Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an online action role-playing video game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. The sequel to Tom Clancy’s The Division (2016), it is set in a near-future Washington, D.C. in the aftermath of a genetically engineered virus known as “Green Poison” being released, and follows an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division as they try to rebuild the city. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 15, 2019. It received generally favorable reviews from critics, with most noting it as an improvement over the first installment.
Played from a third-person perspective, the game is a cover-based third-person shooter with up to four players being able to complete missions together. The game takes place in Washington D.C. seven months after its predecessor, in which a civil war between survivors and villainous bands of marauders breaks out. In the beginning of the game, players create their own Division agent by customizing the character’s gender and appearance. In the game, players are equipped with different firearms, including assault rifles, sniper rifles and Submachine guns, and explosives like grenades to defeat enemies. These weapons are classified into different tiers and rarity. High-quality guns are difficult to obtain, but they have better weapon stats and “talents” that further help boost players’ performance. The weapon stats include the following 7 domains: Damage, Rounds Per Minute, Magazine Size, Accuracy, Stability, Reload Time, and Damage Drop Off. These weapons can be further customized with different attachments like scopes, iron sights and barrel attachments. The game features a variety of gear and armor. Wearing gear from the same brand gives players a small performance boost. As players complete missions, they gain loot and experience points (XP). With sufficient XP, they level up and gain SHD Tech, a currency to unlock new skills. These skills include deploying gun turrets, shields and combat drones, or gaining access to weapons like seeker mines and chem launchers. Each skill has unique mods that change its functionality. The game introduces new enemy types, including healers and characters that shoot foam at players. Players can request backup during missions, which allows other players to join their sessions. Players can join a clan, which can accommodate up to 50 players. The actions of individual members of a clan contribute to clan XP, which can be used to upgrade the clan for additional gameplay benefits.
Washington D.C. is an open world for players to explore. Players can recruit non-playable characters by completing missions and providing supplies to different settlements. Recruiting them unlocks new features, including projects, which are fetch quests that reward players with gear, XP, and blueprints for crafting, which can be accessed in the base of operation, the White House. Upgrading settlements enables their expansion to include more facilities and gives players gameplay benefits such as access to their gear stash or fast travel. Another way to fast travel is to use the safehouses players have discovered. Discovering a safehouse reveals the location of nearby SHD caches, which can be used to unlock new perks that further enhance players’ combat performance as well as granting advantages such as XP bonuses. Players can liberate enemies’ control points and call civilian reinforcements to assist in battle, participate in world events such as stopping public executions and capturing resource convoys, and searching for different collectibles including comms, relics and artifacts, and Echoes. Players encounter different weapon vendors, which buy trinkets (unusable ‘junk’ items that players collect), and unwanted gear in exchange for E-credits, the game’s currency, which can used to purchase new weapons, crafting and appearances changes.
The Division 2 features three Dark Zones, each of which supports up to 12 players. Dark Zones are areas in which players defeat tough enemies for valuable and rare loot, though the loot can be taken by other players. Upon entering a Dark Zone, players’ gear become normalized to ensure that all players are in a level playing field. Non-contaminated loot belongs to players once collected, but contaminated loot must first be extracted by a helicopter while players defend the extraction point from AI enemies and other players. When one player breaks into a Dark Zone chest or steals a Dark Zone supply drop, the player and their team will become rogue. Rogue players can attack other players in the same session to steal their loot and gain XP. Once they eliminate another player, they become “disavowed”, which alerts other non-rogue players. If the disavowed rogue eliminate more players, they’re designated a ‘Manhunt Rogue’; players who kill the rogue agent will receive a significant bounty. Rogue status can be removed by surviving in the Dark Zone for a period of time or accessing the Thieves’ Dens (for rogues) and Manhunt terminals (for Manhunt rogues). The Dark Zone has its own progression system, DZ XP, which are earned by killing enemies and rogues, and can be used to unlock perks and gameplay advantages such as a reduced rogue timer.
When a player reaches level 30 and finishes the game’s campaign, the game-world is divided into ‘world tiers’, which serve as different chapters and thresholds for further increasing the game’s difficulty. Levels are replaced by Gear Score, which is calculated based on the stats, attributes, and talents of all the weapons and armor players have. In the endgame, a new enemy faction named the Black Tusk invades DC via a large hovercraft, and randomly selects three previously completed missions or strongholds as operational targets, which reactivate as ‘invaded’ locations, which feature tougher enemies and correspondingly better loot. By completing Invaded missions and having sufficient Gear Score, players can liberate a stronghold, which then unlocks the next world tier. Players can encounter 52 bosses, collectively known as the Deck of 52; each boss will drop a collectible card for players to collect once they are defeated. When players reach the endgame, they can unlock more skills by specializing their character to a specific class: the Sharpshooter, the Demolitionist, and the Survivalist. Each specialization has its own signature weapon; a Survivalist with a crossbow, a Sharpshooter with a TAC-50 anti-materiel sniper rifle and a Demolitionist with a M32A1 grenade launcher. Players can enter Occupied Dark Zones, in which weapons are no longer normalized, friendly fire is activated, AI enemies become more difficult to kill, and players are no longer notified when other players turn rogue. The game features raids, which can be completed by up to eight players.