REVIEW: The Division 2

Welcome back, agent! After sharing with you a glimpse of the game in the closed beta (if you haven’t read our preview from Feb’ 13th, here’s the link: http://www.lifeisxbox.eu/2019/02/13/tom-clancys-the-division-2-preview/), I’ve been assigned to fully brief you about our mission in Washington DC for The Division 2, the new title from Ubisoft Massive!

For those who have just arrived to the planet (just hope you came in peace!) and are unfamiliar with the series, Tom Clancy’s The Division was a blend of tactical third person shooter with RPG developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft in 2016 that placed you in NY as an agent of The Division, a US government special unit only activated in extreme conditions (Tom Clancy’s novels always had these amazing special forces) You have been activated during a devastating pandemic that hit the US during the last Black Friday, disabling all basic services and plunging the city in total chaos! Now, 7 months later, your services are needed once again at the capital, where the forces of The Division have been struggling to protect the survivors of this epidemic against the chaos that took control of DC, even more violently than in NY. Are you up for the task, agent? Let’s check all the details about this mission in our review and find out together.

Don’t feed the animals
  • Impressive world: When you think about games with amazing open worlds, I bet the first game to come to your mind is either GTA V or The Witcher 3, isn’t it? Or maybe one of the last Assassins Creeds? Well, here’s one more title to your list. The Division 2 has one of the most impressive, most detailed, believable worlds to date in the gaming industry. Although there’s less interactivity with it than in the previously mentioned titles, there are so many things to see, to explore and to explode that you will truly feel immersed. There are tons of trash stuff scattered in streets to the point of making you feel uncomfortable with. There are animals roaming the streets, looking for food. There’s chaos as far as you can see. DC has been under a really tough time since the virus release: there are signs of conflict with lots of corpses and destruction in every corner. And there are people trying to survive in this crisis, be it by threatening the week or standing together to protect the remaining communities. Seriously: it’s extraordinary!
  • Visual delight: All the beauty and level of detail achieved by The Division 2 show how much Ubisoft’s engine Snowdrop has evolved since the first The Division in 2016. They delivered a level detail and magnificence to the world of The Division 2 that will set a new standard for open world games (I may look a little fanboy here, but from what we have today on the market, I believe only AnvilNext 2.0, also from Ubisoft, may rival it). The use of light and shadows, the character models, the different weapons, nature, the ruins, the objects (destructible and not destructible) … everywhere you look you will be facing something awe-inspiring. I’ve never been to Washington (nor any other city in the US actually), but from what I know the city from movies and series, all its monuments are there with the same grandiosity you would expect in real life.
  • Sound: Here’s another department in which Ubisoft did an amazing job. The sound in the game is superb! The sensation of distance when you hear shots being fired far away from you, the subtle differences between weapons. It’s been some time since I’ve heard my home theater being used with such majesty! Massive studios must have some good magicians in between their employees. Oh, and I almost forget to mention the also incredible work from voice actors. Good job, people!
  • Customization: The Division 2 offers a good level of customization for your characters. But not only about their visuals: from its RPG roots, you can use your ability points to unlock and upgrade your abilities, giving your character a good level of individuality in this battle for Washington.
  • Gameplay: The third person tactical shooter side of the game speaks louder here. Playing solo or with friends (or strangers, it doesn’t matter), you will explore the city while attending to help requests and completing missions from your different bases of operations. One very cool aspect is the evolution of your bases: with the many resources you gather in your missions, you will be able to upgrade your base and settlements scattered across the city, gaining access to new items, functions and characters. And to see your base and settlements prospering gives a sense of mission accomplished which is very nice. If PVP is what you’re looking for, you can try your luck at the Dark Zones or in team skirmishes ate the Conflict.
  • Combat: Boy, oh boy! Combat in The Division 2 never feels old! The tactical elements of the combat like positioning, selecting the best weapon for each situation and use of abilities make every single different from the previous one. Ok, I know sometimes you will be fighting the same set of enemies using the same tactics, but just the fact that you are in a different place or using a different loadout makes it fell new! And your opponents have some intelligence too (the higher their level, the tougher and better equipped they are): they will try to flank you, snipe you, burn you, explode you or just run at you like a raging bull. I always felt this last kind of enemy really stupid during the first The Division. But now, in The Division 2, they are the enemies that killed me the most. Small advice I can give you is to always use the cover system to engage enemies and to move during battles. And remember to always pay attention to your radar, because it will indicate from what side comes the danger. Play smart and win these battles, agent!
  • Listening to their community: The first The Division wasn’t free of problems when it released and some of them were very annoying. During the following months of its release, Ubisoft worked hard to solve its main problem: the endgame. Some will say they never managed to solve this problem, while others, like me, had a great time with everything they did. If you are one of the players who though the game never lived to the hype they created, I can safely tell you Ubisoft listened to your complaints. In the endgame, you will be introduced to a whole new faction of enemies, stronger and more lethal, with more than 50 new bosses for you to fight against. To be up to this new task, your characters will get access to new specializations (which have been exhibited innumerable times during each trailer of the game) and only with them be able to fight this new menace.
I wonder how can they have such mobility with so many things in their backpack?
  • Where’s the light switch? Some places you visit you will find yourself in complete darkness. Usually, when you are inside some dark place, as you move away from the door or entrance, you can see the illumination inside the room. But in other situations, this light never turns on, placing you in real danger against enemies hidden or rushing to make you their new doormat. I really couldn’t figure it our if it was intentional or not. So let’s keep it in the mixed feelings.
  • Repetitiveness: After exploring the city for long sessions, you may start to feel that things get a little repetitive and uninteresting. I had this feeling in the first title. My advice to you when it happens? It’s time to hit the multiplayer to keep things fresher.
Why there’s an astronaut coming out of the Air Force One?

Little (and annoying) bugs: This massive and incredible world isn’t free of bugs. I had plenty of occurrences when my character got stuck when running in stairs or ramps (sometimes resulting in cheap deaths). Items going through objects on the floor that should pose as obstacles like metal chairs, planks and tires like if they weren’t in there. Sometimes, the camera was placed behind some wall or objects (for example, the fence in the conflict at the entrance of the White House, right in the first ten minutes of gameplay). Sometimes you will see characters’ weapons or even arms trespassing solid surfaces like they are ghosts. In the meantime, none of these bugs are gaming crashers or too annoying (hmm… Maybe only the first one) that you can’t play it. But some corrections (especially the one related to racing on stairs and ramps) should be dealt with soon.

Here comes the sun… WAIT A MINUTE: Is that a pet dinosaur??

Conclusion!

★ Score: 94%
Yes, Ubisoft did it. Once again. I have no doubts Ubisoft is at their best this generation in terms of variety and quality. And here they are again with The Division 2, delivering another amazing title. The Division 2 takes what worked in the first game and improves it and corrects what didn’t work, delivering a package closer to the expectative that we had back in 2015. Without overpromises. To the team of developers, thank you for another wonderful game. To the agents out there, if you enjoyed the first title, I’m sure you are going to fall in love with this one from the moment you first boot it. If you didn’t like the series at all and was indifferent to this sequence, answer the call of the Division, agent. You have in your hands my candidate for the GOTY.

Developer: Ubisoft   Publisher: Ubisoft
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PS4
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: Very, very time consuming and based on luck too.
Perfect for: People that want to invest hours and hours in a game, those who enjoy playing with others, people who want to play a game with fancy visuals.
Xbox Game Store link:Click here

Written by Rafael

Writer for LifeisXbox

Between an Excel spreadsheet and trying to conquer the world (one game at a time), he’s ready to share his experiences about every title he plays. Be it to praise a game or to bash it, you will always find an honest opinion in his texts.