The Division 2 Beta Impressions

It’s been a busy week here with not only the Anthem demo but also the arrival of Apex Legends and now finally the beta for The Division 2. The original game wasn’t perfect (certainly not at launch) but over time developed into something that really stands out as a good example of an open world loot shooter.

I’ve not spent an excessive amount of time in the beta but there were a few things in there that I needed to share.

Your new Base of Operations may be somewhat familiar.

The environment feels varied. Right from the start of the beta, you’re exposed to an open area of a size that I don’t think was ever seen in the first game. Your base of operations, the settlements and even some locations I’ve seen are quite big in their own right. The way the world is presented in its broken down glory is quite a sight with some good use of overgrowth and a lot of the familiar debris ridden streets. The Division‘s take on New York did an amazing job of making you feel like you were right there on the ground and the work done here for Washington DC reinforces that feeling.

The portable turret is still my favourite toy. The beta lets you play around with three skills – past players will be familiar with the seeker mines and turrets as well as what I think is a new addition with the drone. I was always a fan of the turret as you could use it for both distraction and damage. This version has additional options which let you designate targets or if you choose the sniper turret variant be able to pick off enemies from a distance.

It’s still The Division. The levelling, the constant need for the next best gun, the numbers flying off enemies with every hit, the fun of teaming up with friends to tackle missions… it’s still here and I’m happy with that. I’m sure there’s more to it but a lot of my memories of the first game involved jumping in with friends so experiencing that in the demo makes this feel like a comfortable choice for anyone who enjoyed the original game.

DC won’t be dead if you have any say in it.

The character randomizer is too funny for its own good. To get you started in the beta the game lets you generate an random character which you then agree to use or try generating another. For some reason most of my results turned out to be guys with handlebar moustaches and epic sideburns. Saving the world looking like a 70’s porn star just doesn’t work for me to be honest! Thankfully I was (eventually) able to find one that resembled a character I’d actually use in the game.

Between The Division 2 and Anthem, Bioware’s game might have a lot more to prove in terms of whether it will be a complete package. We already know what kind of game The Division 2 is but we still need to know if the lessons learned from the first game were taken into consideration. So far though it’s looking pretty good. 🙂

The Division 2 will launch on March 15th for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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