The Division 2 Review | PS4, Xbox One, PC


Back when the original Division was released,
I enjoyed many aspects of it but ultimately it felt like for everything it got right,
something was wrong. In many ways, The Division 2 is a step above,
improving upon almost every single aspect that was wrong with the original. Where Anthem had trouble finding its footing
for me, The Division 2 is the opposite, it feels like a service game done right, for
the most part. The Division 2 takes place 7 months after
the events of the original Division, now taking place during the summer in Washington DC. The virus that brought the world to ruin has
now come to Washington and you can see the effects it’s had on society. City streets look deserted where plant life
has begun to take over man-made structures. Without a government to oppose them, people
began to create factions for their own personal desires like becoming warlords of the city. You play as the opposing side, a member of
the task force known as the division. You’re essentially the last police force
in Washington that’s keeping the warlords from complete domination. In terms of narrative writing, it’s one
of the weaker points of the Division 2 as a package. You create your own character and have them
become the newest badass of the division. However, my time in the division wasn’t
memorable for the story missions I completed. They were forgettable and simply didn’t
really resonate with me. Most of the story boils down to having to
increase the forces at the division to overpower the warlords. Oddly enough though, it was the random environmental
and side stories that really spoke to me. Walking through Washington to your next waypoint,
you’ll come across these communities of npc players in so many different scenarios. Sometimes they’ll be exploring the city
for supplies, other times someone may have been captured by a mercenary and the rest
of their group are trying to save them. Regardless of the scenario, they felt much
more real and authentic than the written out story missions that made up the main part
of the campaign. Playing through the campaign this week, I
wasn’t eager to finish the story so much for what was being told but rather the world
it was being told in and just being in it. Division 2 is part looter-shooter, games as
a service and an RPG all in one. In many ways, it succeeds in establishing
itself throughout all of these different genres. As someone that played through the original
Division the first thing that stood out to me was just how much more welcoming the sequel
feels. There are tutorials and explanations for just
about everything at the start of the game. It’s a lesson learned from the previous
game that sort of just threw you into the wild. Everything else though feels like a step forward
from the Division 1. At its core, it ends up feeling like The Division
1.5, but I mean that in a good way more than in a lazy way. The general progression of gameplay will have
you exploring Washington DC, completing story and side missions that earn you new loot. Compared to Manhattan, Washington DC feels
much more like a living world. There are interactive npcs that need your
help throughout the world including much more interactions with other humans. You can actually start to see them outside
of the safe houses for once, making this truly feel like an online game even when you’re
playing in a solo experience. Speaking of which, yes you can play this game
entirely in solo mode if you want, however, around the level 18 mark, you certainly start
to feel that challenge of playing solo. There’s no doubt that playing with a squad,
whether it’s one you randomly match make with or know in person, helps you execute
mission better. Multiple players can bring different weapon
types to the table and so you can coordinate attack strategies much better with a team. Specifically, when a story mission has a scenario
where you can’t respawn, having your teammates there is a complete blessing. In addition to all this, The Division 2 is
an RPG meaning that just about everything earns you XP, whether it’s completing a
mission, getting a kill, a type of kill, it all goes towards your leveling. Leveling then returns to the type of loot
you can equip and how it improves your gunplay and more importantly how it feels in gameplay. That’s something I think Division 2 does
a great job at explaining. You’re not just getting the same guns with
different rarity and power levels, I mean you are but it goes beyond it. You’re given specific status descriptions
how one weapon might give you a bonus health recovery per kill or perhaps an xp bonus. Part of those RPG elements are the enemies
you face and one of the biggest issues with the original game were enemies that felt like
bullet sponges. That’s sort of been remedied with enemies
that now have variations in armor types. What that does is give a bit of explanation
of how enemies can take hits but also gives them weak points. If you’re constantly aiming at an enemy
with a helmet, you can knock that helmet off and suddenly find a weak point for a boss. There’s still some more variety that could
have come with these enemies because while there is some, it’s ultimately just how
many hits an enemy can take that ends up making them feel different from another. That doesn’t mean it’s not challenging
though. As I progressed throughout the campaign I
actually found that the grunts or the lower leveled enemies became the most dangerous
as the armored bosses that could take a punch would act as a big distraction as the smaller
enemies would flank me. In terms of the end game dark zone content,
Division 2 makes it feel much less intimidating. After the first few weeks of the Division
1, The darkzone became this place for only the hardcore players to interact. Anyone not part of them would easily be dominated
and essentially booted out of the high loot areas. It gets some welcomed improvements in the
Division 2. Now you have these PvE scenarios where you
can team up with other players to clear out landmarks in hopes for higher tier loot. If you, however, enjoyed that more high tensity
pvp areas, those are here too and almost feel like a more technical battle royale game but
on a smaller scale. The last detail I want to tackle is the microtransactions. Yes, they’re in the Division 2 although
luckily they’re only cosmetics like apparel for your clothing or skins for your weapon. Through game progression, you’re able to
unlock quite of bit of content yourself without paying a dime but yes, if you care about these
cosmetics then chances are you’ll eventually be pushed to buy something.The tradeoff is
getting all future DLC for the title for free. Ultimately I recommend you vote with your
wallet. For me, I don’t like microtransactions but
when they’re cosmetics that don’t affect the gameplay the dlc is free, it seems like
an understandable compromise. Ultimately The Division 2 feels like a satisfactory
upgrade in terms of gameplay from its predecessor. Gunplay feels good, the world feels alive
now and the progression of leveling up and new loot, is enticing as a player, it makes
me want to keep playing. Sure there are things that still need improvement
like the main story writing, enemy variety and perhaps the ui design (it can be a bit
hard to read sometimes). With that all said, it’s without a doubt
that Ubisoft has taken a lot of the criticism of the first game and implemented it. Upon starting up the
Division 2 it’s apparent that in terms of visuals this looks like division 1.5. A lot of the same design language from the
first game is here although the new location and time of the year do change up the look
of things. Washington looks completely messed up in comparison
to Manhattan and while that environment was cold and snowy, Washington looks completely
different. Here the world is brighter with more plant
life around the city although you’ll also get moments where rain completely makes the
world a challenge to navigate. It’s a world that’s been brought to ruin
but beautiful in the way you’re interested in exploring it. As far as character models go, they’re alright,
they’re not jaw-dropping by any means but look like very minute upgrades from the previous
game. I will give Division 2 credit though, there’s
some solid attention to detail when it comes to animating actions. Characters will carry their equipment visibly
on their backpacks and even changing the attributes of your weapon, you’ll see some of them
actually affect the animation of you shooting. I primarily played The Division 2 on PC with
a machine running a 1060 and an i7 4790k. With that set up I was able to maintain a
1080p 60 frame per second performance with a few settings set between medium, high and
ultra. The settings on PC actually give you some
description of what they’re for so you can tune them to your liking for better performance. On consoles, performance targets 30 frames
per second across the board with resolutions varying across each machine. On base consoles, you can expect a 1080p presentation
with dynamic resolution although it’s most noticeable on the original Xbox One over the
PS4. For the enhanced consoles you can expect a
4k resolution on Xbox One X with something along the lines of 1700p on the PS4 Pro. It’s pretty apparent that Ubisoft was more
focused on maintaining a parallel frame rate across the board with resolution upgrades
where it was possible. Now I want to note that there have been reports
of the PS4 version having frame rate dips although that seems to be a bug with the online
server. Ubisoft suggests for the time being to log
out of the division 2 and relogin to fix any random frame rate dips that may occur. I’ll post an update on this as it comes
in in the description below. The Division 2 features a handful of good
tracks but it’ll be pretty rare to actually get the chance to hear them at least in a
scenario where you’re not being distracted by gunfire. I will say if you’re scrolling through the
streets of Washington DC and you’re not saving an npc, you might get a chance to hear
something. Most likely though, your introduction to the
heavy guitar riff tracks will be during cutscenes. What does stand out for great reasons is the
attention to ambient sound design and the gunfire. The sounds of weapons in this game come off
as more impactful than in the first Division. That sync with the animation design and the
improved bullet sponge design makes the general gunplay a much more enjoyable time. There are even slight differences to the sound
of weapons along with the mods and attachments you add on to your arsenal. As for voice acting, the work throughout the
campaign seems adequate in terms of performance. Nothing really stood out to me as groundbreaking
but I didn’t think the voice work was bad by any means. If I were to say any cons it’d be the lip
sync not always being entirely well done or being able to pick up one actor playing as
multiple characters. In general though, solid audio work here. The Division 2 is simply fun to play. It’s a game as a service title that felt
like it got more rewarding the more time I put into it with new weapons, a slowly increasing
variety of enemies all in a world I was curious to explore. There’s still room for improvements to be
made like an engaging main story, some polishing of the animations and still more room for
enemy variety but overall, Division 2 is a great improvement from its predecessor. It’s a welcomed step in the right direction
for the series and one that I hope leads to bigger and brighter things with the planned
free dlc.

16 thoughts on “The Division 2 Review | PS4, Xbox One, PC

  1. Hey everyone, thanks for checking out the video! Sorry if I sound a bit off in this, I was fighting a case of the sniffles during the voice over but hopefully it doesn't distract too much. Next video I'm working on is a smaller review of the new Captain Toad DLC! <3

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GVN
    Discord: https://discord.me/gvn

  2. Excellent video Luis! great quality as always man! preloaded the game last night on PC before i went to bed! got it free with my Vega 64 GPU! looking forward to giving it a go!

  3. Fantastic review man! Like you said, visual related micro transactions are only pasable when the dlc is free so good on ya Ubisoft.

  4. Im playing it on ps4 and looks awful… And we are talking about a game that needs 90 gbs. Thank good I love the game play but this version sucks

  5. Ubi Soft can shit out a good game on a consistent basis. But like Bit Cloud Gaming said, ease up on the microtransactions and they'll be at Rockstar level. I would get this game, bu I'm not big on online-only games. I wanted to try Destiny, but apparently I had to pay for some online nonsense. The Division games aren't like that, are they?

  6. Have you changed your review format? I haven't seen one in a while. It looked great :). I'm enjoying the division 2 a lot so far, much more than Anthem :).

  7. This should’ve been a dlc or an expansion pack (like they’re gonna do with mhw iceborne) with a low price, not a $60 game

  8. The division 2 is worth $20 max. The game is worse than last gen games in almost all categories. It is a cash grab nothing more looking to take advantage of foolish people who knowingly will support this trash and force further trash upon the rest of us instead of companies delivering quality products from the start.

    If you support Ubisoft you support broken products that have been stripped down to be nothing but, shell's of what they could have been. The only time these game's are good is when shill's lie to you and sell that next piece of mediocrity to the cattle that is waiting to pretend with the rest of the perpetually uninformed. They remind me of the Mad TV skit Lowered Expectations.

    If you like gun's going invisible, awful hit detection, frame rate drops to 1, if you play with a low level squad they increase to the level of the highest squad member but, you also glitch out forcing you to get downed by one bullet most of the time, fighting the same couple of brain dead enemies with no motives, a game that requires no skill but, to shoot the enemies they spawn behind you instead of actually having them use any kind of strategy, literal reuse of all assets from the first game with slight tweaks on a few, the number of players is limited yet it still crashes, a huge amount of bugs, the world is dead, the design in everything is linear, skills, traits, are tacted on to add more excuses to say its a RPG MMOs when it is just a minimum viable product that if it was a RPG or a MMO it would be the worst one ever made, you do nothing but, the most mundane fetch objective side missions even main missions have no variety over anything else you do, end game is repeating the first part of the game but, with every enemy as a bullet sponge because Ubisoft are pathological liars, free dlc with a $40 1st season pass they must think people are stupid, the problems just keep going the hive when it deploys it doesn't work most of the time, etc. Game padding is around every corner, armored enemies is a way they can excuse themselves from keeping bullet sponges, you can stand around in PvP to get stuff that is not worth your time or you can fight the same enemies in levels that feel the same with nothing else to do but give resources to outposts with loading screens upon entering some buildings. The only thing this game has is being able to play with friends but, that doesn't excuse the lack of effort put into it no matter what anyone says. This game can't even compete mechanically with dead island, destiny 1 or 2, it makes Warframe look like a masterpiece, even when Anthem gets more content added the division 2 which is a shallow hollow offering by corrupt Ubisoft will not be able to compete as its potential is limited.

    It sure sounds like Ubisoft has come full circle to be one of the better companies in the gaming industry if your dumb, deaf, and blind you would totally think so.

    The difference though between them and you is they get payed to play pretend well you choose to believe the shill's and their pawns at face value because you live in a pretend world of pure imagination. When clearly you should be wearing a helmet at all times if your recollection of prior game releases and aftermaths is that misconstrued well being purposely misguided by your own indecisiveness.

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