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The Division 2 has been one of my hotly anticipated titles, I know my review is a little late to the table, but I wanted to make sure I had played enough of the game to get a good understanding of the whole thing.
The Division 2 is based in Washington DC and leads on after the events of what happened in New York. The job you have is a similar one to the first game, taking on each faction that has made each area their home in the city.
The game starts with a nice little cut scene where it shows you how you end up going to Washington DC. The opening of the game also acts as a kind of tutorial where it takes you through the different buttons, and gets you through the basics. It’s simple, effective and sets you up nicely for the start of the game.
The first thing I want to say about the game is that it is absolutely stunning, I love how the lighting has been used, the world is stunning and full of life and not just with the gangs, but wildlife as well with deer, cats, dogs and raccoons all roaming around. I love how atmospheric the game is, especially with the varying weather effects and how the lighting when it’s misty, or raining can put new emphasis on how the game looks.
Once you get into the game and start taking on some of the missions and getting the settlements open, you realise just how much this resembles the first game, you can see the same structure in it, but how it’s been built on and improved. The first game was massively criticised for a lack of content when it launched, I honestly cannot say the same for this. There is so much to keep you occupied, with main missions, side missions, projects which are basically completing tasks and donating items you’ve found within the world, which normally brings a nice amount of XP as well as a blueprint to create your own weapon or attachment.
There are also a load of random in game events as well that occur, such as helping convoys take supplies back to settlements and control points. There’s also public executions which you can stop as well as switching off propaganda towers.
The next thing that I wanted to talk about is the games difficulty, this game hasn’t been designed with solo play in mind, that’s not to say you can’t play it on your own, but most of the missions and activities are better and easier with a team. When I was playing with a friend, there were some missions which we found hard and had to think strategically about as the AI has been worked on for this game and there were times if you weren’t moving around, the AI would clock this and try to flank you, which I loved to see, especially when I was doing side missions on my own, seeing the AI adapt to the circumstances, which is why I found it best to keep moving.
The good thing with The Division 2 is that even if you’re playing on your own, there are matchmaking facilities available for missions, so you can still join others groups and get missions done.
One of the things I loved doing the most when I wasn’t doing missions was just walking around the world, taking a stroll and seeing what each part of DC had to offer. This is one of the reasons I love these type of games, the freedom to do whatever you want, roam around checking the world for loot or events, or opening your map and checking what mission is next on the list, there will be something to keep you occupied.
If you’re the adventurous type the dark zone has made a return, which is the PvP element of The Division 2, I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan of the dark zone in the first game, but I tried it in this just to say I’ve been in it and I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve played it, there wasn’t much in terms of rogue ness going on and the events within the dark zone, people seemed to work together quite well, you still got some people who were dubious, and rightly so, but I worked with a couple of people to get objectives done and then headed to get my loot out.
Now, this is the point in which I got a little tense with it, cause I knew from experience of the first game that anyone could easily go rogue and shoot me, or wait til my stuff was on the extraction chopper before killing me and cutting the rope to claim it, but no one actually did in the couple of times I visited, it was all rather amicable, which shocked me but was rather pleasing. I was still on my guard though as I knew anything could happen to my stuff right up to the point the chopper takes off.
What I do like with the dark zone is how easy the transition is from PvE to PvP, it’s seamless and a joy when I want to have a quick go around the dark zone.
The character progression is pretty similar to the first game in which you work on levelling your character up to level 30 (for now, this will probably change with DLC) and as you level up you can get better/more powerful weapons. One of the things I loved doing in the first game and now in this one is testing weapons and load outs to see what suited me. This time around I’ve gone with a plain old single fire rifle and an automatic rifle. Best of both worlds, can mow people down running at me, but also have precision shots for distance with the rifle.
Along with your load out you get to pick skills, these are little gadgets that can help you massively within missions. You have a variety to pick from which include drones, turrets, seeker mines and more. Each skill can be adapted to your play style, so if you’re playing in a group, you can use the drone to heal ally’s, the turret can be use as a machine gun, flamethrower or as a more precision sniper turret. I went for a healing ball and a seeker mine, I can heal everyone around me while sending out a mine which splits off into several mines and gets multiple targets.
Your skills can also be modded with any mods picked up from missions or world loot. Weapons is pretty standard, you have sights, stocks, barrels to chose from as well as weapon skins which be earned. So you can add things like a red dot sight, sniper scope or an extended magazine, silencer etc. The world is your oyster. Skills have mods too which can improve damage, or like I have for my seeker mine, cause it to brake into even more pieces to get more enemies… handy!
I said at the beginning of the review that this is one of my most anticipated games and after playing it, I was right to be excited about it, and what the future DLC is going to bring for us. If you’re on the fence about it and have friends that play, give it a go, it’s good solo but so much more fun in a group.