By now, you’ve probably seen our impressions for The Division 2, which sums up a better experience (from what we’ve played, anyhow) over the original, with a number of improvements made by the team at Massive Entertainment. However, the main game is just the beginning, as the devs, alongside Ubisoft, have a new component that will keep players coming back for more long after they concluded the original story.
This comes in the form of Endgame, a new mode that opens up following the conclusion of the main missions and one that continues to be on an “always-evolving” set-up. That should solve the doldrums that plagued the first game for some, while at the same time presenting some new terrain to cover alongside your squad. But be prepared for a fight as this Endgame content does not come easy.
Based upon what we’ve played, Endgame bumps things up a few notches. You’ll no longer be facing soldiers that go down after a few shots. Rather, they’ve toughened up quite a bit, to the point that you’ll need to take them down with a great deal of ammunition.
Not only that, but enemy forces also bump up quite a bit. As we mentioned in the hands-on, there are multiple that come out of certain doorways on each level, so you’ll need to plan with your team accordingly before they strike. This includes having them in positions where they not only leave a dent in these forces, but are also close by just in case you get injured and require a boost to get back into the fight. Remember, the less members you have to work with you, the longer you’ll have to wait for them to revive and run back to your position. So bringing them back more immediately does make a difference.
Along with enemy agents that pile up, you’ll also have to deal with specialty types. These include agents that dish out exploding drones on you. These are a threat not only because they cause damage, but if one hits the cover you’re hiding behind, they’ll jar you out into the open and leave you vulnerable.
Then there are those “robot dogs” we previously mentioned. These come stomping around the map and force you to work together quickly to shoot them down. Otherwise, they’ll rain gunfire on you like it’s going out of style, making them worse than the common soldiers.
Heavies also show up on occasion, and they usually pile up behind soldiers. This, on top of other threats that are introduced in the mode, shows that Massive isn’t fooling around when it comes to getting the most out of your prolonged gameplay time.
However, this isn’t something you’re just going to be thrown into. Not only are you required to finish up the main glut of missions that The Division 2 provided, you’ll have to be properly leveled up, around level 30, as well. By that point, you’ll have earned enough skill to contend with this level of enemy, along with some additional gear that will prove useful.
These include drones that you can send out to face off against the enemy, as well as healing factors to save a downed ally you can’t reach right away. There’s also a turret that can provide automatic fire from points in the level, but be advised that it can’t hit everything from its range, so you’ll need to find the proper placement to get the most out of it.
Then we get the three new Specialists that will be available once Endgame is reached.
First up is Survivalist. With this soldier, you’ll be able to utilize traps and status effects in a defensive manner, waiting for enemies to fall into them. They’ll also utilize a special crossbow as their signature weapon, which can cut through environments and hit enemies with utmost precision.
Next up is the Sharpshooter, and sniper fans will have a field day with this character. Provided they can find the right kind of spot to do damage from, this Specialist can pick off foes from a distance, perfect for aiding those who are a little closer in battle.
Finally, there’s the demolitionist. Let’s say that you’re not necessarily a stealth sort of player. No problem. With this explosive agent, you’ll be able to set up a big bang and do a lot of damage in clusters, thanks in part to the grenade launcher that you’ll be wielding.
Each of these specialists, along with the ones that you’ll be using throughout the game, help bump things up a notch. It’s best to figure out who’s going to play what before you jump into a match, just so you suit up players that are in the best spot for them. After all, it helps to have a skilled sniper player fit into that position.
Once Endgame opens up, you’ll face an all new level of challenge that you’ll need to be prepared for. However, other content will open up as well, combined with the stuff that will be added to the game post-launch, including the eight-player Raids, the enhanced Dark Zones and much, much more.
Co-op activities, for example, will be a great way for players to bond together. This is where the most challenge will take place, as you’ll be required to run through them as a group, both in interior and exterior environments. Here, you’ll need to focus on the battles that lie ahead, while conserving ammunition for the tougher skirmishes. Make sure you’re properly leveled here.
Massive will also be introducing some form of PvP to the game. This will enable you to compete against others, while at the same time unlocking some new gear that will do you a world of good. We didn’t get much of a chance to try out this mode during our hands-on with the game, but it’s sure to be a component enjoyed by a great deal of you.
Clans will also play a factor within the game. Again, it hasn’t been fully tested just yet, but the forthcoming beta this weekend should give you the opportunity to see what it’s all about, promising “new ways” to connect with fellow players.
We’re not sure to what extent the forthcoming DLC will extend Endgame, but more than likely it’ll be in the form of additional missions, as well as expansions that will add on to the map.
These Expansions will likely take the form of Dark Zones, though there’s the chance we could see others that tie in with the game’s story as well. They’ll provide a new challenge to overcome, even if you believe you’ve mastered the main part of the game with “no sweat,” as some would say.
Plus, the promise of new gear will get you set up with ease for the challenges to come, as we’re likely to see some powerhouse weapons join the fray. The assault rifles and other weapons we had available with our hands-on experience proved to be more than capable of wiping out the strongest of foes, except when they started stacking up. That’s where your teammates are quite useful.
We could also see the bumping-up of skills that are available within the game. The assault drone, for example, is great for providing a secondary layer of firepower; the Chem Launcher shoots explosive vapors and corrosive acids that can do more damage than conventional weaponry; the Hive shoots out miniature drones that can cover a small area and drop a huge dose of explosive firepower; and the Seeker Mine will devastate opponents, even though that aren’t expecting a rolling grenade to come their way. With Endgame, we’re likely to see these pushed up several notches, along with other effects that will help you stand your ground when you need it the most.
Again, our hands-on time with the mode was brief, but it told us exactly what we needed to hear with two crucial points.
The first is that The Division 2 is looking to extend its reach beyond a mode that some folks may find conventional, challenging even the most hardened of players when they least expect it. Then comes the second point, in which it’ll help players bond better together in the heat of combat, rather than running off by themselves and likely getting gunned down as a result. Here, it’s all about working together or being ripped to shreds. We prefer the former.
You’ll get a chance to check out what The Division 2has to offer with the beta that’s unfolding over the next few days. However, if you didn’t pre-order, you won’t have to wait too much longer for what the game has on deck, as it drops on March 15thfor Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Just be prepared for battle. Again, the main mode of The Division 2 will serve you a hearty meal, but Endgame will probably be the toughest, and most delicious, dessert you’ll ever chew down. Savor the flavor!Related: PC, Playstation 4, The Division 2, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Ubisoft, Xbox One