PC Gamer

The Division 2 review in progress

Samuel Roberts
 

After about 25 hours of wrestling with Anthem, it's funny how grateful I am for the little things in The Division 2. Stuff like being able to switch my loadout on the fly, without first exiting a mission or sitting through a loading screen. No one's tried to make me and three other players sit through a boring mid-mission cutscene, either—in fact, The Division 2 barely makes me pay attention to its story at all.

What a treat! I've played around 12-15 hours of The Division 2 since Monday, and I'm roughly two thirds through the campaign missions at level 21. Once I'm finished, of course, a new faction will arrive, the Black Tusk, who will form the cornerstone of the endgame content at launch by remixing the game's existing missions and other assorted content.

At level 30, I'll also unlock the three specialisations, more explicit classes that grant signature weapons.  Even without all of that, though, I already think it's a much stronger campaign experience than the first game, with fewer filler missions, and better open world side activities. I will say this: if The Division didn't grab you at any point during the past two years of well-considered updates, I don't think this will necessarily be the right game for you now.

It's largely a superior version of the same thing: tough third-person co-op shootouts, interlocking player skills, incremental loot rewards, and a familiarly dry Tom Clancy military tone.  Where it improves is in the cadence of its rewards, pelting you throughout the campaign with loot and experience points from various sources, making the next upgrade feel like a natural result of your journey through the game rather than being arduously earned. If you're looking for a strong loot shooter you can enjoy with friends in the wake of Anthem's troubled launch, or you want a mid-season break from Destiny 2, this might be a strong fit.

It helps that the main mission design is mostly terrific, taking you through a variety of real-world tourist spots for shootouts with the game's three enemy factions: the Hyenas, True Sons and Outcasts, all of which behave a bit differently in combat.

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