The Division 2 beta review, release date and all the other info you need

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The Division 2 beta review, release date and all the other info you need



THE DIVISION 2 is coming out on March 15, with early access starting a few days earlier for those who pre-ordered the fancier editions.
It has had multiple betas both public and private, and looks just about ready for prime time.
Ubisoft
Several months after the outbreak from the Division 1, you find yourself in Washington DC
When can I play it?
The game’s official release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One is March 15, though those who have ordered the most expensive collectors’ editions of the game can get in three days’ early, on March 12.
While there was a public beta, that is now finished and there won’t be another before release.
The game features a 1:1 recreation of much of Washington DC, inside and out
Were the betas any good?
Yes, they were! (Sorry.)
They gave a small slice of the start of the game complete with the first few missions, some examples of how the open world will work, and some skills.
The taster of end-game content provided was also fun, offering a re-run of on of those early missions in its ‘invaded’ form (more on that later).
Taking out enemies either on your own or in a squad felt good — it often requires thought whether you’re attacking entrenched positions or being swarmed as you try and hold one.
Not all the game’s skills were available in the beta — you could only get to level 8 of 30 and a bunch were completely locked — but what was open for testing worked well.
Guns were also satisfying, with level-appropriate enemies generally going down a little quicker than in the original.
The balance between guns and skills was also good — guns aren’t so strong you can just ignore your abilities, nor are abilities so strong that you’re just counting down the seconds between uses and ignoring the guns.
A HUGE list of (generally small) fixes were made between the private beta and the public one a couple of weeks later as a result of the testing.
 
Can I still pre-order it?

The Division 2 Standard Edition, £49.99 from Ubisoft – buy it now
The Division 2 Gold Edition, £69.99 from GAME – buy it now
The Division 2 2 Ultimate Edition, £91.99 from Ubisoft – buy it now
The Division 2 Dark Zone Collector’s Edition, £89.96 from ShopTo.net – buy it now
The Division 2 Phoenix Shield Edition, £214.99 from Ubisoft – buy it now

 
When and where is it set?
The events of The Division 2 take place approximately 9 months after The Division. This means the game is set in the summer, with lush foliage and sunny skies replacing the snow and slush of the original.
It is set across Washington DC, with the developers promising “a 1:1 representation of the real city”.
They have used real-life mapping data as a starting point, before breaking buildings, letting vegetation grow wild and generally wreaking havoc.
We don’t know the area covered by The Division 2’s map yet, but it looks to be at least as big as the original
You’ll be able to explore much of the heart of DC including White House, the US Capitol Buildings, the Mall, and the Smithsonian museum.
You can also venture into the suburbs of Georgetown, with the game’s map covering about 20 per cent more area than The Division 1.
This suggests an area of several square miles to explore — by comparison the original game featured approximately 3.5 square miles of Manhattan.
The Division 2’s Washington also features significantly more life than D1’s Manhattan; there are more civilians around who can help you in certain combat situations, more interactive landmarks called control points, and whole settlements you can upgrade alongside the safe houses from D1.
 How does end-game content work?
The Division 2’s Washington DC is a living world, and it gets a major kick up the backside when you finish the main campaign.
A new faction arrives in DC, and they’ve got better gear than you.
They’re also smarter and more organised than the previous factions, kicking them out of their bases of operations and invading a bunch of places you cleared out for main missions.
This sets the stage for some specific end-game challenges where you knock on their doors, but also deal with the chaos on the streets being caused by the old factions who suddenly find themselves in a very different situations.
One set of challenges gives you 52 named bosses in the world to hunt down, multiple ‘strongholds’ to take, bounties you can pick up, settlements to help rebuild and maintain… and that’s not to mention the shooting-and-looting for better gear that goes along with all of it.
Basically, there’ll be plenty to keep you going. Additional content will also be released every few months.
 
What DLC will there be and do I need the Year One Pass?
There will be additional content for the game, as there was for the Division 1.
These will come in the form of three new episodes, which will each come with a new end-game specialisation.
The main story sections and activities will be free for everyone, but you can buy a premium pass too.

This will get you some extra side activities, access to those DLC episodes a week before everyone else, and other content.
That will include early access to new end-game specialisations, a few short missions which come with exclusive cosmetic rewards.
Pre-release highlights of what to expect from year one
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Will it be any good?
This is the big question. The original failed to live up to the hype at launch, but has got significantly better since then.
The developers have listened to some feedback and implemented a lot of new features, fixed bugs and generally made the game a really compelling experience.
Everything we’ve seen of The Division 2 so far looks excellent, with it moving on both the story and the gameplay from the original in interesting ways.
The beta and technical test both showed off a very solid-looking near-future sci-fi shooter, and the huge number of fixes and tweaks implemented after those beta tests were a very good sign too.
The weapons feel good, the balance between using skills and gunplay feels right, the enemies are smarter and less spongy, and the sci-fi / Augmented Reality look that the original had has been amped up again.
Obviously judgement is reserved until we see the finished product, but we’re allowing ourselves to get quite excited for this one.
 
Where can I buy it and what editions are there?
On PC you can buy it directly from Ubisoft or via Epic Games’ store.
Digitally you’ve got a choice between Standard, Gold and Ultimate Editions.
Ubisoft What you’ll get if you pony up for the Ultimate Edition
The Sun Our attempt to make sense of the various editions and what comes with them
Both Gold and Ultimate editions let you play the game starting on March 12, and include a full year’s worth of downloadable content.
The Ultimate edition includes some other digital goodies — the Elite Agent, First Responder and Battleworn Secret Service packs.

The Division 2 Standard Edition, £49.99 from Ubisoft – buy it now
The Division 2 Gold Edition, £69.99 from GAME – buy it now
The Division 2 2 Ultimate Edition, £91.99 from Ubisoft – buy it now
The Division 2 Dark Zone Collector’s Edition, £89.96 from ShopTo.net – buy it now
The Division 2 Phoenix Shield Edition, £214.99 from Ubisoft – buy it now

Ubisoft
If you’d like some physical goodies to go with your digital gewgaws there are two different collector’s editions too.
The Dark Zone collector’s edition doesn’t have all the digital goodies such as that DLC pass, but it does come with a statuette of a player character aiming a flare gun to the heavens to call for a Dark Zone extraction. The Phoenix Shield edition, however, comes with a poseable action figure character as well as all the digital goodies that have currently been announced for any other version of  the game.
If you buy the game from Amazon you can get the Limited Edition (which includes the First Responder Pack), while if you order the Standard, Gold or Dark Zone editions from ShopTo.net then you can get a Tommy The Teddy Bear bag hanger, in both digital form in-game and physically to hang from your actual bag.
 

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