Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is currently available to play for those who purchased the Gold and Ultimate editions of the game. Because of the online nature of the game, GameSpot’s access privileges to The Division 2 are the same as those who have those editions, so we’re playing and experiencing concurrently to those players. All players will receive access to the game by Friday, March 15.
Below you’ll find some day-one impressions from me, who’ll be writing the final review. I plan to have a scored review-in-progress once I’ve completed the campaign and a final review once I’ve seen a substantial amount of what The Division 2 has to offer with its endgame content, including specializations, invaded missions, PvP, and the Dark Zones. We appreciate your patience as we dig deep into this huge game.
It’s all a bit overwhelming at first, even for someone who played a lot of The Division. Several smaller things have been added to the sequel, which translates to a barrage of mission and tutorial popups for the first few hours. It’s also tough to initially get your head around the convoluted UI. But once you get a handle on the flow of progression, it doesn’t take long to get completely sucked in.
What strikes me most about The Division 2 is how much its world feels like a thoroughly cohesive, living place. Settlements, the hubs where you craft, shop, and track your progression, are believably buzzing with activity. After establishing your own base of operations at the White House, the first settlement you unlock is a multi-leveled community built around the rooftop of Washington’s National Theatre and its surrounding buildings. At first, it’s a little frustrating trying to make your way around it and track down the services you need–there’s a lot of seemingly unimportant spaces you have to traverse. But those spaces go a long way in pushing this settlement into seeming like something that could feasibly work in real life, player convenience be damned. There are dedicated areas for the logistics of the settlement, NPCs seemingly doing a variety of chores, and generally a messy, makeshift nature to it all that feels genuinely thrown together and at risk of falling into disarray at the slightest breeze. It’s charming.
After completing roughly a third of the story missions, the plot of the game so far seems to be a relatively straightforward goal of increasing the militia’s capacity to fight back against aggressors by rescuing key personnel and property. You’ll do this by going into various Washington landmarks and gunning down a lot of people in main and side missions, helping individuals out in open-world activities, and gathering resources, all of which contribute to various settlement “projects” aimed at upgrading civilian operations.