Written by Pat Kerley
Get ready to pick up arms and protect civilization by murdering hundreds of other people with different opinions to your group. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an online-only, open-world third-person shooter based heavily on looting everything you can to upgrade and become stronger.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 takes you to a post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C., where you step into the boots of the silent and nameless Division agent that you create and control. Thus, you become the ‘Sheriff’ of sorts of this wartorn city caught between different factions.
Unfortunately, the character creation was lacking overall and for a game of this calibre, and I was expecting a great deal more customization then what was given. The Story of Division 2 is rather simplistic in its nature; bad guys have taken over Washington and it’s up to you to try and liberate the city from these hooligans.
It’s quite forgettable, being there simply to set up the world so you can go around to shoot up the evil groups that are littered across the map. It doesn’t focus heavily on the story either, which can be seen by the randomness at the end of the main game when an entirely new fraction of bad guys appear and take control of everything – yet it’s not even explained why or how.
Some of the missions can be fun from their concept alone, for example, at one point you get to steal the declaration of independence!
Thankfully the gameplay is better thought out than the story.
I found that the gameplay, in the beginning, was quite sluggish, and it took a handful of hours for me to get the hang of it. But after indulging in it, I’m happy to report that it became a smooth experience and one that I can see people getting a great deal of fun out of.
Division 2 has exceptionally solid third-person shooter mechanics; each gun has a distinct feel and weight from how they operate to each other, allowing room for good exploration. It has an easy cover base system that revolves around one button, and one feature I really liked was when you aim at other spots for cover, you can see a line that shows how your character will move to it.
It’s by no means a revolutionary mechanic, but it gives an idea of where you will go and is easy to plan with. You have an assortment of tools at your beck and call from a deployable sentry gun to a curious ball that can heal your armoured health over time. Equipment is hugely versatile and thus there are numerous ways to approach combat within this game.
The Division 2 needs online functionality to operate but you’re still able to complete the whole game by yourself. However, even though I had the capacity to play alone, I found that the fun really began when I teamed up to take on missions with my online crew.
In my opinion, working with others elevates the gameplay and simple things such as flanking enemies can be brought into your playstyle! A neat little feature in the game is when you enter a group your level will be scaled to the host to allow a fighting chance. The game itself is hard and when playing by oneself I found myself playing more defensively, otherwise, I would end up dead quite often.
However, when I was with a group there was a lot more freedom and there was an allowance for a more reckless playstyle. This is where I have to say that the balancing was off and where it’s clear why they were pushing for a more ‘online’ experience. With a group, I found that it became an easy game to playthrough, yet on your own or even in a duo the difficulty spike could be gruelling at times.
Which leads us onto the enemy.
The enemy AI is a rather mixed bag, sometimes they will put you under pressure and attempt to flank you, other times they’ll simply run at you for you to mow them down.
As you progress, you’ll find yourself in new situations with every new enemy types in play including anything from heavily armoured bullet sponges to engineers that can create robotic remote-controlled vehicles with deadly blades.
It adds in a hefty number of new foes every now and then, that will keep you on your toes. A cool feature that you will see while exploring the map is that different enemy factions will engage in combat against each other, bringing a bit of life to the world.
Equipment plays a huge roll in Division 2 as you’ll find yourself picking up heaps of it, each piece of gear has a level as well as a grade; the higher the level and grade the stronger it will be. You can gather materials that can be made to create new equipment or to create add-ons such as scopes and extended mags. In all honesty, I found myself never buying or creating equipment due to the ludicrous amounts you can acquire through missions; I had no real incentive to craft anything. Your gear becomes more important when you go into the end game quests, where your gear dictates your level and it has to be at certain points so you can gain access to some missions.
Division 2 has a good number of modes for you to mess around with, from your main missions to the side quests which could comprise of taking over an area controlled by foes, to stopping an execution.
Do you trust your friends?
Within the game, you have the Dark Zone, a place where you acquire more loot but also run into other players who can easily dispose of you at any moment. Personally, I’m not a big fan as I’m a team player and the concept of having ‘friends’ simply shoot you in the back after you’ve worked together for a sizeable chunk of time isn’t for me. But if you do decide to go and play in the Dark Zone, then I recommend that you want to bring friends you can really trust.
You then have the online battle modes, one which is your standard team deathmatch 4V4 and then domination mode which requires your team to capture points on the map and hold them. This is another kettle of fish compared to the main story and side quests. Your enemies have all the little gadgets that are also at your disposal and it simply brings a new type of tension that never was attained in the campaign.
I do have to praise is the amount of content the game has on offer
The main story itself, despite being lacklustre in its premise, still has offers many things to do. The endgame ups the ante, and while it’s basically the same missions with a new group of bad guys to kill, the new difficulty and brings forth new game mechanics.
Washington, D.C. in its broken-down state is a wonderful map to explore and is brought to life with fantastic detail. Being able to visit areas such as The White House and the Lincoln memorial is quite cool. Fast travel is available but its loading times can be long and I wish there was another way of travel apart from running. The game does look amazing graphically speaking with the lighting is one of the most impressive things. Seeing the light trickle through the fog or running through the streets when it’s lashing rain just creates a great atmosphere.
I cannot say the same thing about the music however, the soundtrack to this game feels uninspired. There are one or two songs that did succeed in getting me pumped to start a firefight, but it left no lasting impression on me.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is a solid game overall, with a vast amount of content to occupy your time, with well-crafted gameplay and a beautiful map to explore. However, with a story that is the furthest thing away from engaging, a handful of minor bugs, lacklustre customization for your character, bland music as well as a good chunk of repetition with missions, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is a game I would recommend buying at a reduced price.
If you are looking for games similar to Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 I would recommend games such as The Last of Us, any Socom game and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
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