This is just the tip of the iceberg
Remember 2013. The Division, which Ubisoft introduced at E3 2013, lifted the audience with its first announcement video, fascinated us with its graphics and excited us with its elements of gameplay. Even in the history of video games, it has become one of the games that created the most "hype". When The Division released on March 8, 2016, Ubisoft really disappointed the fans because of the downgrades and lack of content of the game. The downgrade of the graphics are not essentially the problem in the game but, the lack of content. The game was incomplete. Although Ubisoft and developer Massive Entertainment has released many updates and DLC's, The Division become an average game only and did not become the game we all expected.
Of course, realizing the potential of the IP, Ubisoft and Massive started on the second game of the series. However, this time they announced it very low profile. Learning from their mistakes and experience they have released The Division 2, 3 years after the first one. From the snowy streets of New York, we now travel to burning asphalts of Washington D.C. We can easily say that this change impacted on the atmosphere very much. The first game was looking better in terms of environment. However, when we started playing the game, we realized how much the developer put in regarding the content. Ubisoft clearly learned from its mistakes. In the first 2 hours of the gameplay, you can realize how loaded the content is. We did not feel this way about the first game. For this reason, The Division 2 looks like a game you will grind in the end game.
This review will be 2 parts since The Division 2 is an MMO game. Even though we see many mechanics and gameplay during our playtime, the real End Game determines the quality of MMO games. For this reason, in this review, we will be telling you what we have seen so far in the game. If you played the first game for less than 2 hours, we suggest you wait until our full review is completed since this is just the tip of the iceberg.
First of all, I like to begin with the story of The Division. As you know, there was a virus which spread by money and affected most of the world. The reason for the virus is to wipe out more than half of the world population. The first game was really good at reflecting this story. The fresh post-apocalyptic atmosphere was remarkable. You can easily say that something happened in the world not long ago. There were bodybags, newly created safe zones, and many more factors that can reflect that. However, The Division 2 takes place many years after the events. You can see that the city is abandoned a long time ago. There are zones that people take refuge. You may disappoint about the fact that many details from the first game are not in the Divison 2. But, with the story progression, you will realize why these changes happened in the first place. We are playing as a Division agent who answers an emergency call from Washington D.C. Without giving any spoilers about the story, I can say that this time the main story comes together with short stories and missions. However, the main story is to purge Washington D.C. from anarchists and rebels.
Now let's talk about the missions. As we see from many open world games, The Division 2's missions are also located in different locations of the map. You can do these missions solo or matchmake with other players and play together. You can play the main story with matchmaking as well. Unfortunately, we are not able to matchmake for side quests. Since some of these side quests are pretty hard, at some point I wished the matchmaking exists in the game. The progress and concepts of the missions are pretty similar to the first game. Sometimes you can protect someone, storm a stronghold or defend your surroundings. In terms of difficulty, the game actually pretty fun. You can feel the struggle when you play the missions. However, the missions are pretty standard. If there were some other mechanics, actions or cinematics, it could be way better.
I would like to mention the difficulty of the missions. Because one of the Division 2's fascinating factor is the AI. Since there are not many games who nails the AI, The Division 2 really earns our respects. You need to play according to your enemies. By this, I mean that each enemy is different from each other. You need different strategies to beat your enemies. You can see that your enemies can pinpoint your weakness, communicate with each other and counter-attack when you are out of ammo or low on health. This really fascinated me. Also, different factions use different tactics. This is also a good addition to gameplay. For Example, while an anarchist group called The True Sons use more aggressive and random strategies, Outcasts are more organized and tactical. This really impacts the gameplay and makes it really fun to play. Since we can see these dynamics on early gameplay, I really wonder what we will encounter during end game.
I will be writing The Division 2's inventory and ability mechanics details on the second part of the review. However, I would like to mention it a little. We can use 2 active skills just like the first game. In The Division, we had 2 skills and an ultimate ability. But, in The Division 2, the ultimate ability has a different concept. We see Specialist for ultimate ability in the game. This allows players to use a special gun and do a lot of damage to enemies. Since this skill unlocks at level 30, I haven't been able to experience it yet. Each specialist has a different Signature Weapon and these weapons do a lot of damage to enemies. I really can't wait to use them when I hit level 30... In the meantime, we can specialize our 2 abilities with the materials called SHD Tech which we gather from open world and missions. Also, just like weapons, we can use modes on abilities.
There are many improvements on weapon variety and weapon usage in The Division 2. One of the most criticized thing on the first game Time-to-kill also improved on the second game. This means you will kill your enemies quicker. The weapon mechanics are way better and shooting feels much more realistic. In the first game, elite enemies with shields were really hard to kill. In The Division 2, after you break your opponents' shield, you can kill them easily just like a regular opponent. This helps to maintain the RPG factors of the game.
The most noticeable change is the modding of weapons. While in the first game modes are used to make weapons stronger, in The Division 2, modes are like specializing the weapons. For example, while a silencer you put to your weapon increase the stability, it also decreases range or a gunstock can improve reaction but decrease ammo. There are a lot of subcategories on the forums about this change. Some players liked it and some did not. I personally did not like this change since it does not make sense that a zoom I put on my gun decreases my critical chance. However, it is very unlikely that Ubisoft is going to make any changes to this system.
Armor and cosmetics are the same as it was in the first game. We can put some cool outfit on our character and then put our armor on it. This offers a wide customize option to the player. This system was one of the things I enjoyed in the first game. So, it was nice to see it again. However, I would really like the option to hide some of my gear since some players are not liking the idea of walking around with huge bulletproof vests.
I admit that for a 2 part review this was long. In our second part, we will be talking about end game content, PvP, and other mechanics. Farewell.