The Division 2 has got the mood

Ever since taking a break with Destiny 2 I’ve been missing having a “dick around” shooter. The Division 2 seemed like the perfect fit being featured in a recent Xbox sale – tons of exploration, solo viable, and plenty of legitimately new content to enjoy before hopping onto an inevitable hamster wheel. The Destiny 2 hamster wheel is fun, but things get stale without breaks.

I originally tried it out on PS4, and I’m almost positive it was a free PS Plus game at the time. The only problem is that it was closer to the peak of the pandemic frenzy so it played a little too close to home at the time what with the narrative setup of the game.

But there’s nothing quite like seeing that Xbox Series X|S enhanced badge on a game, in this case bumping the experience up to 4K and 60 FPS, and landing on something my brother and I can play. And for about $17 dollars for the Warlords of New York Ultimate Edition, it seemed like a fair enough deal.

Granted, I’ve only played a handful of hours, but it’s been perfect for bopping around. It can really ooze with atmosphere at times too. And this is part of what drew me to the game – I’m a sucker for taking things slow, and taking in everything around me. When an open world manages to truly suck me in for those “this is awesome” moments, I’m going to at least stick around for a little exploration.

Melding that together with a little ARPG giddiness? You’ve at least got my interest.

I can’t say if I’ll stick around for the long game. It’s something I want to play casually. I do want to stay around long enough to give the perspective of a newcomer getting into The Division 2 in 2023. I’d also like to compare and contrast with Destiny 2 – specifically how it fares for the solo players out there.

But here’s the thing – this is a templated Ubisoft game at the end of the day. I’m already noticing some of those hooks. It’s the style of overindulgence that’s made it hard for me to get into modern Assassin’s Creed games.

I want to push past the suffocating feeling of clutter that can arise at times because, yes, this world can be really, really cool at times. I hope to do that with the Assassin’s Creed games at some point too, because their worlds are incredible in their own way. It’s just a shame – the overt hooks and loops can take you out of it, and I’ve already noticed that with The Division 2 as well.

The narrative hasn’t wowed me, but some of the world building has been quite good. The gunplay is also fantastic for the most part. There are moments where The Division 2 creates a palpable time and space. And I just can’t say no to that type of novel exploration at the end of the day. Some of my favorite moments in Destiny 2 to this day include soaking up the still new atmosphere of Europa while periodically whittling away at enemies. There’s still plenty of that left for me in what Massive Entertainment has created if I can manage to bat away the excessiveness.

…but then I may just hop on board with the original Division if only to poke around for the atmosphere. People really seem praise it for that, and there’s something about a bleak snowy setting that gets me. I also just found out that it’s on sale for dirt cheap on Xbox, and runs at 4K and 60 FPS.

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