Tom Clancy's The Division 2
|Tom Clancy's The Division 2|
|Release||March 15, 2019[b]|
Third person shooter
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 is an online action role-playing video game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. The sequel to Tom Clancy's The Division (2016), it is set in a near-future Washington, D.C. in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic, and follows an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division as they try to rebuild the city. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 15, 2019. It received generally favorable reviews from critics, with most noting it as an improvement over the first installment.
Played from a third-person perspective, the game is a cover-based third-person shooter with up to four players being able to complete missions together. The game takes place in Washington D.C. seven months after its predecessor, in which a civil war between survivors and villainous bands of marauders breaks out. In the beginning of the game, players create their own Division agent by customizing the character's gender and appearance. In the game, players are equipped with different firearms, including assault rifles, sniper rifles and SMGs, and explosives like grenades to defeat enemies. These weapons are classified into different tiers and rarity. High-quality guns are difficult to obtain, but they have better weapon stats and "talents" that further help boost players' performance. The weapon stats include the following 7 domains: Damage, Rounds Per Minute, Magazine Size, Accuracy, Stability, Reload Time, and Damage Drop Off. These weapons can be further customized with different attachments like iron sights and barrels. The game also features a variety of gears and armor. Wearing gears from the same brand gives players a small performance boost. As players complete missions, they gain loots and experience points (XP). With sufficient XP, they level up and gain SHD Tech, a currency to unlock new skills. These skills include deploying gun turrets, shields and combat drones, or gaining access to weapons like seeker mines and chem launchers. Each skill has unique mods that change its functionality. The game also introduces new enemy types, including healers and characters that shoot foam at players. Players can request backup during missions, which allows other players to join their sessions. Players can also join a clan, which can accommodate at most 50 players. The actions of individual members of a clan contribute to clan XP, which can be used to upgrade the clan for additional gameplay benefits.
Washington D.C. is an open world for players to explore. Players can recruit non-playable characters by completing missions and providing supplies to different settlements. Recruiting them unlocks new features, including projects, which are fetch quests that reward players with gears, XP, and blueprints for crafting, which can be accessed in the base of operation, the White House. Upgrading settlements enables their expansion to include more facilities and gives players gameplay benefits such as access their gear staches or fast travel. Another way to fast travel is to use the safehouses players have discovered. Once a safehouse is discovered, locations of several SHC tech caches would be revealed. Finding them grants players SHC tech cache points, which can be used to unlock new perks that further enhance players' combat performance as well as granting advantages such as XP bonuses. Players can also liberate enemies' control points and call civilian reinforcements to assist in battle, participate in organic events such as stopping public executions and capturing resource convoys, and collect different collectibles including comms, relics and artifacts, and Echoes. Players also encounter different weapon vendors in the game. They can sell trinkets, which are unusable junk items that players had collected, and unwanted gears to them in order to earn E-credits, the game's currency which can used to purchase new weapons, crafting and resetting appearances.
The Division 2 features three Dark Zones, each of which supports up to 12 players. Dark Zones are areas in which players defeat tough enemies for valuable and rare loot, though these loots can be taken by other players. Upon entering a Dark Zone, players gears would become normalized to ensure that all players are in a level playing field. Non-contaminated loots belong to players once they are collected, but contaminated loots need to be extracted by a helicopter and players need to defend the extraction point from AI enemies and other players. When one player broke into a Dark Zone chest or steal a Dark Zone supply drop, the player and his team will become rogue. Rogue players can attack other players in the same session to steal their loot and gain XP. Once they eliminate another player, they become "disavowed", which alerts other non-rogue players. If the disavowed rogue eliminate more players, they became Manhunt Rogue in which players who kill the rogue agent would receive a huge bounty. Rogue status can be removed by surviving in the Dark Zone for a period of time or accessing the Thieves' Dens (for rogues) and Manhunt terminals (for Manhunt rogues). The Dark Zone has its own progression system. DZ XP, which are earned by killing enemies and rogues, can be used to unlock perks and gameplay advantages like a reduced rogue timer.
Players reach the game's endgame when they reach level 30 and finish the game's campaign. The endgame is divided into world tiers, which serve as different chapters and thresholds for further increasing the game's difficulty. Levels are replaced by Gear Score, which is calculated based on the stats, attributes, and talents of all the weapons and armors players have. In the endgame, a new enemy faction named the Black Tusk retakes all the control points players had previously liberated. Players can access the Invaded missions, which are levels in the campaign with harder enemies. By completing Invaded missions and having sufficient Gear Score, players can then liberate a stronghold, which would then allow players to unlock the next world tier. Players can also encounter 52 bosses, collectively known as the Deck of 52 as each boss will drop a collectible card for players to collect once they are defeated. When players reach the endgame, they can unlock more skills by specializing their character to a specific class. The three classes are namely Sharpshooter, Demolitionist, and Survivalist. Each of them has a signature weapon. For instance, a Survivalist agent is equipped with a crossbow, with the Demolitionist class has the M32A1 grenade launcher. In the endgame, players can enter Occupied Dark Zones, in which weapons are no longer normalized, friendly fire is activated, AI enemies become more difficult to kill, and players would no longer be notified when other players turn rogue. The game also features raids, which can be completed by up to eight players.
The Division 2 is set after the events depicted in Tom Clancy's The Division, in a world devastated by Green Poison, a potent strain of smallpox engineered and released in New York City by an environmental terrorist. Green Poison became a pandemic, resulting in casualties and chaos on a global scale. Facing imminent social collapse, the United States government activated a contingent of domestic sleeper agents called the Strategic Homeland Division (SHD), or simply "The Division", to preserve order and continuity of government. Division agents leverage advanced technology and wide autonomy to deal with threats as they see fit.
By the beginning of The Division 2, most government and military personnel have evacuated Washington D.C., which has descended into lawlessness. The White House is controlled by local Division agents and a collation of first responders called the Joint Task Force (JTF), working to protect civilians and reestablish order. However, most of Washington D.C. has been carved into territories controlled by three competing militias: the Hyenas, a loose collation of gangs, criminals, and anarchists taking advantage of the chaos for their own amusement and profit; the Outcasts, fanatical survivors of severe quarantines during the onset of the pandemic, seeking revenge on those they believe responsible for their imprisonment and eventual infection; and the True Sons, a highly organized and ruthless group of disgruntled JTF, US Armed Forces, and paramilitary mutineers led by Colonel Antwon Ridgeway, who believes that security can only be restored through brutal authoritarianism.
Seven months after the Green Poison outbreak, several Division agents are defending a civilian settlement from a bandit attack when the SHD Network, the system controlling their advanced technology and nationwide communications, suddenly shuts down. The Player's Agent receives a Division distress call from Washington D.C. as a new and larger force begins to attack the settlement. At a fellow agent's urging, they abandon the battle to respond to the call. The Agent arrives in Washington D.C. to find the Division and JTF's local base of operations, the White House, under attack by the Hyenas. After repelling the attack, the Agent is briefed by Manny Ortega, the city's Division controller. The Agent learns that most of the country’s leadership is either dead or missing and the city is mostly controlled by three hostile factions: the Hyenas, the Outcasts, and the True Sons. Ortega instructs the Agent to work with fellow agent Alani Kelso to assist civilian settlements, liberate the city, and restore the SHD network.
Ortega and Kelso uncover information that a cure to Green Poison might be located somewhere in the city, and that President Ellis may have survived the crash of Air Force One but is being held prisoner. Kelso is reluctant to waste time and resources to find Ellis, but Ortega points out that his security clearance may be needed to access the cure. The Agent eventually discovers Ellis and rescues him from Hyena custody. Ellis confirms that broad spectrum antivirals to cure not just Green Poison, but all viral infections, exist. However he can only access them with a special briefcase currently held in the True Sons' heavily fortified base at the United States Capitol. After the Agent repairs the SHD Network, reconnecting Division agents across the country, Ellis vows to restore the United States, no matter the cost. With the tide turning against them, the Hyenas, True Sons, and Outcasts retreat to their final strongholds. With the help of civilian militias and the JTF, the Agent assaults the strongholds and eliminates the leadership of all of the factions while recovering Ellis' briefcase.
As the Agent and the Division celebrate their victory, a new faction, the technologically advanced private military company Black Tusk, invades the city. Many of D.C.'s landmarks are quickly seized and Ellis suddenly goes missing with his briefcase, forcing the Agent to head out to find Ellis and repel the Black Tusk. The Agent eventually learns that Black Tusk supplied weapons to the gangs of D.C., Ellis has been working with the Black Tusks all along, and that Ellis's predecessor, President Mendez, did not commit suicide as previously believed, but was assassinated by his own Secret Service detail on Black Tusk's orders. Thanks to Ellis, Black Tusk gains possession of the broad spectrum antivirals, planning to transport them out of the city. The Agent successfully raids Black Tusk's stronghold at Tidal Basin, retrieving the antivirals and preventing a missile strike on the White House, although Ellis’ location remains unknown.
The game was developed by Massive Entertainment. Evaluating the feedback from players regarding the first game, Massive Entertainment planned to include more game content at launch and improve the endgame. The game's endgame development was prioritized by Massive Entertainment after hearing players' complaints from the first game. The developers have said that the game's main campaign will take around 40 hours to beat, making it twice as long as the original game.
The game was announced on March 9, 2018, by Ubisoft, with the first gameplay footage being premiered at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018 in June 2018. At the Expo, Ubisoft confirmed that the game will be released on March 15, 2019 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A private beta was launched prior to the game's release. The beta started on February 7, 2019 and ended four days later on February 11. After the game's release, three episodes of downloadable content, which add new story content and gameplay modes, will be released for all players for free.
To set The Division 2 apart from the first game in the series, Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft spent part of the development process revamping the game's weapons based on player feedback. The development team also spent a great deal of time reworking the game's mod system, alongside class specializations. In an interview, director Mathias Karlson said that the development team wanted "Washington to feel as realistic as possible," and that architectural accuracy, as well as realistic weapon sounds, played a large role in that. He said that the team hired and used a number of professional military advisors to help them recreate Washington D.C. and key sections of the game.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 received "generally favorable reviews" from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.
Destructoid praised the game for its tight, satisfying gameplay, summarizing its review with: "Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash." In its 9/10 review, Game Informer wrote that "Thrilling combat, a great loot loop, and a strong endgame elevate this Tom Clancy shooter to new heights."
PC Gamer gave it a score of 82/100, calling it a "packed, rewarding, and frequently thrilling looter shooter that should have a bright future." In its 4.5/5 review, GamesRadar+ wrote: "The Division 2 is a seriously accomplished looter-shooter, with a gameplay loop that keeps on giving, and an endgame that will keep you playing for months (or years) to come." GameSpot praised the world design, reward system and variation of enemies, giving the game a 9/10. IGN gave the game a rating of 8.5/10. They praised the "wonderful recreation of Washington, D.C." and were impressed by the gunplay and loot systems which were well thought out and offered player choice. Although the endgame was thought "disappointing" this was considered likely to be a "temporary problem" and overall the game was said to be "one of the strongest launches the genre has seen yet."
The Division 2 proved to be the U.K.'s best-selling game the week it was released, although its sales figures were only 20% of the original game's launch-week sales. In Japan, approximately 63,817 physical units for PS4 were sold during its launch week becoming the number one selling game of any format. The game's sales on consoles failed to meet Ubisoft's expectations, with Ubisoft citing increased competition in the genre as a factor leading to the game's disappointing performance. Ubisoft added that the sales on PC were similar to that of the first game.
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