Tom Clancy’s The Division came out in 2016 to favourable reviews from both critics and the rest of us, who are rarely fearful to say what we think in gaming, and so there’s a lot of excited hope with The Division 2 and, thankfully, Ubisoft have followed up with a sequel that’s both easy to delve into and get caught up in accordingly, but also it occurs with such effortlessness and style, that it’s surprisingly refreshing.
For Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, New York fell some 7 months ago and the world has devolved into a state of chaos, with an opening sequence that echoes Chris Nolan’s Interstellar, and after that intro to the general meltdown of society – all told in flashback, like those classic historic recaps – ‘our’ world has begun to rebuild. The Division, this is what you’ll be part of, is here to try and restore balance and order. With everything set in a dystopian Washington, I’m sure there’s some subtle reflection of a certain Presidency going on, you are a Division agent who’ll assist your team during this last hours of society that’s sitting precariously on the precipice of collapse.
These early stages are important in setting up an atmosphere for all that’s ‘yet to come’ and graphically and creatively, it’s certainly impressive from the offset. As briefly mentioned, there’s got to be some stability for the future of the planet and command comes in the shape of you. This is done after you mould your own avatar, based around random ‘people’, that lets you develop a super-improved self-image, achieved by creating your character from all the available options, as many games do these days.
I, of course, have increased in muscle mass and gained some rather ace Octopus-related tattoos. Moving on from that, it’s immediately evident that TD2 is all about cool guns and stealthily making your way across the city, taking out rogue groups of people known as ‘Hyenas’ and – again – collecting health, other people’s weapons and generally shooting people to progress. As you’re told in the early cut scenes, you’re the (clichéd) new sheriff in town. While this narrative idea isn’t complex (or that original) it doesn’t really change the enjoyment of the game or really matter to be fair, which is a win in itself.
In terms of what you can do to adapt and edit the game to your own desires, well, there’s little restriction from what I’ve discovered so far. Environments load easily, and (as expected) you can even have ‘directions’ with the classic waypoint setup. There are solid, inventive menus to scroll through, you’re able to turn on/off as much help as you wish as it all delves into a ultra modern ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ with additional character building fun and a wide range of weapons to use. It’s a classic in that sense.
My only qualms are over cut scenes, but that’s not limited to TD2, while they build a sense of character, I’m not sure what part they play in advancing much in this style of game. While you can hold down the square button (on PS4) to skip ahead, I almost wish they’d develop a cut scene of a cut scene for those wanting an even speedier route through the obvious stories of revenge and redemption. However, they don’t take up much time and I’ve enjoyed how you can just move on and get on with it. On the positive side, an extra dimension for your existence here is useful, even if it’s generally just learning another way to take down the villains as often as possible.
On the movement side, you can roam quite freely around your surroundings and, when doing this, you’ll seek out different settlements, obvious caches of health/weapons and also, as a tip, don’t forget to loot those you’ve taken out to defend your land or, at least, try to win back from the ‘baddies’. If you’re a regular with this type of game, I think you’ll find the flow reasonably quickly but this is also true if play less regularly. It’s a bit of an every-man game to drift in and out of, as long as you know your basics.
For me, Ubisoft are offering up a superb escapism that’s both simple enough to navigate and quick to learn. I’ve found a lot of similar games never give you a chance to get involved, whereas you’ll be shot down and killed before you’ve even had a moment to learn. With TD2, you’ve got enough objects/walls/vans and deserted towns to hide behind, beneath and near. If you need a moment to work that out, you’ve got the classic respawn as back up but my advice would be to find a spot to hide and get used to the new arena. Overall, the movement is smooth, the shooting responsive and the world wide enough to escape into, should you need to.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is a prime example of progression and keeping things simple. Despite a HUGE range of extra off-shoots of games, missions, possibilities and upgrades. This is pretty much Ubisoft’s GTA ‘Dystopia’, you’ve got your tasks and missions but whether you finish everything or not or probably dependent on how much you want out of the game, but it doesn’t mean you can’t play it if you’re into hitting every percentage of completion. I’ve been playing since the first week of digital release and while I’m currently immersed in the low percentages, that doesn’t mean I won’t return time and again plus, one more thing, there’s even an ‘inspired by The Division’ film in the works starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain!
(Additional: The Division 2 will have new content added regularly, including three episodes during the course of Year 1 that expands the story of The Division 2. These episodes introduce new narrative driven content and new ways to play the game. This additional content will be free for all players of The Division 2.)
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is available now on PS4: https://amzn.to/2U2jJ6c Xbox: https://amzn.to/2YbuySL and on PC: https://amzn.to/2OiJMku
New or need some helpful tips and tutorials? Just head here for some handy insight!