We had the opportunity to participate in the Closed Beta di Tom Clancy's The Division 2, expected sequel to the RPG-Shooter published in March 2016 by Ubisoft and developed by Massive Entertainment. We tell you how it went!
The Division 2, the next one coming out 15 March on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC (and unveiled for the first time in the world during theE3 2018) is immediately confirmed to be ever closer to what, in fact, we could define as a "MMORPG Shooter", As the sense of growth and progression of one's virtual alter-ego, with the dozens and dozens of skills proposed, and the constant improvement of equipment and weapons, is certainly the backbone that will keep the whole experience of this new title. An experience that it would be advisable to face in the company of friends, but which ensures fun even alone.
The time frame in which the events of The Division 2 is separated from 7 months away (and about 200 miles) from the events narrated in the first chapter. In The Division it was meant to try to restore order in New York City, while in The Division 2 it will be Washington to be under siege. But frankly, what the plot has to tell is of little interest here. What we want to tell is our experience, "weapons" in hand.
Wonder for the eyes
So, let's proceed: first of all, the graphic sector. It is clear from the very first steps taken in the game world that during the creation of The Division 2 the digital artists really had to be inspired; in the streets of Washington the chaos that reigns is perceived in every detail, in every glass bottle left on the ground, in every destroyed window, in every single car abandoned on the street. The graphics engine practically never stumbles (and we are talking about a Beta!), despite the quality of animations and textures is of the highest level (tested version: PlayStation 4). We expected more from the level of destructibility of environments. To give an example: you can shoot the wheels of any car you meet on the street and admire the tire deflating and giving way under the weight of the car; however, by throwing a bomb practically nothing will happen, if not the very effect of the explosion. Other details instead surprised us, such as the possibility of piercing the fabric of some flags exposed to the wind. Between the destructibility of environments and the wealth of detail, the developers have clearly decided to focus on the second aspect: not everything falls apart, but everything that surrounds the player generates a crazy level of immersion. Also, thanks to the beautiful audio effects, you will really feel in the streets of a city that is falling, hour after hour, more and more into chaos. To underline, then, once again, the attention to detail in recreating a 'graphic interface of great impact: the sense of three-dimensionality recreated for every single item that appears on the screen is certainly a distinctive trait of the Ubisoft title.
A world to… unlock!
As for the gameplay, The Division 2 further expands the structure offered by the first chapter, "stunning" the player with a truly impressive amount of items to unlock. Main missions, side missions and “Shade” missions will flood the inventory of weapons and pieces of equipment. The main weapon can be combined with a second primary weapon (unlocking the specific ability) and a secondary weapon. The pieces of equipment are divided into six different parts corresponding to as many parts of the body. Each weapon can be improved with dedicated pieces, which ensures a high level of customization of the game experience. Among sights, barrels, silencers and other devilry, you will spend a lot of your time inside the inventory, if only for the desire to experiment.
Then there are the "Ability"And"Advantages". The former are unlocked by completing the Main Missions and each of these will have different declinations, which will be chosen by the player based on his personal fighting style. For example, the "Skill Platform" dedicated to the use of a Drone in battle offers four different models, each with its own peculiarities (there is the model that releases explosive charges on the enemy and the one dedicated exclusively to the exploration of the surrounding environment, for example). Another example? The "Skills platform"That allows you to unlock the Turret then requires you to choose which type of turret to use in battle (there is the one that offers the possibility of manually firing on the unfortunate on duty and the one able to act in perfect autonomy). We are of the opinion that this category, rather than being called "Skills", should have been called "Accessories", because in fact, it does not offer any kind of improvement to the soldier itself (so to speak, the ability to run faster), but offers eight different deadly "gadgets" to bring into battle: Turret and Drone, as mentioned, but also improvements to the "Impulse" technology, and other mechanical devilry such as the Hive, the Chemical Launcher, the Pike, the Mines to search and the shield.
I Advantagesinstead, they activate a series of improvements on specific pieces of equipment and on some accessories for weapons. Once unlocked using Shade technology, we will be able to carry an additional armor kit (up to a maximum of four), or additional bullets (adding more capacious magazines). In addition, the Advantages improve the accessories of the weapons, we think for example of silencers that last longer.
If the main missions follow the normal course of events, the secondary ones can be activated by going to the numerous ones Settlements present in the streets of Washington. Every settlement needs help. By completing the missions that will be assigned to you within them, you will allow the structure itself to improve by unlocking specific upgrades. With each new level of improvement achieved by a settlement, new side missions and new projects will be unlocked. It will also be possible to recruit new staff members to work within the White House.
The Division 2 AI
THEArtificial intelligence that regulates the behavior of enemies, in a shooter, is certainly among the most important aspects. The way in which enemies react to our fire has not thrilled us for now. The AI, depending on the "class" of the enemy soldiers generated, presents rather rigid attack patterns: the "simple" soldiers, who basically stay behind a cover and then unload their bullets, are able to run from a point A to a point B, thus changing coverage, but they do it in a rather stupid way, often running away from us and with your back to us or even choosing, as if nothing had happened, to climb a wall (or a flight of stairs) under a shower of bullets. On the other hand, their choice to throw themselves in is particularly appropriate and realistic slip towards cover, thereby losing the direct line of fire, forcing us to re-center the sight on them. Then there are female soldiers who, in perfect style kamikaze, they decide to throw themselves at us running and screaming (practically announcing their presence). In these cases, you are forced to change your point of cover, at least until the threat of these fierce soldiers has not been averted with a healthy dose of lead. The Bosses (or at least the one shown in this Beta) are confirmed to be particularly difficult to defeat and represent one more reason to organize with friends and start the mission in co-op multiplayer. In any case, do not get us wrong: we are not talking about a bad AI, but an AI that has not impressed us, still positioning itself in the norm of what has been seen so far in the shooters.
The Division 2 Beta also gave us the ability to launch PvP Skirmishes, where the game shows its full potential, shaking off the burden of having to independently manage the behavior of enemy soldiers (since the enemies, in PvP, are other human beings). Simply exciting, the Ubisoft shooter allows extremely tactical battles, where those who will be able to manage all the skills and benefits unlocked in the best possible way will have the best. Although it is still a Beta, the code was stable and the games slipped away in a pleasant way. We would very much like the possibility of killing with a single shot to be implemented in the final version in the event of a blow to the head (the classic "1 shot 1 kill“), Because we find it really not very credible to aim perfectly at the skull of an enemy and see him still have a chance to save himself (but this is not an exclusive problem of The Division 2, but of all shooters in general).
Tactical, full of things to do and content to unlock, with a plot that promises to be at least important, characterized by a sumptuous graphic impact and with a good (but not exceptional) level of destructibility of the environments, our hope is that developers manage in time to implement a more accurate and credible AI in The Division 2, to make even the co-op missions more exciting than ever. This title represents a ingenious mix between a classic shooter and a MMORPG, where the player's interest is constantly piqued by the desire and curiosity to obtain a new weapon, a new accessory or a new piece of equipment, in a "Endless" race towards an exciting upgrade. Bullet after bullet.