The first installment of Tom Clancy’s The Division came out two years ago and at E3 this year, we got to finally see what the sequel is going to look like. It picks up after the events of the first game, seven months to be precise, following the virus outbreak in New York City. This time, you’ll be exploring Washington DC to investigate the situation and do whatever it takes to eliminate the upcoming threat. We recently got to play the same co-op demo of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 that was showcased at E3 2018. In this short demo, we had to play in a squad of four players. We had the options of selecting three classes that included Demolitionist, Sharpshooter and Survivalist. These three classes offer signature weapons unique to them to give a more tactical experience of playing the game while forming strategies rather than straight away gunning down the enemy. Our objective was to take control of a Control Point while going through swarms of different types of enemy soldiers.
The Demolitionist’s unique weapon is the grenade launcher, the Sharpshooter has a powerful sniper rifle and the Survivalist has an explosive tipped crossbow. We played the demo twice so we got to play as a Demolitionist and Sharpshooter. Picking the demolitionist was natural to us since we love blowing up things with grenades. This gives us a better feel of how the models and environment react to explosions. As a Sharpshooter we got to use the amazing sniper rifle and were able to land some sweet headshots.
It’s all about teamwork
Our squad started off outside a mall and we found civilians almost on the verge of being executed inside it. We went guns blazing in to eliminate all the enemies in that area and it turned out to be bad idea. After recovering, we were able to take them out by covering more ground and shooting them down while staying in cover. Hence, you should always attack the enemy while taking cover. Moving on to the next location, we went outside to a more open area with a lot of space and cover to plan an assault. Again, we had the choice of either trying to silently take down the enemies or announce our arrival with the grenade launcher. We chose the latter again. Slowly, we progressed through the area while taking down enemies from different points. Everyone had to stay alert since enemy units would try to flank us down at every opportunity. It was crucial that we took out every unit that tried to stray away from the main group. This area was fairly easy just like the previous one and we weren’t really taking the enemies seriously until now. However, the third area changed our perception about what they were capable of.
As we were moving to the final area, we got to see more of the open world map. This is a refresh from the previous game since it was mostly inside the city, surrounded by skyscrapers and a limited urban landscape. We approached this area with the same strategy of making a loud appearance by blowing up a group with the grenade launcher. More enemies started pouring in the area from all directions but this time, we saw different types of units appearing. There were medics who could revive enemy units and ones with foam guns that could slow you down if you got caught in them. The foam also expanded and if there was too much on you then it immobilised you. It would be up to your teammates to fire and get rid of the foam otherwise you would be stuck and vulnerable to enemy fire. This area presented the largest horde of soldiers attacking us so we were forced to use the different skills we had.
Plan attacks using skills
Deploying an “Assault drone” was helpful to distract the enemies which was also capable of killing them. There was also a “chem launcher” that could shoot different chemicals, in our case, an inflammable vapour. Shooting at this vapour would light up the damage radius and burn down the enemy. We used this every time enemies grouped up at a spot. Between all the gunfire, a heavily-armoured unit emerged that required some time to eliminate. All these different types of enemies had weak spots. For example, the medics and foam blasters had tanks on their backs that could be blown out. The medics would get electrocuted while the foam blasters would get caught in their own foam, making it easier to kill them off. It took us some time to take down the armoured enemy, which was easier with repeated shots with the grenade launcher while gunning down his armour. While shooting at them, we could see the armour getting destroyed which seemed realistic.
The AI of the enemy units is smart enough to flank your squad. Simply taking cover and shooting all the enemies from one location isn’t going to work all the time. We had to ensure that all the sides were covered to prevent any enemy from coming too close and knocking us down. Having underestimated them in the first attempt, the entire squad was almost wiped out. Thanks to one of us who stayed in cover, the entire team was revived. In this game mode, if you die without being revived, you respawn to a safe location somewhere in that area after a specified timing. While you’re bleeding out, you can choose to either “give up” and respawn or wait to be revived by your teammates. What we learned was that you have to play your part in the team and not underestimate the enemy. Taking advantage of the specialisation classes will definitely give you an extra edge.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 first impressions – Final thoughts
Since the demo was limited, we didn’t get to experience the other modes of the game. We got to explore the game mechanics and how the third-person shooter plays out. The graphics looked amazing right from the textures to the illumination of the environment. We only got to see a handful of locations from the game including an indoor area that looked like a mall and a large open area with the Capitol Building at a distance. Apart from exploring the urban landscape, The Division 2 is introducing more environments to offer a much enhanced experience in an open world which is 20% bigger than the previous one.
We got only about 15-20 minutes of gameplay and there’s much more that can be accomplished as a squad. The different classes present their own advantages along with the skills you learn as you progress. This leads to many possible tactical scenarios that enables you to clear areas in fun and easy ways. Our characters were already at level 30 and that’s when the specialisations are going to unlock. After that, you will have to play more in order to level up the signature weapons and other skills. It would be interesting to see how much of an advantage they turn out when you’re playing against real players in the PVP mode.
We are definitely looking forward to play the other modes of the game, especially the campaign mode to find out what’s going on in Washington DC. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 releases on March 15, 2019 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Abhijit "BabuMoshaaye" Dey
This ape-descended life form believed that coming down from the trees was a bad idea until he was introduced to video games. Has spent endless hours playing Prince of Persia, Hitman, Assassin's Creed, Unreal Tournament, Half-Life and Left 4 Dead. This makes it three sentences, Half-Life 3 confirmed.