The Division 2 Review
Reviewed by @spitfire_spud
You are once again an agent of The Division. This time however, you are tasked with taking on the Hyenas in Washington D.C. and try to restore some order if possible, but can you?
The story to The Division 2 is pretty much the same as last game in which we lay witness to a new city that has been devastated from the virus that spread across the US. As an Agent of the SHD or Division, you are tasked with getting back the city from the Hyenas and restoring control and order. The progression of the story moves along with the missions that you complete and each of the main missions that are completed reveal more of the story and to what is happening in the city, until you reach its end.
When it comes to the story of The Division 2 and how it’s told, you may notice that it’s not really the most compelling or gripping story that the developers could have come up with. However, The Division games for me are not all about the story, it’s about the gameplay and how well the game plays, and that’s another matter.
Once you have completed the main campaign, which should see you clocking in about 30+ hours or more, you also get some side missions that build up your XP points and these points are level based. The higher you are levelled up, the more points you get, so it’s best to tackle these missions when you are halfway through the main campaign or after completing it. As you play through the game, you never feel like you are forced into a particular section or pushed to do something you don’t want to do. The Division 2 lets you play how you want to play, which is a nice change of pace compared to other games that are out there today. On completion of the campaign, you can start to tackle some Strongholds. These Strongholds are like raids or dungeons in other looter games. They can take quite a while to beat as they have more advanced enemies and tougher bosses in them, but the loot that is on offer is what makes these a must for the best loot. Clearing all three of the Strongholds in the game will open harder modes which in turn will reward you with better loot.
The Division 2 doesn’t stop there in terms of what it throws at you when it comes to the factions you need to defeat. When you think you have bet the best the game has to offer, a new enemy will emerge, Black Tusk. These are your tactical and superior elite fighting force that are just as well equipped as you are. Black Tusk are like a black ops faction that have all the latest toys and weapons to try to take you down, with some advanced weapons and robotic companions to make your life a living hell. These guys fight as if they were human counterparts and really make you up your game to survive!
Just like in first Division title, the Dark Zones make a return and have been given some much needed improvements too. Each zone has its own unique feel to it, like the first zone you enter that is full over overgrown plants and grass as it hugs the environment around you. Once in the Dark Zone players are all on even ground when playing, and this makes it more inviting to gamers who love just playing PvE or newcomers who may feel overwhelmed or under geared. This is thanks to the Normalisation settings for the game to make it more friendly. For those coming back to the DZ, will be happy to know that its still the same tense and adrenaline rushing game as the first. Especially when you are waiting for an extraction while keeping a close eye on other players, just in case they decide to pinch your valuable loot. Also, there are Occupied Dark Zones which only appears after you beat the story, and this is for the hardcore players of the DZ. There is no Normalisation here and you will have to fight against the best of the best from around the world. Though, those that make it through will get even better loot that is on offer for those that can make it!
With that out of the way, what is there left to do? The Division 2 has quite a lot on offer in terms of content after the story is complete. What you will notice on the map screen is that there is so much to do. Once of the biggest additions in The Division 2 is the Control Points that are scattered about the city of Washington. These Control Points once liberated will offer you rewards and with some cool loot in their Supply rooms that each point has. Once a point is yours, you are then tasked with making sure they have enough resources to maintain like food and water etc… You can also use these points as fast travels to help you move about quicker during the game.
Leaving your Control Point or a settlement that you have acquired, you will notice that there are quite a few activities that needs to be done. There are public executions, enemy convoys to attack and friendly convoys to protect, plus there are propaganda broadcasts that will need to be shut down. Washington is quite literally littered with actives to do and if you prefer to explore the city to find out what is out there, you will always bump into something that needs to be done and even find some hidden loot. For those of you who love the story and what went on before and during the crisis of the virus, there are ECHOs for you to reconstruct so that you get a better understanding of what happened before you arrived.
When you are out exploring, looting and fighting against the many enemies you encounter, you will want something more than a stick to help you defend yourself. Well, The Division 2 has plenty of weapons and gadgets to help you survive. Each weapon you come across has its own variant and comes with different damage output and recoil action to get used to. As you progress through the game you will come across better and more powerful weapons. Weapons range from SMGs and assault rifles to shotguns and sniper rifles and each has their own perks that you get access to when equipped. Of course, as you progress through the game you will come across some devastating weapons that really pack a wallop! With so many weapons on offer, you are really spoiled for choice and it’s down to what suits your playstyle.
Not only will you have a plethora of weapons to mess about with in The Division 2, you will also get some cool gadgets or skills to unlock. As you progress through the game and level up you can meet up with your Quartermaster at your base of operations and he will unlock the gadgets you choose. Some of the skills on offer are the Drone, Turret, Firefly and Chem Launcher. You will eventually unlock all the gadgets that the game has to offer quickly. The great things about this is that you are free to experiment with what suits you best and if you are going solo or in a group. My favourite setup is the Chem Launcher that lets you heal yourself and allies and the Seeker mine with the Cluster mines added to it. These little guys seek out multiple targets at a time and can cause some damage to the enemies hiding from your gun fire. The Division 2 lets you play about with them with your loadouts perk that lets you can have multiple setups of your weapons and gadgets. This leads you to your choice of Specialisations at the end of the story and for the endgame content.
If you feel up to and enjoying crafting your own weapons and gear, you can do this in your Base of Operations. You acquire blueprints for weapons, armour, mods are more when you are out doing missions and activities around Washington D.C. and can really give you an advantage in the field. I recently picked up a blueprint to create a weapon that unleashes some devastating firepower and its here that will keep you pushing forward in The Division 2 and reach the endgame content.
The city of Washington D.C. is visually amazing to wander about in when compared to the first game setting in New York. I’m not saying the first game was bad, as there was some amazing visuals and effects in the game. I just love the warmer weather setting and how the lighting effects from the sun bounce and dance off the streets, pools and lakes as you walk past them. You can see vegetation grow over buildings, walkways and vehicles as if nature is taking back the planet. At night you the street lights lit up the streets and gives it an isolated feeling if you are walking alone through some of the empty streets. A lone dog running past through the fog can really make you stop in your tracks as you pause thinking an enemy is bearing down on you.
The city feels alive as you can hear shouts or screams from people running in fear or being shot at by the Hyenas. There are dogs barking off in the distance as you wander the streets and you can see wildlife like deer, rats and squirrels among other small animals run through the city streets and foraging in the garbage that litters the streets as you walk past. There is so much attention to detail that you will often stop to enjoy what’s in front of you before you realise that you are about to be attacked! It really needs to be experienced first hand to truly appreciate what the Massive has given us.
If you want to have the best experience while playing The Division 2 you really need to grab some friends and jump in and play together, this game just screams out teamplay. The way the game is set up in terms of gadgets and skills, you can really build an amazing squad that can tear into anyone that crosses your path. Each of you can customise your Agent to complement the group in regards to who can deal out the damage and others can take the role on as a medic.
You can also setup a Clan and build towards growing your own community of gamers that love to play and work as a team as much as you. In your Clan you will have your own bounties that you can do and have your own Clan vendor that updates their stock every week. On top of that you get to compete in challenges and pit yourself against other Clans worldwide to see who is the best of the best in The Division 2!
The Division 2 is such an improvement over its predecessor that you can forgive Massive for making some of the mistakes in the first game. What we get with The Division 2 is a true looter shooter that fans have been wishing for ever since we laid eyes on the trailer of the original game. Thankfully, they aren’t stopping either. The first batch of content is fast approaching with the Black Tusk Stronghold and much more. Massive have been very open in regards of what their plan is for the future and The Division 2 will only go from strength to strength with each content that is released!
The Division 2 is everything that the first game SHOULD have been, with improved shooting and gameplay mechanics to the improved AI enemies and how they try to take you on as a group. The visuals, especially on the Xbox One X are amazing and everything feels alive! While the story is a little thin on the ground, it will be the core gameplay, teaming up with your Clan or friends and overall experience that will keep you coming back for more… Gear up and move out Agent!
GoG Rating: 9/10