Tom Clancy's The Division 2 review - A 'veterans' perspective
The Division 2 launched almost 1 and a half year ago and still going strong.
As a long time “veteran” of the franchise, I thought it was finally time to write my personal review for the Stadia version of the game, and show people how it holds up to other games in its genre and how the Stadia version compares to the other versions and spoiler alert, it does well.
The Division 2
The Division 2 is a Looter Shooter which plays in a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.
It is the second game in the franchise and continues the story about 7 months after the first game. You play as a Division agent, working for SHD (Strategic Homeland Divion) you are the last line of defense for humanity.
Do not expect too much from the story, as with most looter shooters, it might feel a bit… bland. I would say The Division 2 is a bit of an exception. Even though there aren’t a lot of long dialogues or cutscenes. If you pay attention to the ones there are, and take time to get involved in the lore, the story of The Division is actually pretty interesting and well written.
Just do not buy this game for its story, because you will be disappointed.
As I said, getting involved with the lore will make it more interesting, as with a lot of looter shooters. The Division does this with audio logs, which can be found scattered around Washington as the so called ‘collectibles’. There are a lot of those, so for the real ‘completionists’ under us, there is plenty to do.
Where The Division really shines in my opinion, is in its gameplay and gunplay.
Compare it with other looter shooters and I would easily say The Division might be the best in is genre when it comes to gameplay and especially gunplay. The gunplay is fun and feels satisfying and after some updates 1 and a half year later, it has also become rewarding.
There are loads of weapons to try out, from shotguns to LMGs, from assault rifles to SMGs, name it and The Division has it.
The gameplay is where Massive Entertainment looked at the first game and really said “okay, what did we do wrong the first game and how do we improve?” and they did.
The Division 2 released with a lot of content and a dynamic world making it much more replayable. The looting is obviously one of the main aspects and has been greatly improved since launch, at launch the looting was a bit chaotic and the build variety was minimal. With a giant loot update called gear 2.0 that has mostly been fixed and The Division 2 offers a lot of looting and builds you can try out and play with. With 15 main missions and 4 so called strongholds, the main story is pretty packed. All missions are replayable on a higher difficulty for better loot and after having completed all missions the first time, The Division 2 brought us a surprise.
Invaded missions, after you complete all initial missions you are greeted with the last cutscene from the president and right after it finishes you see them. You are met with a new threat, the Black Tusk, which is the end game faction of The Division 2. All missions will be invaded and slightly changed.
The endgame is what it is all about, as Massive said themselves, they made this game and prioritized the endgame, which is clearly visible. The invaded missions are fun and challenging, and the extra story with it makes the endgame more enjoyable as well.
They did not stop here though, throughout the first year multiple missions where added with iconic locations such as the pentagon and even Koney Island near NYC.
Other than that, little actual replayable content was added throughout the post-launch content. Yes you can replay the missions, but after having played every missions atleast 20 times, they get boring and old.
So in year 2, the focus has all been on replayable content, year 2 started with a DLC which brought us back to NYC to fight an old villain from the first game, and added seasons, which are periods of 3 months in which you hunt on specific rogue agents to reveal the location of their leader. These have been really fun missions and made the game much more replayable. Massive has also announced a new gamemode, called Summit.
In Summit you have to fight yourself up a flight of 100 floors to defeat the ‘ultimate threat’ at the top. You can replay this as much as you want, and all floors and enemy spawn locations will be randomized so it will never be the same.
Division 2 on Stadia
The Division 2 released in March 2019 on PS4, XBOX One and PC, and in March 2020 on Stadia, so that is a full year later. How has it been holding on against the other platforms?
Well, simple answer: amazingly
Long answer: The Division 2 on Stadia shows that Massive cared about this port, they did not simply port it and release it, they made sure it worked and ran well.
With a standard resolution of 1080p the game runs at 60fps, which is definitely needed for a fast paced game like The Division. But when playing on for example the CCU the game runs at a 1800p upscaled to 4k resolution, but also 60fps. The game feels smooth, the controls feel nice and it looks fantastic. I compared it with PC on ultra a while back and without doing too much in-depth research, I would say it plays at some settings on medium, such as shadows, but most other settings between high and ultra. Comparing it to ps4 and xbox one, clearly shows the Stadia version looks better and feels better. On top of that the game also has crossplay with PC which is easily the largest Division 2 community which makes matchmaking pretty much go instant.
The Division 2 launched with a lot to do and lots of content, since than it has been greatly improved but mostly for the likes of endgame players. Massive has the great ability to listen to the community and deliver, which is what they have been doing for 2 years now.
The Division 2 is easily one of the best, if not the best in its genre and manages to hold a pretty solid playerbase even after almost 2 years since release.
The gameplay is fun, the gunplay is satisfying and the looting system simply works, the build variety is easily the best in the looter shooter scene and with the latest “loot generosity” update, almost comes over as a sandbox in which you can try and play with different builds.
If you like looter shooter games, and are not easily bored by “loot grinding” I would definitely recommend checking out The Division 2. Not only is it one of the best and finished games on Stadia, it also is in its own genre.
5 / 5
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