E3 2018: The Division 2 Takes Smallpox to DC

Tom Clancy’s The Division showed the horror that can unfold when Jenny McCarthy’s followers resurrect smallpox and use our own capitalistic greed to create a pandemic, turning the United States into a war torn dystopian nightmareTom Clancy’s The Division 2 continues into the bleak future created by the original but leaves New York in favor of Washington DC, taking place roughly seven months after the plague begin undoing civilization. As the circumstances aren’t exactly conducive to fostering a live and let live atmosphere a civil war has erupted between villainous marauders and some survivors. Like its predecessor, it’s a third-person action RPG where players assume the role of a member of the Strategic Homeland Division or more commonly referred to as The Division.

Tom Clancy’s The Division did receive generally favorable reviews, but that doesn’t mean it was without its complaints. Most of the major gripes were directed at the lack of variety of the missions and an unsatisfactory endgame. Through the magic of patches and updates the experience did improve over time, and because of this Massive Entertainment has remained cognizant of the original’s shortcomings and is working to ensure that the endgame is satisfying and that there is more content ready at launch.

A few changes are coming to the gameplay in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. One of the more interesting ones is the inclusion of specializations, which are basically subclasses. Each specialization is centered around a specific weapon, which would be crossbow, sniper rifle or grenade launcher. The good news is choosing a specialization will not prevent that character from choosing other specializations, but the bad news is the player would have to max out the chosen specialty before beginning work on a secondary one. Traditional MMO style Raids will be included, and the maximum number of players will be increased to eight, divided into two teams of four. PvP fans will be happy to know that the Dark Zone will be returning, though what exactly incarnation it will take on is unknown at this time. Given the popularity of Fortnite and PUBG a battle royale mode wouldn’t be surprising, but that is merely speculation. Perhaps the best bit of news is the schedule for the first year will include three free expansions for all players. Again, those three expansions scheduled for the first year will be available for the low low cost of free.

At E3 we were able to play a mission were the objective was to take over a control point at a crash site. This mission took between ten and fifteen minutes to complete and felt appropriately challenging. Teamwork and good communication through the headsets were important in coordinating the attack or calling to help to get revived. Nothing seemed too incredibly groundbreaking about the demo but it did succeed at least in providing a good time. We had to make our way to the crash site, taking out hostiles that were on the way and trying to figure out ways to use the environment for cover or look for magic red gas cans that are always so fun to shoot.

In its current state, not a whole lot is known about what the total gameplay of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 will consist of, but the short time with the demo indicates that team multiplayer could be one of the highlights. The overall impression is this title is attempting to take the general experience of the original and build on it while taking the criticisms of its predecessor into consideration. The current release date is set for March 15, 2019 and will be out on the holy trinity of PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.