Currently hovering around an average score of 80% on Metacritic, Tom Clancy's The Division 2 is back to lead players on a loot-filled romp through the war-torn remains of Washington D.C. If pre-orders are anything to go by, Ubisoft's third-person shooter should be able to avoid experiencing the same fate as Electronic Arts' Anthem. Launching with little in the way of mission or loot variety, 2016's original left a rather uneven initial impression.
Patient players who stuck by Ubisoft's shooter were rewarded with a constant stream of updates and improvements. In 2018, Tom Clancy's The Division was arguably the best online shooter on the market, even eclipsing Bungie's Destiny 2.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 does not need to re-invent the wheel. Rather than innovation, Massive Entertainment primarily focused on emphasizing the elements of the preceding game which yielded the greatest results. For the most part, Tom Clancy's The Division 2 plays like an expanded and fully realized version of the original, just with a fresh setting for veterans to explore.
Packed to the brim with content, Massive Entertainment's shooter is polished, entertaining, and impossible to put down! However, that does not mean everything works flawlessly. Obviously, video game and real-world logic seldom compliment each other perfectly, and we hope that never changes. However, Tom Clancy's The Division 2 has its fair share of inconsistencies or mechanics requiring a bit more time in the oven. No game is perfect.
Here are 25 things that make no sense about The Division 2!
25 Early Acess...In A PvP Game?
Publishers perpetually seek new and exciting ways to push even more ludicrous special editions upon their clientele. Once upon a time, a single version of a game shipped without any extra bells and whistles. Seriously, this used to be the norm!
Flash forward to 2018, Assassin's Creed Odyssey is available in five special editions, with the most expensive costing more than $200. Early Access is a relatively recent incentive added to these alternate versions, which can cause a few problems considering the number of titles reliant on Day One patches to work properly. The Division 2 blends PvE and PvP elements, therefore Early Access provides an unfair advantage in the latter.
24 Go Rogue Or Go Home
The Division 2 is stuffed to the brim with single-player missions to complete. The campaign should keep someone entertaining for dozens upon dozens of hours before there is any need to jump into the Dark Zone, the shooter's designated PvP no man's land. Prepare yourself for battle, as everyone will be out to score fantastic loot at the expense of everyone else.
Well, that used to be the case in the original game. In the sequel, unless a player decides to go Rogue, the Dark Zone makes for a surprisingly lonely stroll. Now, in all fairness, this issue should improve once a greater number of players reach this area.
23 Rogue For All
While the story missions can be mostly completed solo, forming a squad is recommended if venturing into the Dark Zone or completing raids. Actually, it is necessary for the latter.
Once in the Dark Zone, players can elect to go Rogue, which removes the restrictions preventing PvE battles. If an agent happens to be part of a squad, the act of going Rogue dooms everyone else to the same fate. Whether the rest of the team planned to go Rogue or not is inconsequential. Now, in all fairness, there is nothing stopping the rest of the team from abandoning the original deviant.
22 Skill Mod Requirements Are Absurdly High
An MMORPG cannot lock players into a single playstyle. Ideally, two characters with completely distinct builds should experience wildly different campaigns, even if both parties follow the same missions. Skill mods are The Division 2's core building blocks for molding a character to complement a preferred playstyle.
At the moment, there are eight skills available, with each boasting an array of mods. Once modifications are completed, a skill is assigned a Gearscore and Skill Power Level to determine when they can be used. The latter expects too much from players; consequently, mods tend to be worthless. A future patch should fix this issue.
21 Skill Builds Are Not Encouraged
Continuing from the last entry, in its current state, The Division 2 simply does not reward focusing on skills over firearms. Unlocking new mods requires dropping the majority of experience points on skills rather than fine-tuning the Agent's familiarity with guns. Skill Power Level determines whether a modified skill can be equipped, but improving this stat is simpler said than done.
The only method to improve your Skill Power Level is to equip special gear capable of upgrading Skill Power. Due to The Division 2's loot being randomized, a Skill Build is entirely at the mercy of lady luck.
20 Firearm Builds Are The Only Option
In a cohesive unit, every member slips into a role designed to highlight their strengths. Want to rush head first into combat? Increase your endurability and become a tank! Wish to cast powerful spells from a safe distance? Focus on enhancing magic attack. Prefer to support the rest of the team as a medic? Thanks for your time. Unfortunately, The Division 2 no longer requires your services.
By the Endgame, everyone should have access to the Chem Launcher healing mod or the Fixer Drone. Further healing skills are available to unlock, but pure medics are a luxury rather than a necessity.
19 To Revive Or To Reload, That Is Not A Question!
Taking the PlayStation 4 version as an example, reloading is mapped to the X button. A slightly awkward placing for such a function, but it is hardly a big deal. As it so happens, reviving teammates is also mapped to the same button. The main difference being that players must hold X to activate this command.
Do you notice the problem?
Want to revive a teammate to try and turn around a losing battle? Too bad, the game wants to reload! Prepare yourself to witness the reload animation for a thousand times, as The Division 2 seems incapable of distinguishing between these two directives.
18 Teams Can Kick A Member Out At Any Time
The Division 2's missions can be played solo or as part of a team. In the case of the latter, assembling four friends to storm the White House may not always be feasible. Luckily, The Division 2 implemented random matchmaking to ensure everyone can experience the game in their preferred way.
The Dark Zone brings out the worst in people, prompting allies to turn on each other at the drop of a hat. These moments are the franchise's pinnacle. On the other hand, there is nothing fun about being kicked out of a team in the middle of a mission because their friend finally decided to make an appearance.
17 Once A Sponge, Always A Sponge
Credit where credit is due, Massive Entertainment reduced the health bar of The Division 2's fodder enemies to circumvent some of the original's spongy characteristics. That's not to say a single blow to the head is enough to bring down enemies, but they at least require less than a full clip. Obviously, bosses and sub-bosses are totally different.
Despite the improvements, The Division 2 does not completely do away with its spongy enemies. While this would not be too huge of an issue in most shooters, the game's somewhat grounded setting feels incongruent with the super powered generic goons.
16 Fearless AI
The Division's enemy AI seldom attempt anything demanding even the tiniest planning. Periodically, they may remember that flanking is a thing and maneuver into a pincer formation, but these moments are few and far in between.
Does the sequel boast smarter foes? For the most part, the answer is yes. Although The Division 2's AI is primarily devoid of agency, enemy units are more likely to take the initiative than in the previous game. On higher difficulties, an AI soldier sprinting headfirst into a sea of bullets is not an unusual sight. They also move faster than the Flash.
15 Menus Are A Step Back
In most areas, 2019's sequel improves upon the original. At the bare minimum, an element equals the same standard. Unfortunately, exceptions always exist! Menus are a huge disappointment after 2016's The Division. Considering Massive Entertainment crafted a near perfect User Interface, delivering such a cluttered menu is disappointing.
In the name of fairness, future updates are likely to fine-tune this particular component; in fact, the menus have already improved since the days of The Division 2's beta. Nevertheless, the menus are frustrating to explore and poorly laid out. The weapon modding page is uniquely terrible.
14 Side Quests Are Best Ignored
Main missions are only a tiny fragment of The Division 2's content. D.C.'s streets are overflowing with side quests to complete and loot to discover. Leveling up is crucial, therefore most players may understandably commit to completing as many optional missions as possible before jumping to the final story quest. This is a mistake.
Focus on the main missions to reach the endgame and unlock specializations, a whole new set of upgradeable skill trees that become available once the maximum level cap of 30 is reached. Prior to accepting the last mission, make a detour to the White House and speak to your Quartermaster. Side missions completed prior to this moment do not reward points to upgrade specialist weapons.
13 Agents Are To Be Seen, Not Heard
Silent protagonists have their share of positives. In theory, a player should find it easier to immerse themselves into a role when someone else's voice is not constantly chiming in to leave a comment or two. Anthem's protagonist talks and is hardly better because of it.
Yet, The Division 2's silent protagonist feels slightly out of place. How much of the story's muted impact comes down to the playable character's vacant stare? The hero remains unimpacted by all of Washington's awfulness. Crucially, the protagonist comes across as a soulless husk created solely to follow orders. Who does not yearn to be a mindless lackey?
12 Hey, Agent! Hey, Agent! Hey, Agent!
Scratch all that immersion nonsense, the protagonist is silent to justify why he/she does not tell every NPC to shut up! If there is one aspect of 2016's original nobody wanted to relive, the repetitive dialogue has to be it. NPCs recycle the same lines over and over again, almost like they believe the protagonist has the attention span of a hummingbird.
Despite going around saving everyone while pulling America out of its current dumpster fire, the Agent is still not important enough to address by name. "Agent" is a title, not a term of endearment! At least, M has the decency to reference James Bond by his designated code number.
11 Faceless Factions
Seven months following the outbreak responsible for destroying New York, D.C. has fallen under the control of three warring factions called the True Sons, Hyenas, and Outcasts. Although each group is driven by its own ideologies and motivations, they all boil down to faceless enemies who need to be eliminated for the greater good. For all intents and purposes, these factions merely serve as factories to produce endless waves of enemies to eliminate.
Perhaps the recognizable setting is to blame, but the cartoonish villains seem slightly out of place. The Division 2 opts against truly exploring any of these factions in a meaningful way.
10 A Buried Story
The PlayStation 4's exclusives ensure those seeking a story-driven adventure are spoiled for choice. While nice, a deep narrative is not needed for a game to be successful. Regardless of whether the characters or plot leave much of an impression, The Division 2's world is a pleasure to explore.
Massive Entertainment wastes little time in dropping players into the thick of things. In fact, cutscenes rarely break up the gameplay, which is not inherently a bad thing. Conversely, burying important cutscenes deep in the cluttered menu system is stupid. Completing certain missions unlocks found footage cutscenes, though The Division 2 opts against actually referencing these eight clips. Along with depicting quite graphic acts of violence, these scenes provide backstory to the three factions.
9 Loot: Quantity Over Quality
Diablo, Destiny, and – to a lesser extent – Borderlands keep players coming back for more by promising all of the loot in the world. Once the campaign is out of the way, looters became solely about collecting exciting new items and eventually throwing them away for the next toy. Obtaining loot to help discover even better loot.
A grounded setting sounds great on paper; however, reality has no place for silly or deranged weapons. The Division 2's loot is primarily stat driven, with many lacking much in the way of unique visual traits. To be fair, The Division 2 rewards loot for pretty much everything and generally nails this aspect.
8 Stats Are Key
Here is another issue with blending realism and an RPG shooter: Stats are inherently absurd. At the end of the day, The Division 2's battles boil down to who owns the greater gun. Technically, a synchronized squad should be able to execute effective strategies to overwhelm a team with superior weapons, but the odds of victory are not high.
We get it. Looters must reward progression by providing weapons with higher stats or unlockable moves. The Division 2 is a military shooter without much of the depth associated with the genre. Admittedly, this is necessary to create an online shooter.
7 Solo Play Gradually Becomes Less Viable
We are happy to report The Division 2's main campaign can readily be completed by a solo player. The game's MMO DNA is too ingrained within the world's design to fully escape; nonetheless, permitting a customer is willing to squint, Ubisoft's shooter almost passes for a single-player game.
The Endgame is less forgiving. Once the final mission is done, a fourth fraction enters the fray and assumes control of many previously liberated areas. The Endgame revolves around completing a handful of missions before taking on a Stronghold. Squads are virtually mandatory.
6 Cover As Far As The Eye Can See
The Division 2 is not merely a shooter. Ubisoft's franchise specifically falls under the subgenre of cover-based shooters. Popularized by Gears of War, players are expected to bide their time for an opportunity to chip away at the enemy's health while cowering behind a protective barrier. Flanking becomes a crucial albeit basic tactic.
A linear campaign is free to construct each level around the requirements necessary to complement this style of gameplay. The Division 2 accomplishes the same task, resulting in an open world primarily consisting of shooting galleries fitted with conveniently placed fences perfect for hiding.
5 Politics (Marketing)
Much of The Division 2's pre-launch press centered around the "political" overtones and Ubisoft's refusal to acknowledge their existence. After playing through the story, the publisher actually does have a point. The Division 2 may take place in a ruined Washington D.C. and task players with essentially making America great again, but the missions are too over the top and inconsequential to deliver much of a statement.
If the game has nothing to do with politics, why does the marketing team continuously reference political news items? It does not fit the narrative. A cynic may suggest these stunts were all purposefully designed to spawn a discussion about The Division 2's political agenda.
4 President Ellis Survives A Plane Crash
For one specific mission, Ubisoft's totally unpolitical shooter tasks the playable character with rescuing President Andrew Ellis from the Hyenas. The faction manages to get a hold of the most powerful person in the world after shooting down Air Force One as it entered Washington's airspace. Ellis was subsequently captured.
Just to be sure everyone is on the same page: Ellis SURVIVES a plane crash. At the moment, all signs suggest the President was the only person to survive the Air Force One's crash landing. This guy is either the luckiest or strongest person alive. Either way, he is destined to be revealed as an antagonist later down the line.
3 Rolling Looks Hilarious
It goes without saying but movement plays a significant role in determining a game's success. Does it feel good to repeat mundane actions like walking, talking, running, or taking cover? For all of Rockstar's accomplishments, Red Dead Redemption 2's imprecise controls stand as one of its most infuriating design decisions.
The Division 2 does not pretend to be 2019's version of Vanquish, but the gameplay itself is mostly fine. In terms of movement, options are limited and boil down to various states of sprinting. Rolling is also available, although the animation is laughable. Double tapping X might save your life but not your dignity.
2 Stealth Could Use Some Work
Tom Clancy's association paints The Division 2 as something the game is not trying to be. The writer's name conjures up images of military espionage shooters with a heavy emphasis on utilizing tactics or stealth to overcome potentially dangerous situations. Due to the need to present a level playing field and circumvent the frustration resulting from a swift and unforeseen end, MMORPGs seldom implement stealth mechanics.
While the Dark Zone should not have instant-win stealth mechanics, the main missions could benefit from providing players with a couple of extra tools to allow for different ways to approach a fight.
1 Fuel Is Not So Scarce
The Division 2 largely elects to ignore its overarching story. While an interesting plot is more than welcome, the narrative is not the point in a loot-based shooter. At most, it primarily serves to guide players through a series of missions while introducing valuable NPCs and combat areas liable to carry a crucial role during the End Game.
Far from this sin's only perpetrator, The Division 2 is yet another RPG set in a city ravished by war but still – somehow – overflowing with resources waiting to be pinched. Oh, is that another fuel depot? Frankly, there seems to be more than enough supplies to keep everyone happy! Surely, the protagonist cannot be the only person who actually notices these items?