REVIEW: “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2′ (Xbox One)

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The Division 2

Three years ago, we were activated to help clean up the epidemic of the Green Poison which ravaged New York on Black Friday. We were successful at repelling the Last Man Battalion (LMB) back to the depths from which they belonged. Fast forward seven months and we’re activated yet again to save the country as a whole. Now, Washington D.C. has come under attack, by a new series of threats.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. It is an action role-playing game and a sequel to Tom Clancy’s The Division from 2016. This looter-shooter released on March 15th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Picking up after the first game, you play as an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division to rebuild the city in the aftermath of a Smallpox epidemic.

To start, The Division 2’s story is quite good However, it could be a whole lot stronger if it was a pivotal factor in the game rather than just a needed addition. With that said, I recommend you play through it, especially if you’re a fan on the series as a whole. In it, you go through some intense action moments as you traverse through iconic monuments and memorable places while hunting down threats and helping Agent Kelso and others recover D.C. The campaign doesn’t seem to have lasted the full promised 40-hours, as I ran through most of the missions fairly quickly and ended it in about 20-hours time played. Yet, this is a campaign that I would definitely play through all over again.

While encountering the storyline, you will meet new and improved enemies that are far more lethal than the ones we faced in New York in The Division. They will try to flush you out with grenades, rockets, and Molotov cocktails. They will suppress your position with heavy weapons fire, charge at you with melee weapons, flank you, or even lock you down with foam to make you an easy target. With so many variations of enemies and ways that they approach, you have to stay on your toes to avoid being utter overwhelmed in this game. This becomes even more intense and challenging when you encounter the end game faction: The Black Tusk. These enemies are geared to the teeth with advanced weaponry that will require good precision and teamwork to push back.

Overall, the world feels more alive in The Division 2 compared to its predecessor. You will see allies walking about, they’ll talk to you, they’ll scavenge for resources, and when some baddies happen to come near, they will engage in the fight to take them out. In case you’re wondering, these allies aren’t something to scoff at, they actually do reasonable damage to enemies and prove crucial in clearing areas.

In addition to this, enemy factions will also fight amongst themselves, which can allow you to get some easy experience by cleaning up whoever manages to survive the skirmish. Aside from the NPCs you have various control points that you must take back to help areas nearby thrive and the denizens of the area feel safer to move about. You also have contaminated zones which give some great insight on the devastation that has befallen Washington D.C. and also poses as a grim reminder of what has been lost as well.

There is a lot of content to experience both during the grind and when you get to the end game. In addition to Control Points, you also have Settlement projects, Bounties, Side missions, Conflict (organized PvP), Dark Zone (open-world PvP), Echoes, Phones, Clan objectives, Contaminated Zones, and Snitch Cards to keep you busy for hours, all of which are explained below.

  • Settlement Projects: Missions that require players to complete a series of three tasks which can vary from donating gear to eliminating yellow bar enemies to progress. Once completed, the project offers experience, gear, and some of then offer specific bounties.
  • Control Points: These are areas that are originally taken over by specific factions. In order to claim them back you must first eliminate the enemies to reclaim the point, then you must defend the point to keep it from enemy control. Once reclaimed you’re given access to a supply room where you are given upwards of 5 chests that hold crafting supplies and gear. Every 24 hours you’re able to come back and reclaim gear from these suppl rooms. Also to keep the Control Point safe, you need to donate Food, Water, and Components (which you find out in the world) to keep the point stocked and the NPCs in good condition.
  • Bounties: Upon receiving a bounty either through a random NPC in the world, Otis (who you recruit for the White House), or settlement projects, you’re given 15 minutes to enter the area of the specified target. Once you enter the zone, you then have to eliminate all the enemies to draw out the main target. Upon taking them out, you’re given experience and items which could be crafting, armor, or weapons.
  • Side missions: These missions offer up a decent amount of experience as well as a decent enough challenge to complete. Most side missions give you access to crafting blueprints or they can be used to upgrade either the Campus or Theatre settlements.
  • Conflict: The “organized” PvP which has two teams of 4 battling it out in either Skirmish (a team deathmatch variant) or Domination (control the points). In Skirmish the team to eliminate the life pool of the opposing team wins. In Domination the team that has that either has the most points after time is up or manages to hit the point cap first wins.
  • Dark Zone (DZ): The “open world” PvP is separated into the three distinct zones this time around, with 2 DZs being normalized (everyone has equalized stats) and 1 compromised DZ where there’s no normalization. In the DZ you will traverse through various terrains looking for either other players to engage in PvP with or search for loot to extract out to add to your arsenal. The DZ is a very intense play to play because at any moment you could be shot at by another player or ambushed by powerful NPCs.
  • Echoes/Phones: These collectibles that are scattered about Washington DC give more insight into what’s been going on within DC in a way that the story doesn’t. Echoes give players a glimpse into the past with an actual 3D display of a small area with the people of interest, whereas phones are just a snippet of recordings left behind by various people.
  • Clan Objectives: These missions are to be done collectively and garner great rewards for the entire clan once completed. The objectives vary from deconstruction of items to completion of specific factional missions. Once completed your guild earns loot chests and experience.
  • Contaminated Zones: These areas or restricted from access to the general public, but within them are reminders of what happened in the area. In contaminated zones you will find phones, echoes, crafting supplies, and gear. Once you explore the entire zone, you will be given experience as well.
  • Snitch Cards: In The Division, we had world bosses who spawned in specific areas of the map and players could hunt them down. Snitch cards is an overhaul of that system and has players in The Division 2, having to hunt down 52 named enemies, from each of the enemy factions. Upon defeat they drop gear and a card, collecting all 13 cards of the set garner players credits and experience.

As you complete each piece of content you get loot, which is expansive in itself. You have many variations of weapons and armor to look for and with the different perks and brands that come with the gear, you’ll be working to mix and match the perfect gear loadout to compliment your weapons. The loot in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is pretty much free-flowing, you can get it from everywhere, missions, side missions, vendors, bounties, world bosses, control points, and enemies themselves. Your gear impacts gameplay because you level up you need to find stronger weapons that can deliver the swift punishment you seek to dish out. Also, you need to up a gear as you get into the end game as you’ll need to hit specific Gear Score requirements in order to move through the world tiers which in turn leads to stronger variations of gear.

Though Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is a much better game overall, there are still some hiccups that hinder gameplay. Namely, with the matchmaking. At times, finding people to play with can take a very long time, resulting in either soloing the mission or waiting until some friends or clan members hop online and run with them. Running missions in a party is beneficial two-fold: 1) you have more enemies to eliminate thus resulting in more experience and loot drops and 2) you will have someone to help revive you when you are downed. There is also annoying terrain clipping that can result in you dying because you tried to either get into cover or run away and your character gets snagged,  ends up going nowhere, but downed.

Lastly, Group Scaling is also an issue. Now, I know this was put in place to help make the content fair for everyone, but the fact that even with the normalization and “level buff” an under-leveled player for the content still ends up feeling more like a liability than an asset. They become a liability because even though they’re pushed to match the highest player level they’re still not “geared” properly to handle the content. This affects gameplay because when in a group enemies become stronger and more of them come out too.

Having an under-leveled player in your team means that they’ll need to use more bullets and more healing than the other player(s) who are closer to the highest player’s level. This aspect has forced both myself and some friends at times to end up just sitting in the way back taking a couple of shots when possible, hoping that the AI doesn’t pay us any attention or else we’re getting shot twice and down or knocked unconscious.

In the end, I recommend Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 to anyone who is looking for a good looter-shooter to get into or is a fan of the first game in the series. It’s definitely content packed and is slated to have even more added in the future, with a raid coming fairly soon.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 does some things great, a lot of things good, and a few things bad, but with the team over at Massive Entertainment having proven their transparency and that they are on top of issues, I can tell that the game will only get better as it ages.

The Division 2
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL; DR

The Division 2 does some things great, a lot of things good, and a few things bad, but with the team over at Massive Entertainment having proven their transparency and that they are on top of issues, I can tell that the game will only get better as it ages.