I fell in love with The Division. Running around the empty city of New York, trudging through snow in the coolest of outfits and firing guns that felt so good. Seriously, if The Division did one thing right, it was how awesome the weapons felt.
The Division 2 takes what its predecessor did well and adds a little more. This time, instead of New York, you’re in Washington DC. You’ve still got a Base of Operations to upgrade, echoes and cellphones to collect, and gear to change up your stats. But now there are new varieties in skills, settlements to help out and upgrade, and many many different factions and optional activities around the city.
The Division 2 has a bit of a slow start. It’s one of those games where you have to play it for a little while before you can truly appreciate the game and have fun. It isn’t until you start getting better weapons and gear and unlocking more skills and perks that you start to see how it sets itself apart from other shooters.
As an RPG, it gets the most important thing right: I feel like I’m a part of the world. Maybe not as ‘right’ as it could be, but I can actually see that my mindless killing around the city is actually improving the quality of life to the citizens of Washington DC. That sense of impact was something I found lacking in the previous game.
Apart from your Base of Operations there are citizen settlements which you help out. Finding batteries, claiming water sources, and taking art are just a few things you can see improve the Theatre Settlement, for example. The more missions you do, and the more you liberate the surrounding areas, the more the settlements look like homes filled with a hopeful people, as opposed to the drab and grey shelter it once was.
And that was the main reason I kept coming back as a solo player. Looking at the world and all the extra activities: armed hooligans roaming the streets, citizens being held hostage, and supply drops being stolen, there’s always something to shoot at as you stroll through Washington DC.
It’s a great game to play with friends. The Division 2 is made to be played with friends. With multiple skills to choose from, different gear changing your stats, and the ability to carry multiple loadouts makes this a team game, and a game that allows for many different play styles.
While I think the game would be better with friends, I’ve seriously been having fun! Building up the communities and watching them grow because of my efforts is really cool. It did take a while to get there, but it’s totally worth it all if only to see moments like this: