wow, if I hadn't played the open beta, that video review would have probably put me right off.
I hope, BTW, that no one holds me responsible for their £30-£40 on the division (if they didn't like it) I do, and would start my 5th character so, I'm just saying, maybe I'm not as good a judge of whether a game is good compared to these reviewers, they just seem to know more games and are more critical I guess...
1. the UFO car in the video looked amusing! as I'll probably say a few times here, I only played 5-6 hours, but didn't notice any missing textures, odd physics, flying cars, stuck AI etc. I actually thought, this is a really well made engine, thought of the later GTA games
2. no bullet sponge behavior, even the heavy classes with body armour went down with a couple rounds to the face, obviously much more elsewhere. There is no levelling as such - it works just like farcry 4 which I assume is very similar to 3 - you get skill points to assign, and unlock functionality to your kit, get the ability to call in better support etc.
3. didn't play enough with other people to see, but the difficulty increase seemed to be more enemies, with more armour, more support, better gear etc. rather than the same NPC, with the same kit that could kill you outright from 500ft with one bullet
4. you hated levelling up or doing side missions? the side missions in this are again, like farcry, you attack bases etc. rather than have them set out like the medical, tech, security like the division, there are 4 types of skill pool, fuel, medical, food, munitions (something like that) and you tag them with a GPS transmitter when you find them in mission. These allow you to unlock, along with your skill points, eith character upgrades, rebel support upgrades etc.
5. you can upgrade on the fly, you don't need a safe house
6. not really a looty game, you have lots of tech to unlock, C4, drone upgrades, flash bangs etc. and the weapons to unlock, mods to add, some replace others, quite good in that you can break the whole gun down - barrel, stock, magazine, suppressor, attachment etc. theres a long path of weapon unlocks for ones with better base stats, but like the division, this isn't borderlands, you'll always be disappointed with these military type shooters if you want to fire off an elemental e-tech splash weapon, or have those awesome longbow MIRV grenades etc.
7. yeah, this is the same, there's no character classes, you can customise the look of the character AKA division, but no real upgrade path, but again, this isn't an RPG or MMO. I play the division for the gameplay - I'm currently loving our current 4 player co-op and this is my 4th or 5th character. I know I'll lose interest if or when I ever get to level 30, but I always find it's the journey getting there where the fun lies
8. kinda covered it in 7. but yeah, fully agree, if I still like playing the game, as I do the division, just start another character. wildlands, I imagine will be quite different, again, more like farcry. The side missions in division can feel more copy/paste whreas (again, remember my play time) in wildlands, they felt a bit more individual in that, maybe the format remained the same but the open world, tactical 'do it your way' element remained
I imagine this will be one of those games where you finish the story, and still have the side missions, open world etc. but i guess when you've completed the campaign, it's the same with any game, open world or not, you need to restart it or end up on those 'raids' you mention.
to sum it up, more like an arcade version of arma, simple cover physics, more climbing/interaction with environment etc. with an engine that feels a bit like the GTA series, well, maybe a bit better in the physics dept. I thought the AI was pretty good (played 3/4 difficulty level). I thought the controls gripe in the review was unfair - helicopters, planes were more difficult to control, but It felt like because they'd tried to give them more realistic handling tendencies, rather than the controls were just bad. And you could push vehicles into oversteer and lose it, again more realism than bad controls in my book. As far as being an empty open world, I thought it gave it more depth, unlike farcry where an enemy patrol turns up every 30 seconds and allows you to create a roadblock of death. it felt like a much larger land mass which would be uninhabited, due to the conditions. After taking a brief drive, I always drove to the nearest aircraft and stole that to get about as you quickly realise it's a far better method of getting about!
I'd like us to play this sooner than we got round to the division, but, appreciate, you may have doubts!