The Division 2 Review: Tom Clancy’s Epic Shooter Adventure 2024

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an online action role-playing game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. Released in March 2019, it is the sequel to Tom Clancy’s The Division (2016) and is set in a near-future Washington, D.C. in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic. With stunning visuals, an immersive open-world environment, and intense combat, The Division 2 provides an exhilarating co-op and player vs player (PvP) experience.

Introduction to The Division Franchise

The Division series is set in a fictionalized United States devastated by a viral pandemic on Black Friday. Players take on the role of Strategic Homeland Division “Division” agents tasked with restoring order amidst the chaos. Equipped with special technology and combat skills, players freely roam the devastated open-world environments of New York City and Washington D.C., completing story missions, and side quests, and engaging in PvP in the designated Dark Zones.

Key features of The Division franchise include:

  • Detailed open world environments– From post-disaster New York to a civil war-torn Washington D.C., environments are beautifully realized and packed with secrets to discover.
  • Looter shooter gameplay– Defeating enemies and completing missions rewards you with weapons, armor, gear, and cosmetic items used to customize your agent.
  • RPG elements– The Division utilizes classic RPG mechanics with levels, skills, and talent trees that let you tailor your agent to your play style.
  • Co-op and competitive multiplayer– Join up to 3 other agents to take on missions and Dark Zones together or engage in PvP combat with other players.
  • Endgame content– Challenging activities and systems like Dark Zones, raids, and world tiers provide engaging endgame experiences testing the most expert agents.

Division 2 continues the franchise legacy with these key features while evolving and expanding upon them in exciting ways.

Story and Setting

Division 2 brings players back into the boots of Division agents seven months after the events of the first game. While New York is recovering thanks to the efforts of Division agents, Washington D.C. has deteriorated into chaos.

Taking inspiration from real-world events like the coronavirus pandemic and political tensions in the U.S., Division 2 paints a disturbingly plausible picture of a nation’s capital descending into lawlessness and ruin. Without proper leadership after the assassination of the President, numerous factions and groups vie for power turning D.C. into an urban warzone.

As a Division agent, you are tasked with assisting the civilian settlements and restoring order in D.C. This means taking out dangerous enemy factions, liberating key locations, helping civilians, and ultimately reclaiming the White House. Along the way, you uncover conspiracies, make allies with friendly factions, and witness how far a city can fall when its systems collapse.

It’s a compelling setup and story that provides the backdrop for the game’s missions while echoing real-world crises and politics. The complex enemy motivations and morally grey decisions ensure an engaging narrative where right and wrong are not always obvious.

Gameplay Improvements and Features

Building upon the tactical co-op shooter foundation of the first game, The Division 2 makes numerous improvements and introduces new systems to provide even more build options and endgame variety.

Expanded Arsenal and Loot

A satisfying looter shooter requires strong weapon variety and rewarding upgrades. Division 2 delivers an arsenal of around 60 primary weapons including assault rifles, sniper rifles, LMGs, and more. Each has unique stats, bonuses, and talents that let you tailor guns to your agent’s skills and abilities.

The game also introduces new exotic weapons with unique, game-changing perks like the Chatterbox SMG that gains an increased fire rate as you shoot.

Armor and gear also influence build diversity with brands that provide bonuses to skills, damage, or defense. The recalibration system lets you optimize gear by swapping attributes and talents, while mod slots support further customization.

More Playstyles with Specializations

One of the biggest additions is Division 2’s Specializations system. After hitting the max level of 30, you pick one of 3 specializations each featuring a signature weapon, exclusive skills, and bonuses to encourage certain builds and playstyles.

The Sharpshooter wields a powerful .50 cal sniper rifle and receives increased marksman rifle damage making them lethal from long range. In contrast, the Survivalist brandishes a grenade launcher that excels at hitting groups while its bonuses improve skills and status effects. Finally, the Demolitionist with their rocket launcher excels at close quarters of mayhem and emphasizes damage.

You can eventually unlock all 3 specializations but your choice tailors your agent and diversifies squad capabilities in co-op.

Revamped Skills and Mods

Back and improved from the first game, Division 2’s skills encourage creativity and synergy between squad mates. There are over 20 offensive and defensive skills ranging from turrets and drones to deployable cover and healing hives.

Most skills now have multiple versions with distinct traits for different scenarios. For example, the Chem Launcher has a self-heal variant, an incendiary rocket, and a poison cloud option. Supporting your skills are skill mods that enhance attributes like duration or damage at the cost of skill power requirements.

You can freely re-spec and switch skills and mod loadouts outside of combat, allowing you to experiment with fun ability combinations.

Dynamic Living Open World

Like its predecessor, The Division 2 brings its action-packed gameplay to a fully realized open world but with greater density, variety, and interactivity. Civilian settlements dotted around D.C. act as social hubs full of characters and stories that react to your actions. Citizens will praise you for securing supplies or restoring power and criticize you if territories fall to enemy factions.

The inhabitants and environments aren’t just window-dressing either. Resources donated to settlements upgrade facilities and unlock bonuses for your agent. Meanwhile taking control of enemy zones like broadcast centers impacts the broader world by revealing hidden activities or altering enemy behavior.

There’s a fantastic sense of living in a dynamic, reactive world that transforms based on your presence.

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Endgame Content and Post-Launch Support

For Division veterans, the sheer volume of endgame activities sets The Division 2 apart from its predecessor. Once you hit the max gear score of 500, daily and weekly projects, bounties, challenges, and 20 difficulty settings for campaign missions provide rewarding ways to test your elite agent builds.

The three Dark Zones also return with new levels and gameplay tweaks. Landmarks attract PvE players with special named enemies and loot, while normalized PvP combat zones let you test your mettle against fellow Division agents.

But the crown jewel of endgame content is the 8-player raids which require teamwork, communication, and skill to overcome intricately designed challenges for exclusive rewards. The first raid Operation Dark Hours centered on retaking the airport and set a triumphant bar for subsequent raids to match.

The Division 2’s impressive post-launch support has also expanded the endgame. Title Updates added new story content continuing the narrative, new ways to progress with Heroic difficulty and Legendary missions, Gear 2.0 overhauling the loot system, and the Warlords of New York expansion opening up a new NYC area among many improvements.

What Critics and Players Are Saying

Upon release, The Division 2 earned widespread critical acclaim with gaming publications praising the compelling setting, varied content, and progression systems that respect players’ time. Let’s see what professional reviewers and players think:

Critic Reviews

“The Division 2 handles the balance between realism and fun exceptionally well … an expertly crafted world that engages you with a steady stream of action and rewards.” – IGN (9.5/10)

“The Division 2 stands out from its cover-based shooter peers by offering a lustrous and lively recreation of an urban center plunged into chaos.” – Gamespot (9/10)

“The Division 2’s gargantuan D.C. playground and propulsive looting hook make this an addictive cooperative shooter.” – Game Informer (8.8/10)

Player Testimonials

“From the 1-30 leveling experience to challenging endgame activities, Division 2 keeps you chasing the next big reward. Me and my friends have sunk hundreds of hours into perfecting our squad and tackling the toughest challenges.”

“The gunplay just feels so good and intuitive which is key for this genre. Ubisoft also does an amazing job creating incredibly detailed worlds rich with lore – D.C. looks stunning but also tells a story about its collapse that leaves you eager to uncover more.”

“I don’t normally play online shooters but my friends convinced me to try The Division 2. I was hooked within the first few hours. It’s such a rush coordinating with your squad, covering angles of approach during intense firefights.”

Key Takeaways: Should You Play The Division 2?

  • Visceral combat and co-op action– The Division 2 perfects the cover-based shooter experience with an arsenal of impactful weapons, devastating abilities, and strategic squad play.
  • Engaging open world setting– From storytelling environmental design to dynamic living world elements, post-crisis Washington D.C. is an incredible backdrop filled with secrets and reactive inhabitants.
  • RPG depth and build diversity– With ample gear, specializations, skills and recalibration the progression systems allow diverse agent builds.
  • Tons of endgame activities– Ubisoft Massive provides an almost overwhelming amount of endgame content from three Dark Zones to challenging missions, bounties, and 8 player raids.
  • Excellent post-launch support– Multiple free Title Updates, content additions, and the Warlords of New York expansion have continued expanding the world and gear options.

For fans of tactical shooters, RPG mechanics, and co-op gameplay, The Division 2 stands out as one of the most polished and content-rich live service experiences out there. While some technical issues lingered after launch, frequent patches and improvements mean The Division 2 today is an absolute gem.

If you’ve been sleeping on this looter shooter, now is a great time to assemble your squad and liberate a brilliantly realized Washington D.C. together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about Division 2.

Is Division 2 an online-only game?

Yes, Division 2 requires an internet connection as it contains multiplayer, online features, and live services. Most content is designed for co-op with seamless matchmaking to find groups.

Do I need to play the first Division to understand Division 2?

No, The Division 2 works great for new players. Some story connections exist but the game recaps key events from the first game. You can jump right into D.C. as a new Division agent.

How does progression work in Division 2?

You level up from 1 to 30 and upgrade your agent with new skills, loot, and specializations. At the endgame, World Tiers and Gear Scores replace regular levels with tier 5 and gear score 500 being the maximum.

Are there microtransactions in Division 2?

Yes, but only for cosmetic items that don’t impact gameplay. All story expansions and gameplay updates are free. You can buy cosmetic skins, emotes, and other vanity items directly with premium currency.

How is Division 2’s endgame compared to the first game?

Much improved with significantly more endgame activities. Daily/weekly challenges, bounties, invaded missions, three Dark Zones, free roam events, and 8 player raids provide hundreds of hours of aspirational content.

What content updates has The Division 2 received since launch?

Title Updates added story episodes, new areas like Coney Island and the Kenley College map, Gear 2.0 overhaul, legendary difficulty, and more. The Warlords of New York expansion added a New York map and revamped leveling.


Years after its initial release, The Division 2 still shines as Ubisoft’s crown jewel of online looter shooter experiences. The stellar combination of narrative-driven PvE content and heart-pounding PvP action satisfies both cooperative and competitive players. This coupled with meaningful loot progression and a dynamic endgame continues to keep The Division 2 engaging even after hundreds of hours.

While the next adventure for The Division franchise is on the horizon, The Division 2 remains a brilliant shared-world shooter. New and returning agents can find endless hours of entertainment liberating Washington D.C. either solo or with friends. So grab your weapon of choice, master those combat skills, and help take back the capital agent!

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