To begin with I want to say this review is based on my experience as a new player (I have around 90h playtime so far) and I do not have the same experiences or knowledge of a veteran player. My friend and I both bought Division 2 and the DLC during the 2022 holidays sale in the Ubisoft store for 14€. The review is based on my playtime in late 2022 and early 2023.
Division 2 is developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. Its the second game in the Division franchise. In this review Ill explain from my point of view why this game is still worth buying in 2023 after almost 4 years. If you want a quick summary about the general theme of the Division world check out this trailer:
After trying out the free trial version of the game I was shocked how good it looked even though I didn’t have a high graphic settings enabled. The graphics and particularly the water and sky effects are beautiful to look at and I cant see any big difference to big recent games I played. The lighting in the underground areas of the world is also wonderful to look at. Have a look at some screenshots I took ingame:
If you like this “end of the world” setting this is the game for you. The randomly parked cars and greenery growing everywhere is made really well and the environmental design in the missions is phenomenal and really realistic in comparison to the real world Washingon DC and New York.
The basic gameplay idea is always the same: shoot the bad guys, loot more gear and save the world or at least what remained of it. The “only thing” changing is the environment in which you do this in.
The diversity of gear and skills is also a really cool because there are endless possibilities of builds to make and try out. The weapons all feel a little different and the hunt to get perfect stats on all of your gear really motivates to go farming for those high damage numbers.
Regarding Motivation, the game in itself can be quite frustrating at times because of bugs and lack of skill on the player end but the rewards you get for fighting and the progress tab motivate to keep going and get everything on 100%.
Another thing I like are the small in game tutorials which explain the basics of the game mechanics and really help to get a basic understanding of the game. If you want more in depth tutorials youtube is always a great option to go with.
Like most games division 2 is way more fun with friends… If you don’t have any friends that play Division 2, I would highly recommend the official division 2 discord server. The Coop in itself works well but the crashing problem (talking about that later) can ruin your fun. Just know that the more players you invite, the higher your enemies scale.
Talking about scale: If you play with players who have a different level than you, the game will automatically scale the lower level player to match the higher leveled player. Just exploring together is also a lot of fun:
Although Ubisoft seems like they don’t care for the game at all, the community on discord and reddit is really helpful and friendly to new players and reading community written guides or tips helped me expand my knowledge of ingame mechanics a lot.
Overworld / PvE content
There is a large open world where you can walk around and explore or for example do control points. There you basically 2 big waves of enemies to unlock a loot room. You can also donate some of your materials to gain experience points.
There are some smaller activities in the open world as well like hostages rescues, shooting training, enemy patrols or area controls which take a bit less time.
In the open world you can also find some shd caches where you unlock shd points. These are used to buy new skills or perks. The caches are reached by completing small puzzles that can be quite tricky at times.
Dark Zone / PvP(vE) content
If you are more into fighting other players there’s also something for you in division 2: the 3 Dark Zones (DZ) where you play against AI enemies but also against other players that might attack you by going rogue. Rogue agents can steal your loot which can be frustrating but most of the time you can easily find some friendly agents to team up and play with.
The dark zone has its own control points which are called landmarks. Most of the loot in this area needs to be extracted by helicopter because its infected. For me the concept of the dark zone is way more exciting than a simple battle royale or other extraction shooters like Lost Light or the PUBG Mobile Metro Royale mode.
My only criticism about the DZ is that the matchmaking isn’t based on playtime or “gear quality” and more on the general level brackets which can lead to you meeting someone with 1k+ hours in Division 2 while you are just getting to know the game. From my beginner perspective this seems quite unfair sometimes.
To begin with the biggest problem of this game is the crashing. This occurs randomly and often leads to loosing loot. This issue is the perfect example for the game support from ubisoft since this hasn’t been fixed since a few years. There are some other bugs like getting stuck in environmental objects or graphical issues but they don’t feels as game-breaking as the crashing.
For all the people that don’t like rng-based games (meaning getting certain items with stats based on luck) this isn’t the game for you. Getting a certain item can sometimes take a few hours and getting perfect stats even more. For me farming items in open-world-activities is way more fun than doing the same mission over and over again.
To experience the “real-endgame” at level 40 the DLC”Warlords of New York” (WONY) is required. As with the basic game I would recommend buying this on sale or just purchasing the WONY edition in the beginning. The raids or high difficulty activities feel like they’re only playable in a group and as a solo player you need a optimized loadout to run those. (I haven’t done any high difficulty endgame content yet so I can’t talk much about that)
Matchmaking for the under Lvl 30 mission is almost never successful but on higher difficulties its quite easy to get a team together. The backup call function is useful to get help in more difficult missions but annoying when it pops up during a mission.
Division 2: Division 2 would be the perfect game for you if you're into looter shooters or into Pvp. The game offers an interesting story and setting. Because there are some really annoying bugs we can't recommend the game at the moment and hope that this will get fixed soon. If you really want to buy it you should only purchase the game when it's on sale and preferably choose the "Warlords of New York Edition" to get access to both the base game and the expansion while also unlocking some special missions and apparel. – GLPC: emk
If you’re not yet able to decide check out the trial version of the game which you can play for 8 hours and progress until level 8.