The beta weekend for The Division 2 arrived and finished just like that. There have been rumors of an open beta hitting before launch, but for now we are stuck with the information at hand. I did not necessarily get to spend a whole lot of time in Washington D.C., but enough to form a few opinions thoughts of the game.
- Your surroundings are beautiful
I loved the snow covered setting of Manhattan the first Division went with. While it looked great, you can get away with hiding little details by covering it with snow. That’s not a knock on the original, just a note. The level of detail that has been added in The Division 2 is on a much higher level than the first game. The overgrown shrubbery, the deteriorating buildings, the cracking streets. Everything exudes the idea that a virus hit years ago and no one exists to maintain the environment.
- Gunplay is still fun
The Division 2 has what seems to be a large amount of customization and plenty of depth when it comes to building your agent through abilities and gear. But the star of the show should always be your weaponry and how it feels when you fire it. While Ubisoft still needs to fine tune some things, the guns you carry feel right. I started the game with my pistol equipped and it took me about five to ten minutes to realize I had an assault rifle strapped to my back to switch to. I may have totally missed it, but that is a testament to how well the pistol felt in those opening moments of the game.
- The Division 2 has a long ways to go before you play it for the story
My first real taste of the story came once I journeyed out to the Theater. I met Odessa Sawyer, the leader of the settlement who had lost her daughter to one of the gangs. My task was to meet up with another Division agent who had come through and with her help rescue this girl. While the mission itself was structured well (although it was ridiculously similar to an opening mission in the original Division), the mission dialogue fell very flat. I am not sure if it is the construction of the script or just the actors, but Odessa did not come off as a mother intensely worried about her daughter. Some games just get emotion right which draws you in, and while I understand online “MMO lite” games do not have to accomplish this, it can’t hurt to make an engaging story.
The Division 2 launches March 12th for the Ultimate and Gold editions, March 15th for all others on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.