Washington D.C. is in shambles, just seven months after a viral outbreak in New York. Ruthless factions litter the streets with one goal and that is to control the fallen capital. It is up to you, an agent of the Division, to take it back.
At the time of this review I am currently sitting at 107 hours of game time in The Division 2 and needless to say, I’ve been hooked. I played the original back in 2016 but unfortunately due to other releases I did not spend ample amount of time into it despite having enjoyed what I had played. The Division 2 is an always online third-person cover based looter shooter much like its predecessor but highly improved in almost every aspect. What you’ll notice immediately in this entry is a high sense of focus. You’ll create an agent with a variety of options offered and will be tasked with making your way to the White House.
The White House acts as your main hub where you will upgrade your agent with the many skill points you will obtain, access vendors, missions, projects etc and it is here where you will spend lots of time micro-managing. As you progress through the campaign and side missions you will also upgrade the White House giving you access to even more features that will make your agent stronger. What I love about this game is how what you do has an affect on the world you are occupying. As you slowly take back the capital you will notice massive environmental changes to your settlements which makes the world feel alive and at the same time motivates you to push further.
Gameplay structure is pretty straightforward. Missions have you taking out waves of enemies or tackling certain objectives but what makes it feel fresh and rewarding at the many enemy factions each with their tactics and strategies. Outcasts are enemies that have embraced the infection plaguing the capital and will often rush you with suicide bombers. Hyenas are another faction that are more of a disaorganized group often leaving cover to fire out in the open with no care. True Sons are the third faction that are more closer to a military style using more methodical tactics looking to flank you at every moment. Each of these factions offer interesting firefights and always keep the battles feeling unpredictable and fresh. There is a fourth faction that is not introduced until you finish the games campaign and they are called Black Tusk. This group is the most technologically advanced and will offer the most challenging battles using their tech to really keep you and your squad on their toes at all times.
Beyond the absolute insane amount of content here I wanted to focus on the endgame content for The Division 2. I mentioned before about a new faction being introduced at the end of the main game but beside that, you are also introduced to Specializations. What this does is give your agent a new skill tree and signature weapon that you can use to help you tackle the games biggest challenges. Sharpshooter gives your agent a 50 cal sniper rifle, Survivalist grants you an explosive crossbow and Demolitionist gives you a grenade launcher. The brilliance of The Division 2 is how each one of these specializations compliments the other. In fact, all the available skills and perks and mods all work together and with a squad the possibilites are almost endless. I often think of how biotics worked in Mass Effect. Combining abilites with other squad members would result in great combos that would take down even the toughest of enemies.
The Division 2 is not without faults. Texture pop in is apparent as well as lengthy load times and cover being very clunky to get in and out of at times. The UI itself can use a bit more cleaning up but beyond that I have not had many issues with the performance of this game.
Honestly I have not even scratched the surface of what The Division 2 has to offer but I can definitively say that this is the most fun I’ve had with an online game since Destiny and after the hundred hours that I have spent with it, I still am compelled to play more and encourage anyone who is curious to give a try and to take your time with it.
The Division 2 was reviewed on a PS4 Pro.