The Division 2, Two Years Later

Illustration for article titled The Division 2, Two Years Later
Image: Ubisoft

The Division 2 was released on March 12, 2019, making it just over two years old this week. In that time a lot has happened. Multiple updates, changes, bugs, controversies, teasers, puzzles, and more. Here’s what happened since The Division 2 came out.

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Illustration for article titled The Division 2, Two Years Later
Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku
Illustration for article titled The Division 2, Two Years Later
Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku
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Illustration for article titled The Division 2, Two Years Later
Image: Lucasfilm / Kotaku
  • January 2021 started with some big news. The developers behind The Division 1 and 2 were going to be working on a Star Wars game. At the time, players weren’t sure what this meant The Division 2 going forward.
  • On February 2, a new Resident Evil crossover event went live. It included outfits and gear based on characters from the popular Capcom horror franchise. The event was... meh. But the update that added the new clothes also unlocked the framerate on PS5 and Xbox Series X, letting the game hit 60 fps.
  • In February 2021, as the fourth season of The Division 2 was wrapping up, it felt like the game was ending. But Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot announced otherwise during a call with investors that month, explaining the game had more updates coming. This seemed to surprise Massive, who put out a statement confirming that they had initially planned to wind things down after Season four but would now continue to work on the game, adding more content. No specifics plans were given at that time.
  • Finally, earlier this month Massive laid out some plans for how The Division 2 will continue. While the game will receive a new mode and some big content updates, Massive warned that players shouldn’t expect this content until late 2021 at the earliest. In the meantime, old seasons will be rerun for players who missed them. It’s not the most exciting way to keep the game alive, but it’s better than nothing.
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And there’s where things are at. It’s now been just over two years since The Division 2 released. A lot has happened, with some big ups and some big downs.

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Now though the popular game seems to be on life support while Massive and Ubisoft shift focus to other things. But with promises of more content at a later date, it seems likely I’ll be booting up The Division 2 a few more times before it’s all over.

Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

DISCUSSION

I’ve been a Division player since Day 1 of the original game, and Division 2 as well. The game has been ups and downs, and there’s always some weird things that make Division 2 less than perfect, mostly related to its lifecycle and game balance being very see-saw.

Biggest example in Division 2 would be Skill Builds. At launch, skills were too powerful if perfectly built, but almost impossible to build for. Then they were nerfed to be completely useless. Then they were buffed to be easier to build, but once again powerful (but not as extreme as originally). Crowd control and some other abilities were nerfed again, and in the most recent patch, buffed again with new gearsets. As someone who focused heavily on the hybrid/tech build style, there was never a guarantee my build would work in a future patch, so I ended up having ten or twelve builds to future-proof my sanity.

For those who played OG 1.0 Div1, those original NPCs had nuclear guns and enough HP to tank full magazines. Those were the days! Now, with a solid Headhunter build in Div2, you can one-shot most yellow enemies and even two shot bosses some of the time. Unfortunately, most people remember the former, and very few want to experience the latter, which causes a lot of my former game teammates to not want to come back.

I think that’s the biggest problem, is that people experience the rough bits and leave, and don’t want to come back once those rough bits are finally ironed out.

Thankfully, Division 2, while not GOTY stellar, managed to escape the rough comings of things like Anthem and maintain its own respectably happy community.

If you’re a person who’s never experienced Division 1 or 2, it’s definitely much more fun with friends. The environments always feel lonely solo, and having even a single friend makes it feel much more tactical and less like all vs you. Playing the entire story campaign through with 3 friends is an experience which I cannot recommend enough. If it’s on sale, it’s definitely worth it. If you don’t want to do end-game content hardcore, please don’t burn yourself out trying to. A lot of people see the endgame and become intimidated because there’s so much build options and pieces, but you only need a few hours to get 85-90% of the way to an optimal build.