Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (Review) Xbox One

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (Review) Xbox One
Review Score:

A sequel to 2016’s The Division, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 by developer Massive Entertainment continues the story of a deadly virus (known only as the ‘Green Poison Outbreak’) that was responsible for wiping out most of America’s population. The Division 2 takes place just seven months after the events of the first game, and it begins with a group of Strategic Homeland Division (SHD) agents receiving a distress signal from Washington D.C. The game sees the player in the role of a customizable, self-named Agent who is sent to  the White house – which is now the base of operations for the Joint Task Force – to assist with a rebel invasion. From there, the player is sent to The Theater Settlement to meet up with Odessa Sawyer, who instructs the player on their first mission. This unlocks both the world map and the online multiplayer feature.

The game starts with a 15-minute tutorial that sends the player into the thick of battle, while also giving brief explanations for surviving combat, completing mission objectives, and coming to grips(sic) with the controls. In addition, the player is presented with the first couple of minutes of story that sets the pace for the entire game. Once the World Map is unlocked, the option to solo missions or play online with ‘matchmaking’ become available. Like its predecessor, The Division 2 is based heavily on finding better gear; leveling an agent; and being tactical during combat (i.e. running and gunning is not a good strategy in a game like this).

The Division 2 has three enemy factions that appear in the standard campaign – the Outcasts, the Hyenas and the True Sons. Each faction has its own identity, which includes different solders and ‘specialized’ units that appear throughout the campaign. After the player completes the standard campaign, a hidden fourth faction – known as the Black Tusk private military contractors – will invade the game’s world with their advanced technology. The appearance of this ‘fourth’ faction is just one of many key elements that extend The Division 2’s gameplay.

The player’s Agent has three separate branching skill sets – active and passive (which are earned during the main campaign), and then a third set during the endgame. The active skill system is more robust this time around, giving the player more flexibility when defining their Agent’s combat skills and overall strengths. For example: the player can choose a more offensive combat build by including skills such as Seeker Mines (which are deployed by rolling them towards a target), a Pulse Jammer (a skill that overloads and then disables enemy equipment) and a Sniper Turret (a piece of hardware that attacks manually selected targets), among others. There is also a defensive skill set that deals with armored targets, and this includes skills such as the Riot Foam Chem Launcher (used to immobilize enemies), The Oxidizer Chem Launcher (capable of depleting armor and then inflicting damage), and the Demolisher Firefly (which targets weak points), to name just a few.

The player can also choose a defensive skill build with some variants for team-based play. For example: The Fixer drone skill can repair a team member’s damaged armor. Variants (known as micro drones) include skills like Reviver (the ability to revive downed allies) or Booster (increasing a team member’s damage output), among others. The skill tree system includes enough flexibility for the player to construct a satisfying build. But moreover, there is a multitude of passive perks that offer ‘micro-objectives’ to complete, adding to the game’s longevity.

Combat is consistent and feels solid throughout. The cover system – which involves pressing the A button to hide behind debris, walls and vehicles – is where The Division 2 really shines. The mechanics remain rock-solid no matter how intense a combat scenario becomes. Even when the player is pinned down by enemy fire, they can quickly (and very easily) change their position by highlighting a barrier (for example), and then pressing and holding the A button to make their Agent run. Basically, the cover system feels fluid and natural during fights, which was an issue that plagued the first game. It’s good to know that Ubisoft listened to their fanbase on this issue. This has greatly enhanced the overall experience, making the gameplay more enjoyable. Plus, the general feel of combat becomes second nature instead of a conscious chore.

When fighting, the player can raise their weapon by pressing LT (Left Trigger) and fire by pressing RT (Right Trigger). Secondary weapons can be toggled by pressing Y button, and grenades (for example) can be selected by using the Directional Pad, and then thrown by pressing RB (the Right Bumper Button). If there is no cover, the player can crouch by pressing the Left Analog Stick to avoid incoming fire. 

Killing enemies will award experience points (i.e. XP). When the player’s Agent levels, skill points are given to unlock new skills. Unfortunately, these points can’t be used until the player visits a safe zone like The Theater. Due to this restriction, a good portion of the game is spent running back and forth between missions and Safe zones to unlock new abilities or enhance current ones. While inconvenient, this is a small gripe overall. Safe Zones are important locations with different vendors that can be used to purchase new gear and weapons, and to sell older equipment for currency. These locations also play an important role in the main story, thus making them a necessary evil (so to speak).

Like the first game, The Division 2 has a loot-centric location known simply as, ‘The Dark Zone’.  This area is where some of the best gear and weapons spawn. It’s also where PVP (Player Versus Player) combat is allowed between players. However, before this area can be explored, the player must complete three missions found only at the Theater. Dark Zone operator, Senait Ezra, must be recruited as well.

Dark Zone East is the first area that unlocks, and it provides an intro mission to the area. This mission – out of all the others – happens to be the most rigorous, as it involves mapping the zone, activating turrets, and recovering the first of many loot items. Upon completing the intro mission’s objectives, Dark Zone South will unlock. When the mission conditions are met there, the final area, Dark Zone West, will become available.

Depending on the zone, certain areas will be densely packed with less visibility. This is to the player’s advantage, as it provides additional places to take cover during combat. It’s also a great way to hide from other players who might have nefarious intentions. It’s not uncommon for groups of players to camp loot spawns and kill whoever approaches. This is why understanding ‘Brackets’ is so important. For example: a level 4 may find it difficult to survive in a 1-10 level Bracket, while a level 20 venturing into a 11-20 level Bracket will have no problems whatsoever. This applies to all the level brackets inside the Dark Zones.

The Division 2’s graphics are vastly improved over its predecessor. The environments maintain a gritty, realistic appearance throughout, depicting a post-apocalyptic world that is stricken by anarchy and crime. The player’s Agent, the various enemies encountered, and all available shop and mission NPCs look the part as well. The effort spent to make The Division 2’s world look convincing is evident from the moment the game starts.

On the surface, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 appears to be nothing more than a standard update to the original game. Underneath its glossy 3D exterior, though, are major changes that address issues with the game mechanics (i.e. the cover system) and the PVP system (i.e. The Dark Zone); an issue that severely affected the first release in the franchise. With that said, Ubisoft should be given props for listening to their customers. The final result is a game that exceeds expectations.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Xbox One X
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft
ESRB: M (Mature)
Price: $59.99
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 Official Website:

Review Score
Gorgeous 3D environments and character models.
Great music and sound effects.
The Cover System and The Dark Zone have been vastly improved.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 exceeds expectations.

Buy plus Levitra

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