For players who weren't willing to drop over $100 on the expensive early edition of The Division 2, the game is officially here.
Unfortunately, the current state of loot shooters may have left you a bit gunshy when it comes to running out and purchasing it (as much as I hate to draw comparisons to Anthem, it's unavoidable).
With that in mind, we're going to take a look at a few things you should know when deciding whether to purchase The Division 2.
This isn't a review, as I haven't completed the game and seen all of the content. Instead, we're just looking at some important information you should know about the game so you can better decide if it's worth spending $60.
1. The Game Is Tactical
Unlike Anthem and Destiny 2 where you're playing as a super powerful futuristic superhero, in The Division 2, you're a human. You can take a few hits, but you don't want to run out in the open and fight enemies head-on. Instead, you need to methodically move between cover and be prepared for enemies to flank you.
I bring this up because it might be a turn-off for some players who are used to jumping around and flying in games like Anthem and Destiny. If a third-person view of a real-world setting doesn't interest you, you should check out these other loot shooters, as they might scratch your itch a little better.
2. There's Tons of Content
Right out of the gate, The Division 2 is loaded with content. There are the main missions, side missions, control points, public executions, Dark Zone, Conflict mode, and so much more. The Division 2 is one of the most content-rich launches of any game in the genre.
Of course, the content in the game is before the DLC comes out, so we're only talking about what's here on day one. Even without the content that's scheduled to come later, you're looking at a game that you can spend hundreds of hours on, easily.
3. Time-to-Kill Has Been Shortened
One of the biggest complaints about the first The Division game was that enemies felt like bullet sponges. You'd sit there behind cover unloading clip after clip into them, and they wouldn't go down. Thankfully, Massive realized that this was a problem and it has taken major strides to improve the survivability of enemies.
First, most enemies have lower health. However, lowering the health too much would make the game too easy, so they can still take a few more hits than you'd expect them in real life. The developers added an armor mechanic that sees you focusing on weak spots between pieces of armor or shooting the armor off of an enemy to bring them down. This adds another layer of depth to bringing down tough enemies that didn't exist in the first game.
4. There's More Competitive Multiplayer
While The Division 2 has plenty of content for players who don't want to engage in head-to-head battles against fellow agents, there's also a deeper focus on PVP in this game. First, there are now multiple Dark Zones to explore and go rogue on your fellow agents. That's to be expected since the DZ was one of the most enjoyable parts of The Division.
There's also a new four-on-four competitive mode called Conflict. Instead of a mixed PVE and PVP environment, this mode is more like a traditional competitive game mode. It's just another way that Massive and Ubisoft have found a way to expand the life of the game. Thankfully, it's not forced on you if PVP isn't your thing.
5. The World Is More Useful
One of the major issues with the first The Division was the open world outside of the Dark Zone. It was just useless after a certain point in the progression. Over the course of the game, the developers added a little more to do out there, but in the end, players were mostly just fast traveling between missions or to the entrance of the Dark Zone.
In this game, the open world is filled with useful enemies to take down, plenty of small missions, and it's generally just more lucrative to walk around and kill stuff in it. Which is great, because the amount of detail in the world is staggering, and it would be a shame to see so much hard work go to waste.
6. All Major DLC Is Free
This is a big deal for a game like this: you won't need to spend a penny to get any DLC for the first year of release. The developers plan to release three episodes of content, and all of them will be available free of charge. Additionally, there's an eight-player raid coming, which should add tremendous value to the end-game. Players who purchased the season pass will be able to play the content a week early, but for the rest of us, we'll get to take it all without paying seven days later.
Not only is this a nice gesture to keep players coming back to the game, but it doesn't splinter the player base. If only paying players are able to play the new content, it makes the matchmaking pool smaller for and creates a worse experience for everyone.
The More You Know...
Now you're armed with the knowledge of exactly what The Division 2 is all about, and you can decide if the game is right for you.
If you're into a tactical, cover-based shooter that (so far) seems to be quite generous with the loot, it might be worth a shot.
If you aren't down with a slower, more methodical pace, you might be better off sticking with Destiny or Anthem.