Back Into the Frying Pan
In 2016, Ubisoft released the first game in the Division franchise to a mixed reception from critics and fans alike. Luckily that may not be the case with the recently released sequel as Ubisoft has taken the base formula and improved on it. From the graphics to the amount of things to do, The Division 2 is definitely an improvement over the original.
Who was that again?
The story of the game… well, there’s hardly any. I mean you meet certain characters that form a coherent plot throughout the game. But they very little character development and are hardly memorable throughout the game. Small optional story elements exist through collectibles that take the form of audiotapes and live-action cutscenes that expand the universe. However, they feel like they were just shoehorned in order to have a more focused plot that really isn’t very memorable.
Guns and Gameplay.
Aside from its story and cast of characters. The Division 2 is a well-executed tactical third-person shooter. In it, you have to utilize quick-thinking tactics instead of the traditional run and gun methods. Not only are the traditional guns and grenades at your disposal, but are also several gadgets that are given to each Division agent. These can range from a deployable turret, a seeking grenade, and even a support drone that helps you out in battle.
Out in the battlefield, the player will find a plethora of traditional cover that they can use to hunker down. Let me just say that utilizing cover effectively is the key to victory. Don’t run out into the open shooting wildly. That’s a one-way ticket to getting your armor and your health clipped. If you do happen to lose your armor, the game is very generous with armor packs that restore it. Keep in mind that this is a tactical co-op shooter. You don’t always have to go it alone. The game has a good match-making system that allows for some jolly tactical cooperation that you must utilize to overcome the challenges laid before you.
A Visual Powerhouse.
Graphics-wise, the game looks top of the line for the generation. Every detail peppered throughout Washington D.C is displayed perfectly with the Snowdrop Engine. Everything from the characters’ facial animations to the little things like cars and vending machines look perfectly modeled. As for the world, you’ll it looks infinitely better than the one from the last game.
Instead of a city covered with nothing but snow. D.C is riddled with vegetation and various wildlife that really gives the game a more realistic post-apocalyptic look. There are many tiny details such as different wildlife that each behaves realistically which give the game a more realistic feel. The game even has a dynamic weather system that can really change how you approach combat. Things like rain and fog limit your vision, especially at night, causing you to lean into your screen in order to get a better edge over your enemies.
The level design has been improved as well, allowing for more flanking routes that help you get the drop on your enemies. But it’s not just the way the level is planned out. There are times when cool visual art designs can really spice up a level. As the game drags on, however, the levels start to feel the same, feeling more and more like just another shooting gallery. But with the promise of loot and tougher enemies around the corner, tt may be just enough to keep you interested.
Gunslingers and Bomb-blowers.
Throughout your journey, you’ll come across several different gangs that each have their own goals and ideals. These are ranging from the stereotypical apocalyptic looters to the ones driven by revenge. These gangs have their own unique enemies that can range from the traditional, melee chargers that rush your position to the heavy gunners that smoke you out of cover with grenades and such. The more high-level ones will have body armor that requires the player to shoot it off before chipping away the health. The cool thing, though, is that whichever part of the body you target that piece of armor will fall off, which gives further need to the use of communication with your teammates.
Killing With Style.
In order to take down these dastardly foes, the player will need to obtain guns and lots of them. All of the guns in the game function just as they would in real life, adding to the game’s realism. Along the way, the player will be able to unlock different attachments for each gun class that can increase a stat while reducing another. These guns can range from a traditional assault rifle to a sniper rifle. But what’s the point of taking the fight to these gangs if you can’t do it with style. Throughout the game, the player will find several cosmetic items that can add to their characters flair. These items give the player a unique take on their agent. Unfortunately, loot boxes also make their way into the game, but luckily, they only contain cosmetic items, which are pretty much acceptable in today’s standards.
At the end of the day, The Division 2 is a fun well-polished third-person shooter that really improves on the original concept. The game looks beautiful and plays smoothly, albeit with a few graphical errors at the start of your login. The gameplay can be repetitive and tedious as the game goes on. With that said, it still may not be enough for players who disliked the first game to give the sequel a second chance.