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Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 Game Review [2019]

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Ubisoft impressed a lot of gamers with their 2016 release of Tom Clancy’s The Division. With an interesting story, truckloads of loot, and focus upon online multiplayer as endgame content, gamers saw a lot of potential in the formula.

With all of their learning from a dedicated community and underwhelming DLC, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 now builds upon that formula and showcases a great many things that games like Anthem need to include.

 

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 Game Review

 

The first go around with Tom Clancy’s The Division, gamer enjoyed playing through the detailed streets of New York. The appeal of getting new gear after a difficult mission with friends or strangers was a grind that many did not mind as they leveled up and finished the story line.

Once your level was maximized, the grind was then isolated to replaying the missions on harder difficulties as well as playing the harder missions called incursions. Lastly, the anxiety filled player vs player area called the dark zone allowed for you to truly see how powerful or powerless your character’s equipment really was as you encountered more bullet sponge enemies and ‘rogue agents’ that were basically other players that decided to attack any agents they saw.

For a time, this formula was fun, but as time went along and DLC began to be released, the appeal faded quickly and the fan-base dwindled quickly.

The D.C. map is MUCH bigger than the Manhatton map in the previous game.

 

In steps part two and a LOT has been addressed. First of all, the streets and museums of Washington D.C. (where this sequel is staged) are FILLED with enemies, easy to find loot, hidden loot, secondary bases called ‘settlements’, and randomized ‘events’. There is rarely a moment where this massive map doesn’t have something moving or indicating that there is something else for you to undertake.

 

The Division 2 game map

 

Not only that, there are three separate dark zones that scale each of their difficulties as per your level or gear score. Simply put, this map is bigger and better than its predecessor.

 

 

Next, there are additional types of ‘skills’ for you to use to help you on your journey. These skills, which are actually more like equipment, are as follows: turret, drone, hive, shield, pulse, mine, firefly, and chem launcher.

For each of these there are roughly 4 different functions that help you in different ways. For example, your chem launcher can launch a chem grenade with ignitable material, material to stick your enemies in place, material to melt your enemies’ armor, or material to fix you and your teammates’ armor.

 

Skill enhanced with attachable mods

 

Each of your skills can also be enhanced with attachable mods that augment how the skill performs. You can have a flame throwing turret. You can have a drone that tracks and attacks an enemy. You can pull out a riot shield that reflects bullets back at the attacker. You can even have a hive of bots that attack any number of enemies that approach within a radius of the hive’s placement. Of course, with all of this capability, you can be sure that you’ll need every single one of them at some point.

 

Matching Strength 

 

Also, the AI and variety of the enemies you face are very diverse as well. Not only will you face different factions of enemies that have different weapon choices and different boss types, you’ll also notice that each faction has their own tactics on how to defeat you. It will be rare that you complain how ‘easy’ the game is as the game regularly scales the strength of the enemy’s weapons, skills, and health to your own to keep the challenge respectable at all times.

This is especially apparent when playing alone though this is not advised.

 

Without a doubt, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the most fun when played with others.

 

 

Your gear has tons of stats to pour over and optimize to your style of play.

 

With all of this extra content, the question really becomes whether or not this cover based, loot driven, RPG shooter is ‘great’. While it seems that Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 has finally gotten the formula for their action and content right, one cannot overlook the fact that EVERY mission is basically a “clear this space of all enemies” fire fest. Sure there are different bosses and enemies that shake the challenge up, but the story within all of this is quite forgettable.

 

The story line

 

The core of this story centers around a biological attack or accident that tears through the population and sends Washington D.C. into chaos.

The Division agents are then ‘activated’ to be sent into these chaotic areas  in order to ‘keep the peace’. At no point during all of this shooting and looting do you feel like you are battling for much of a cause. Sure, you have settlements to support but there is little feeling of a ‘threat’ to these settlements and no sense of urgency to support them.

In a game where the story is about chaos, there is no sense of desperation or urgency in any battle. Re-spawns allow you to try again and defeats have little consequence to the overall struggle you witness on your map. As a result, the game comes off like more of a realistic Borderlands with no humor and lots of cursing.

 

Final thoughts

 

The longevity of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 will, as with any other game, be bent upon how interesting the additional content makes continued loot grinding as well as extending the progression of your character. After all, this is being billed as an RPG shooter. It will be interesting how balanced this progression will be given that a lot of new content will involve PvP modes. As we all know, in loot based shooters, skill is rarely the deciding factor in PvP matches so balancing the matchmaking will be key.

In the end, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 has brilliantly incorporated the additional content and activity needed to make the core game feel like it was worth the initial cost. With the promise of more free content, the delivery is a great value for single player and coop friendly gamers alike.

Still, if the formula of the first game was not fun, there isn’t enough different here (aside from more content) that will win over anyone.