The Division 2 is much more fun because it has fixed the biggest problem from the original
If you played the first game, then you know exactly what we're talking about.
Released almost exactly two years ago to the day, Tom Clancy's The Division immediately became the gaming industry's biggest first-week launch for a new game franchise at the time, globally generating an estimated amount of $330 million.
The set-up was simple but effective; a virus is weaponised, put in contact with dollar bills, which helps spread the infection, effectively bringing America to its knees overnight. What is left of the government create a new agency, known as The Division, to ensure that the country isn't completely lost to criminals, and also to investigate the creation of the virus, beginning at Ground Zero: Manhattan.
It is the kind of thing that Hollywood regularly drools over (there is a big-screen adaptation en route, with Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role), but while the backdrop of the game, as well as the RPG elements of creating and maintaining your base of operations, weapons, and gear, the gameplay lacked for one specific reason.
You could have a shotgun, a machine gun, a grenade-launcher, it didn't matter, but the bad guys you'd encounter on the wrecked streets of New York simply would not die. Not literally, obviously, they did die eventually, but they were such bullet sponges, you could sniper rifle a perfect head shot, only to find their energy bar was still two-thirds full.
It was no fun, and made a real chore out of what should have been one of the more fun aspects of the game.
Jump forward two years (or seven months of in-game time), and The Division 2 moves the action to Washington D.C., with a full-on civil war taking place in the still-ruined America, and the White House itself being your Division's base of operations.
The graphics have improved, the weapons and AI and all of the nuts and bolts you'd expect to be better after two years of technology has gone by, but the primary difference? The baddies go down. One good head shot, or a handful of "That'll do" machine gun fire, and they're done.
Now, that doesn't mean the game is easier. From the 20 or so hours we've played so far, there are still some "boss" characters, with heavy armour that can take a good few rounds before biting the bullet. Plus, while the regular enemies are easier to kill, it seems like the game has balanced that out by upping their overall numbers.
There is a civil war happening after all, so you are effectively fighting an army. But at least this time it doesn't feel like you're fighting an army of indestructible supermen, which in turn makes it a much more satisfying game to play.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 is released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on Friday 15 March.
Clip via Ubisoft North America