Video Game

Review: Tom Clancy's The Division 2

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Tom Clancy's The Division 2 is set in a startlingly accurate replica of downtown Washington, D.C. You're given an underexplained, overlong, mostly irrelevant list of tasks and forced to fend off waves of crude thugs and power-mad gang leaders who want to rule the town. Surprisingly, it's not a game about being a congressional intern.

There's a premise—the U.S. has suffered a chemical attack and now the cities have become overrun with violent gangs—but there's not much story. The game is built around three core activities: hiding behind stuff, shooting people, and collecting "loot," the game's catch-all term for powerful weapons and gear that will allow you to hide behind more stuff, shoot more people, and so on and so forth, in an endless loop.

The game is best experienced as a form of virtual tourism, in which the principal pleasure is tromping through a D.C. that has been recreated almost perfectly, down to the street signs. Although many specific location names have been changed and the streets have been cluttered with debris, almost every building façade has been recreated in faithful detail.

Missions take you inside major landmarks, turning them into virtual shooting galleries: You'll liberate the Newseum (renamed "Viewpoint") from a gang of white-nationalist types and fight your way through a Vietnam-themed exhibit at the American History Museum—an odd reminder that neither war nor the game can ever truly be won.

The game's repetitive structure feels work-like, with each mission and location just leading to more of the same, but slightly harder. The only reward is yet another pointless task. Come to think of it, maybe it is about being an intern after all.

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  1. “You’re given an underexplained, overlong, mostly irrelevant list of tasks and forced to fend off waves of crude thugs and power-mad gang leaders who want to rule the town. Surprisingly, it’s not a game about being a congressional intern.”

    I chortled

  2. There’s a premise—the U.S. has suffered a chemical attack and now the cities have become overrun with violent gangs—but there’s not much story.

    Thank God, because that avoids the whole temptation to turn it into a referendum on The Era of Trump. And that has people pissed off. And by people, I mean game journalists.

  3. The game is best experienced as a form of virtual tourism, in which the principal pleasure is tromping through a D.C. that has been recreated almost perfectly, down to the street signs. Although many specific location names have been changed and the streets have been cluttered with debris, almost every building façade has been recreated in faithful detail.

    I played the first one, The Division and while it was criticized for its gameplay mechanics, especially in the PVP modes (rightly so) I found it to be a fascinating and fun experience that made me feel like a virtual tourist in mid-town manhattan.

    I feel that Ubisoft hit an underrated home run on the first one for that aspect alone. The voice acting was superb and created a great immersive experience.

  4. Throw in some cracks at Trump and find some place where it displays ‘microaggressions’ or throw in something about the weird shit someone did in Japan and this review would be good enough for Kotaku.

    1. The headline would have to end with “…And that’s a good thing.” Although to be fair, that’s Nick G’s wheelhouse now.

  5. Absolutely amazing graphics and visuals in the game. Now watch all sports live on Gomaxtv which is free to use.

    1. A topical spam post. Either skynet is taking over or they’re using real humans.

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