Before I got this game, I was playing Devil May Cry 5 and loving the single player adventure, then this landed on my lap and I had to get back into a game that I spent way too many hours in, well it seemed like a lot at the time, now I checked it, it has only been 133hrs. The Division captivated me from the very start, yes, it was a rough start, but I enjoyed it, I even enjoyed the PVP aspect in the Dark Zone where I would run around ganking people. I recall one time I ganked a kid who had just killed an elite, took all the loot and listened to him cry down the mic, then I proceeded to say, you are too young to play this game and went off elsewhere. An hour or so after ganking him for the first time, I joined a group and we would go off hunting for elites ourselves, oddly enough we met up with this kid again, this time though he cried and called his mom and dad after we killed him again, he was on our way this time. Again he cried, but also called for mom and dad, who came on the microphone and proceeded to give us adults and telling off. This telling off did not go down to well with the group and we decided to educate these wonderful parents about age rating on games and playing online games with adults, which in turn they would try and make it themselves out to be good parents and their kids were perfectly ok to play games way above their age.
I also recall a tweet I pushed to Ubisoft, saying to them please do not make The Division 2, instead, make an ever-growing world with huge expansions, that would allow the player to move from one district to another seamlessly. Three years down the line The Divison has been patched, updated and is possibly the best it can be, but now instead of my awesome idea, we have The Division 2. Did the developers Ubisoft Massive put everything they learned from the original into this new game, or have they hit a wall and just not moved the game forward enough to keep the players engaged?
A distress signal is received, Washington DC needs The Division, what an intro, your morning coffee, free wifi has gone, communications are down, police are not available, hospitals closed, asthma becomes a killer, who will survive? people with guns? or people without guns?
HELP EACH OTHER
HYENA’S PREY ON THE WEAK
WHO CAN SAVE US?
Seven months since the original outbreak, you take a stroll to Washington DC for what is simply a tactical cover shooter, with intense firefights, a good story and plenty of loot. Again you play a member of ‘The Division’ set an overwhelming task, rebuild the city and protect civilians while keeping the government somewhat ruling, a bit like Brexit minus the total devastation.
As with the first game everything is set around a huge open-world, which sees humans struggle for survival and animals litter the streets and roads looking for scraps. The world again does feel like a living, breathing, Washington DC, just not what it looks like now of course.
Factions fight for supremacy, enemies roam the streets and kill on site, and general goodwill is still around as some people will aid others and help secure resources.
The best of humanity, you get to see from the start of the game as you head to the white house and help eliminate the forces surrounding the building, then when you head to the museum and pick up your first quest which is to rescue a mother’s little girl. On my way to the museum, a group was under attack, of course, I stepped in and helped out, I could have just watched and stepped in right at the final moment to help but I did not, this is my humanity and the willingness to help others. I do wonder if I would do this under real circumstances or would I be one of the people struggling to survive?
The AI programming is done well, you can watch a group react to an ambush, scavage around, flee for there lives and you can either choose to follow and protect, join a firefight and take all the loot or watch for a distance wait for the right time to strike and then take the loot.
As you make your way through the dense city streets, be prepared from anything, like a supply drop arriving which needs to be secured, a control point that needs your attention, or you simply stumble in to a firefight you never expected and get your arse handed to you on a plate as you get blocked in from all sides, do you call for help or do you take them all on? DIE and a take them all on, hoping I survive as I have never sent a request for help from other players.
Walking around this vast city takes some time but being able to check out some of the iconic landmarks like the Washington Monument, The White House or the Smithsonian when you have never been before, is better than looking at them in screenshots or google maps. Ubisoft has put in a lot of effort to make them as true to life as possible makes these sites an awe to view. Just don’t get too complacent make sure the area is clear use cover to protect yourself, defeat enemies then have your time taking in the sites and sounds.
As with the original game and with the bulk of Ubisoft games the story is good, for this one, and there is plenty to dig into, from the main storyline to the side quests, echos that show past history from civilians to government-run organisations, like the police, firefighters and medical staff. You can also hang around and just listen to AI and their stories as the mingle with others or waffle to themselves.
While mingling or following others or simply exploring check out all areas as loot can be found almost everywhere, not just from completing missions, but from fallen enemies and loot boxes scattered around the place. By doing this Ubisoft pushes us gamers to explore, to really take in the game, not just run and gun. But you can just move from waypoint to waypoint, it is totally down to you. For me, I enjoyed listening to echos, audio logs, and watching videos, it made the game more real to me and made me want to do more.
As with the original game, I played this mostly solo, when in the dark zone I would group up, help downed party members and then separate from them and go my own way, but I would always be in a group just in case I need help or they need my help. The game is perfectly playable solo even though it is more punishable, If you are exploring and you die, you will respawn at a safe house, if questing you will respawn at a checkpoint and if in the dark zone, well, you will simply DIE, drop some loot and coin and respawn out of the zone. If you are grouped up you can use each members different strengths to bring down enemies, run to downed played and revive them and carry on, this is the way Ubisoft wants you to play, but do not worry as you do not have to if you do not want to. I never minded respawning and making my way back, I normally found something to do new, when exploring, and questing, well the checkpoint was never that far away. Plus by going solo you really get to learn your character, where they shine and where they suck, instead of relying on others to pull more weight.
I did once party up but all I could hear on my headset during story moments where the douche bags in my group waffling on about random shit that had nothing to do with the game. Grouping up does have its benefits as the lowest level players in the group will see their gear level up on parity to the highest level party member. This also means mobs will scale up based on the number of players in the group making them tougher.
Skills, Perks, Crafting and Weapon modifications are all, here again, with me adding a scope to almost everything. Though the drones seem shit and the pulse which I rather enjoyed using takes too damn long to recharge and only picks up enemies so close I already know they are there. These can all be fixed in patches if they wanted to, but the pulse needs to be improved, please. Weapon mods, can offer a good improvement, or dare I say it, a downgrade and will just make your precious weapon worse off. You might be playing around with these for some time till you find the perfect balance for your favourite weapon.
So you have been playing the game right to the end hit level cap and now its END GAME, the part of the game that needs to be great to keep you coming back for more and more, so what has The Division 2 got in store for you?
Well first hit level 30, cleared the three faction strongholds, and and you will then start world tier 1 of 4, until Ubisoft release the Tidal Basin stronghold and tier 5. Washington DC once liberated by The Division is once again invaded by a more advanced faction that takes control of the cities landmarks. I think you get what is going to happen right? it is your job to take them down clear the landmarks kill all new bosses and enemies and progress through each world tier. There are loads more to do as well, hit the dark zones and enjoy some PVP, find the kids that will cry down the mic and call mom and dad, OK, maybe not but hey they should not be playing. Run bounties around the zone, daily and weekly activities can be taken on and completed, there is so much to do its amazing and everything is worth doing if you have the time as everything comes with a reward.
Just be warned the Dark Zones can be harsh as hell, or charming and friendly as others are trying also to get their loot out, but I highly recommend grouping up, with friends or randoms.
One final thing to note, this game was reviewed on PC and there is plenty of options available in-game to toggle around with, My set up was the following
- Windows 10 x64
- Intel i7 7700 3.5GHz
- Nvidia GTX 1080ti
- 32GB DDR4 system Ram
- The game was running off a Crucial M.2 SSD 500GB
The game is bloody gorgeous and I can not wait to test Ray Tracing with my new RTX card arrives soon. The game run almost smoothy, however from time to time there were some bumps in the road, but this is something I am used to when it comes to the game on PC and as long as they are not game breaking bugs I tend to ignore them and move on.
What I found to be a let down still did not make me not enjoy this game, I enjoyed the first from the start so I enjoy the game as well.