We are alone and doomed to oblivion, between destruction, death and no one who can save us. The condemnation of the survivors of a catastrophe of abnormal dimensions is this- to find oneself in a world that knows nothing but violence and primordial division into clans. Unlike in the past, firearms, hand grenades and much more are used here to come out as winners in the climate of constant struggle that reigns in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Ubisoft’s new title that continues the story of the first eponymous chapter, three years later and resuming post-apocalyptic tones with a clearly cinematic matrix.
We have in hand an open world action genre RPG that does not differ much from what the saga to which it belongs has promised so far- so many shots in the barrel ready to be fired, so much exploration and quality in the graphic and stage that they try to repair to the false steps made by great promises of the same kind, like the previous Fallout 76 and Anthem. We have not waited any more and we have taken up arms to throw ourselves headlong into the adventure, of which we will tell you the details immediately!
The Division 2 narrates the events that take place in the shadow of the obelisk in front of the White House in Washington DC after a terrible pandemic has shocked the United States and the capital is on the verge of collapse. Civil society is threatened by anarchy and instability and the rumors of a possible coup d’état make it fall even more do nothing but make all that is left in the world sink into chaos. We are part of a division with other active agents to contribute to the defense of the city before it is too late- we are the last line of defense of civil society able to face this new threat, or at least that is what we hope for.
So let’s get to the heart of the gameplay, becoming a real part of our division, where the task is clear- to help the local community in an attempt to free the streets from the threat of armed gangs and the viral aftermath of the so-called “Green Poison”. Let’s start by completing one mission after another, descending into the midst of an atmosphere halfway between the discipline and the intransigence of the military world and the anxiety to survive a hostile reality. From a purely technical point of view, The Division 2 is an online multiplayer title, which allows us to choose between a single player or cooperative mode with at least 4 other players of ours, as well as extending narrative ramifications in different directions.
On the one hand we can choose to live a story-driven campaign with longevity that is quite good and satisfying; on the other we have the Endgame mode, that is a good twenty additional hours, where the city of Washington is again thrown into crisis by the invasion of the Black Tusk faction, representing the most elite enemy we can meet. Unlockable only from level 30, we will be able to have access to this part of the game, also obtaining one of the three Specializations, to simplify things at least in part and choosing between Sharpshooter, Survivalist, and Demolitionist. That said, the difficulty is truly remarkable in this section, which is why it is advisable, but not mandatory, to face the strongest factions with a team of allies ready to take up arms with us.
A thousand and one history
These will not be the only threats- even existing factions in campaign mode will become even more difficult to defeat, without forgetting the intense PvP battles and discovering three different Black Zones, areas of the city that have remained unexplored for months. These mysterious closed sections of Washington offer an intense PvEvP experience, in which anything can happen and no one can be trusted, but the Skirmish and Domination modes, to play 4 against 4, are no less important. There are so many stories to meet the preferences of players who can’t wait to shoot at enemies.
As can be imagined, we can look at the game without the colored lens of the narration itself, a sweetener of what is the real core of the gameplay– cartridges and bombs can no more. The Division 2 promises to be a series of high-resolution backgrounds but always offering the same game dynamics. The high repetition rate in the basic features is a fairly common flaw for the titles of this genre, where the story behind is sometimes just an excuse to set up the structure of a shooter and distinguish it from the others. Apart from this aspect, the defects themselves in The Division 2 are not many, on the contrary- we are dealing with a product with technical qualities of obvious quality, where synchronization does not waste time and we can enjoy movements and steps performed in agility, without bugs or service interruptions. The game servers have been populated since March 15, the day of the official launch, but previously the capacities and numbers of the participants were not at all unsatisfactory.
Having to look after enemies with a numerically massive presence, we are facilitated by a small summary screen that remains adherent to the body of our character throughout the game, showing both vital values, ammunition and available weapons. This trick undoubtedly facilitates us in the management of the game, deciding the next move to be made without using too much, or invading the visual. It would have been better if the viewfinder was a little more evident on the screen and helped us to knock down the enemies, often positioned at such a distance that precision becomes crucial to take home the victory. An objective that is not always easy to achieve, especially if we rely on the saying “who does it by himself, does it for three”: fend for ourselves can prove to be a difficult choice and with many complications, a situation to which we can cope by changing the weapons at our disposal.
Explosive graphic quality
Analyzing the game settings, the team has kept an eye on the technical customization and of our avatar, going to exploit both the connection with our Ubisoft account (if we had one), and using all the capabilities offered by our console. Not only can we set subtitles and relative sizes, dubbing language and the possibility of activating or not the speaker of our controller, but we also see how the basic settings of the character we are going to drive are derived from the Ubisoft account, starting from the genre male or female. Almost everything can be customized in the menu of our avatar, from the gradation of skin tones to spots and scars on the face, up to clothing, tattoos and more. Although the list is well fed, we admit that it has not always been easy to observe the variations of our virtual alter ego, especially with regard to the change on the face: the position of the head that does not rotate properly when we decide particular, assuming a non-frontal angle.
Apart from this small flaw, the rest of the graphics section enjoys a really good quality and lives up to the title in question- right from the introduction we notice a taste of clear cinematic and scenic mold that manages to strike the emotions and hit with the images and storytelling methods that can only be exciting and in step with the best scripts of a Hollywood film. From the earliest scenes, both the direction and the graphics have a not inconsiderable charm from them, confirming the evolution of the videogame medium and declaring it as a companion almost equal to cinematography- slow motion mode in videos, excellent lettering, effective introduction thanks to the voice-over narrator are the fundamental ingredients that lay the foundations for an engaging start, a lasting effect in the scenic sequences of the game.
A game that does not intend to run out here, as it is quite reasonable for it to be- new free content will be released in the game regularly throughout the first year from launch, for a renewed long-term experience. The Pass of the Year 1 will give access to 365 days of exclusive additional content, without forgetting the free ones, available and constantly updated. The Division 2 has remarkable longevity, perhaps a little redundant in the long run and a narrative in itself that is not too compelling or articulate, but that manages to keep the attention and taste of challenging oneself and others high a reality that is at times apocalyptic, at times probable.