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Letters from the Front

I’ve been playing The Division 2 for these last couple of days and have been really digging it. The Division 2 diverges from the original game in so many ways that in some aspect or regard, The Division 2 should’ve been the original game. Here are my thoughts on the overall beta and the Endgame content.

I played a bit of The Division when it originally released back in 2016 but like many people, it failed to garner my attention and failed to keep me in the hook so I left after completing the main campaign; eventually returning with the game’s numerous DLC’s where much like the base game, it failed to capture my attention. The game took about six months to find its footing and by that time, I didn’t bother. The vexing issues were The Dark Zone and Endgame content, things that made you want to stick around and make you keep coming back to the game and the game didn’t offer that at launch or in the days following the completion of the main campaign.

However, The Division 2 has completely revamped endgame content and The Dark Zone, the main multiplayer area in The Division 2. In The Division 2, once upon entering the Dark Zone, you’re presented with a private PvE only mission that tasks you and your friends to bring a safehouse online and extract your first loot, leavened by some introductory combat with A.I before opening up multiplayer. On top of this private PvE mission, the bringing onboard mentality that The Dark Zone now has allows you to explore the Dark Zone and familiarize yourself with this closed off section (s) of Washington D.C. Once familiarized with all the paths and the essential locations, I didn’t feel intimidated like how I felt intimidated in the original game’s version of The Dark Zone and this signaled to me that every trip wasn’t a brush with higher level enemies and the inevitable clash with death that meant certain death to the hand of a level 20 enemy A.I , this aspect turned me away from The Dark Zone in the original game and I never returned unless with friends.

After settling in, the bigger landmark areas were places to avoid but also were places that would prove your worth as these locations were harder to tackle.

At this point in time, the game switched me over to a Level 30 character with maxed out stats, extremely powerful weapons, and maxed out perks and skills that made me stand a chance against the game’s new enemies. At this point, it is six months after the end of the main campaign and a new enemy appears in Washington D.C and the battle for the nation’s capital truly begins. The endgame really felt like Massive Entertainment learned from the original game and did all of this better and really felt like an RPG as I could mess around with my character’s weapons and different stats and see what I could experiment with.

After completing a mission that gave me a taste of the endgame’s content and what happens in the endgame, I backed out and returned to my Level 6 character as the Level 30 character was only available for that one mission so I returned into The Dark Zone.

In The Division 2, there are three separate Dark Zones and I only got access to one which was Dark Zone East. The lore and history behind Dark Zone East are that DZ East was originally a military control point along the Washington Union Station metro station and parks that used to be run by the American government before the collapse of American society at the hands of the Dollar Flu.

East is more open than the other two DZ’s featuring long sightlines and larger and more open spaces, bringing sniper rifles and grenades into the mix. In DZ East, it was never wise to stay in one spot and always maintain cover and maintain your sight line as you never know who may be around the corner or down the street. My friends and I engaged another squad who went rogue and a manhunt had initiated. This new feature was part of the new and revised Rogue system that is in The Division 2, the new and updated Rogue system that was carried from the 2017 version of The Division’s rogue system. We also stole someone’s supply drops which made us go rogue and we had to defend the extraction point as we gathered up our loot and have the helicopter take it away.

In the end, my takeaway is that The Dark Zone and the Endgame content is vastly better in The Division 2. My biggest criticism of The Division 1 was that there wasn’t enough to do once you reached Level 30 so I was pleasantly surprised when Massive and Ubisoft allowed us to take a quick sneak peek at what you’ll be doing once Level 30 comes around in the main game and it seems that Massive and Ubisoft took the biggest complaint of the Division and applied it here. The beta left me feeling good and satisfied for now, if Ubisoft and Massive keep this up then I suspect I will hop onto the train and see where The Division 2 takes me during its lifecycle.

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