I have been a fan of Tom Clancy’s The Division since I first picked it up in December 2017. Coming from the disappointment that was the Destiny 2 DLC, Curse of Osiris, for me it was a fresh take on the looter shooter with a dash of RPG. I was immediately hooked and by the time The Division 2 was announced at E3 2018, I had already racked up almost 1,000 hours of gameplay. Granted that is likely a low number when compared to some of the most battle-hardened agents when looking at the fact that I was also a full-time parent, employee, and part-time student that number begins to seem a lot higher.
Naturally, when The Division 2 launched I had already pre-ordered the title and had it sitting on my doorstep. I had to beg my wife while I was at work to put the disc into my PS4 so that by the time I got home I was ready for reactivation. Upon starting the game, it felt good. I was eager to bust into D.C. guns blazing ready to drop the bad guys and pick up loot. The world was gorgeous, especially coming from a cold, drab New York City Winter. The change of season was also a great change of pace bringing with it a new color palette and weather patterns.
Within the week of release, I had already completed the story, reached max level, and was beginning my ascent of the World Tiers (1-4). In the first game, where you could simply have a partner who was in WT5 drop their unwanted gear (250+) and that would immediately put you into WT5, this entry did something different. In The Division 2, you actually had to complete the different enemy factions’ strongholds, over and over, and over again until you reached WT4. With the first Title update, the Tidal Basin came, which completing that would grant you access to WT5. It was nice, albeit repetitive to earn the right to claim whichever World Tier you resided in.
By the time I reached WT5, I began to realize something, there were more similarities to the first title than I had initially realized. To clarify, let’s look at the enemy factions of The Division 2. The first three factions you encounter throughout D.C. are the True Sons, Hyenas, and The Outcasts. Sure, they are different enough especially when you look at the lore. But when you look at the actual enemies, the similarities become more prevalent. True Sons are a diet Last Man Battalion, and the Hyenas are basically the love child of the Rioters and Rikers, and The Outcasts are a more psychotic version of the Cleaners. Truthfully, the only faction that I find interesting and most justified for their actions would be The Outcasts. They were formed by people that were quarantined and subsequently forgotten by the government and JTF. Ironically enough, one of the only factions I truly felt made the most sense was the cleaners as they were simply trying to rid the city of the infection . . . by burning . . . everything.
Game Fatigue Is A Pain
Eventually, game fatigue set in and I felt bored with the game, the missions were repetitive, the Dark Zones were so barren, the only thing I was worried about happening during extraction was that a wild tumbleweed would roll up and trip my agent. So I put the game down for a while.
Perhaps my reason for being bored with the game so soon is that I actually began playing this title since release (or private beta if we’re counting). Whereas with the first Division I had started just after patch 1.8, a point where – according to many people I played with had said – the game had been in its most “fixed” state. I have begun playing the game again just after the release of the second episode of the Year One DLC.
The game does seem better. Loot drops are better(ish). If only the recalibration station could be (pardon the pun) recalibrated. The excessive and arbitrary requirements almost make it so annoying to understand that more times than not I don’t even bother making anything better.
All in all, the game is fun especially when you can team up with friends, admittedly, I tend to be the kind of person that can have a blast watching paint dry so long as it is with people I like. There are noticeable improvements both in gameplay and quality of life when compared to the first game. I also think there are some things that could have been left the way it was from the first game. I mean realistically, this game takes place 6 months after the first game and during a pandemic, I highly doubt the government would be dedicating resources to “improving” the recalibration station when people are dying by the minute from disease, but that is my two-cents.