Having recently gone back to The Division to try and collect the new shields, I was looking forward to seeing how The Division 2 played. Thanks to my pre-order I got a code through and planned ahead to put the 50GB download on my PS4 Pro before the start date kicked off.
As recent BETAs go this one held up really well. I didn’t experience any faults with the game, some random audio drop out but I think that might actually be my problem and not the game. It loaded fine, worked great and offered plenty to see.
Visually the game looked really nice. So good that I forgot about the photo mode as I was just happy pressing the share button as I explored DC. Environments looked pretty and the drastically different environments you play through offered plenty of variation. Going from ruined buildings to the abandoned streets, it is clear to see the huge effort gone into making this a living environment. At one point I had to pause to take in a bunch of bees enjoying some flowers, this resulted in being on the end of a well-timed grenade throw.
Gameplay wise, well it is pretty much what we got in The Division. Controls remain the same, gear is equipped in the same slots, skills and equipment return and the great cover system lives on. Now, this is not a bad thing. I really enjoyed The Division so was happy to see that The Division 2 took an evolutionally, rather than a revolutionary, approach to this sequel.
It looks like this game will bring with it a host of content to keep the player busy. There are plenty of collectables, activities and side missions to compliment the main story. You will be collecting echo style messages again, searching left behind cases for new weapons and dealing with enemies as you explore the map.
The missions I got to play were good. Like I said before the visuals for the environments looked great so enjoyed being immersed in them. Missions follow a similar approach that most returning agents will know. Make your way through the mission until you get to the named elite at the end. It might have been because I was playing solo but I felt the AI was a lot smarter then I was used to. I was constantly having to move between cover as the enemy was always trying to flank me. Overall the AI felt more aggressive and it worked.
You can develop settlements throughout the map as well. These offer recruits for the main base of operations which will unlock new stations. Settlements can be upgraded to offer more resources or recruits. There are also liberation missions that require you to complete certain tasks in a particular area. Not sure what the outcome of completing these are but offer something new for players to do.
Once I got through a number of the main missions I was invited to try the end game content with 3 well-equipped agents. Firstly, it was great to see some real end game content ready to go at launch. A new faction, the Black Tusk, really open up the game for the hardcore gamer out there. The time I spent in the end game mission was tough. No other way to put it. I was by myself as I wanted to get a feel for how hard it really was. Enemies were just as aggressive as before but with much better equipment. Once again I couldn’t just sit behind a store counter shooting one enemy at a time.
However, as tough as the mission was, that is what I want from end game content. I don’t want to be able to walk through it easily. I can’t wait to get 3 other agents together and tackle these hard missions with friends.
My pre-order is staying. The Division 2 builds on what made The Division a good game. The search for the next piece of high-end gear, the need to collect everything and real challenging AI. Even if you missed the first game, this is an all-around good experience that I would suggest you jump into.