Poor Alex is having a horrendous time in the latest Tom Clancy title.

I must have shot and killed him, ooh I dunno, about 30-odd times in my first five-hour stint of The Division. Let's just say script variation isn't its strong point.

"Oh my god, he shot Alex," society's ne'er-do-wells shout. Again. "They're trying to rush us," my law-abiding colleagues warn. Again.

The repetition is irritating but not fatal to The Division, which otherwise operates on a sound, if clichéd, footing.

Insert typical world-gone-to-hell-in-a-virus-handcart scenario, activated civilian cells handy with weaponry jumping into the mix and an open-world mission-selection carry-on and you've got The Division.

Its hook is all the online chums with whom you can team up and nail missions. They're generally milling about the HQ, jumping about like idiots. Get your team (up to four) together and off you pop to sort out the nasty people in the city who've take advantage of the general lawlessness and mayhem that follow such apocalyptic scenarios. People eh? Idiots, all of us.

This lovely online hook is where Tom lets us down, and it's the same gripe I had with Ubisoft's racer The Crew. If they've got server issues (and early doors, they had plenty) you're stuffed; you can't play this puppy offline. That's bloody annoying, especially when the connection falls over during a cut-scene at the end of a level. Oh neat, I get to replay the level from the start, cheers for that.

In-game and all the usual military third-person-shooter tropes come out to play: loads of weapons, upgradable clothes, medkits... you know the deal. There are a couple of slots for special skills/weapons like sticky bombs and nifty radar help.

The AI all attended the same attack classes at school, despite their apparently different factions. You'll get the idiots who run straight at you, those who take pot shots from distance, gents who attack from prone positions and the really tough one with a big energy bar to take down. Once you've devised a plan for each of these, you'll blaze through the main story and rebuild a pretty grotty (but beautifully rendered) Manhattan.

There are no major gripes here and while The Division doesn't offer a huge amount that's new to the genre, it's a solidly-built shooter that's a pile of fun as a foursome.

Just be kind to Alex, will you? He's not having a good day.