Help restore order to Washington DC in 'Tom Clancy's The Divison 2', with DLC now available.
The highly-anticipated sequel to 'Tom Clancy's The Division' was released 15 March, followed by the first installation of free downloadable content (DLC) on 5 April.
We here at Scenestr were lucky enough to be provided with a review copy to give it a spin and we thought it would be fitting to let you know our thoughts of 'The Division 2' as it dives into its first round of DLC.
I’ll quickly say that it didn’t brick the system, loading times were normal, I didn’t have random crashes and there are enough people playing that matchmaking for co-op missions didn’t take long. Already, this puts it ahead of most other AAA titles which have been released this year.
For those who aren’t familiar with the franchise, the first entry to Ubisoft's new Tom Clancy IP in 2015 had players joining The Division in this third-person, post-pandemic open-world, co-op looter shooter. Note: If you don’t like games such as 'Destiny' or the recently released 'Anthem', the story and setting of this game won’t have you changing your stance as the core gameplay follows the looter-shooter genre.
The story of 'The Division' follows a virus outbreak in Manhattan, New York. The Division's role was to ultimately restore order to the city, taking out hostile forces.
In this sequel the objective is the same, however this time around you'll find yourself running through the extremely accurate streets and buildings of Washington DC - a very impressive 1:1 replica to be exact. It honestly feels like I've travelled there now - I’ve been inside The White House, walked around the Lincoln Memorial and have done a day trip to Roosevelt Island.
Building on the previous game, the civilians have moved from the streets to Settlements. The role of the Division is to continue to help rebuild Settlements while taking back control of the streets and strongholds from hostile forces. This is a great upgrade from the previous title as successful missions see an actual change in the settlement as the new facilities become available - it feels like the city is alive!
These new facilities are slowly brought into the game, allowing a gentle introduction to each new component such as weapon mods, crafting and recalibration. I really appreciate this as there is so much you can do to alter your weapons and skills. At first this can be a bit daunting and admittedly becomes repetitive, which I’d delve into later.
Much like any Ubisoft game, the map is scarily littered with things to do. It has reached a point now where I know to expect that from Ubisoft game. At first – for me at least – it is hard to get into the game knowing how many hours ahead of you there are to complete the main storyline. Fortunately, Ubisoft seems to be getting better with this.
There was a real flow with the level capped areas, the missions and all the side quests you can go on. Before I knew it I was turning red hostile areas into little green resource hubs for my settlements. Ah, that dopamine hit from that positive feedback loop is nice. Speaking of that feedback loop, it brings me to one of the core components of the game - the looting. The joys of upgrading your gear and tailoring your soldier to your play style is one we have seen many times before.
This looter-shooter has no shortage of gear, something the first version of the game copped some flak for. There is a huge array of different combinations you can have with various modifications that can significantly alter your strategy - adding extended time to your turrets and drones or the damage you deal to those bullet sponge enemies.
Although this huge selection is great and the effects from different modifications and gear sets can be felt, the constant accumulation of gear throughout a mission run becomes absolutely ridiculous. At the end of each mission or session, you’ll burn so much time standing around sorting through everything.
In a session, you might sit down for an hour or two, run through a number of main missions, side missions. In that time you’ll level up and have collected a whole new set of gear and weapons. You’ll change your load-out, you’ll have to re-do all of your modifications and then you’ll have to either store, deconstruct or sell the rest of the junk.
Once you start realising that it takes only an hour to level up each time, and how often you get new equipment, this becomes one hell of a chore to consistently be upgrading. My tip is to not waste your time thinking about it too much, change your set up every 3-5 levels - as the upgrades do help - then you’ll be able to give it more time and thought when you hit level 30 and start the end-game.
As it only takes an hour to level up each time, you’ve got approximately 30-40 hours of playthrough time of the main story to hit the level cap of 30. The main storyline can be completed solo, however, you’ll have the most fun in co-op, forming squads with friends or using the matchmaking system.
Having four members of The Division side by side with their own load-outs fighting the well-rounded and intelligent NPC hostiles adds an entirely new flare compared to doing it solo. It’s also faster paced and really takes the pressure off.
I didn’t enjoy the short amount of time I put into the first game as I only dabbled in it late-2018 thanks to Xbox Game Pass. There weren’t many people playing so matchmaking didn’t work. Right now for 'The Division 2', it has a great community and as there is a big focus on being able to play with others, it’s easy to join in with groups. I highly recommend playing through as much of the game with fellow players.
The development team came into creating the game with the end-game in mind and this is clear with the amount of content you are faced with when hitting the level cap and completing the main storyline. The end-game has head-to-head PVP modes to explore - an entirely new experience for players - world events, invaded strongholds, specialisations for your character, and much more. You can sink your teeth into hours of exciting co-op gameplay.
Furthermore, as mentioned at the start of this review, the first installation of DLC has just been released, adding more content to the end game. On that note, I can honestly say that I am eager to dive into this new content.