When the orig­i­nal Divi­sion launched, I thought it was rather enjoy­able. Run­ning through the dirty streets of New York, tak­ing down fac­tions caus­ing destruc­tion through­out the city, or search­ing dis­ease rid­den, aban­doned build­ings. It was a dif­fer­ent kind of third-per­son shoot­er, with inter­est­ing ele­ments.

Near­ly two years after The Division’s launch and we’re about to see a sequel release.

That being said, Mas­sive just shut the doors on The Divi­sion 2 closed beta. Being that I was a fan of the orig­i­nal, I came into the beta with par­tial­ly rose-col­ored glass­es. I got excit­ed when I spot­ted my first ene­mies out­side the White House, look­ing for­ward to the fight.

How­ev­er, when I start­ed com­bat, I noticed the same prob­lems that the orig­i­nal had:

  • Weapons have a ridicu­lous amount of recoil, to the point were burst fir­ing is the only way to real­ly be accu­rate.
  • Pis­tols are almost com­plete­ly unnec­es­sary
  • Ene­mies are still bul­let-sponges
  • Mov­ing from cov­er to cov­er feels slow and cum­ber­some
  • The default but­ton lay­out makes it irri­tat­ing to do cer­tain actions dur­ing com­bat

It’s not just the com­bat that feels so famil­iar. The envi­ron­ment rings very sim­i­lar to the first. Streets are filled with all sorts of trash, cars are strewn about, build­ings look almost iden­ti­cal and scaf­fold­ing all over that forms ran­dom plat­forms.

The ene­mies appear to have the same man­ner­isms and the yel­low Elite’s are just mas­sive bul­let sponges. There is still a lack of mechan­ics when it comes to the tougher adver­saries. Also, when you or a team­mate goes down, every ene­my decides to push for­ward and shoot your body (just like before). Since they take so much dam­age to elim­i­nate, it can be dif­fi­cult to revive a team­mate while in a downed stat­ed. Typ­i­cal­ly, your friend will just die and you can revive them from death, but it’s incred­i­bly slow.

Aside from all the sim­i­lar­i­ties and just basic annoy­ances (for me), the Divi­sion 2 did get some things right this go around.

While you explore D.C., there are plen­ty of new world activ­i­ties to come across. In the time roamed around the map, we came across sev­er­al Con­trol Points, an incom­ing Sup­ply Drop (which we had to fight over) and a few oth­ers I can’t quite remem­ber the names of.

One that real­ly stands out is the Con­trol Points. These points are occu­pied by ene­my fac­tions and once you clear them, a Sup­ply Room opens up to loot. You can also use a flare gun to call sup­port to you if you’re strug­gling with the point. Once your con­trol it, you can fast trav­el to that point at any time.

This is prob­a­bly one of the best addi­tions to the game. Before, you could only fast trav­el to Safe Hous­es, which was a slow process. Now that you can trav­el to a space that isn’t con­fined to a build­ing, it makes it eas­i­er to get around the map.

There are also new areas called Set­tle­ments. These are occu­pied by allies, but are usu­al­ly in some sort of trou­ble. You can recruit cer­tain peo­ple from these Set­tle­ments to assist you at your Base of Oper­a­tions.

The Base of Oper­a­tions is a con­fus­ing place. On one side, I real­ly appre­ci­ate that you can now run through the entire Base with­out hav­ing to slow to crawl to get out. On the oth­er, it’s inter­nal lay­out is chaot­ic. Ven­dors, the craft­ing sta­tion and the Quar­ter­mas­ter are squished togeth­er right at the front of the White House.

There are new Skills and Perks, some of them are rehash­es of Skills from the Divi­sion, like the Seek­er Mine. We were only allowed access to three Skills, but were able to unlock as many perks as we could afford.

The same cur­ren­cy is required to unlock new Perks and abil­i­ties for your Skills. It’s def­i­nite­ly eas­i­er to obtain the tokens nec­es­sary to unlock every­thing. Get­ting mate­ri­als is also eas­i­er, as when you open a ran­dom bag on the street you’ll get mul­ti­ples of the same mate­r­i­al.

All and all, The Divi­sion 2 feels more like one and half, with slight upgrades. In fact, most of the adjust­ments made could have been qual­i­ty of life improve­ments to the first one. How­ev­er, since it is a beta, there’s a chance big changes will come before the launch of The Divi­sion 2 on March 15th.