The Division 2 (XB1) Review

They took the idea and improved on it twice over.

I was a big fan of The Division when it first released. I enjoyed it so much I purchased the season pass within the first week of the game’s release. I was all on board with the Tom Clancy looter shooter (yeah, I said it.) Massive Entertainment had a bit of a bumpy road there for a while. While the road to the level cap was fun and inviting, the end game originally was the let down of the experience. Massive proved themselves to me with constant updates, revised systems, and continued work well up to the launch of the second game. If there’s one thing to take from The Division as a series it’s that the developers listened to their fans and it shows in the sequel.

The Division 2 has player’s taking on the role, yet again, as a Division agent. Set the summer after the outbreak of the Green Poison, the fight for survival has moved to the country’s capital, Washington D.C. Arriving as factions have taken a foothold in the city, players are tasked with helping survival colonies, finding other Division agents, and trying to locate a possible cure to this virus that has devastated the country.

Platforms: XB1, PS4, PC
MSRP: $59.99
Price I’d pay: $59.99

Division 2 feels very much like the first game. There are a few gameplay improvements and other aspects the developers choose to hone in on, but for anyone who has played the first game, they really know what they are getting into. The gameplay loop of opening up a new area, fighting, looting new armor and weapons, and leveling up is all here and feels just right. The pacing is where the game shines. With so many things to do, players are never stuck doing the same thing. If I needed an extra level up before taking on a main mission, I could take on a few side missions for XP, or if I wanted to explore, I could always find special events taking place around the map, all of which offered up rewards for doing them. That’s the biggest thing. Everything I did in Division 2 meant something and got me something a little extra.

The loot has a few new upgrades, with the first being there is so much more of it. Every fight seemed to drop at least two things for me, and with a boss encounter, I could almost guarantee I was going to get something better. The loot loop was just long enough to keep me going to get to the next best thing and it came with some great pacing. A new adjustment to the armor was the addition of manufacturer’s sets. Almost every piece of armor has a manufacturer. With matching pieces, they offer up small bonuses. Think of it like a baby version of a gear set.

The new tech powers add even more to the options with new attack drones, or a special chem launcher that can heal allies. It’s all things we seen before, but there are much more of them, all of which can be customized with mods and different types. Picking the right loadout for the play style and the situation is crucial and when taking on the more difficult challenges, making sure I geared up to compliment my co-op partners added a lot of the customization.

Speaking of co-op, The Division 2 is made for it. With three partners, I could take on more enemies, bigger bosses, and get them done in record time. Playing solo is viable, but players will quickly find out that most, if not all of the missions feel like they should have been played in co-op. I played a good amount of this game solo and I’ll be the first to tell you, this is no walk in the park. I had to plan, adjust, and fight intelligently rather than go in guns blazing.

The Dark Zone makes its return and functions a lot in the same way as the first game. It’s a PvEvP area where I could get some of the best loot but would have to now contend with other players trying to potentially steal my newly acquired loot. Honestly, the Dark Zone was never really for me, but I appreciate what it did and how it works for those who really want that extra challenge.

A new versus mode call Conflict is also here, where players are pitted against each other on a level playing field. Gear doesn’t matter here. It is all about the skill and coordination of the teammates. Once again, I tried it. It worked, and I’m fine with that. It’s not my main draw or something I plan to do much of in the game, but for those wanting a straight up PvP deathmatch type mode, it is here for them.

What originally bummed me out about vanilla Division 1 was the lackluster end game. I’ll be the first to tell you, I didn’t really enjoy much of the end game in the Division 1 before they began tweaking it a year later. In Division 2, I can tell Massive learned from their mistakes and decided to focus ON the end game. When reaching it, a new faction takes over the city, one that ups the ante with more difficult enemy types, and even more loot to gather. Players will be redoing missions they have already done, but with a different enemy to take on. The harder the enemy, the better the loot. It works, and works well. Along with that, Strongholds that feel a bit like a mini raid or closer to a Destiny strike are here that offer up a challenge as well as even better loot. After exhausting this, players can take up the difficulty with new world tiers that then begin dropping even better loot with min/maxing stats for them to chase as well as the coveted gear sets that hold some of the more elite builds and loadouts. Oh, and that’s not all. When hitting the level cap, players are allowed to choose a “class” that gives them a special weapon and a full on skill tree to drop points into for even more customization. It’s been said before for many other games, but this game really doesn’t start until players hit the level cap.

With all the improvements to the overall game, there are a few issues here and there. While not inherently glitchy, I have experienced some major glitches with the skills, so much, that I stopped using certain skills until they are addressed. The Hive skill has a revive variant that is supposed to instantly revive a teammate or myself. Many times, I would find it not working at all or only working in some occasions. Same with the auto-turret – I would want to set it up on a box or wall I’m hiding behind and it would fall to the ground BEHIND my cover now shooting at nothing but the cover. I just had to turn them off. Luckily, Massive has been keeping up with their content and updates so I’m sure these issues will be addressed, but many still crop up on occasion.

I hinted at it earlier, but this game is made for co-op. Sometimes, I can’t find players or my friends aren’t online at the time, but I want to run a few things like my dailies or weekly things and I’m having to take on some of these things solo. While it’s not game breaking, it can be tedious to do alone and I wish there was some kind of option to ease it up a bit while playing solo. Sure this is an “old man who doesn’t have much time to play games anymore option” but it is noticeable that I’m having to change the way I play this game drastically while solo.

For what it’s worth, The Division 2 is a fine game. It’s finely tuned, looks gorgeous in 4K, plays like I would have hoped, and just takes a great idea and improves on it. Co-op is the way to go, and solo players will still have some fun with it, but it will be a more difficult romp. Massive has shown they listened to their fans and wanted to make a game that the players wanted to see and they did just that. It’s a great shooter, great RPG, and well worth the time for anyone looking for a rewarding adventure.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Great visuals
  • Solid gameplay
  • Nice loot
  • Well crafted end game
  • Great developer support
  • Solo players will have a much more difficult time
  • Skill and environmental glitches
Written by
Drew is the Community Manager here at ZTGD and his accent simply woos the ladies. His rage is only surpassed by the great one himself and no one should stand between him and his Twizzlers.