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Review: Tom Clancy's The Division 2 (Xbox One)By Insanoflex At 11.05.2019 11:04

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It has become almost a cliché at this point for Ubisoft to release yet another open-world action title. Festooned with waypoints to follow, and endless amounts of waist-high objects to take cover on, there is something very... seventh gen about The Division 2. With tons of enemy encampments to raid, and expansive cities to plunder, while fighting off psychotic gangs that roam what's left of Washington D.C. after a plague wiped out most of the country, there is no shortage of skinner box activity to partake in. Much like karaoke, this is the kind of experience that is best played with people, as going in it solo means that the journey to the meaty end-game content will be longer and rougher.

Never let it be said that games from Ubisoft looked ugly. The Division 2 is a shockingly convincing depiction of the U.S. Capital in shambles. Everything from the characters to the weapons they wield, down to the terrain they scour is richly detailed. Characters have a profound sense of weight and move with a purpose. Stylistically, the art direction is on the bland side, which is par the course for emphasizing on photo-realism. There just is not a lot of personality; lighting is often flat and there is not much creative use of colour. The way the story is presented could not be any less engaging which is a sad by-product of the kind of game this is; nobody is interested in The Division 2 for its story or lore... people just want to head-shot thugs, and customize their weapons, and Ubisoft knows this.

Why would anyone want to subject themselves to The Division 2 for almost a hundred hours? For the nigh endless customization, of course. A great deal of care has been put into the way users can craft their avatar murder-machine. Every piece of equipment has unique stats, and sometimes useful effects added to it. The guns, especially, have been given an extreme attention to detail that has to be commended; complete with options to tweak and customize the usability for every firearm found. It can be overwhelming at first, but the long term game loop will make it show its versatility and usefulness. All of this is paramount to the basic core third-person cover shooter mechanics because these bog-standard systems would be utterly forgettable if it wasn't for all the mods and specializations to spice things up.

The Division 2 has some shades of Far Cry in it. Expect lots of points of interest where the objective is to kill everything that moves, loot and move on. Tons upon tons of nodes to clear on the mini map that will only compound on itself, constantly giving a drip feed of things to do. There becomes a time when it all begins to feel redundant and mind numbing. No real goal to work towards other than raiding and looting for more gear to get more powerful to become more efficient at killing anything that moves. It is like playing a slot machine that never pays out.

After about 50 hours, maybe a dedicated player will reach the endgame content which is almost an entirely new experience in how it introduces tons of new activities and opens up a major stronghold as well as hot zones that have greater threats. At this point in the adventure, most will likely have maxed out character levels, and will now focus on the equipment's score rating. It may sound simple, but it is actually kind of overwhelming at first given how dense this post-game content actually is.

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Final Score
[i]The Division 2[/i] may be making a mess on Tom Clancy's grave by betraying his highly conservative values, but what is here is a very competent and polished third-person open-world action game with a big emphasis on co-op. The value in this package is seemingly nigh on endless with the amount of things to do and see. Even the core gameplay loop, though simplistic, is satisfying enough to keep things stimulating, even when they feel monotonous at times. Just when things feel the most tedious, the end game content really mixes things up in a big way to reinvigorate the formula.

7

/10

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