The events of the second installment of Tom Clancy’s The Division take place eight months after the green poison swept through New York City. This time, the game places you in the capital of the United States. Tasked with culling opposing factions, you are also faced with the task of supporting local factions and helping to improve the daily lives of civilians in these settlements. You are thrown into the fray from the beginning. Your current settlement is under attack and during the defense of this settlement, you hear the radio call for help from Washington D.C.
After a brief cut-scene you’re tossed into Washington D.C. with only a basic assault rifle, a pistol, and the task of pushing through numerous enemies to get to the White House and stop the attack taking place there. This is where the real game play begins. This is where you get a base of operations, and you are tasked with completing main missions, side missions, and deal with random world events.
Character creation is pretty standard. You have choice of a body type (Male & Female). Once you’ve chosen a body type, then it is on to creating your own individual looks. There are twelve facial presets, but then you can adjust and scale these presets to really create a unique video version of the division agent you want to embody. Next is eye color, hair styles – which are limited (my biggest gripe with the character creation), and depending on your body type – facial hair. After this, comes physical markings (scars), face paint, and tattoos (neck, arm and leg). Once you’ve got your looks the way you want them, then you get to select from a small array of clothing to really show off your style. As you progress through the game, you’ll scavenge or earn more clothing options. If this is too time consuming for you, specific outfits can be purchased through the Uplay launcher (using real money or uplay currency). Once you’ve confirmed your character – that is it. No going back to shave that beard or trim that hair. From this point forward your wardrobe is the only thing you’ll be changing.
Right away, you’ll notice a lot of differences from the first installment. For one thing, the game has more of our wild, furry friends roaming around – dogs, birds, deer, foxes and even racoons. There is also a more vibrant landscape, instead of the dull dreary grays, blacks, and browns found in New York. There is more overgrown vegetation and also more trash and cover for your character in the streets. The detail shown in the scenery is great as well. While running through the debris and trash you can hear cans rattling and bouncing, you also can hear glass breaking under foot. Be careful as that can alert enemies to your presence.
The weather is dynamic – changing from sunny and day time, to night with stars twinkling, to a rainy night, then to a fog covered environment the next morning. You can find scattered loot all around from cases with weapons, cases with gear, backpacks with food and water – not to mention trinkets that finally serve a purpose in this installment. The character movements are smoother this time around, as well. Movement is more fluid, less robotic, and more realistic. Your first enemy encounter will be easily fought if you use tactical advantages and don’t just charge in amongst the groups of enemies.
There is also a PVP section for those of you wanting to test your skills against other players. Upon entering the dark zone you’ll be faced with fighting AI, and watching your back for other players. You can also scavenge for better loot in this zone with only the risk of losing what you’ve gathered at that time. Once you have what you came for, you have to shoot a flare to call in an extraction helicopter. This you’ll use to place loot on a rope and within 45 seconds – off it goes with all of your goodies. You can gather those up at the exit. Going with a team is advised, but not required as one man can appear less dangerous than a group. Alternatively, with a group of friends, you may appear too dangerous for engagement and make the enemy think twice about fighting for your loot.
The Division 2 has roughly twenty-seven hours of game play between two characters. The enemies grow in capability as you progress, becoming more cunning with tools at their disposal such as mini car bombs, poison gas grenades, and heavily armored pains in the rear. The game play is always better in a group, but this is not required. The majority of my time has been spent playing alone or with one other individual, and you can easily become overwhelmed in combat in either scenario. The game play is great, entertaining, challenging, and beautiful. It doesn’t take a massive computer system to make the game look great as I have played on a high end RTX 2080 and mid-grade rx 560 graphics card, and differences in graphics are subtle at worst. Replay will hold value as with any loot-based game; the more you play or replay missions and adjust difficulty, the better the loot you will find. I can honestly say this is and will continue to be a game I spend the majority of my time playing.
Suggestions for the Developer:
Within my game play, there have been no major issues that I have encountered. I have noticed some models continue to run in place, even if that character is standing still – not a huge issue but something of note. Also, the random world events are not all that random. The same events tend to stay in the same places every time. not to mention, you do run into the same situation/scenario at that event every time. This can be repetitive and boring for some, but again, not a huge issue. I would prefer more options in the character creation area, though. Put a barber in a settlement or in your base of operations. Maybe two months ago I was feeling the big burly bearded fellow and now I want to be the clean cut gentleman.