Review: The Division 2
The Division 2 brings us back to the post-apocalyptic US we’ve gotten a taste of in the first game. However, this time we aren’t running around in the abandoned streets of New York, we are visiting the capital, Washington D.C.. The first Division quickly made itself a looter-shooter worth knowing, but still had some room left for improvement. This one promises to improve on the original, while still keeping what makes the game great. Does the title succeed in its goal? Find out right now by reading some more.
The Division 2’s greatest asset is its world design. The map feels alive, with factions moving in and out of territories, allies looking for food or water and more in the overgrown streets of Washington D.C.. Nature taking back the immense city feels natural and gives way to beautiful sites very much worth exploring. In the first Division’s New York some parts of the city looked a little too much alike, but this time every zone you explore feels different and gives you the incentive to keep on going.
Quests and main story missions are intelligently marked on your big map, most of the time taking place in a well-known (historical) building or in the middle of a square. Sidequests do not get repetitive and are different enough to make you want to experience all of them. Especially because they are great fun. The main storyline was alright, but if we’re being honest, an enormously detailed story never was the main reason to play games in this genre. The reason we play looter-shooters is the gameplay and the loot, both things the Division 2 does really well.
There are more than enough things to collect in this sequel, but most loot can be split up into three categories. The first one being the weapons you carry around with you, and believe us there is more than enough variety. The second one would be the pieces of armour you collect on your journey and lastly there are all kinds of secrets and collectibles like data logs. Gear can be switched on the fly (a welcome change after the many hours we put into Anthem, in which you had to go through many a loading screen to see what you got), which feels natural and incentivizes trying out new playstyles and loadouts.
Now, the story, sidemissions, gear and gunplay have all been improved on since the original, but what about the end-game content? One of the things most-lacking at the Division 1 launch? Well don’t worry, it has become a lot better. After completing the main story, a new faction arrives. Without spoiling too much, this faction gives you new reasons to revisit some of the best locations in the city, taking out heavily armoured bosses and collecting loot along the way. There are also three big strongholds to take-down, which has quickly become on of our favourite things to do in the endgame. Everything in the Division 2 can be done solo, but we suggest teaming up for the Dark Zone content. Matchmaking is quick and simple and playing with friends has never been easier. PvP is done in the same, quick and excellent, hop-in, hop-out way.
In short, The Division 2 takes everything which made the original feel fun and greatly improves on it. It might not be a completely different game, but everything it does, it does really well. The city feels real and the fight for D.C. is a constant struggle. The loot and gameplay are really well done and there is more than enough incentive to keep coming back to explore some more or to acquire even better loot. This game will make us leave Anthem behind for quite a while and gives any Destiny 2 player the perfect mid-season brake. The future for Ubisoft’s The Division 2 is looking bright.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Massive Entertainment, Ubisoft Reflections, MEER