The Division was a great foray into the multiplayer-centric third-person shooter area for Ubisoft, but there’s no denying that it had some shortcomings. The Division 2 doesn’t only rectify those elements that held it back, but introduces a more focused, refined, and approachable set-up for gamers to embrace.
The Division 2 doesn’t abandon what made the first one so attractive though – you still get the derelict streets, random encounters, and hostile scenarios – but, from the outset, it’s clear that the scope and scale of the series has been ramped up. Out of the cold and snowy New York, The Division 2 now takes the post-civilisation fight to Washington D.C, with sunny skies and wide open areas to explore (and gunfight in). It’s a refreshing change of scenery that doesn’t have the menacing aura of a derelict New York, but it does offer a host of other environments that players will find interesting.
The story picks up only a few months after the first entry, but you immediately get a sense that society has found a way of coping with the virus outbreak which wiped out most of the US, with more factions, marauders, and enemy forces now roaming the tattered remains of USA’s capital. However, the the Strategic Homeland Division have also upped the ante in their fightback to regain control and order. And this showcased through a surprisingly robust single-player campaign. While it’s not the core focus of the game, Ubisoft has still managed to deliver a really impressive single-player story experience. Despite some cheesy one-liners and B-grade action tropes, players will actually find more than enough value in the campaign alone, taking you to interesting locales and taking the fight to some challenging enemies throughout its 30-or-so hours.
Throughout the game, the White House itself now acts as your base of operations, whereby you’ll pick up missions, objectives, and use as an upgrade-point for your weapons and character. The new enemy varieties and extremely diverse locations require you to take advantage of the abilities on offer, such as utilising a ballistic shield or attack-drone companion to get an edge in firefights, making the combat a lot more engrossing than the ‘take-cover-and-shoot’ loop.
In order to give you more options on the battlefield, player movement has been improved dramatically. Character run, swerve and slide into cover far more easily and fluidly than they did in the first game, which wasn’t bad by any stretch, but there’s a heightened sense of manoeuvrability in the sequel. Players can also climb most objects, which gives firefights some verticality as players and enemies scrambling up cars, fences and guard towers with relative ease.
As for the online elements, The Division 2‘s ‘anything-goes’ Dark Zones are back, but this time, there are three. Each is in a relatively different and unique location on the Washington D.C. map, which results in closer or more long-range gunfights with other human players. They’re still as thrilling as ever, with the tension running high each time you enter them, where is where you’ll probably spending most your time once completing the campaign. There are also PvP modes which will appeal to the more conventional online shooter fan, which also take advantage of The Division 2‘s unique shooting and movement mechanics, along with the various abilities.
With many games in the loot-shooter genre, it’s always a concern whether there’ll be enough content to keep you coming back for more. Thankfully, with The Division 2, there’s not only a really enjoyable single-player campaign, but the title is packed with nooks and crannies (both online and offline) that’ll have gamers entertained for months – let alone considering the post-launch content that’s yet to come.
The Division 2 is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
How much does it cost? And where can you buy it from?
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