The Division is the definition of a runaway success. When the game launched in 2016, it took the world by storm and went on to smash internal and external records, right across the globe. Sadly, its post-launch content failed to live up to expectations and did very little to entice new players, but through and through, The Division was a much deserved success. Ubisoft has taken everything on board since then and with The Division 2, they aim to deliver the very best version of their vision yet, especially as far as end-game content goes.
Ubisoft stated during their E3 2018 presentation that the end of The Division 2 will just be the beginning, and going from the small nuggets of information we’ve been given so far, we’re certainly excited. The Division 2’s brand-new end game presents added challenges, game modes, and high-end rewards, offering new ways to play and further upgrade your Agent. This comes via a collection of new and interesting mechanics and additions, including; specializations, raids, free post-launch content and more. Safe to say, it’s going to be much bigger and much better.
Cast your mind back to The Divisions’ end-game content and you’ll remember how excited fans became when we all learned that Incursions were to be activated shortly after release. Many assumed that these would be served up as raids, but were ultimately left disappointed when the end result was little more than clearing a room that housed wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies. It was a very hard hitting reality back then, especially given how well structured the raids in Destiny were at the time, leading to more expectations.
That’s all about to change in The Division 2. Raids will cater for eight players in total, collectively being tasked to embark on some challenging missions that will test skill, communication and teamwork. Ubisoft are being deliberately vague as to what these raids will entail, but given that this was one of the main criticisms of the predecessor, we’re expecting nothing less than lengthy, well developed and demanding sequences. With expectation comes speculation and if you ask me, this is will be the end-games’ backbone.
Unlike the Incursions, it would be great to see some structure to the raids. Something akin to the raids that we witness in other games; large portions of content that offer weekly challenges and hidden secrets. Something that merges puzzle elements with action and certainly something that cant be completed without a fuller team. It goes without saying that these raids should offer up some exclusive weapons, traits and cosmetics, if for anything to score some bragging rights when we’re patrolling the improved Dark Zone.
Bungie does a great job with their raids for the most part by implementing boss sequences and puzzle sections that cannot be overcome by any single player, or at least not easily, that is. Ubisoft would do well to follow this example and build upon it. Only time will tell as to how all of this will shape up and no doubt Ubisoft will reveal more in due course, but until that happens, we can all but hope for the best. It was revealed that the game has been developed with an endgame-first mentality, which, if anything, shows a lot of promise.
The end-game will have its own narrative thread, which we’re assuming will feed directly into the three post-launch (free for everyone) expansions that are set to be released throughout the game’s first year. Progress will continue after level 30, at which point players can select a specialization such as sharpshooter, demolitionist, or survivalist, each of which comes with its own unique progression path. These new paths will implement new skill mods, talents and tools, as well as brand new signature weaponry for Agents to enjoy.
This is another aspect of the game that I’m looking forward to learning more about. It took the developers a great deal of time to find the correct weapon and progression balance in the first game, so it’s going to be important that they get it right in the sequel. I’m hoping for something fluid and easy to understand rather than that of its predecessor’s confusing layout. PvP experiences will be making a return, including the Dark Zone. Yes, the zone of greedy bastards is coming back and has been fully revamped to ensure that it plays well.
I initially enjoyed The Division’s Dark Zone but it was hardly fair on lower-leveled Agents, or indeed solo Agents. For the sequel, I would like to see more options on this front to help balance it out a little. Even, if only, that means allowing players to dive into a solo-only variation of the Dark Zone. We’re not sure what other PvP options will be available, but there’s a lot of potential either way, it just needs to be well laid out and needs to cater for group-players and solo-players alike. The Dark Zone is a solid idea, but the foundation needed more work.
I know I’m not alone in the belief but on the flip-side, I know there’s many out there that rather enjoyed the Dark Zone for what it was, so I’m intrigued to see what Ubisoft has taken away from their time with the first game. Moving back to the free DLC, this is said to offer a year’s worth of story-driven missions, map expansions, and new modes. This is a massive step up from The Division, which offered post-launch DLC via paid expansions. These expansions split up the community through gated content, which led to player-drop off.
Keeping everyone in the same unified build was a wise move on Ubisoft’s part. It would be great to see some truly in-depth additions being thrown into the game at a regular pace alongside vendors, weekly assignments and more. Set in a one-to-one recreation of Washington, D.C., there’s a lot to be excited for, that much goes without saying. However, it’s vital that the developer fleshes out that recreation in a way that’s better than how The Division’s map was. Don’t get me wrong, it was indeed a lush full-map, but it lacked life.
The sequel needs to offer more on-map points of interest such as vendors or special events outside of the newly revealed dynamic introduction of survivors vs enemies and territorial control. Furthermore, the map’s buildings and landmarks could use more interior work. I understand that the nature of the game consists of isolation and abandonment, but aimlessly moving from building to building in the first game became way too repetitive, way too quickly. I’ve no doubt that The Division 2 will excel in places where The Division didn’t, but for me, the above additions would make for one smashing journey.
The game is set to launch in March 2019 and Beta sign-ups are already available, so hopefully it’s not too long before we start hearing more back from that feed. If you’ve yet to check out the gameplay trailer for The Division, you can see it at the head of this article. What about your expectations for the game? Are you looking forward to learning more? Did The Division burn you out before long? Got any specific hopes for the sequel? Did you enjoy the Dark Zone? Sound off in the comment section below to get in on the discussion.