In case you didn’t know we’ve been playing and enjoying The Division 2, in fact you can see how much we’ve been enjoying it here, here & here… Now, the thing is that except for the rare gem such as Bioshock, I don’t generally enjoy FPS games as my genre of choice… So what makes The Divison 2 stand out, and why should you play it?
First up the big factor of fun is the co-op, and it’s definitely much more than “jump on with some mates whilst you shoot things that run around”. You need to work as a team or you will really struggle through some of the harder missions, and the Dark Zone will chew you up in seconds… You’ll know that one of you is better at sniping, one is better at dealing with closer combat, and one who likes to draw fire, and you really do need to keep this in mind as enemies will cover large areas and come from all angles – You’re best off having a couple of friends on the ground to draw fire and lay down as much suppressing fire as possible whilst another finds a perch to lay down big damage, or have another focus on drone and turret fire with a short range rifle; who knows! The tactics are up to you. and this choice is obvious and great, no matter the scale of the fight you enter, with one friend or two – When it comes together it really works and you won’t half notice your death rate drop when you start to pull together as a team and using your noggins!
Your skills and, well… Skills… Really do come in to play when tackling large enemy groups who have varying ways of attacking you – Let me go into this in a bit more detail…
You will pick up skills as part of your natural progression, and these essentially heal you, protect you, attack enemies or slow them down in some form – Now you’ll all get 2 of these special skills and you’re better off having a mixture of these skills in your party to help you in combat. For example, you can huddle behind cover with a healing bot whilst someone covers the enemy in flammable gas, and person 3 sends an explosive drone hurtling towards them, resulting in big damage. This is just one of many possible combos that utilise your special skills to help one another; the other type of skill is just your natural gaming ability…
I touched briefly on the variation of enemies which affect you, as they have different levels of difficulty (Red being easy, purple being medium, and gold hard). You’ll have enemies who run at you aimlessly with knives, those that will be all gangsta’ and try to uzi you from close range, enemies who are more tactical and use cover, big tanks who have grenade launchers and tonnes of health and many, many more. The gold-level tanks really do take teamwork to take down, you need a sniper ideally to take off the armour then get the others to lay down as much heavy damage as possible to attack their exposed body! The golds are usually bosses, but you will come across groups of them in streets that definitely can challenge you.
This is the other really exciting thing about this game; the open world of Washington D.C. is so much fun to play in – Inbetween missions you’ll encounter plenty of enemies and random tasks such as ‘reinstate the broadcast’ or ‘obtain these supplies’; generally speaking, you’ll either take enemies on in waves, or encounter a large group who have taken over a junkyard or something similar – You’ll definitely never be bored as you’ll need to keep completing these tasks to keep upgrading your bases, and also obtain skill points and loot, both of which are constantly needed, and any game with loot causes some form of addiction in me (And most gamers I’m sure), so I just want to keep upgrading my knee pads and guns, and organising my lovely backpack!
The guns all feel very different which makes this stand out from the crowd – In so many shooters the guns all feel very similar, and will only vary very slightly in damage and feel, except for them being a different type of gun. In The Division 2 I really felt the difference between everything I used, and even when adding modifications to increase stability or scope – I found myself using weaker guns because they could actually land more hits, or suited my playstyle more. You can tell a hell of a lot of time has been put into this and it makes it a much better game for it.
Overall The Division 2 is an outstanding shooter with a few open world / RPG elements chucked in to add a bit of zest. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being my favourite co-op game of the year!