Actually, Massive Entertainment would have just had to squint over to Destiny to see what you can do wrong in an “MMO shooter”. In the long run too little variety, a thin endgame, and the bad communication from Bungie to the fans – all stones, which also stumbled Massive at their own co-op shooter The Division. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqKiNUS_2gg But the developers had to make their own mistakes to learn from them. The Division 2 has the potential to make things better. The focus is now on endgame content, more depth, and customization options. Even raids and free DLCs after launch are promised. But we do not notice anything about it at our first match-date on the E3 2018. Instead, we can make a first impression of the gameplay. This is very familiar to us, but that’s not bad at all.
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In the heat of Summer
In our demo, we play the same section that was featured in Microsoft’s E3 press conference. Our goal is to secure the crashed Air Force One, which crash-landed in Washington, DC. Seven months after the virus outbreak in Manhattan, New York, we fight our successor through the US capital to restore order. But we are experiencing not only a change of scene but also a different climate. The Division 2 no longer confronts us with the icy winter cold of its predecessor and shows us instead through the hottest days in December after a flood and violent storms. This is a great visual contrast to its predecessor. Manhattan’s snowy urban canyons give way to summery fields and lush green city parks, while the gray wasteland gives way to a colorful natural idyll.
New progress system with subclasses
Washington is extremely chic and detailed, but we have no time for sightseeing. Together with three colleagues, we prepare for the battle near the aircraft wreck. Incidentally, our character is already at level 30, so pretty close to the endgame. And here comes the first innovation: after reaching the maximum level we can choose one of three specializations: destroyer, sniper, and survivalist. These are, so to speak, subclasses that give us access to new skills and particularly strong “signature weapons”. As a sniper, we shoulder a thick caliber 50 sniper rifle, as a destroyer we shoot with a grenade launcher and as a survivalist we look forward to a crossbow. All three weapons have one thing in common: They replace the predecessor’s signature skills and suffer from a constant lack of ammunition, for the crossbow we first have to collect arrows from dead enemies, a bit like the power weapons in Destiny 2.
Weapon feeling and control as in Part 1
That is why we rely on the first-known standard weapons such as assault rifles, shotguns, LMGs and snipers in the attack near the Air Force One, of course, all of which can be adapted again with various essays. But not only the weapons, also the general feeling of play has hardly changed. The controls are still slightly sticky when it comes to quickly changing the cover, and some elite opponents still fall into the category of “ball sponges” because they swallow dozens of cartridges before they tip over. Fortunately, that’s not as bad as in the first part. Because: Massive promises to work on the fact that different enemy types react differently to shelling. Kleinganoven holds only a few hits, with heavily armored enemies, however, now visibly burst the armor, so we also visually recognize how many hits the (mini) boss can endure. In addition, it seems much more realistic that enemies with thick armor also endure more than street crooks in sweaters and sweatpants. Speaking of boss: In our demo, an elite opponent with a kind of foam cannon pinned to the ground. So tied up, it was almost impossible to shoot at the foam tank of the Hünen (its weak spot). But fortunately, there are still the co-op colleagues who fall into his flank.
Taster Gas, Villain
In any case, The Division 2 is again a lot of fun, despite or because it feels almost one-to-one like its predecessor. A few new features but then we noticed. As skills, we may use, among other things, a drone and a chemical cannon, which distributes explosive gas in the area. A shot at the swirling steam and everything goes up in flames – that breaks neatly. In addition, there is a kind of rocket, which whisks like the search mine in the predecessor to enemies. On the other hand, these skills are not really new. Because the rocket apparently replaces the mine, the chemical cannon the Sticky Bomb. The castable cannon of the support skills tree is also included again. Does Massive only recycle old skills here? We can not say that yet, just so much that in our last fight near Air Force One with Gadgets, Signature Weapons, and Covers, we have plenty of opportunities to match up with our teammates.
The Division 1.5?
Incidentally, the mission played was a World Event and did not come from the campaign. It remains to be seen how many of these mini-missions will appear in The World 2’s world. In general, many questions remain, especially as Massive has just shown the new, promising raids for up to eight players. Therefore, it is currently difficult to recognize real, big changes, but the demo was too short. The Divison 2 seems so far more of a natural evolution of its predecessor. The developers have used their experience and feedback from the community. Everything looks a little prettier, everything feels a bit more powerful. So if you could not do anything with The Division so far, you probably will not be happy with the successor either. Everyone else can look forward to a change of scenery because only the new setting is promising. Even if one or the other sniffs his nose, that The Division 2 – at least according to current knowledge – playfully makes no big jumps, I’m looking forward to the co-op shooter. But the new setting promises much more visual variety than the first part and the graphics engine may finally use its color spectrum. On the other hand, I find it really unfortunate that Massive has shown nothing of the dark zone and the promising raids, that is exactly the full-bodied endgame content. Here lies the true potential of the co-op shooter. Until more is known, I rub my hands ever: I’m looking forward to it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWDkjcjxtsE