As Ubisoft began to spill more and more details about its always-online multiplayer shooter over the past few months, gamers quickly realized they had heard much of the same talk before. The release of beta, played by millions, only confirmed it: The Division is the new Destiny.

Now that doesn't mean the two games are identical, not by a long shot. After all, The Division is a third-person shooter set in a ruined New York City, while Destiny is a first-person shooter about Guardians in space blasting aliens. In numerous ways the games couldn't be more different, but in terms of structure the two titles share more than a few similarities.

Naturally, those who have played Destiny in the past two years but have since moved on might be intrigued by what The Division has to offer. For that reason we've decided to break down some of the similarities (and differences) between the two shared world multiplayer shooters to give fans of Destiny's loot-filled galaxy an idea of what to expect when jumping into the boots of a Division agent.

The Similarities

All About The Loot

Just like in Destiny, the main focus of The Division is improving your character through better weapons and equipment. Players can find and earn new gear through killing enemies, completing quests and defeating bosses. There are numerous weapon types to choose from, ranging from snipers to submachine guns, and better weapons will make it so you can dish out more damage to the game's enemies. Protective gear will ensure you stay alive long enough to collect your loot. In one departure from Bungie's shooter, The Division also features cosmetic-only gear that can be equipped to give your character a unique look without having to worry about your personal style may affect your stats.

Bullet Sponges

Certain enemies in Destiny, especially bosses, can take thousands upon thousands of bullets to kill. While no baddies we've seen in The Division thus far have been that hard to take down, you'd be surprised at the number of bullets normal enemies can take. It's all a little strange considering enemies in The Division are mere people (sometimes people just wearing a hoodie for protection), but we suppose the game wouldn't be much of a challenge if your squad could take out most enemies with one well-placed shot. This may be a realistic looking third-person shooter, but it's definitely a multiplayer RPG at heart.

Lots Of Numbers

MMO players love numbers. Seeing bigger numbers fly off enemies after equipping a brand-new weapon for the first time is a simple gaming pleasure, and The Division has plenty of it. As in Destiny, damage numbers will flash on the screen above the heads of enemies after shooting them, allowing you to see how much damage you are doing. Weapons have DPS (damage per second) and the defense value of all your armor combined will help shave off a portion of damage received. This is very much a number-heavy RPG wrapped in a third-person shooter.

Public And Private Zones

One of Destiny's greatest innovations was the game's "invisible matchmaking" systems. While exploring a public area, the game would automatically add people to your world for the purpose of completing public events. However, certain areas of the map would cut off players from the rest of the world, allowing only those in a group to play with one another. This is much the same in The Division. While exploring New York City, players will bump into one another going about their usual business. But choose to do one of the game's "instanced" missions

Fireteam Focused

You can play The Division solo, but it's designed to be played with others. Since each player can equip different weapons and skills, having a well-rounded team of four will be important in order to tackle some of the game's greater challenges. But that doesn't mean solo players won't be able to hold their own. The game's difficulty scales with the number of players in a party, so those playing alone should find it possible to emerge victorious by themselves.

The Differences


While both Destiny and The Division share numerous gameplay similarities, their settings couldn't be more different. Destiny is a sci-fi/fantasy first-person shooter, with a futuristic version of the entire solar system available to explore. Players take on the role of a Guardian, a powerful warrior infused with the light of the god-like Traveler. The Division, on the other hand, is a realistic take on a post-pandemic New York City, with the game's hidden Division agents actually inspired by the real world.


One of The Division's biggest features is the "Dark Zone." In this region of New York City, players will find stronger enemies and better loot. But there is a catch. While in this zone, other players can become hostile, oftentimes with the intention of gunning you and your team down and stealing your newly acquired items. This fully integrated PvP zone is far different from the standalone PvP arena mode in Destiny, which functions similarly to that of any other multiplayer first-person shooter. If you're looking for dedicated player vs. player modes like Team Deathmatch or Capture Point, The Division doesn't have much to offer.

No Classes

Titan, Warlock or Hunter? It's one of the biggest choices you make when starting Destiny for the first time, as your class selection will determine your abilities. That's not the case in The Division. Ubisoft's shooter has no formal character classes, instead allowing players to fully customize their character how they see fit by choosing from various abilities and perks. These abilities, however, are not locked in place, but can instead be freely selected or deselected given the current situation. In that way, choosing abilities and perks isn't so different from that of Destiny, only that those abilities aren't restricted by a class system.

A Place To Call Home

Destiny players call the Tower home. It's the hub of that game's universe, where players gain new missions, purchase items and dance. Rather than a public dancing space, The Division gives each player their own base of operations to return to after missions. Even better, players can upgrade their base with resources gathered from the world, with new characters and areas of the base opening up over time as players progress through the game.

One Zone

The universe of Destiny is split into various planets, each with different zones to explore. So far those looking to dive into the Division will only have New York City to roam around, specifically Midtown Manhattan. While it's possible other areas will be added post-launch (areas such as Brooklyn, for example) the world of The Division is much less diverse than that of Destiny, though Ubisoft's open world New York will feature dynamic weather to help keep the setting fresh.


Destiny got a lot of flak for its story, or more accurately, for its lack of one. The Division looks to sidestep one of Destiny's biggest problems by putting an emphasis on story and characters from the get-go. Cutscenes before and after important story missions give players a clear understanding of what is at stake and the importance of any given task, and there are also audio logs and documents for players to find that provide more details about the fall of the city during the Black Friday terrorist attacks. There are also virtual echoes for players to find, which consist of digital reconstructions of a given event in the city, adding even more depth to Ubisoft's destroyed New York.

How do you think The Division will compare to Destiny? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check back later this week for our full review of Ubisoft's latest.

Image Credits: Ubisoft

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