As I walk the streets of Washington DC you can see the devastation that has hit a once great city, it’s not long before I’m ambushed by a group known as ‘The Hyenas’, they show no mercy. I dive into cover thinking I’ll be safe but Ubisoft have been working hard to make the sequel even better, now the AI are ready for a fight, before I know it I’m being flanked by a huge bastard with a flamethrower and I’m dead before I know it.
The Division 2 is a hard slog for the single player, thankfully you can always call for help from anyone else playing, you’ll often get requests for backup and you’ll be thrown in to help the fight. Enemies aren’t the bullet sponges they were, but this time round they are tough and armed with an impressive set of weapons, including a remote control car with saw blades that can ruin your health.
The fun is in teaming up as a squad of four, there is a huge amount to do aside from the Main and Side missions, Control Points dotted around the map help the local fighters gather resources while random events such as Hostage rescues and Bounties often pop up waiting for your assistance. Even if you aren’t all at the same level, the game will adapt everyone’s level to meet the highest ranked player in the group, which is a big improvement on the original as you can actually join in rather than hide in cover the whole time.
At anytime you can call for backup and at the beginning of each mission you can matchmake with other players so you don’t have to go it alone, having played over 80 hours and gone through missions with all sorts of randoms I’m pleased to say I haven’t encountered any idiots, everyone is working towards a common goal and it’s great. The matchmaking can be slow at times, but once you have initiated it you can begin the mission and players will drop in eventually.
Washington DC is full of surprises, there is so much to explore and because of this all of the missions and side missions feel unique, you’ll visit many recognisable locations from the famous museums and landmarks in the city, however moving from A to B will see you encounter random events and enemies to take on. Sometimes it works out well, and you’ll carry on your journey but the odd times you are outgunned and die, you’ll need to respawn to a safe house or safe locations which can sometimes be quite far away and after dying a few times in a row trying to get to same location can be really frustrating.
There are great range of enemies that have all sorts of abilities that require you to be smart in combat, some will deploy drones, others have remote control vehicles that’s explode when they reach you. Some enemies are more aggressive and will run at you to engage in close combat while snipers will keep back and sometimes fire ammo that will force you out of cover.
Of course you have a huge Arsenal at your disposal, whatever your playstyle there is a weapon class available for you. You’ll also unlock gadgets during your play through by collecting SHD caches. Turrets, drones and special grenades will assist you and your teammates. You can build different loadouts if you want to group different weapons together and of course each weapon can be have mods attached to them, these can be crafted if you have the blueprints or discover the mods in the different loots you’ll discover in DC.
Dark Zones are back and they are much improved, this time round everyone is fair game, weapons and armor are balanced, but there is also the Occupied Dark Zone, which is where you will need to stay alive based on the strength of the gear you have gathered. It’s here where you’ll get some of the best loot in the game, if you can extract it without being ambushed.
With the amount of things to do in the game, you’ll easily earn enough XP to hit level 30 and the endgame content, it’s here where the game really starts to get tough, brand new enemies arrive that are tougher and more aggressive than you will have experienced and rather than levelling up you’ll work your way up through World Tiers, to do this you’ll need to complete the missions and stronghold within each tier. You’ll also need to make sure you have a high enough gear score to unlock the stronghold.
Graphically, The Division 2 looks incredible, the work that Ubisoft have put into Washington DC is exceptional not only does the city look great but inside the various missions you play you’ll find it hard not to appreciate the effort that has been put into the environment.
The game isn’t perfect, I’ve often fallen out of the environment and had to restart a mission or try to kill myself, enemies on the street will pop in from nowhere, the UI is really confusing at times, the game isn’t always great at explaining itself.
Despite that, I love this game, it’s The Division I wanted the first time round. There is so much to do and it’s fun doing it, Ubisoft are actively listening to fans and working to fix any issues with the game and with a years worth of content being lined up I can’t wait to continue my journey in DC.