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.