Division 2 – Beta Review
Yet another looter/shooter joins the ranks for 2019. Will this one hold the top spot for players?
Taking a break from Anthem, I loaded up the Division 2 Beta this weekend as so many of my friends have been slobbering all over its release which is due out in 2 weeks (March 15th, 2019). The PC version of the game is native development, not a console port, and not a special branch. It’s developed along every other version of the game – 4k support, HDR, and variable refresh rate monitors are just some of the nods to the PC gaming community. It is clear that Ubisoft wants everyone to have a great experience and gamers with the monster rigs that cost as much as car can finally feel like they are actually using every last ounce of their systems.
“Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an upcoming online action role-playing video game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. The sequel to Tom Clancy’s The Division, the game will be released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 15, 2019. “
The demo opens with a great cinematic to help acclimate you to the post-apocalyptic setting of Washington D.C. in all its overgrown grunge and filth. The first ‘mission’ is to fight your way up to the White House which has now become a Base of Operations. After reaching this and choosing your first set of ‘skills’ (Turret, Seeker Mine, Drone, or Chem Launcher) you head out into open world to the next Base of Operations, ‘The Theatre’. You can continue to play through the set story arc or simply explore capturing ‘control points’, doing side missions you find along the way, or clearing the wandering patrols and such to gain more levels and more gear.
The game very much plays like a multi-player version of Watch Dogs 2 set in the future. If this and Call of Duty type games are your thing, then this will be right up your alley. The AI is pretty smart and I found myself trying to outsmart it several times only to be rushed wherever I tried to hide. As mentioned in several reviews I’ve read, some of the hostiles are super bulletsponges which made killing them next to impossible. Even though the game is a demo, it feels full. Full of enemies, full of NPCs wandering about, and full of little environmental-type touches that really help to immerse you into the game. To give you an idea of the level of detail, they decided to tape down big areas of drop cloth paper to protect the wood parquet floors from the hundreds of muddy boots wandering around the makeshift sick bay within the White House. There’s also lots of varied loot to collect and keep your interest in exploring more. The map and pathing system are as polished as you would expect them to be. There is some serious celebrity level ‘you’re a god-damn superhero’ agent fanboy worship that happens wherever you go. This got tiring after awhile. However, if you’ve had bad day at work, it might just be the pick me up you need.
The visuals in the game are standard fare. As I mentioned above, it feels like some of Ubisoft’s past titles. Don’t get me wrong, it feels good and has the potential to bring any rig to its knees.
This is the only area where I think the game falls flat on its face. Ubisoft isn’t really known for being the storytelling studio though. Some might say the story, any story, just makes you wait to get back into the action. It seems they spent more time with their voice-overs to fill the environment, than the cutscenes.
I played completely solo during my demo. The only time saw others is when I was in the base of operations areas. I heard that playing with 3 or 4 made every enemy too difficult to kill, so I avoided playing with others. Perhaps with some balance this might sort itself out, but this was one of the things that plagued the first Division game.
At this point the PVP match-making was completely broken for me. I was paired against a squad of 3 or 4. No bueno. This isn’t really my jam anyway, so I wasn’t super disappointed. This seems fairly balanced from watching others’ gameplay streams though.
Until March 14, 2019, you can Pre-Order any PC Digital edition of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and choose one PC Digital game of your choice from the following: Watch Dogs 2, Ghost Recon Wildlands or Far Cry Primal (all standard editions).
Try, buy, or kill it with fire? $59.99-$119.99
3.5 of 5 stars
If you enjoyed Division, you’ve probably already pre-ordered the game. Honestly, it’s a solid game that has the benefit of 2 years of development off of an existing platform. Will I be pre-ordering it? No. Especially not the overpriced $119.99 version. Yes it grants you a year gamepass for later DLC content. If I do eventually buy the game it will be the base version. Does it have the potential of Game of the Year 2019? I’d say no again. Why? I feel that Ubisoft has shown all their cards upfront in the demo. It’s a shiny, solid game. Does it have a WOW factor beyond the catalog of their other titles? Unfortunately not.