The Division 2 – Preview
Follow Genre: Open World Third Person Shooter
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

The Division 2 – Preview

Good: Stunning visuals, strong gameplay mechanics remain, new skills and perks
Bad: Graphical setbacks, Beta limitations
User Score
9.1
(8 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.1/10 (8 votes cast)

As the launch is coming closer, we finally get our hands on the private Beta of The Division 2. After playing numerous hours on the previous game, the rich community and our writing staff are very curious if Ubisoft will succeed to release another hit with the sequel of this franchise. Now with the private Beta we get the chance to put our first steps in Washington DC and experience the new story, gameplay mechanics and environments. We redeemed our key, downloaded the Beta and fired it up with big expectations.

As the story in The Division 2 continues from the first part, we land in the capital Washington DC where a civil war is not far away cause of the virus outbreak that started in New York seven months ago. As result of the outbreak the main capital was hit by violent riots that forced the security forces to evacuate. The supply lines were cut off and nobody could go in or out anymore. Survivors made their own communities and strongholds while criminals organized their own factions. The Hyena’s, The Outcast’s and the Rogue Division Agents to name a few of those uprising factions, each have their own units and habits. You play as a member of The Division group who are sent as a last hope for the capital. Your assignment is to maintain the security of the survivors and their strongholds, repel attacks from the faction members and save the nation from a total collapse.

After the impressive intro cutscene you have to possibility to create your character. After selecting the right customization options, which are decent like in the first game, you will start in the capital to reclaim the White House. From the beginning you will notice the total change of environment in contrast with New York. Although the playable map doesn’t look larger than the first game, you have the feeling that the levels are more open thanks to a more diverse setting that Washington DC has to offer. Despite the game plays most of the time on street level, you will visit some open areas and interesting places like the crash site of the legendary airplane Air Force One. These environments look great and diverse but it will make the combat harder and more tactical. The more natural setting causes that your enemies blend much more into their surroundings, which makes them harder to spot. Especially at night the visibility is very limited with the absence of a night vision goggle. The overall presentation has been improved thanks to the Snowdrop Engine with detailed explosions and waving smoke effects. But common for every Beta you will notice some raw edges and texture pop-in but these aren’t very disturbing and hardly affect the gameplay.

Gameplay wise The Division 2 offers the same movement, cover and looting style from the first game which still work very well. But now they added some new features around the firm working gameplay that will affect your play style and tactics. One of those features is the addition of armor for your character. This armor needs to be depleted before your health goes down. In the Beta you can test some existing skills like the turret and the ability seek out mines. Every skill has different options like the turret can be used as a sniper where you can manually tag the targets if they are in range. For the first time you can play with the drone that can be used for healing but also serves as a decoy. The available skills were limited to three but using them was pretty fun to plan some different tactics. Like the first game you will level up your perks, which can vary between an extra primary weapon, an extra grenade and so on. The AI has generally been improved which makes camping less effective. The suppressing and flank abilities of your enemies are pretty decent which force you to move constantly. The weaponry has also received some changes in contrast with the previous game. Shotguns and light machine guns are improved to suppress your enemies easier. Meanwhile scout rifles need a stationary cover to get a clear shot. Assault rifles and submachine guns feel remarkably the same as in the first game.

While writing this preview the endgame update was released to experience the new class specialization. After hitting level 30 you can develop your character to a sharpshooter, demolition expert or a survivalist that has their own impact on your play style. The feared Dark Zone has been divided into three areas, each having their own setting. Dark Zone East is more military based while West has a more residential setting. In The Division 2 these Dark Zones will become Player vs Environment areas where you have to find a base to start up so you can explore further to find better loot and encounter more powerful enemies. Ubisoft chose to separate the Player vs Player action and implemented the Conflict mode that will offer the known Skirmish and Domination matches. If these changes offer enough for the players who progressed through the campaign remains questionable.

Conclusion

Despite the short playable period of the Beta the overall experience of The Division 2 left us wanting more than this short fix. Discovering and looting new items, weapons and armor remains interesting and rewarding. The sudden change of the Dark Zones and the added PvP modes sound promising but we have to wait and see how it develops. The presentation and environments look stunning and affects how you’ll have to play the game. Despite some graphical setbacks and the limited usable skills, we can’t wait to play the full game.

The Division 2 will be launched on the 15th of March on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The players who pre-ordered the Gold, the Ultimate or the Phoenix Shield edition will have a three-day early access to the game.

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.1/10 (8 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Division 2 - Preview, 9.1 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
Ruben
Ruben


Huge Gundam Fan - Horror and Sports are my thing.

2 Comments

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Time to break Washington!
    February 13, 2019, 10:22 pm

    […] Washington! Not too long ago, The Division 2 had its most recent closed beta, which we reported on here. But now it is time for the general public to see what they can do to the city. Starting of where […]

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  2. […] as well as better use of multicore processors and asynchronous calculations. You can find our preview right […]

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