HandsOn The Division 2 Overhauled Multiplayer Modes Are Exactly What the Series

first_img Tom Clancy’s The Division took an interesting approach to multiplayer with its Dark Zone. This cordoned off section of the map allowed players to fight against each other in order to get the best loot. It is also the mode which received the most criticism from fans and journalists at launch. While the original Dark Zone certainly had its fans, it wasn’t exactly fair for all players. With The Division 2, Massive Entertainment and Red Storm Entertainment have overhauled the Dark Zone to make it enjoyable for everyone. As a person who wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Dark Zone, even I’m impressed by what the updated version has to offer.The biggest change to the Dark Zone is the fact it’s actually three separate Dark Zones. These are: DZ East, DZ West, and DZ South. Each has its own distinct biome and backstory. Yes, this time around, you’ll actually get to find out how each Dark Zone degenerated into lawlessness. While the narrative of the Dark Zones helps players understand what’s happening, it isn’t intrusive. Story is kept light so users can focus on having fun. Having three different Dark Zones to explore will ensure players won’t quickly tire of seeing the same old settings. Also, it’s another excuse to showcase what the updated Frostbite Engine can do.Giving each Dark Zone a narrative arc to complete serves two purposes. First, it reveals more about the post-apocalyptic setting of The Division 2. Second, and most importantly, it lets players get a sense of the new Dark Zones. One of the problems with the original Dark Zone is how it essentially tossed users into the wild to fend for themselves. If you were just entering the Dark Zone for the first time, your chances of surviving against high-level players were slim at best. Now, players can go into a Dark Zone and complete its various tasks and only contend with AI-controlled foes. Upon finishing all Dark Zone objectives, players will have access to all of its features, including skirmishes, PvP battles, and the chance to nab the best loot.In the original game, players had to extract any and all gear found in the Dark Zone. Doing so required them to defend their position against AI opponents and other players until the items were safely extracted. As you could imagine, this lead to a lot of frustration if you lost all of your pilfered loot at the last minute. Thankfully, not all items need extraction this time around. If you find an awesome AK-47, you’re free to use it right away. However, contaminated items do need extracting. While there is still a chance one can lose these rarer items to AI foes or players, it’s not as bad as it was before. No matter what, you’ll always walk away with something new from the Dark Zone.Bad guys have more fun, and that’s certainly true for Rogue agents. Players can “go rogue” by breaking into locked chests, stealing everything for themselves from a Dark Zone drop, or even looting dead players. Going Rogue puts a target on one’s head and other players will have a chance to hunt Rogues down. This is dangerous, but it opens up a Rogue-only subquest. Performing more Rogue actions will eventually allow players into the “Thieves’ Den” which gives them access to rarer gear. They can also clear their Rogue status in the Thieves’ Den if they want to return to the side of the angels.The ability to instantly go Rogue with the press of a button makes for interesting scenarios. In one instance, my fellow team members and I joined forces with another group to clear a nest of AI-controlled foes. Even if we wanted to, we could not shoot each other. Then, one of my team members decided to make us all go Rogue. We started shooting the other team who had no idea we would betray them. This backfired spectacularly when my entire squad ended up dead instead. Still, it’s awesome to know anyone can go Rogue at any time. It definitely adds an air of unpredictability when meeting others in the Dark Zone.One of the more frustrating things about the original The Division’s Dark Zone is how players with superior gear could completely demolish those with lesser equipment. This time, Dark Zones have normalization. What this means is everyone’s gear is brought to the same level. This in turn makes things fair for everyone. Skill and tactics, not gear, will help you see another day. This is exactly what happened when my team went Rogue. Even though we initiated the firefight, we ended up losing since the other team were better players. It’s good to know normalization is in place and that, if players want to survive, they’ll need to practice.However, normalization is not in every Dark Zone. During the Endgame portion, players can try out Occupied Dark Zones where normalization doesn’t exist. This means one’s gear, abilities, and gameplay proficiency will mean the difference between life and death. There’s friendly fire, and it’ll be hard to tell who is or isn’t Rogue. Occupied Dark Zones are for the hardest of the hardcore players and will have the very best loot for those who dare venture into them. Even those of us who’ll likely die in an Occupied Dark Zone may find it hard to resist jumping into these periodic events to try their luck.The Division 2 offers traditional multiplayer modes for folks who just want to get in and shoot people. Organized PvP comes in the form of Conflict, which features three maps and two modes: Skirmish and Domination. Skirmish is team deathmatch while Domination has you controlling specific points of the map. Unlike the Dark Zones, these maps are custom-built. Though inspired by locations in Washington D.C., they are not one-to-one representations. Because of that, the maps are finely tuned to provide players with a more focused PvP experience. Like the Dark Zones, normalization exists in Conflict.Conflict is pure PvP and feels like a separate world from the rest of the multiplayer. However, you can still get some really nice gear from it. It’ll have its own progression track and rewards. This mode is perfect for those who may not have the time to invest in Dark Zone exploration but still want to play the game and get loot. It also opens the door to potential Esports tournaments because of how fast they are. I also see it as the perfect place to practice for the really big raids in the Dark Zone. This type of organized PvP was sorely missing from the original so it’s great to see it this time around.Like I said up top, the original Dark Zone was not for me. It felt too hostile and uninviting, even for a multiplayer mode. Now, I find myself looking forward to delving deep into The Division 2‘s Dark Zones. The developers have taken the best aspects from before and molded them into something more satisfying. The fact players can also jump into quick matches is also refreshing. And as with the original, the team will adjust things as necessary. Overall, I think both fans of multiplayer and even those who aren’t will dig what The Division 2 has to offer in the competitive field. Either way, I think it’s safe to say players will get a fully robust and enjoyable multiplayer experience right from the jump when The Division 2 (and its ill-advised government shutdown joke emails) releases on March 15 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.Pre-order Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 on AmazonMore on Geek.com:Most Exciting Video Games of 2019Interview: Red Storm’s Terry Spier on The Division 2’s Multiplayer Mode‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Looks Bloody Hype Stay on target ‘The Division 2’ Is the Only Looter Shooter Worth PlayingThese Are the Games You Should Check Out in March 2019 last_img read more

Read more