The Division Resurgence brings console-quality gaming to phones

Playing The Division Resurgence on a Motorola Edge+ (2023)
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

By all accounts, a game as complex as The Division shouldn't be fun to play on a touch screen. Not only are you running and gunning while moving from cover to cover in a proper Manhattan-sized map, but you're also lobbing grenades, sniping with accuracy, and parkouring over obstacles as you advance.

Yet, somehow, the team at Ubisoft made it an enjoyable experience instead of a clunky one. The secret is not just in the intuitive UI that's entirely customizable — that certainly helps — but also because of the deeply integrated aim-assist and contextual tap systems built deeply into the experience.

The Division Resurgence is one of the best Android games I've ever played and it fully channels the console versions of the series without feeling like a washed-up "mobile experience." It's visually impressive, has full real-time multiplayer, controller and touchscreen support, full inventory management and skill upgrades, incredible Unreal Engine-powered graphics, and so much more.

Plus, it's coming free-to-play on phones this Fall.

Heavy on action

Screenshot of The Division Resurgence

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The Division Resurgence gives you free-roam of what feels like an accurately modeled Manhattan, but you won't be spending your time galavanting down Fifth Avenue looking for stores to stop in. Instead, most of your time will be spent hunting down loot and completing missions.

As you might expect from the series, Resurgence is a self-described cover shooter in which combat is primarily comprised of moving from cover to cover, taking down enemies as you progress. But don't think of combat areas as some kind of linear hallway where you move from point A to point B.

As this is in a free-roam Manhattan, you'll usually find yourself jumping from car to wrecked car at a once-busy intersection, or hiding behind the many booths and screens in the New York Stock Exchange. One such encounter at the NYSE involved a boss fight in which an axe-wielding maniac chased me and my partner around until we finally got through his armor and stopped him.

Screenshot of The Division Resurgence taken on a Motorola Edge+ (2023)

(Image credit: Android Central)

But a mobile game with this much action wouldn't work very well without a decent UI. As I said before, the UI itself contains contextual elements that make it easy to use a touchscreen and not feel like a complete clutz. If something does feel awkward, you can always move buttons around or adjust the sizing to better fit your play style or your own personal hand comfort levels.

Combat can be hectic but I think this is where the game's PvE nature really shines. Battling against human players in a shooting game on a touchscreen is never fun. In my opinion, at least. Plus, if you're like me, you'll be using one of the best Android game controllers to play it, anyway.

Screenshot of The Division Resurgence taken on a Motorola Edge+ (2023)

(Image credit: Android Central)

The game's AI is smart enough but it never feels human smart and, personally, that's a positive thing that helps reduce frustration and keeps the game just interesting enough so you want to head to the next objective.

And the game is designed with mobile in mind not just because of the touchscreen-friendly mechanics but because of the stop-and-go mission structure. Players can hop in and out as they see fit or you can pair up with a crew and earn points for your clan as you level up and gain better weapons, armor, and skills.

Even those cinematic cutscenes are mobile-friendly with a quick 2x playback — so you can still get the gist of what's happening without spending tons of time watching it — or just skip them entirely.

Big, social, open world

Screenshot of The Division Resurgence taken on a Motorola Edge+ (2023)

(Image credit: Android Central)

Once you complete the intro missions and story elements that set up the rest of the game, you'll be thrown into Manhattan where you can roam the streets and find loot and bad guys to stop. Missions are updated daily, weekly, and per event.

This is a free-to-play game, after all, so Ubisoft is relying on events and other ways to support this games-as-a-service title. In other words, expect plenty of cosmetics and other types of items that you can buy with real money to crop up over time, much as you might in Fortnite.

Screenshot of The Division Resurgence taken on a Motorola Edge+ (2023)

(Image credit: Android Central)

While this isn't an "MMORPG," per se, the game has plenty of social aspects that helps connect players together and encourage them to adventure in squads. Right off the bat, you'll have a chatbox that can be opened so you can converse with other players at any time. You can swap between world chat, clan chat, and several other options so your text always goes to the right place.

But, if you'd rather just venture in alone you can always hang with AI teammates that'll do enough damage to make a difference. Missions can range from escort quests to boss eliminations but, at its heart, The Division Resurgence is a "looter shooter" like the rest of series.

In other words, your main objective is almost always to get in, find good loot, and get out before you die. Despite the scale and depth, the game looks incredible on mobile. I played it on the Motorola Edge+ (2023) — a phone that uses the latest Qualcomm silicon — but The Division scales extremely well across a wide variety of the best Android phones.

This is easily among the best looking mobile games I've ever played. It puts Fortnite to shame — a game that's built upon an even newer version of the Unreal Engine than The Division Resurgence uses — and, yet, it runs like a dream. My one complaint is that it was running at a locked 30FPS and I didn't see any obvious ways to unlock that framerate cap in this beta.

Sign up for the closed beta here, which begins June 13, and look for The Division Resurgence to arrive on smartphones this Fall for free.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
  • Mooncatt
    "...brings console quality gaming to phones."

    Madfinger Games already beat them to the punch on that by at least a decade, and this doesn't look much better. Lol