Story - 86%
Graphics - 92%
Audio - 90%
Gameplay - 81%
Replayability - 84%
The Strategic Homeland Division is back with Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment at the helms again. This time we go to Washington DC to respond to a distress call that was made over the SHD network. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 takes place seven months after the conclusion of the first game and it now takes the player to Washington DC. A whole new city to take back, defend and explore!
I was really happy to see that they changed some of the gameplay and have taken away the item quarantine bit of the first game. The game feels a lot more fluid and the story just keeps you glued to the screen. I could not wait to just run around, see the new locations and take on some Hyenas. Yes, the antagonists in The Divisions 2 are called the Hyenas. The review was done over both PC and XBOX so let’s jump into it.
Xbox One Gameplay:
The console gameplay works well, the control layout works with all the actions you can perform and comes naturally. There are tons of options that you can adjust to get the gameplay just right for your needs and soon enough it will feel effortless playing the game.
At times when you go on it alone, it can feel like the world is against you, as Hyenas can be around every corner. On the flip side though is that if you keep to it and battle your way through meter by meter you will soon reap the rewards and feel the accomplishment of clearing areas.
In the beginning you will need to play around a bit with the different weapon types to find your favourite. I had to swap and take some risks a few times to get my perfect weapon layout and once I found it started to cause havoc on a whole new level.
As we all know, shooters will generally be easier to play on PC than on console, and this aspect was great, however, I found the original key bindings to be very “non-traditional” and changed them almost immediately. The one thing I did experience a lot on PC was the responsiveness and cleanliness of transitions between cover, it was extremely intermittent and worked whenever it felt like it. The gameplay otherwise was easy and manageable, with very little confusion once I got my key binding to the perfect layout, there was no stretching and hand cramping here.
The HUD and navigation tiles are easy to use and understandable, the details were enough to understand but not too much as too bombard you with confusion. The only issue I had was with the tutorial and the constant interruption to gameplay, I felt like smooth transitioning and play to learn would have sufficed, i feel like most gamers hate tutorials that just aren’t as necessary as devs think.
The Division 2 really stepped up and delivered a new experience for gamers this round, don’t get me wrong, it wont change your mind if you didn’t enjoy the first one, however, the differences are noticeable in game style. There are 3 main attributes, damage, armour and skill power, skill power makes your skills more effective, damage you get from your weapons and gear can also contribute to damage with small bonuses. Armor you get from your gear and the bonuses you get from them can also improve your armour further. Skill power you get from gear bonuses. There are also gear sets, if you get more than one from a set you get more bonuses, and certain gear sets are tailored more to specific the 3 attributes.
Xbox One Graphics:
I do not own an Xbox One X so cannot comment on what the game will look like on the improved version of the console. On the normal Xbox One the game still looks gorgeous with a few flaws. At times when you enter a new area or respawned back at a safe house some of the textures, especially on walls have not completely loaded and it then looks like you are playing a FPS game form the 90’s. For graphic lovers this might become a little issue, but it does not take away from the gameplay at all.
I love how the city changes determined by the actions you perform and also the different things you unlock/source for locations. They made some good effort to create a living city which I think looks amazing. It is also great to have dynamic weather where anything can happen, and weather situations influence your gameplay and when and how you might take on certain things at a certain time.
Running the PC version on AMD RX 580 and NVIDIA GTX 1080, you can really notice the optimisations of the game and how well they have done in making this game details but playable. The game is simply beautiful and I experienced nothing but smooth gameplay once I sorted out the CPU issue I was having (THIS GAME EATS CPU SO BE WARNED). The PC rendering was far superior to that of console probably just the pure lack of power from console that didn’t help because the game is a serious processing power muncher.
Xbox One Conclusion:
If you know me, you would know that I am not the biggest Xbox fan, but I did not particularly feel at any time that I’m playing on an Xbox, the gameplay felt the same as if I was playing on my PS4 or PC; keeping in mind that obviously the controllers are different. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is a great step up from the first instalment and I feel that it will be a lot more successful. I’m definitely going to play the game for a while and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
The PC plays well and leaves a great taste in your mouth. The action never gets old and the constant strategy always keeps you on your feet. I think that the title really did well in spreading the same great quality gameplay and experience to both platforms and deserve a huge WOW from me.
Overall Conclusion: I just want to say that this is a massive game with many, many parts to it and this review is based on initial impressions and nowhere is experienced by end game. It is very difficult to write a review about a game like this that entails the entirety of the title because of the shear size of in game content but I am pleasantly surprised so far, I am loving this and 20 hours in and 1 review delay later (I tried to make sure I got enough content to actually judge fairly) I am happy to say that this is my new favourite looter shooter. The recent release of EA’s Anthem, has seen controversy and I think hat they should give Ubisoft a call because they nailed the real-time online looter shooter better than I have ever seen.
Reviewed on: PC & Xbox One
Release Date: 15 March 2019
Likes: Great improvements, Story is interesting.
Dislikes: Eats resources