This is an “in progress” review of The Division 2. The post will be updated as I progress through the game. In order to take the game through its paces, I’ve chosen to update my review every 10 levels for the campaign and then one final update for the endgame portion.
Update 1: From Zero to Angry Looking Asian Lady
For this first part of the review – levels 1 to 10 – I’ve chosen to play the campaign almost exclusively solo. The reason being that looter shooters such as The Division 2 so far haven’t fared well when it comes to their story and engaging players who choose to experience it on their own. I booted it up with expectations on the low side after having experienced the rollercoaster ups and downs of Destiny and Destiny 2’s inconsistent stories and solo content, Anthem’s decent yet not great attempt, and reading up on the original Division’s own struggles with solo player engagement. Turns out, I could have done with slightly more enthusiasm.
From the character creator, where my lethal Asian beauty fantasy came out more like a tattoo covered Asian version of Rambo, to level 10 has been non-stop action in my lone wolf state. After a quick tutorial mission that took me all the way to the White House, the titular group’s base of operations, The Division 2 didn’t pull any punches with the number of activities it threw my way. Story missions, side missions, reclaiming control points, opening up safe houses, and more are fully accessible and playable by anyone who wishes to simply play the game on their own. Even by simply taking a simple stroll outside, I’ve managed to partake in some mini-activities which yielded me some rewards for troubles. In many ways, The Division 2 feels like an open world game in the same vein as Grand Theft Auto and Spider-Man where the player gets to choose their fun.
The combat and gunplay have also been quite challenging at times. The AI is some of the best I’ve experienced in the genre as enemies don’t always just run up to you in open space (though, they tend to do so at times) but also attempt to flank you while you’re trying to take down a sniper from afar. Movement and cover are key to staying alive. The “bullet sponge” effect does still seem to be prevalent with mini-bosses and bosses despite the new armor system which intended to make gunfights more strategic. I’m still holding hope for some more interesting boss battles later in the game.
Stay tuned for the next update where I will be playing through the next 10 levels with some assistance from random players.