Jumping back into The Division after almost a year of updates and DLC’s is an entirely different experience than when I was playing at launch. The game has more than enough content to last until the release of The Division 2. But let’s be real, it should’ve never gotten to this point, the sequel should’ve been an expansion and has the possibility of feeling like one upon its release. But, after E3 it feels like Ubisoft has learned from the success with Siege and has decided to carry over those post-launch ideas into The Division 2.
Corny gameplay trailer aside, The Division 2 looks promising and should deliver more of what made the original fun. New gear sets, specialization, abilities, and hopefully an expanded Dark Zone, which is still my favorite part of the original. But the biggest news is that post-launch content will be free. This is huge, because its practically mirroring Rainbow Six Siege’s DLC strategy, in which every player is given the opportunity to experience new operators and maps. While there will more than likely be paid DLC in The Division 2, it will probably involve cosmetic items and maybe allow players to experience content early. This is a bold strategy, but one that may pay off in the long run.
Players who stopped playing The Division after all the balancing issues during the first few months could find themselves returning for the sequel. You can’t beat free content and Ubisoft seems committed to providing a more complete experience right from the jump. Right now, The Division feels like the game it always should have been. It can be challenging at times, but it never feels unfair. Survival mode is an amazing add-on and should make its way into the sequel. I was surprised by just how well trying to survive incorporated into the game. Its thrilling, you don’t know who to trust and you’re braving the elements as well as other players.
I’ve had my criticisms of online-only games and The Division was squarely in my crosshairs. It didn’t deliver on many of its promises and I was always curious as to what the game could’ve become if the developer took the time to balance the game. I love damn near all the Tom Clancy games and once I dove back in I realized just how improved the game was. Everything had been finely tuned and updated to where I forgave all the shortcomings during its initial launch. I found the Dark Zone to be more engrossing and I have to say it’s a nice touch that you can steal other players loot during an extraction. Frustrating but fun. It’s also nice to turn the tables on other players, even though it’s a dick move.
When The Division 2 launches, I look forward to seeing what tweaks are made to the gameplay. Eight player raids are coming and that will be an interesting experience because it’s difficult to trust other players who have rogue tendencies. Developer Massive Entertainment has the opportunity to create an immersive experience from the beginning with the lessons learned from original release. Borrowing the post-launch strategy of Siege will allow players to remain invested as long as the content is strong. If you haven’t jumped back into The Division or haven’t yet experienced it, I would recommend doing so now. It’s a much better product and one that I thoroughly enjoy playing.
The Division 2 releases in March 2019.