We are now closing on the door of the release of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 which releases on March 15, 2019, and I just had the opportunity to play the private beta. It ran from February 7 to the 11th, and my blood is boiling in anticipation for the release of the full game. I played this on the Xbox One but the game will also be released on the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows. The game is developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. I was able to play the beta for the entire four days, so I do have a lot to say about it, good and bad. If you are a returning player from the first Tom Clancy’s The Division or new to the series overall, I think you could get a good idea on what to possibly expect from the main game.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 takes place in Washington D.C. which gives the game a fresh feel and is very different from the streets of New York, where the first one takes place. After a brief tutorial, I jumped straight into the action trying to grind out as much content as possible. The game mechanics and controls are very similar to the first one, being a 3rd person over the shoulder shooter. I will come straight out and say the use of cover definitely in PVE content is much more valuable now. If you try to face tank everything; as you can do in Tom Clancy I, you will now get dropped before you even know what happened. They have now added an armor system and replaced med kits with a type of armor kit that just replenishes it and the only heal you have access to is an overtime armor repair that definitely rewards you much more for using cover. I would say the armor bonuses etc. had much more of a feel of earlier Division than later, in the terms of builds etc. I also did notice a clan quarters that was offline in the Private Beta but definitely caught my attention as the game may come much more clan friendly. Hoping to see a lot of my friends running that REBL tag in the game if it lets us.
I spent a good amount of time in the Light Zone (PVE only area) where you could level up to 7 in the private beta. I had access to 2 different main missions, a handful of side missions, and an “Endgame Mission” with collectibles. The collectibles were all over the place to the point I was addicted trying to gear up as much as possible for PVP. I am primarily a PVPer but don’t mind PvE content either, as the grind is what makes it so rewarding. So I found myself, once I reached level 7, replaying the same missions over and over just trying to make myself a stronger build and upgrading armor pieces one at a time. Just when I was getting frustrated and was thinking what I had was good enough, another piece would drop for me and give me the encouragement to keep grinding for more.
Now for my hardcore PVP community. like myself, I, of course, spent quite a bit of time in the Dark Zone where we could level up to 10 in there. Of course, there were landmarks for the people that go in the Dark Zone to PvE and try to get gear from there, but you better expect any and everyone to flag rogue on you at any time. Yes, in a way rogue 2.0 is still there. You have to flag to go rogue and don’t have to worry about accidental friendly fire, so rogues can’t just try to run around after them trying to get them to shoot each other. It was still much more manageable than in the first Tom Clancy’s The Division post-rogue 2.0. As long as you keep some distance, you stand a solid chance against the rogue police if they try to rush you since the game has a reduced time to kill. Also in the private beta, the meta overall seemed to be a seeker mine shotgun combo where you just followed your seeker in and whoever it hit would get their armor ripped off and then get immediately one tapped afterward by the shotgun. I am very interested to see if this will also be the case in the main game whenever it releases or if seekers will be nerfed into the ground much as they did in the original. I also saw the return of hip firing and the old “dancing in circles” style of PvP that was also removed from the original. I am wondering if the developers are leaning more back in that direction or if this was unintentional and something that will be fixed going forward.
I did experience a couple glitches pretty regularly, but it is a beta and is to be expected. Hopefully, these glitches will be long patched before the actual game is released. I experienced several times a glitch where the game sounds would go out and the only way to get it to come back was to close the game and relaunch it. The other was I sometimes noticed I would get stuck in the seeker animation and it wouldn’t throw it, but was a much easier fix as all I had to do was hit the button to change weapons to get it to fix itself.
Overall I would say this Private Beta was a very enjoyable experience. I could have fun in all aspects of the game and has gotten me beyond excited for the release of the full game. I can see myself, once again, spending several hundreds of hours of play time on it, just like the first one. Its glitches seemed like something they could easily fix and nothing game breaking that I have seen like we had when the original first released. The gameplay could be challenging but very rewarding where the hardcore looter shooter fans can truly stand out, as they try to perfect their builds and the casuals can enjoy themselves, and try with everything they can to prevent themselves from being sucked in like the rest of us!. This was one of the most immersive beta’s I have ever played and can’t wait to see how far this game and series can go keep it up Massive!