In 2016, UbiSoft released the first game of the series, an open world game set in Manhattan where an Agent for the Strategic Homeland Division must combat the criminal gangs that appeared after a Virus Outbreak in New York. Now in the sequel, which takes place 7 months after the crisis started, Washington, D.C. is under attack and is the Division task to keep the government and the nation from falling apart.
Game: Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 [PC – Xbox One – PS4]
Genre: 3rd Person Shooter
Release Date: March 15, 2019
The Division 2 is a cover based 3rd person shooter, so instead of running around trigger happy like in Doom and similar FPS games, you’ll have to stick to a wall or behind a barrier that can protect you from bullets, poke out and shoot, hide again to reload, move from cover to cover, and use the environment at your advantage, taking the best position in order to survive the fire fights.
You carry 2 main weapons and a side arm, as well as a couple of “skills”, The Division Tech that you can deploy in your missions. Your main guns can be a single shot Rifle, an Assault Rifle, a Light Machine Gun, Sniper Rifle or a Shotgun, and your handguns can be a Pistol, a Revolver or a Sawed-off 2 barrel shotgun. Each of them uses their own type of ammo, that you can replenish at safe areas and blue boxes you find on the field.
You wear an armor under your vest, which gets depleted as you take damage from bullets and explosions. After it gets destroyed, you take damage directly to your health, and once it reaches zero, you’re dead. But can be revived by a team member if you play online with other agents. You can carry other armor plates to change it after the one you’re wearing gets damaged, and you can even apply mods to your vest and backpack to get extra health or a a little extra armor once it gets destroyed.
There are 8 skills you can unlock and use in the field, which can be deployed in the middle of a battle, but they need to cool down before you’re able to use again. They can be offensive such as turrets and drones that shoot at enemies, or defensive like a drone that puts a barrier around you that protects you from bullets, and a special med gun that heals your teammates.
The overall objective of the game is to free Washington D.C. from the 3 different factions that are trying to take control of the city, you do this by taking on Main Missions, and there are also Side Missions to complete in order to know more of the story. Besides, there are projects to complete in order to liberate areas from enemies, which have a variety of objectives to accomplish and activities to do before you find the area Boss and go neutralize the target to complete the liberation.
Most missions involve going into a place and shooting all the bad guys, but some activities have you exploring contaminated areas, finding hidden briefcases over the city and looking for laptops with important info. Most of course, 98.7% of the time the game is about killing baddies.
For an open world game, The Division 2 looks great. Ubisoft’s own Snowdrop engine is capable of producing great lighting effects, and in a game with so much explosions going on all the time, it’s a feast to see the action going on at real time.
There are many weather conditions that you can see happening in the course of a day. You can start activities in an area at the middle of the day, and you’ll see the sun setting and night arriving, and the next morning you can even see the mist left on the pavements and over cars left on the streets.
It can also rain, and sometimes you’ll even see a thick fog in some areas. These weather conditions make shooting at your targets more difficult, but it’s also easier to hide from them and move while in cover in the dark so they don’t notice you.
The models up close don’t look as detailed, since there are modern games such as Resident Evil 2 that have better looking skin and hair, but the animation is well done, and you can see all sorts of reactions when you shoot at enemies, and how bodies fly in the air after a powerful explosion.
Story / Setting
Many games have a post-apocalyptic setting, but few of them actually try to represent it in a virtual world in a realistic manner (and most of them have Zombies). In the Division 2 you can actually believe that’s how an American City would look after half a year of a crisis, with wrecked cars on the street, military and medical equipment left behind, buildings vandalized, trash everywhere and even dead bodies.
In some areas, plants have started coming out from between cracks on the concrete and you can see animals from nearby forests entering the city looking for food. Is common to see dogs walking around, but you can also see foxes, raccoons and even deers approaching the remains of the urban blocks. You can also see birds just lying around on some spots, and they fly away as soon as they hear a gun shot. All those details come together to create a very believable setting.
As for the voice acting, the main characters do a good job at putting emotion on their words, but some of the civilian militia and faction members do sound a little corny when you actually pay attention to what they’re saying.
The story itself may not be as exciting or have a lot of nerve wrecking plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. You probably gonna collect echos and audio recordings trying to complete 100% of the game, and not really because you’re interested in what happen. But the pre-rendered movie collectibles are very well done and give you an insight on what happened before you came into the city, and the quality of the pre-rendered cut scenes is so good some players may want to watch them more than once.
Since this is a war game, special care has to be put into the sound effects, and when everything is going on, you very well may feel like you’re in the middle of a fire fight. Each gun sounds different, and changing parts of them by adding mods can also make them sound different, and even different brands of handguns and rifles have different SFX when you fire with the same suppressor on.
The music isn’t as memorable as stuff you’ll hear in Metal Gear Solid for example, but it creates a great atmosphere and it fits the game just fine. It’s also worth mentioning how you can hear gunshots in the distance, and characters can have a lot of dialogues among themselves if they don’t notice you. The same way that civilians greet you and talk about you when you arrive a settlement.
Even if you play only the main and side missions, a whole day won’t be enough to complete the story, and taking into account you have to level up before taking the faction’s strongholds, even if you’re good you’ll spend a good 30 hours before beating the game. But once you think you’re done, a new faction called “Black Tusk” will invade D.C. and take over control points everywhere, creating a hostile environment all over again.
The new faction is very tough, and while the Invasion Missions take place in the same buildings the previous missions happened, there are a few tweaks to the objectives, and the new enemies will create a whole new experience. Also, you can unlock new side missions involving them, which will take you to new places.
Also, after you complete the first campaign, you’ll be able to select a character specialization, and a new set of skills to further improve your character. That, along with Daily and Weekly challenges, and the new updates Ubisoft is making to this game, is sure to have you playing for weeks to come.
The Division 2 is better in every aspect than the first title, and while taking cover and shooting is basically all you do, it just never gets old. There’s just so much to do in the Capital City that after a hundred hours you probably won’t even start to get tired of it; and with new content coming, this game will keep being a recommended purchase for years to come.
Buy it. If you took advantage of Radeon Graphic Cards giving away this game, then you already own it, but I’m sure you feel like buying the Year One Game Pass. After seeing everything the base game gives you, the expansions seem to be totally worth it, and there’s new content available for everyone every day.