After months of having the exclusive status for those who purchased the Gold and Ultimate editions of the game, the sequel for Tom Clancy’s The Division is available to play starting with March 15th. We were already writing about the development process of this game, but now we have the full version ready for testing.
The story takes place months after the events of the first Division. Chaos and mayhem still rule over what is left of the United States, especially Washington. All the governmental forces and administration evacuated the city leaving it to paramilitary groups which are up to no good at all. Meanwhile, remaining citizens group together in order to survive and somehow reinstate self-sufficiency. The player is in the role of a secret sleeper agent of the Strategic Homeland Division, and his role is to help Washington civilians to uphold the law and restore order and security in the society.
This task sounds a bit overwhelming, even for The Division veterans, but once you get the hang off the floor progression it’s quite easy to immerse yourself in the game. There are several smaller things added to the sequel, which will make for lots of missions and tutorials for the first couple of hours. Some players might find that too aggressive, but consider that as a necessary evil in order to understand the way the game functions.
The main selling point of Division 2 is apparently how much is the world feels alive and cohesive. All the structures and communities are vivid and full of life. At first, it’s a little frustrating to build complex settlements but it pays off when you see that they come out at something that would easily work in real life too. Everything is there, from dedicated areas for logistics to untidy nature of the settlement that looks like everything will fall apart at the slightest breeze. The plot of the game goes quite simply toward the strengthening of the domestic forces by rescuing crucial people and property. In order to do that you will have to go to various Washington landmarks and to shoot a large number of people. Your actions are roughly divided into two main categories: helping individuals out and gathering the resources.
By accomplishing missions you will be able to craft better gear and to reach more vendors, but also you will see the settlements gradually grow and become more vivid. Most of these changes are mechanically useless, but they make wonders for your motivation to go forward.
Outside in the open world, enemy gangs are crawling everywhere, trying to survive on their own. There are also occasional friendly NPC patrols which have their own objectives you can help them with. The existence of characters and organizations with their own agenda provide the world with the feeling of authenticity.
Once you get out of settlements in order to look for the mission, the game will literally dump a ton of them on your head, which will make you spend more time in the open world, returning to settlement only when you accomplish all of them. And that’s where we come to the second selling point of this game, and that’s gunplay. The gun combat is similar to Borderlands, with RPG-like system behind every collision of the bullet and the body. The sequel managed to correct the biggest inconsistency from the original game and that is the unreasonable durability of enemy soldiers. It is still far from ARMA levels of realistic, but at least we don’t have enemies withstanding the whole barrage in the chest, Terminator-style.
It is apparent that this game is a huge upgrade compared to its predecessor. It has a great sense of progression, the settlements feel alive, and combat is challenging and compelling. It is definitely one of the most ambitious RPG shooter MMO hybrids, and it’s great to see the effort of developers to make something fresh out of familiar ingredients.