We were fortunate enough to receive an invite to the private beta of the upcoming title Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 by Ubisoft, and took some time to review it for you. Of course, in the beta phase of the game, plenty of features are not yet fully enabled or have not yet been finished. So keep that in mind when you’re reading through our review of the beta.
We’ll try to keep the story and plot elements to a minimum but we also believe that the beta content is very unlikely to contain anything our fellow gamers would consider to be a spoiler. So, if you like, you can of course also check the video which we prepared for you below the post.
Jumping right into the game
You start the beta in a relatively simple menu and create a new game in which you can choose between a pre-made male character or a pre-made female character to play with. While The Division was set around a few weeks after a virus outbreak, in NYC, The Division 2 takes place roughly six months after the events of The Division and it takes place in Washington, D.C. instead. So, instead of heavy winter clothing, you can prepare for summer fashion, when styling up your character. The Division infrastructure and network has failed and its only operating regionally now until the network can be restored again.
The beta story begins near the White House, where you are called in to support local peacekeepers to defend the place from raiders by flanking an ongoing attack on the iconic building. This is basically a tutorial now to teach you controls and how to level up. All of this is not much different from the first game though, except for the setting and perhaps slightly improved graphics and improved movement flow.
The game mechanics have changed a little however. There are now not only safehouses in the vicinity but whole communities that tried to defend themselves and tried to build an ecosystem to provide for food and shelter. These communities can also provide for a variety of sidequests and later on, you can help them upgrade their place. You can also try to recruit specialists for your own base of operations.
Skills, items, weapons
There are a few more skills that you can spend experience points on, from which some are new and others have already been around in the previous part. Personally, I am looking forward most to the weaponized, autonomously flying drone, which you could not yet use yourself in the beta, but at least see it in action as a fellow Division NPC agent joins you for a mission.
The beta of Division 2 also provides for a couple of weapons and gear to loot and try out. It’s difficult to tell if there will be a large diversity) variety of cosmetic and functional items to find in Division 2 based on the beta but I believe it’s fair to expect more than in the first part, and not less.
The good news is, it’s a lot like The Division. The bad news is, its a lot like The Division. As of now, judging only from the beta, I couldn’t say if this tends to be more of a story extension or if it brings a lot of worthy new gameplay features as well. Either way, I am sure that fans will enjoy this second installment, even if it might not bring in many new fans to the franchise.
In summary, I can’t wait to get my hands on the full version of The Division 2 to get a real and proper feeling for it, including all final features of the game. To me, it was a bit weird that Ubisoft does a beta only a little bit before launching the game, which is planned to happen on March 15th.
Even if they get great feedback from the testers, what would they possibly be able to fix in a 4-week development sprint? Well, at least no fixes would go into the shipped version, but perhaps it would give them a headstart on the first patches. You can get the pre-order version right here on Amazon for currently around $60 with access to beta and some special items on top.
YouTube: Let’s Play – The Division 2 – [Beta Gameplay, No Commentary]
Photo credit: All images in this article have been provided by Ubisoft as part of their press material and are owned by them as well.
Editorial notice: The author played about two hours of the private beta phase of this game and re-played the old game to prepare a better comparison. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. Without additional cost to you, we might earn a commission, if you decide to purchase something.