Before diving into the review, I must share a story. A story that involves a gamer who loves the grind and loot that comes with it. Of course, I’m talking about myself.
My love for looter-shooters started with the Borderlands series. It was fun, the story was great, and above all the guns were amazing. I loved it. But, the only problem was, the endgame wasn’t fun. There’s no point in grinding for better gear since it wasn’t replayable for me. This happened to be with Borderlands 1, 2, and 3 too. I got bored after finishing the story and side-missions and rarely returned to the game.
Then I came across Destiny 2. I started playing a few months before it went free-to-play. It had one thing that Borderlands didn’t have. That’s seasonal events that make it worth it to grind for better gear.
Sadly the game kicked my butt. Acquiring exotics and better gear in Destiny 2 is the worst. The grind was too much. I’d have to spend an entire day grinding for just one pistol. And that pistol will soon be nerfed or replaced by a better weapon in a couple of patches. I gave up playing the game shortly after it went free-to-play. It just wasn’t giving me enough loot worth my time.
This is why I came back to Division 2. I played Division 1 a few months before Division 2 arrived. Then finished Division 2 on PC when it first launched. And I loved every minute of it. Then suddenly my PC went nuts and I got a PS4. I bought Division 2 on PS4 and started playing it again from scratch.
The Division 2 has the perfect balance of loot and the grind required to acquire loot. It has an engaging story and a variety of fun and butt-kicking missions. Let me just say this and get it out of the way: Division 2 is the best looter-shooter available right now.
From the first moment I got into the game on PC to replaying the main missions on my second playthrough on PS4, there wasn’t a time when I was bored playing the game. It had me hooked from the start.
Coming from first-person looter-shooters like Borderlands and Destiny 2, The Division 2’s third-person view offered a new fresh experience. Suddenly, grinding for better-looking apparel items and gear was totally worth it because I could see myself clearly.
The base game was great all alone, but then it got way better with the Warlords of New York expansion. In this review, I aim to take a look at what I loved about the new and improved Disivion 2 and WoNY.
Division 2 is a much more advanced looter-shooter than any other game in the genre. Everything from its large open-world map to its incredible sound effects is crafted to perfection and to the highest quality. In fact, the game’s sound effects team actually captured weapon sounds by firing real guns. That’s how much they cared about the quality of this game.
Even the environments of the open-world, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C and now in New York is made to look more realistic and natural. And yes, there’s a ton of garbage in the post-apocalyptic DC. As it should be.
Going back to New York in the new expansion brought back memories. There were a lot of good times playing the first Division game. This new expansion, however, is not just a remastered version of the maps from the old game. Sure, it features some familiar things but they have been fully remade for the expansion.
But, I’m just getting distracted. Let’s get real and talk about the core of the game.
Division 2 has a story that acts as a continuation of the first game. But, newcomers are able to dive into the game without any prior knowledge. The story itself is not as engaging as other looter-shooters. But it’s interesting enough to keep you playing and progressing through the campaign. In reality, it’s all about leveling up your character and reaching endgame.
With the WoNY expansion, you are able to boost your character to level 30 to jump straight into the expansion. If you do, you’ll be missing out on a lot of great stuff. So instead you should play from the very beginning. With the new expansion, the level cap was also increased. Now you play from 0 to 30 in DC and then go to New York to level up from 30 to 40.
To be frank, most of the main missions in Division 2 can be frustrating. In fact, the missions in WoNY expansion were extremely hard for solo players. Although I read in a developer update that they are working on balancing the difficulties of the enemies.
In the WoNY campaign, you’re going after a rogue ex-Division agent named Aaron Keener. He’s got a whole entourage. You have beat those badguys first before taking on Keener. I managed to push my way through 3 main missions beating those henchmen solo. But I had to call in for backup in the 4th mission. It’s the first time I called for backup in Division 2. Even that didn’t help. Those WoNY missions were really long as well and totally kicked my butt. Of course, it didn’t bother my experience of the game.
Division 2 is a grindy game. You have to grind and replay missions to upgrade your gear and find gear sets. But, thankfully, it’s not as grindy as Destiny 2. Your efforts are well rewarded in Division 2.
Division 2 also has a very simple but sophisticated gear system. You can upgrade and reroll each item in your build according to your playstyle. Every item you loot in the game has a purpose. The game also has different classes with special signature weapons like a grenade launcher, a high-powered sniper rifle, and a mini-gun.
In the Division 2 base game, you didn’t have much to do in the endgame. There were expeditions and some episodic content. But that was it. But, with the Warlords of New York expansion, things changed. And this is what made me fall in love with the game again. With the new expansion, you have more reasons to be excited about endgame. In fact, I think it’s the best part of the game now.
Now, when you reach level 40, a new leveling system takes over. These SHD levels help you upgrade your abilities with supportive skills like increased damage and armor. So you have a reason to keep playing the game. On top of that, there are now seasons. These are just like the seasons in Destiny 2. They take place throughout a 3-month period. And you get a battle-pass type of system to level up.
Division 2 seasons have 100 levels. Each level grants you great loot like gear sets and named weapons. Giving you more reasons to keep playing the game.
Alright, I’m rambling. I could keep going on and on about how amazing this game is. But, the truth is, not everyone will like it.
I, for example, happened to be a gamer who loves to grind for loot. Hence the main reason for starting this blog. So, yes, I loved the grindy feel and the loot, and the open-world, and the weapons, and everything about this game.
Having said that, I believe regular first-person or third-person shooter fans will have a hard time getting into this game. You must have a knack for looting, shooting, and grinding to fall in love with Division 2.
Right now, Division 2 is in a much better place than it was before. The game managed to do a proper comeback and win over its fans. Just like how Destiny 2 redeemed itself, Division 2 also made an expansion, made big changes to how it release content, and resurfaced with a plan to deliver better and more frequent content.
I have a feeling, this game will be around for a long time ahead.