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Letters from the Front

( Editor’s note: This was written on Wednesday, March 13th. So sorry for the delay. At the point of publishing, I am at a Level 17. This First Impressions was written at Level 10.)

My review of The Division 2 is underway after a nice surprise launch on Tuesday afternoon. After a full day of The Division 2 which launched on Tuesday for special edition owners, I’m at a Level 10 which means I’m still in the very beginning of the game and still have a good chunk of the main game ahead of me to get through. At this stage, The Division 2 has already succeeded in many areas that the original failed to achieve in its original vision and as of this writing, I am obsessed with The Division 2.

The premise of The Division 2 is that it takes place seven months after the original game and takes place within Washington D.C, a very different setting to that of New York City. Within the game’s set storyline, New York City has been secured and The Division ends up in Washington D.C to rebuild what was left of the American Government which by now has collapsed but what they find isn’t what they expected. Washington D.C is on the brink of collapse with a civil war raging in the streets with multiple factions vying for control of the city, one of these factions is called the True Sons which aim to take back the city and the American government for themselves. The overarching storyline has failed to grab my attention despite the plot being one of fascination and filled with political intrigue, a key aspect of what makes The Division The Division. Despite the plot is failing to grab my attention, it has succeeded in more mini-bite sized stories that come together: For example, the early Jefferson Trade Center mission firmly establishes that these are incredibly dark times not just for The Division but for the country itself, Division Agents in the mission are executed on the spot and Washington D.C is on the brink of collapsing.

The gameplay in The Division 2 almost remains the same as it did in the original game, except the gunplay which has been revised. The tale of the tape is this: pronounced recoil, faster TTK, more of the easier enemies, visible effects from firing your weapon, and less bullet-sponged enemies. Unlike the original game, there is more variety to the enemies and more creativity surrounding these enemies. Another aspect that keeps the gunplay so engaging is lethality. The gunplay is lethal, every enemy is dangerous and you are the essence of dangerous as you belong to a secret government agency. Grunts may die easily but will take a good portion of your health away and could possibly kill you if you don’t take into account their aggressiveness. Enemy bosses themselves are extremely dangerous and are extremely difficult, not because of their health but because they have a tendency to distract you from the grunts, combine these two elements and you have yourself a big problem. It’s like Ubisoft knows the minds of gamers.

Not all of the enemies feel distinct or varied though as many of them feel like rip-offs from the enemies you encountered back in New York. Many of the enemies still feel spongy when you hit them, especially those that are lightly-armored and these moments take you out of the experience.

Much like combat, progression has been revamped. Throughout the game world, there are control points that liberate a key section of the game and these rewards you with a supply room that is filled with loot. Secondly, there is a large amounts of chests and loot that is scattered around Washington D.C which is a good incentive to actually explore your surroundings. Finally, when I got access to the Dark Zone in Dark Zone South ( my experience with the Dark Zone will arrive on Thursday.) , I was introduced to my first superior item and high-end rare item. As a result of this new revamped system on top of open-world activities, Washington D.C comes alive.

When it comes to loot, there is a good abundance of goodies scattered around. The loot drop has been interesting so far ( although I’m still on the lookout for actual military gear for that cool tactical look like in Ghost Recon: Wildlands), I haven’t found a gear set that looks cool so I’ve been equipping things as I go although weapons steal the show as it should be.

At this point, I am reaching the middle of the game and I’m very eager to reach the end as I’ve heard good things about what comes next. With these sort of games, the endgame is where the game truly begins so I’m eager to see what’s all that about. Right now, I am in love with The Division 2 and have enjoyed very second of it.

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