This story is crafted to capitalise on realism whilst the gameplay, with its unrealistic gun damage, parts itself from the realism entirely. This creates a strange mould and it makes things confusing as you progress. It allows the game to have humour inside of the serious quest lines and plot developments, relieving the tension in what would be a very dark and dreary experience otherwise. But that takes away from the serious impact of the virus and how tragic this event has been for the citizens of this city. The plot progresses at a snails pace with the missions only extending the problems further, leading to a monotonous story, lacking in impact. You will go out and complete major story quests only to be rewarded with a piece of Intel on the virus or a shred of CCTV footage showing people dying. This helps make the world feel more immersive but does not help drive the overall narrative. It felt as if the story was being held back a lot more than it should have been with a lack of character driven cut-scenes to flesh it out. Speaking of characters, none of them are memorable and are very easy to throw away. Even the side quest characters don’t hold any merits and just have a slightly different personality in comparison to the last.
You have a Base of Operations consisting of three wings, Medical, Tech and Security to manage and upgrade; each wing provides you with reward you with abilities, perks and passive improvements as you upgrade them. The main quest line is scattered between missions focused around these three wings as you will be balancing out refurbishing the city with researching the virus and keeping the factions under control. As you explore the many districts of New York you will find other smaller safe houses with NPC’s that will allocate you side quests in that area, as well as a map that will show any events that are undergoing which can reward you with points for the appropriate wings. Everything is constructed around reward for exploration, as the more you commit to the adventure the more loot and overall power you will receive in the long run which is rewarding. These safe houses are fun to level up in the early stages but once they are maxed out they simply exist to give you resources every hour or so or to give you a bench to work on your equipment. They feel like an under-developed mechanic and leave you questioning whether maxed out wings were going to allocate you hard daily challenges for you to accomplish upon completion.
Speaking of loot, the chances of getting something great for your arsenal is very high as the randomly-generated drops are forthcoming. You will collect a combination of gear to equip as well as consumables to assist with healing or to give you buffs to damage or resistances. Each of the gear pieces however come in multiple forms and looks allowing you to not just customise your play style preferences but also your character’s fashion sense. This is managed by each gun being in a different category as well as armour having split roles in three different trees tied to your wings. Guns include LMGs, SMGs, Marksman Rifles, Assault Rifles, Shotguns and Side Arms with no restrictions placed on them except their level requirements. They also come with unlockable abilities such as increased critical hit chance depending on your armour set-up. This is where your gear is tied to Armaments, Medicine or Defence with the trees governing damage, health and resistance respectively. Players that prefer to be a meat shield can take the more defensive route whilst damage dealers will have to tread carefully as they are most likely to become glass cannons. Every potential build has its own benefits and draw backs which players can explore and customise to their liking, making the game that much more credible to collectors and trophy/achievement hunters.