Rectify Gaming

E3 2018: Hands On Impressions Of The Division 2

When Division 2 was announced, many thoughts went through my mind.  While the Division has a core audience, the ratings were a bit mixed.  Overall critic reviews are at 80 (according to Metacritic), but user ratings are at a 7.6.  At this point, what should you do with the sequel?  Do you make massive overhauls to attract more gamers?  Or do you make minor adjustments?
In my brief demo at an Xbox media event on the 10th, I had the chance to play the level that was shown at the Xbox E3 Keynote.  The demo, set in Washington, DC, featured a lot of action and a look at the different specialists of Division 2. My character, the Survivalist, had a special crossbow with explosive arrows.  The other classes also had special weapons, along with a primary and secondary weapon. Now I didn’t start with crossbow ammo, but there was plenty of ammo to be found as I went through the mission.  Keep in mind, this was an E3 demo, so there may be adjustments in the amount of ammo crates when the game is launched.

The mission played almost exactly like the trailer.  We were tasked with making our way to Air Force One. You may have noticed that the characters in the trailer were level 30.  They were also level 30 in the demo. When I asked a team member about the level, he assured me that the demo takes place much later in the game, so it looks like your progress from the first game will not transfer to Division 2.  
One thing that stuck out to me was the amount of vantage points and ways you can attack an objective.  At the start of the level, we climbed to the second floor of a building. From there, we found cover and laid waste to the enemy below.  We could have stayed at our high vantage point the entire time, or we could have split up and flanked the enemy. It looks like strategy is going to be a pretty big emphasis in Division 2.  The different strategies came in handy at Air Force One. We had our sharpshooter take a high vantage point on the wing of the plane while my other teammates and I stuck to the ground and worked our way through the enemy.  It was an exhilarating experience (even though my teammates didn’t talk a lot).

Another noticeable highlight is the NPC support. In the demo, NPC came to support the mission. I’m not sure if this is a feature for this mission in particular, or if we will get this type of support for all kinds of missions.  While they didn’t bring a whole lot to the table (or at least they didn’t in my demo), it would be pretty neat to see communities come to support you as you work to bring order to Washington DC.  
The gun system and classifications are back in Division 2.  Although the demo didn’t give me a lot of time to look through the system, it looks pretty similar to the first game.  My equipment loadout was full of yellow and purple weapons. Besides my crossbow, I had a variety of automatic weapons and shotguns to choose from.  Of course, this will most likely change when the full game launches. The developers wanted the media to have access to a variety of weapons specifically for the demo.  Weapons can be found from downed enemies or crates, and I’m sure that will remain the same when the game is out.

For an early demo, The Division 2 ran very smooth.  The game looked fantastic on the Xbox developer kit.  The Washington area is beautiful…despite being, you know, a warzone.  The details looked super crisp. I’m sure the game will look even better as it continues to develop.  I’ll most likely play it on the Xbox One X.
Overall, I came away extremely satisfied with the demo.  I always have to keep in mind that these demos are specifically designed to impress, and it may not exactly reflect the final product.  But one thing is clear to me – the developers are taking the core things we love about The Division and tweaking them to make the gameplay and overall experience even better.  Running a four player team will be an absolute highlight of Division 2. If this demo is a true taste of what we can expect from Division 2, then I believe we are in for a serious treat when it launches March 15th, 2019.  
If you are interested in signing up for the beta, go to their website here –

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