written by TheForth
The Division, originally teased in 2013, was first released on March 6th, 2016. It was a game with a good many promises and ambitions. Unfortunately, those were not delivered nearly as much as the hype train led us to believe, but with a highly scripted teaser (find it below) it’s hard not to get hyped up for something as unique and amazing as it appeared to be. Fast forward three years; a bunch of features were dropped and we got the barrel of disappointment that was The Division. With a few DLCs and a couple years of patches the game turned out to be alright. That was it though. Just alright.
Fast forward another three years, The Division 2 is announced and long time fans of the first one are hyped. With overhauls to health, a new set of skills, and touch ups to the PvP system it almost feels like a fresh, new franchise rather than a sequel.
The Division 2 starts off with the player (henceforth, the agent) receiving a distress call from Washington in the midst of an attack on their settlement. Being the good little agent that you are, you set forth and travel to the White House, ignoring the strife that may happen to wherever your leaving. That is also a missed opportunity as they never do say what happened there and you are never led back to that area to find out.
Enter The Division 2.
The story leaves much to be desired. Your goal is to restore DC to its former glory or something but you never really get invested in the characters and never really stick around long enough to attach to anything. As you do side missions and main missions settlements grow and change but there’s no real sense of accomplishment. In essence, it is the classic MMO style treadmill; you just kind of do things so that you can do more things.
Terrible plot aside, The Division 2, is a superb game. Taking a lot of the wrongs committed in the Division 1 and actually changing them for the better. One of the biggest turn-offs from the first game was how much bullet sponging there was for enemies. Shooting an enemy in the head 10 times and seeing them still standing just felt bad. Despite how much of a number cruncher this game can be for those who want to invest into it, you don’t need to. From levels one to thirty, you don’t need to pay attention too much to which numbers do what or how a certain skill interacts with that skill because things are intuitive and just make sense. See a big red environmental thing? Probably explodes. Enemy covered in armour but have a big pack? That pack might just be a weak point. The game design makes sense and that’s a refreshing change of pace.
Most of the drawbacks of the game seem to lie in the occasional bug and the genre itself. It’s a loot shooter, and with loot shooters there’s always a grind. Which brings me to the end game, once you hit level thirty the real grind begins. Starting off with the “story” ending, you’re thrust into world tier one. With new main missions and a gear score target before you can redo each of the strongholds with a new faction controlling them and similar layouts, with each one unlocking the next tier and a new gear threshold to hit. However this grind isn’t meaningless as in the near future Ubisoft has stated they’ll be bringing in raids. A new system for The Division series, probably along with a new stronghold. Raids will be 8 man missions, though only one has been confirmed so far.
So despite the big promises that the first Division had, the second has a lot of promise and a much brighter future than the last. I definitely would recommend this to anyone not afraid of a little grind, and doesn’t mind the occasional frustrating bug, but if you’re just looking for a heckin’ good FPS, it probably isn’t for you.