The Division 2 Impressions?


Honestly I’m still probably going to play this just because destiny is in a content lull and Anthem completely fell on it’s face at making a loot shooter.


Man, I am real excited to see more articles like this tear into the bullshit Ubisoft has been pushing around this game.


“Do you own a gun? Does your neighbour!?”


The OST dropped on Spotify. This is the one thing I really like about The Division 2.


Alright, you asked for impressions. Look at me, I’m the Division 2. This is what a real government shutdown looks like. Did you own a gun? Despite the images I contain, this isn’t meant to be political at all here’s a purple backpack.


Looters are scum, so shoot them in the back and then go take their property out of their cold dead hands, for America.


National Anthem intensifies.


i, for one, am surprised the not-at-all-political sequel to the game which had me murder a woman of colour yelling “black lives matter” at me ended up being fascist apologia

im mad that this game is going get good reviews from major outlets because “the shooting feels nice”, but I do hope that we see a wave of crit a few months down the line like we did with BioShock Infinite


Here’s the thing: I think the game plays like ass. The cover system is ripped from Splinter Cell: Conviction (also wildly fascist) which would make sense if stealth was at all an option. It’s a system designed to let you move smoothly between cover points while maintaining situational awareness of enemy sight lines, and simply isn’t responsive enough to account for how aggressive the enemies are about flanking and rushing down your position.

The enemies are as bullet-spongey as people say they are. That’s not necessarily an issue in and of itself. The enemies in Destiny take a lot of hits to drop but they also react to damage in a way that makes the intervening period between opening fire and killing the enemy exciting. Similarly, the locusts take whole magazines to kill in Gears of War but the weapon balance and active reload system is such that you’re able to deal consistent damage against a single target effectively. The problem the Division games have is that you do have to account for recoil, enemies don’t react in a readable way to damage, and magazine sizes are fairly realistic. It’s a shooting model that would be amazing for a game with more tactical firefights where both you and enemies can only take a few hits.

Sure, the guns themselves sound and look good, but I think it’s another case of the audio/visual presentation covering up average mechanical design, which we’ve seen a lot of this generation (looking at you God of War).


I guess I’ll be the voice of positivity here because i’m actually enjoying the game so far. My major complaint is that a lot of the font appears to be sized for ants even with the large font setting on. It’s not perfect but I at least appreciate that instead of cops v looters like D1 you’re at least helping civilian settlements build solar panels and barbecues and shit and the enemy factions range from Mad Max style raiders to PMCs or former division agents. The gameplay is good, loot rains from the sky and it actually feels impactful to get weapon upgrades compared to say, anthem. It feels like someone finally managed to get a loot shooter out the door that isn’t a giant tire fire right out of the gate.

The enemies are also markedly less spongey than D1, and will at least react to damage or have armor fly off now as opposed to just standing there unmoving. You can shoot charging enemies in the legs now and they’ll fall on their face instead of rushing towards you and stuff and it feels much better.


Hey can I just step in for a sec and vent my frustration on how everyone who gave the first game so much deserved shit for being imperialist and racist as all hell just seems to have stopped doing that about the sequel, despite it still being both those things in spades?

It’s genuinely maddening to see people keep talking about this executioner cop fantasy like it’s just a rival game to a magical space loot shooter and not yet another morally repugnant game from a publisher who seems really dead set on appealing to a particular audience who are a major part responsible for the destruction of the planet and the reason why America is currently organizing a quiet genocide without actually openly saying it. It’s a series where you’re literally super cops who have full authority to fire on United States citizens, usually with symbols worn real cops associate with POC suspects, and I am just flabbergasted how many people are able to just kind of ignore that and treat this as a game.

I’ve been trying not to be rude about this but I genuinely cannot think of another major release since the CoD Modern Warfare era that disturbed me as much as this racist garbage, and I’m saying that as a POC. I genuinely do not understand why it’s this game that seems to be on the top of the loot shooter craze when Warframe is right over there and not about super cops given full authority to shoot minorities in the street, and is significantly cheaper to boot.

This and Far Cry 5 genuinely scare me. Seeing so many people just enjoy what is basically the ultimate right wing fantasy while, on rare occasion, mentioning that it’s kind of racist just constantly makes me feel completely unsafe. I understand liking deeply problematic stuff on some level (I like the first HuniePop, and I played it before I found out the dev was a gater), but there has to be a line somewhere, right?

We all drew a line with Kingdom Come, a game made by literal white nationalists, but was the double talk around the makers of this game enough to just cloud haw deeply horrific all of its content is?


If you want the actual answer to this it’s because warframe is significantly different in it’s looting gameplay loop than destiny/division/diablo/anthem and isn’t really a direct competitor. Getting a blueprint that you then farm materials for and wait X long number of hours to get your shiny new thing works but it’s not the same style of game. Warframe also has 6 years of systems on top of systems and has an onboarding experience equivalent to chucking a new player in the ocean and hoping they swim. FWIW, so far 95% of the enemies in div2 have been white dudes that look somewhere between riot cop in full gear and someone in a bomb disposal suit that can also carry a heavy machine gun.


Hooray, the US citizens you’re shooting are no longer coded as POC and called “looters.” That makes everything better.

But then I see crap like purple backpacks, the weird gun signs, and so forth and then just realize the only thing that’s changed is that the team just realized “okay we just need to make this less openly racist” while still having the same target audience.

There are just so many games out there that I am genuinely worried that one of the most popular right now is a fascism simulator.


This has always been the weird thing about TD for me, the first game sure did look nice but any other Ubi thing that gives their games some memorable personality was absent from it. Like, even the most cookie-cutter Ubi open worlds this gen have had more dynamism by virtue of decent stealth-action flow and silly emergent elements, which are mostly missing here, and now they’ve even removed the appeal of unique environment artistry.

Despite being dressed as a big-ticket ubi thing, its mechanics are decidedly last-gen, like if Defiance had come out a generation later. The perspective doesn’t even make for “good” gun porn, so drops are literally just number stats and colour bars with inevitably tiny models your eyes will never care about during fights or even see during downtime.

It couldn’t be more clear that the Tom Clancy’s branding is explicitly for right-wing appeal, because the gameplay is less tactical sim-y than even Far Cry or Watch Dogs 2, the latter of which even has a “realistic” difficulty pulled straight from Rainbow Six.

This is just a fuckin bizarre brand. It cruises on the market expectations for the consumption meatgrinder that is the (lite) MMO genre, but also tries to dogwhistle to rightwing fans of a brand the gameplay doesn’t actually appeal to? and also seems like it doesn’t care to learn from more successful attempts at what it’s going for? I mean, the most unduely charitable Games For Gamer Gameplay~ thing i think i could say about it is that it’s the Test Drive Unlimited of its generation, except at least that series’ mediocrity made some kind of sense.


Very much not trying to start an argument here, but can someone explain what specifically is super inherently racist or dangerous about this game in particular? It seems like they’ve at least tried (keyword) to tone down a lot of stuff that people were rightfully upset about in the first one: the first faction being just “looters” that you murder (yikes) in droves, the ex-con faction, the Larae Barrett stuff is…bad, and the concept of the division. This game just trades in most of that for what amounts to a pretty standard post apocalypse set-up where you’re mostly an independent person wandering around from settlement to settlement and watching your numbers go up.

The only factions I’ve encountered personally so far are the hyenas, which are like a pretty typical band of wasteland marauders (all races and men and women) doing marauder things like gathering in groups of 4-5 in areas with a lot of chest high walls to take cover near and saying how much they just love stealing and public executions and kidnapping and all that, and then the true sons, which are some ultranationalistic patriot faction full of a bunch of guys playing soldier and spray painting “sweet liberty” all over their hideouts and stuff. As for the division itself (which let me be clear is an awful idea obviously about letting people just going around killing extrajudicially all day with no repercussions), it barely seems like a functioning organization anymore given it’s been like a year since everything when to shit in that world? You occasionally run into other agents who help out (a bunch went rogue apparently, shocking, they’re probably doing some Apocalypse now stuff somewhere, I’m sure that’ll come up later) but it basically just feels very much like a fallout 4 or something where you’re doing apocalypse errands and getting hounded by people to help fix their settlements all the time, and the bad guys do very bad guy things and narrate these things loudly on the comms so you can hear how bad they truly are.

The most “Ubisoft politics” moment so far is that opening line about you and your neighbor owning a gun before the apocalypse which, yo, read the room guys, christ, and there’s definitely some big time fetishization of military hardware which is a bit much but don’t think that’s unique to this. Oh and the email they sent weeks back with the subject line “want to see a real government shutdown?” Please let me talk to the person who approved that, I just want to know what they were thinking. But yeah if it gets more fucked up later this wouldn’t be surprising in the least, but right now it seems like it doesn’t have a point it confidently wants to make, and isn’t doing anything overtly controversial in the process.

Also, I should be clear since this is the sort of thread where things can get heated that I totally get why it would be uncomfortable for people especially given the history of the series and the dev, and I’m not trying to argue or defend it with my life. Just not really seeing what separates this from what we’ve gotten for the last several decades of military power fantasy shoot em ups. As for it’s popularity, it’s popular right now because it’s way better than Anthem, which set the bar so incredibly low that everything will get a boost from that for some time I imagine.


Nothing, and that’s the problem. We’ve been dealing with this jingoistic propaganda for over a decade now and it’s never been more draining, especially right now, with every single horrible thing being done by white nationalists and the far right around the world.

What little tolerance I had left dive bombed when the United States government started putting brown children and cages and the president defended nazi scum that murdered an innocent woman, among many other horrors I don’t feel like bringing up for my own sanity.

The Division is just the most recent form of gaming’s need to cash in on extremely dangerous mind sets, further normalizing them to the point that people mostly just shrug about the increasing number of school shootings and the countless war crimes committed by the United States.

The Division 2 is just more cowardly and sneaky about it, which arguably makes it even grosser to me. “Representation” doesn’t mean jack when you know it’s all here because the developers are desperate to try and paint this game as something else to make it more marketable and seem like their vaguely progressive, when the entire concept is still incredibly disgusting.

I wish the entire Tom Clancy line would just disappear at this point. Splinter Cell feels completely pointless now, leaving two other franchises, one that basically turned an entire real world country into a drug kingdom, and one that basically turns you into the cop fantasy version of The Punisher.

I’m just so, so tired of this entire trend.


I’d say “don’t forget about Siege” but the actual bulk of that game is paper-fragile cops shooting other paper-fragile cops, so maybe it doesn’t count


The most obvious issue with the Hyenas is that they’re coded - racially and racistly - as POC. They don’t move like trained military personnel - often standing out in the open with their guns held sideways in a single hand, and they’re dressed in civilian clothes that are often used in media to signify gang membership - bandanas, singlets etc. They’re not “looters” in the same way that the primary fodder enemies in The Division 1 were, but they’ve just traded one right-wing bogeyman for another. The fact that they have a diverse representation of ethnicities and genders is just a weak ass smokescreen to avoid them getting ethered again for Resident Evil 5-ing themselves

Also, Hyenas are good. Scavengers are a vital part of the ecosystem. Vultures kick ass too. Would you call the head of your enemy faction “The Garbage Men” or " The Public Sanitation Officers"? Demonising those who live off the scraps of the apex predators has its own weird class connotations.


And sometimes, the apex predators ARE scavengers.


Are you sure you aren’t thinking of the true sons with their sleeveless camo shirts and bandannas? The hyenas all seem to be wearing gas masks and bulletproof vests.