I don’t think The Division 2 has made quite the splash that Ubisoft had wanted it to. The first game was plagued with issues and failed to meet the expectations of many. While the title has been fixed since then, I was interested to see how The Division 2 would try and expand its player base by appealing to new players, as well as pleasing the hardcore fans who long for more end game activities and progression.
I’m not going to lie; I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing during my demo. I ran forward, killed some guys, beat a boss, and that was it. There was no apparent rhyme or reason to what we were doing or why it was important, which left me confused more than anything else. I wasn’t sure if it was a story mission or one of the side activities, but it was mostly shooting things until they died.
Unfortunately, players didn’t receive the option of choosing a class or loadout when they started playing; it automatically gave you one of two that didn’t seem all too different. The weapons we’d started with were highly varied, but the skills unique to each class seemed to do the same thing. It didn’t help that the Demolitionist has an ability that is not present in the build that was playable, but even the Sharpshooter didn’t do much besides deploying an uncontrollable drone.
The gunplay is also nothing great, but it’s above average, and there’s a diverse range of weapon types on show. The loot system is hard to judge after only 15 minutes, but drops seemed to be occurring quite frequently, and I felt compelled to compare my gear to see if I could optimise my character that little bit more. It’s hard to accurately gauge what the loot game will be like come launch, but the demo is indeed a good start.
While the game looks and runs excellently, the UI is indistinguishable from the first game and leaves it feeling like a small update instead of a full-fledged sequel. The environments have made a jump from the snow-ridden streets of an infected New York City to a more bright, vibrant, and colour filled Washington DC. It’s a noticeably refreshing change in setting and scenery, and it feels like the only aspect of the game that’s willing to step outside of its comfort zone.
I was unexcited by the announcement of The Division 2. After playing it, I still can’t say I’m interested in jumping into Ubisoft’s shared-world shooter. It lacks innovation in the areas that matter, and if there’s supposed to be a strong narrative at play here, I didn’t catch any of it. Given the nature of a game like The Division 2, it’s hard to properly form opinions on it from such a small chunk of time, but based on what I did experience, it left me unimpressed and underwhelmed.