The Division 2 is a Game Changer: Here’s Why
The first Division game had rocky beginnings, but grew into a truly incredible gaming experience with a great combination of RPG and Shooter elements. It wasn’t without its flaws, however, so with The Division 2 coming in March, we’re going to be taking a look at exactly what’s changed. There are a whole host of gameplay improvements and some really good news about additional DLC content and end-game play. Let’s get started.
A New Battleground
Firstly, The Division 2 will change setting entirely. New York is great, and I’ll never tire of exploring the concrete jungle, but there’s only so much snow and debris you can take before you need a change. Fortunately, the Division 2 will be set in Washington.
Washington is a great choice for relocating the game space. Not only does it provide a richly political backdrop for the game’s narrative, but also some amazing set pieces. Imagine tearing it up around the Lincoln Memorial, or battling to keep ground at the White House. These are locations that are synonymous with military might and political intrigue, so they’re going to suit The Division 2 extremely well.
It’ll be really interesting to see where the team takes the story this time. The idea of an elite task force is a compelling one, but not particularly original. Nor was the first game’s virus epidemic. Nonetheless, they managed to deliver a really deep adventure in The Division 1, so it’ll be interesting to see what they decide to do with the narrative direction in its sequel. We know you’re going to be picking the pieces up after the disaster in Washington, but the scope for some really incredible stories there is massive.
New Story and Content at NO COST
Speaking of story, the developers have confirmed that there will be a full year of completely free DLC for The Division 2. That includes story updates, more content, weapons, unlocks, and locations at absolutely no cost whatsoever. It sounds like they’re taking the same route as Anthem’s developers, who are only going to charge for cosmetics.
This is absolutely great news, and it massively extends the value of the game at launch. Players who play from the start are not only guaranteed a full experience, but also one that will continue to evolve and stay fresh throughout the year. This game really has legs, and free DLC can only expand upon that. Value like this is great for the player community, too, who will be able to get invested without worrying about being stung later. Games like Destiny 2 famously divided their player base in 2018 with content updates that locked others out. In The Division 2, players will always be able to access the same content as their friends.
You can look forward to something new to do every 3 months, and you won’t have to convince your friends to purchase a season pass or expensive DLCs – you can all just jump right in, and that’s great.
A Broader Endgame with Choice
That’s not the only exciting thing for players looking to get their money’s worth from The Division 2, as players will also be able to look forward to a more diverse endgame. The first Division game suffered from a weak endgame at launch that gradually improved as more content was added. The developers seem to be avoiding making the same mistake again. Instead, players who hit the max level (30) will be given a choice of three specializations. These will come with new weapons and synergies, and can be leveled up separately.
There are three at launch, but it sounds like there might be even more to come. They are:
Survivalist: Survivalists can control their surroundings using traps and status effects. They are equipped with a precision crossbow as their signature weapon to take their targets down, even in the harshest of environments.
Demolitionist: Demolitionists are agents of chaos, focused on disrupting enemy plans and entrenched positions using a grenade launcher as their signature weapon.
Sharpshooter: A Specialization for Agents looking at taking their targets out, without them ever realizing what hit them. Sharpshooters can change the tide of a battle from afar using a powerful sniper rifle as their signature weapon.
Each of these specializations can be independently leveled and improved. You are also not locked into one after picking it, meaning players could eventually max out all three. That’s a lot of stuff to do, even before missions and DLC.
Stick or Twist?
The developers have also hinted that there will be a significant twist upon reaching endgame that should radically change the game-state. There are rumors that this could be tied to factions and the theme of either ‘going rogue’ or hunting down rogue agents, with ties to PvP. Clans, PvP, and Co-op are all still going to be in the game, too, so it will be interesting to see what kinds of decisions we have to make and how they might affect our previously-established relationships.
Are You Scared of the Dark?
We have also been told that the Dark Zone is back. Not only that, but we’ve been told that the developers have put the last two years of experience since the first game’s launch into practice and that the Dark Zone will be significantly better, though we don’t know what changes we might expect to see yet.
The Dark Zone was one of the least enjoyable parts of the first game for me, so I myself will be really interested to see exactly what they’ve come up with.
New Ground to Fight Over
There’s new locations to interact with too. Most notably, new ‘Control Points’ can be captured and established as ‘Settlements’, where NPC’s can effectively set up. These Settlements will require resources and support from you, but will grow and evolve as a result. Hopefully these will see an expansion of the main base area from the Division 1. I really enjoyed seeing my efforts materialise into changes in the world environment and being rewarded as a result was great too.
It really feels like the developers are embracing the ‘living world’ feeling that many others games are trying this year, and I think it’s a great fit for the Division 2. Seeing a war-torn Washington gradually rebuilt at our hands will be a really gratifying experience.
Bring Your Friends Along Too, All of Them
Eight player Raids are also confirmed, which will see big groups of players come together towards end-game to face extremely tough challenges. These larger raids will have much more scope for variety, and hopefully can play around with the group dynamic a little.
How cool would it be to have a raid where one of the players is designated as a rogue agent and could attempt to sabotage their friends while trying to keep cool? There’s a whole lot of scope with The Division to play around with loyalties and the group dynamic. Even just making the players interact in new ways with the larger raid groups would be great.
Quality of Life in the Apocalypse
Finally, the Division 2 will see some long sought-after quality-of-life changes added to the game. Enemies, for one, will be much less bullet-spongy. Time to kill will be lowered in an effort to reduce that odd feeling when unloading 200+ bullets into a human opponent and seeing them continue the fight. Bosses, meanwhile, will often appear covered in various forms of armor that will need to be knocked off before their health can be damaged.
This is a really elegant solution that remains congruent with the game’s narrative and also provides a challenge. Ultimately, we want tough bosses that feel rewarding to take down, but also make sense in the game world. Breaking armor pieces will provide an obvious visual cue that players can interact with without feeling like their belief has been suspended too greatly.
Meanwhile, the player will have more visual changes in The Division 2 as well. In the first game, often your character would end the game looking very similar to how they did at the start. That wasn’t really a problem, but it also didn’t feel great. In The Division 2, players will be able to unlock unique item sets in the late game that will significantly change how their character looks (and plays). I’m always an advocate for this in games, it makes you instantly recognizable as an achieved player. Someone can look at you wearing a certain armor set, and they’ll know that you’re an accomplished DPS sniper or a super tanky front-line. That’s handy, and cool.
Finally, looting items is going to be much easier, as well as managing your inventory space. The ability to deconstruct items when looting, as well as other options, will mean less running back and forth to your bases in order to manage inventory space. That means more time can be spent out enjoying the actual game. What’s not to love?
Overall, The Division 2 is shaping up to be the older, more mature big brother of the first game. It sounds like the developers have really listened to their player base and made improvements that matter. Some of them are bold decisions that will be interesting to see pan out, but it definitely seems like their hearts are in the right places.
That’s it for today’s introduction to the changes in The Division 2. This video also marks the beginning of regular Division content. So, if you’re interested, make sure to subscribe for more guides and other content coming up. Let me know which changes you’re most excited to see below in the comments section.
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I’ll see you next time for more gaming guides and news.