Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 review for PS4, Xbox One, PC

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Medium: Blu-ray/Digital
Players: 1-8
Online: Yes

I generally enjoy loot focused games, being a huge fan of the Diablo series, and to some lesser degree a fan of something like Destiny. When the first Tom Clancy?s The Division was released, I jumped in but it never fully clicked for me. Part of that was the lack of intriguing content at launch, something that I understand was corrected down the road, but past the point that I was actively playing. So I wasn?t entirely sure what to expect with the sequel, Tom Clancy?s The Division 2, but I?m happy to say I?ve been pretty impressed over the past couple of weeks spent playing the game.

I?m now at World Tier 3, toying around with the end-game content and working on building up my overall gear score to enter the next tier. I?ve had a hard time putting the game down to work on other things, which is generally a pretty good sign. I?ve joined a clan, co-op?d plenty of times with complete strangers, and I?m constantly distracted by the sheer multitude of random activities the game throws at me. The loot drops are plentiful, and for the most part beneficial. Enemy A.I. is intelligent, forcing me to switch cover often, and be alert for flanking maneuvers. The weapon variety, mission locations, and overall open-world city design is outstanding. Basically, I really, really like The Division 2.

I posted some early impressions a while back, which you can check out here. I would say that my opinion hasn?t really changed. A few issues have become more noticeable since then, but by and large I have found The Division 2 to be pretty darn great. For complaints, I think one could argue that enemy spawn locations can be needlessly aggravating, especially when initiating control point takeovers. Enemies have a tendency to pop out of ?monster closets? that will leave you unprotected with little warning, and it?s certainly something I?d like to see addressed. The Division 2 also suffers from typical open-world technical issues, small bugs that might force you to restart a mission, or enemies falling through the environment in a way that prevents you from moving on to the next phase. However, developer Massive Entertainment has been actively working to address issues, and has been forthcoming with patch info, so I?d imagine a lot of things will get worked out.

On the plus side, there?s a surplus of enjoyable content via the story missions, side missions, random activities, and end game content. As you start to work your way through the sections of the game world, you?ll uncover more and more stuff. Even now, well past the completion of the main story, I?ll come across new areas and buildings to explore. For instance, I came across an entryway into an apartment building yesterday that I had not noticed before, which triggered a brand new side mission to check out. There?s so many little things packed into every corner of The Division 2?s world that you?ll constantly come across something new to see or do.

The Division 2 isn?t stingy with loot either. I?m upgrading gear at a decent pace, and coming across that gear often enough to keep me going. It can get a little cumbersome to cycle through things in your inventory, but as I start to focus more and more on the idea of creating an actual character build, I?ve also started to pay closer attention to all the stats and abilities on the stuff I pick up. There?s a decent level of customization with mods that can be equipped, and having small set bonuses for just about everything helps with customizing your character even more. The only thing that feels broken at the moment is how skill power works in conjunction with skill mods, but again, I think this will get addressed soon.

While The Division 2?s content is certainly available for solo-players, I?ve had a lot of fun joining groups and tackling missions. Matchmaking is easy enough and can handled a few ways. You can opt to put out a call to strangers while roaming around the map, allowing people to join up whenever, and assist on any activity you feel like tackling. You can also get more specific and trigger matchmaking options via the main missions, grouping with other players also interested in running through that same mission. Loading in and out of games is easy and quick enough, and main missions progress carries over if you quit out of game. If you?re interested in versus more so than co-op, you can either enter the Dark Zone with a group and hunt down other agents while scoring loot, or jump into Conflict mode for actual deathmatch style modes. I?ve had little to no issues with online play since launch, which is certainly a plus for a game that require an online connection to play.

I would highly recommend Tom Clancy?s The Division 2 to just about anyone, even if you weren?t a huge fan of the first game. This feels like a much better attempt all around, and certainly scratches the same itch that games like Diablo and Destiny did for me. It also has plenty of initial content to explore, making it feel like a worthwhile purchase while the developer irons out the finer points. So absolutely give The Division 2 a chance, you won?t be disappointed.

Note: Ubisoft provided us with Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 PS4 codes for review purposes.

Grade: A