We played the beta of 'The Division 2': an open world more alive than ever

The Division 2 is far from being a revolution for the franchise that debuted in 2016. However, it adds small changes to improve a formula that was already successful in the first installment.
The Division 2 is, without doubt, the most important title of Ubisoft in the current year. Next to the studio Massive Entertainment, the French distributor managed to consolidate a franchise completely in 2016, which shined for the possibilities of its open world, the entertaining story and an endgame that generated hours and hours of fun with each expansion that was launched. It was normal for the public to keep expectations so high with the second installment, and while it offers some very interesting news with a world that is perceived more alive, it seems that their managers have not wanted to risk changing a formula that already offered good results. At least that's the feeling that the private beta left us.
The testing phase included a couple of main missions and some secondary ones. Again we are in a city devastated by the Dollar Fever, the biological weapon that led the world to live an authentic Apocalypse. Washington D.C. it is the scenario chosen to confront all kinds of factions, which have taken advantage of the catastrophe to take control of society and its scarce resources. Our mission, like the first game, is to prevent enemies from taking possession of a territory that has lost any kind of leadership.

As soon as it starts we can see that the villains generate more danger and are willing to let us out of contention quickly. Some will circle the terrain until they appear on the sides, while others will run to our position to face us face to face. This generates the need to move quickly between coverages to safeguard us. In The Division 2 we have armor and health, but regenerating the first requires consumables that may become scarce. Therefore, the importance of protecting ourselves and not risking too much in a shooting.

After completing the first goal to make our way between the rivals, in front of the impressive White House awaits, which has become the headquarters of The Division in the US capital. Upon entering you can appreciate the intact heritage of the original title. The place is divided into multiple sections, each with a different purpose. The beta has available one where the player can choose their skills and advantages.
The skills are complements that we can add to our arsenal, such as turrets or drones that are responsible for doing more damage to the enemy. The most interesting is the possibility of selecting among some variants that change their behavior notably. For example, the grenades can reach the location of the rivals and explode on the ground, but it is also possible to choose their alternative effect and cause the object to rise to release explosives from above. The final version is expected to include several final effects for each skill.

For its part, the advantages are the perks of The Division 2, those that improve our performance during combat. One of the first available options offers the possibility of carrying two main weapons and a secondary, ideal to deal with situations in which the adversaries appear at long and short distances. Carrying an automatic rifle and a sniper rifle can be key to being successful on a mission. How will they unlock? For that we have the pieces of technology SHD, same that are distributed by the map or that release the opponents when dying.

Once the aforementioned complements have been chosen, the next thing is to go out into the open world and overcome the challenges that arise. Gone was New York and its frozen avenues; Washington D.C. it shows us a totally different panorama due to the summer heat. What can be appreciated immediately is that there are more enemies and activities between the streets, so the exploration will always have its complications. One of the novelties is the territories controlled by the rival factions, which can be recovered after an intense fight against some hostile waves. If at some point we are overcome, there is the option of calling reinforcements to collaborate in the task.

The freedom formula is still present, however, the areas with recommended level are maintained. It is a suicide to enter streets where opponents are more powerful than us, so the progression system is designed so that the adventure takes place in order and with the appropriate challenges. At this point settlements arise, places where our allies have established an operations center. Here it is possible to get new missions and donate resources to access new sections of the site, which will allow to perform various activities such as the manufacture of weapons. It is even possible to recruit staff to take him to the main base - the White House.

The few available missions gave us a feeling of repetition and little progress with respect to the first delivery. It seems that the narrative will follow the same course and not many surprises will arise. The above does not mean they are not fun, because the combat has improved its intensity and the final bosses represent a real challenge when we play alone. It is clear that Massive Entertainment will bet on the endgame; the campaign is just a training that prepares us for the Dark Zones, the cooperative raids and the competitive games.

When the player reaches level 30, The Division 2 offers us to select one of the three available specializations: Survivor, demolition expert and sniper. Each one will have unique characteristics and abilities that will affect our behavior on the battlefield. As if that were not enough, a new faction of greater power will appear that will take control of the North American capital. This generates that the missions of the campaign return to be available, but now their level of difficulty increases considerably.

The replayability is assured in the Ubisoft game; They have promised that the expansions of the first year will be free for all. It will take hours to get better weapons and accessories, just like in any other proposal where the 'loot' is part of the main mechanics. In addition, there will be three dark zones for those who wish to face a higher threat with better rewards. For its part, the technical section remains virtually identical. The Snowdrop graphics engine takes advantage of the technical capabilities of consoles and computers, but it is no longer the visual level that impacted many in 2016.
Everything indicates that the final version of The Division 2 will not be a total renovation, but an experience that, with the implementation of small changes, will try to improve the components that arose at the beginning of the saga. We will be able to verify it next March 15, day in which the videogame will land on the platforms PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.


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