In The Division, players entered New York City in the midst of an epidemic that struck on Black Friday and wiped out a lot of the people and the infrastructure. Called up like sleeper cells, the Agents, who players would come to play, arrived on the scene to quell unrest and discover the source of the “Green Poison” or “Dollar Flu.” The Division 2 brings the timeline forward, moves to a new city and shows more devastation from the epidemic.
The Division 2’s timeline starts about seven months after the first game and brings players into Washington D.C. where winter has given way to summer and the disorder of the fall of the U.S. has turned into an all-out civil war.
In many ways, The Division 2 is an overall upgrade on its predecessor with better graphics, controls and more interesting talents.
Developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft, The Division 2 keeps most of the mechanics well-known from the previous game and iterates on them. Players still equip various firearms including sidearms, sniper rifles, assault rifles and SMGs and still have access to explosives such as grenades. These weapons and gear are classified with different tiers of rarity marked with specific colors.
The Washington D.C. map is an open world, similar to New York City, and has safe houses scattered around the landscape. As players progress through the plot they can recruit non-player characters in the game to join their side and this unlocks access to fast travel, more missions, and projects.
Just like in the first game, players have a base of operations. Since this takes place in Washington D.C. that location is, of course, the White House.
In fact, upon the start of the game, the Agents will be called upon to defend the White House from an attack from the new villain of The Division 2, the Hyenas, and that event will thrust them into the new plot and the new map.
The map also has three different Dark Zones, which are no-man’s-land open areas with roaming hostile groups and buildings containing potential bosses and lootable items. Each DZ supports 12 players and when in the DZ players will need to watch themselves because player vs. player is enabled. This means that other players can shoot them and take the spoils they have looted.
Shooting other players, however, turns an Agent rogue, which marks them on the map, warns other players, and places a bounty on them.
Since the DZ is contaminated with the disease the took out the U.S., it needs to be decontaminated before it can be used by players. This means that contaminated look cannot simply be walked out of the DZ, it must be extracted via helicopter. This starts an event that everyone on the map can see happening and spawns waves of AI attackers. As a result, when an extraction is happening players need to defend themselves from AI – but may also need to be on the lookout for rogue Agents after their goodies.
Upon reaching endgame, players can unlock further talents and capabilities by choosing a specialization: the Sharpshooter, the Demolitionist, or the Survivalist.
The game also features Occupied Dark Zones that do not normalize equipment, spawns more dangerous enemies and does not warn other players when Agents go rogue. The Division 2 has also added raids that can be completed by up to eight players.
The Division 2 was released on March 15 and is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia.