
One of the biggest mantras that you’ll hear from Warframe fans is that it’s a better version of Destiny. In fact, a lot of people claimed that Destiny ripped off Warframe, which released a lot earlier than Destiny did. And it’s true, Warframe is a game with a premise that is very similar to Destiny’s. You run around an open world, you grind missions, you earn XP, you get loot. This is far from a revolutionary concept, but it was definitely carried over into Destiny. Regardless as to whether or not one game “ripped off” the other, I think that Warframe stands on its own as one of the better shooter-RPGs out there. Although it’s a bit more complicated than this, I think that this game can be summed up as third-person shooter game about space ninjas. It’s really fun, and it’s great for people who prefer more serious games like Destiny, as well as more silly games like Borderlands 2. (Plus, I think that the whole third-person perspective is good for someone transitioning from The Division, which is a third-person game. Every other game on this list has been a first-person shooter, which provides a significantly different gameplay experience, in my opinion.)
One of the biggest pros to this game? It’s entirely free-to-play. Not only does this mean that this is a perfect game for a gamer on a budget, but it also means that you don’t really have to worry about player population dying out. It’s pretty much a universal law that as long as a game is free, it will still have a lot of people playing it at any given time. I also think that this model is carried out in a really user-friendly way. Although paying money in this game obviously speeds up a lot of the grinding and farming, it’s by no means necessary. This game has everything that The Division has, while still feeling like its own unique thing. If you’re starting to get into RPG-oriented shooters, then I think that Warframe is a great game to play around with. My only issue with this game is that there’s a slight lack of tutorials, which means that the game can feel a little overwhelming at first. Even so, this is an excellent game, and I think that it’s the best game to try out if you’re looking for a game similar to The Division.