I had a lot of expectations for Tom Clancy’s The Division when it released in 2016. A post-apocalyptic game that I could play with friends that didn’t feature zombies crawling the world was a breath of fresh air for the genre. However, although it was fun to run around the streets of New York with friends, The Division didn’t truly get the updates that it needed until well into its life. It was the community of players that shaped the game and pushed the developers to create a product that everyone could be proud of and enjoy.
With Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 nearing release, those expectations of mine are raised as the fight heads to Washington D.C. I fully expected the developers to bring their experiences from the original Division and put that towards The Division 2. However, not only does the team have to meet the expectations of fans that enjoyed the original Division, but they need to bring more to the game if they hope to impress fans with the new features they can bring to the game. Thankfully, during my time in the game’s Open Beta, I found most of my interest was put towards the game’s environments that varied and showed how much detail this team put into immersing players in the post-apocalyptic world.
The Open Beta allowed players to take on the beginning of a grand adventure through the deserted streets of Washington D.C. The capital is running low on support and they have recruited, you, the player to help out on the offense’s front. Following these initial scenes, it’s missions as usual. Players who have played The Division will feel right at home in these early areas as it doubles as the base of operations for the player to upgrade their skills and abilities.
Throughout the Open Beta, players can enlist others to do things around the base like craft materials and upgrade systems. Although this feature will be expanded on in the final game, it was nice to know that players will be able to look forward to their base growing over the course of the game. Similarly, the Open Beta teases the player with other skills that they could look forward to during the game. Although this was interesting to explore in the Open Beta, I know that this is only a glimpse of what players can expect from the final game. So with that said, I can only say that the early game offers a lot for the player to discover, but it’s best to not judge a game like this based on the early missions and gameplay because it’s the late gameplay that will prove how good this game can be.
What I’d like to touch on in this impressions piece is the attention to detail that the developer put into the game’s world. The rummaged files and litter that clutters the in-game buildings and streets give the impression that people left these areas in a hurry. Furthermore, each mission takes you to various locations throughout the city, but surprisingly, I didn’t see a ton of reused assets within the missions themselves. Sure, there were some multiple barricades that we seem time and time again, but they don’t stand out much based on how varied each of the levels is.
Running through a TV broadcast station in one mission took me to multiple locations within the building including the roof. Each objective was tied to the overall missions and flowed naturally within the stage. This was all pretty impressive for me as someone who enjoys the immersion that these types of games provide. Sadly, I would like to add that the enemy variation is not as impressive as I thought it would be as I often fought off twins during a fight. Furthermore, I thought the stealth gameplay wasn’t anything spectacular, but then again, I didn’t find myself in any situations where stealing was crucial. Most of the time, missions revolve around cover-based shooting where it’s crucial for the player to constantly be moving to flank enemies.
Tom Clancey’s The Division 2 is shaping up to be a great successor to the original Division. Everything is present that I enjoyed about the first game and more as I feel like the characters, setting, and the premise is equally important as the game’s loot drop system.
We’ll for sure be there to jump in and experience the later portions of the game, but for now we really just wanted to take the time to appreciate the world that The Division 2 exists in and tip our hats to the design developers for crafting such an awesome experience for the player.
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