The Division 2, the sequel to The Division by Ubisoft is a tactical third-person RPG shooter set in a dystopian Washington D.C following the outbreak and collapse of society from the first game. You play as a Division agent, a secret sleeper agent who was called to action to save what is left of society in order to rebuild the world.
The gameplay revolves around the completing missions where the player has a variety of contrived reasons for gunning down a variety of different enemies. Your arsenal consists of two main weapons, a side arm, two gadgets and a powerful specialization weapon. Weapons show up in a variety of flavors, as well as equipment for your character; this is where the RPG aspect comes into play. You spend a good chunk of time comparing the numbers on your items to find the best combinations for damage, survivability or a mix of both. Gear is obtained through activities throughout the world; better gear can be obtained my completing content at a higher difficulty.
The world of The Division 2 is a beautiful yet melancholic look at what happens when a society falls and is left to fester. The first game was set directly after the events that caused the outbreak to begin with, creating a depressing, snow-covered hellscape. This game is set in the summer following this, showing how nature has started to take over while society was struggling to get a grip. The city of Washington, D.C. has been beautifully re-created with a large amount of attention to detail, as well as covering the world in a layer of moss and destruction created by months of fighting.
The less I say about the story, the better to be completely honest. The most interesting parts of the story in the series focused around the mystery of the Dark Zone, the massive zone at the very epicenter of the outbreak that failed and caused Division agents to betray their friends and go rogue. I honestly cannot remember much about the story of this game because it’s all so cookie cutter and overly saccharine. The first game made you question your allegiances; question the forces you work with and wonder about the futility of the situation. The second game is just cleaning up gangs that formed in the city. The expansion, Warlords of New York focuses on the antagonist of the first game that got away, and anti-climatically killing him with no pay off except the knowledge that the big bad villain is dead, but his minions are still running around. This is arguably barely a spoiler considering Ubisoft’s inability to write a compelling story.
As for the gameplay, it’s a tactical third-person shooter; taking cover and knowing when to pop out of it is key to survival. The game offers a variety of gadgets to help compliment your playstyle; drones and turrets to provide back up, a healing station, a pulse-locator that shows enemy locations, or even a massive bullet shield that lets the player be extremely aggressive. The specialization weapons are only available at level 30, but they provide a powerful boon to the player. Letting the player choose between a grenade launcher that let us the player deal with crowds of enemies at once or an extremely powerful, high calibre sniper rifle that can obliterate most enemies in a single shot, these weapons are only used in dire situations due to ammo being scarce.
Do I recommend this game? If the game and the expansion are on sale, and you really like RPG loot and shooters, I do recommend the game, regardless of some lackluster aspects.
Developers: Massive Entertainment
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia
Genres: Online action role-playing, third-person tactical shooter
Release Date: March 15th, 2019.
Pictures; screenshots taken by author in-game