Gaming

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 enthrals

The Division 2 picks up seven months after the events of the first game and moves from New York to a new operation base at the White House.
The Division 2 picks up seven months after the events of the first game and moves from New York to a new operation base at the White House.

After two years of progressively enhancing Tom Clancy's The Division video game with a stream of content updates, developer Massive Entertainment is showing it has not let up on its commitment with the launch of sequel, The Division 2.

The plot picks up seven months after the events of the first game. You have been extracted from your mission in New York to report to your operation base at the White House. The new settings look superb, with the developer doing a great job reimagining the monuments and landmarks of the United States in crisis.

Being a rookie, you are assigned to assist in various tasks and objectives, including locating key personnel and assisting locals in taking over and defending control points, as well as improving the physiological defence of makeshift civilian settlements. As before, your male or female character can be customised with a decent variety of options.

You will explore every nook and cranny of the city to scour for hidden containers that offer both random and specific loot. Friendly agents and hostile groups will cross paths, with the enemies adept at flanking and cornering you. When overwhelmed, you can call for backup from other online players.

You will also amass weapons, apparel, enhancement components and generic resources. Some appear trivial, but have their uses. I recommend upgrading backpack capacity early so you do not have to run back to your stash often to offload items. Those looking to challenge other players to score exclusive loot can enter arena locations known as Dark Zones.

It is important to regularly check inventory and improve proficiency based on your firepower and gear.

  • FOR

  • • Freedom of exploration

    • Extensive loot system

    • Imaginative and well-created game environment

  • AGAINST

  • • Disruptions due to scheduled server downtime

    • Having to constantly check gear and weapons to ensure optimal player proficiency

  • SPECS

  • RATING: 8/10

    PRICE: From $76 (PC; PS4, version tested; Xbox One)

    GENRE: Third-person looter shooter

I also recommend creating or joining a "clan" to meet like-minded players and pursue events as a group. Doing so will help you attain the ultimate goal of reaching Level 30, where you can select a specialisation and unlock a signature weapon. It also grants access to Endgame, an elite game mode. From that point on, missions and firefight encounters become very challenging, but higher-tier rewards make the effort worthwhile.

Besides the main missions, there are plenty of secondary activities involving collectables and exclusive gear. Those looking for an outfit or accessory can shop using in-game credits. With new content planned for release in the coming months, there will be more of such options to look forward to.

A steady Internet connection is needed to support its online features, even if you are playing solo. Without lengthy intermission screens, exploring the map and various locations is a smooth experience.

However, the game undergoes scheduled maintenance from time to time. I experienced two downtime periods which totalled 4½ hours during my review. That said, enthralling gameplay awaits once the servers are open again.

• Nizam Mohd is a freelance writer

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2019, with the headline 'Tom Clancy's The Division 2 enthrals'. Print Edition | Subscribe