Following up a hit game is never an easy task. The delicate balance between keeping things familiar yet not repeating what has come before is always tricky.
Such is the case facing Ubisoft with Tom Clancys The Division 2. I want to point out at the start that Ubisoft in no way helped with the review process despite doing extensive pre-release coverage for the game. As such; there were elements to the game that I had question and issues with and the company would not respond to questions or even recognize the coverage that had been done prior.
The game follows up the events of the first game in that a virus named the Dollar Flu has laid waste to the country after being passed around on currency during the busy Christmas shopping season. This time out the game is set in Washington D.C. and players once again take on the role of a member of an elite agency called The Division.
With the city in chaos and the survivors being tormented by criminal factions and extreme militants; players must work solo and in groups to complete various missions and objectives to reclaim the city.
Like the previous game players can customize their character to have a look, weapons, and accessories that they want and can swap and update them as they go along.
Playing from a third person perspective, the highly-detailed city is vast and many points from the White House to the Lincoln Memorial, and Smithsonian Institute are available to explore and even undertake missions in.
The enemies are dangerous as the vicious Hyena gang as well as the Outcasts roam the city. There is also a Military faction called The True Sons who bring military tactics into their encounters.
Players will be able to gather loot and armor and weapon upgrades as they go and can even use special power ups to heal, set mines, and other traps to help even the odds.
Those abilities can be upgraded, swapped, and assigned, and make the game very interesting as some players opt to have a Drone while others elect for Turrets or other options.
Weapons can go from pistols, machine guns, shotguns, and sniper rifles, and players can also use grenades to dispatch large groups.
While working solo is fine, the key to success is working with others and players can now call for backup to get help in addition to the general matchmaking and friend invites. There has also been a Clan system added which is nice as players can create or join a group and have support available when needed.
This is a great thing as the missions can be challenging as your level rank rises and players are always outnumbered and outgunned in missions.
I found the game to be very impressive and lots of fun and the ability to upgrade bases and take on side missions and patrols beyond the core missions ensures lots of gameplay as was the case with the first game.
There have also been updates which add new content and based on the prior game, we expect to see lots of new content released in the months ahead.
There were some annoying issues with the sound as some channels would drop. One example was how voices became muted and how some sounds such as radio messages utterly vanished. While it was not a deal-breaker; it was annoying s the updates pre and post mission help give players a great understanding of the unfolding story.
I did like the fact that the abundance of side missions was curtailed in favor of more relevant missions and capturing control points and helping end threats to the general population.
One time I took control of a mounted machine gun and found the sound locked during firing and continued for several minutes even after I respawned. I had to go back to the gun and fire it again to get the sound glitch to stop.
There were also some annoying graphical glitches like textures and enemies appearing late while I was walking after the last update. With a 2070 GTX Graphics Card this should not happen and thankfully it seemed to abate after a few annoying occurrences.
That being said; the game is very solid and enjoyable and it is a shame that a company that has such great games is very difficult to work with from the media and support side of things as The Division 2 is a solid sequel and one of the more enjoyable games I have played in a while.
4.5 stars out of 5