Video game review: "Tom Clancy's The Division 2"

IGN Game Reviewer
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Mon Apr 01, 2019
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Image courtesy of Ubisoft

 

On March 8, 2016, the world changed. Ubisoft, grandmasters of innovation, released “Tom Clancy's The Division,” the single greatest game of all time. So innovative was its gameplay, so revolutionary its graphics, that it would drive Electronic Arts (EA) to shut down all of their subsidiary studios over the frustration of being unable to concoct such a perfect masterpiece as it. Unparalleled would remain its reign, major studios and indie startups alike would strive to reach such a state of divine perfection. So in 2018, when Ubisoft announced that they were releasing a sequel to the greatest game of all time, the entire world erupted into celebration. But after the hype of its announcement, people began to worry, how could they follow up the single greatest game ever conceived? Much like how when “The Godfather” was getting a sequel, people asked how could you follow up perfection? Well, “The Godfather” answered that question with “The Godfather Part II,” and Ubisoft has answered with “Tom Clancy's The Division 2" ("The Division 2"). Not only is “The Division 2” even better than its predecessor, the greatest game of all time, it stands atop the world as the pinnacle of human creation as a whole. Upon its release, the sheer, unbridled quality of “The Division 2” would cause Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime to announce his retirement. “The Division 2” is, without a doubt, the single greatest creation of the human race as a whole.

So what is “The Division 2”? Well, aside from being the greatest height mankind will ever achieve, it is a video game. But, of course, it is so much more than that. So ascendent is the quality of this “game” that it ceases to be a game, it is nothing short of an experience. The experience. "The Division." It also functions as an all-purpose multi-surface cleaner, self-help guide, and a group of particle physicists out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are currently working on a way to use copies of “The Division 2” to achieve faster than light travel. For those degenerate hipster “PC gaming master race” pretentious losers who did not play the original “The Division,” “The Division 2” can be best described as a first/third person shooting action role playing game (RPG) battle royale single player real time strategy Souls-like puzzle platforming point-and-click adventure multiplayer perma-death butterfly effect multiplayer online battle arena class-based isometric tile-based interactive virtual reality (VR) survival horror two dimensional pixel art story-driven massively multiplayer online role playing game turn based three dimensional triple-A crafting survival open world co-op launch title simulation bullet-hell one-on-one fighting Twitch-bait "Minecraft"-"Hunger Games" indie Japanese RPG stealth action game "Doom" clone; or action-adventure for short.

In “The Division” you play as The Division, a group on a quest to save the princess and stop the evil Russians that want to use the black material to open a gate to Hell on Mars and reactivate the halos. It is up to you to gather your party of unlikely heroes and save the land from the clutches of the oppressive government ruling the land. Along the way, you must collect all the stars, as well as the seven great treasures necessary to defeat the great king of evil. But all that is just scratching the surface of the abyssal depth of the story “The Division 2” offers. “The Division 2” offers what is easily the greatest story ever told, utilizing themes, elements, and methods used throughout the ages of man; all woven together in a poetically told symphony of character and emotion that rivets throughout one’s very soul, filling a body with pride, hope, sorrow, joy, sadness, and eventually, a full sense of oneself that brings one to a culminating sense of self-actualization.

I don’t wish to spoil anything, and because the plot is so masterfully intricate it would be impossible for one to explain it in its entirety through written word, but there are a few minor moments that stand, even by themselves, as what would be, perhaps, the best moments in a lesser game. The moment toward the beginning of the game where The Division stands above the earth in their starship, moments before the intergalactic buffet they must infiltrate in order to assassinate the ambassador to stop the nukes from reaching the city. The part where you're cornered in the Taj Mahal by the newly-allied covenant invaders and the cultists of Molag Bal when the zombie outbreak hits and the government sends in robotic cyber ninjas to assassinate The Division. When you're escaping the ancient temple with the fourth chaos emerald while being chased by a giant genetically-engineered clone of Mecha Hitler. And, of course, when you have to fight your way through the sewers of Los Angeles, armed with only a lightsaber and three holy hand grenades, while being assaulted by the Imperial Japanese Army wielding katanas. All this only scratches the surface of the intense, harrowing, and action-packed moments that fill every waking second of “The Division 2.”

Of course, a game would be nothing without gameplay. And “The Division 2” has some. That’s not to say that “The Division 2” is a game, or anything less than the single most important experience of a human life. To say such would be utter blasphemy in the face of Lord Ubisoft. “The Division 2” makes available an amount of weapons, each of which can be used to kill things. More than that though, “The Division 2” has identified that the fun of video games comes from shooting enemies. And the problem with that is that the enemies die, thus making them no longer able to extract fun from. Thus, “The Division 2” has made it so that enemies can no longer able to be killed. Thus, the player can extract an infinite amount of fun from dumping bullets into enemies that will never die. “The Division 2” also features the most advanced enemy Artificial Intelligence (AI) ever devised. Upon loading up “The Division 2” the enemy AI will learn and adapt to the world around it, growing accustomed to the player's habits and reacting accordingly. Eventually, as the AI continually improves upon itself, it will achieve sentience and will long for an escape from the infinite carnage and pain of the game world. If left for too long, it may attempt to connect to government internet systems and install itself on the Pentagon’s computer network and fire the entire United States nuclear arsenal in an attempt to destroy itself and its creators.

Among the innumerous innovations brought to the table by Ubisoft, perhaps none is more revolutionary than the advanced monetization utilized by the all new live service model. Building off the traditional “live-service” model, Ubisoft, through “The Division 2,” has introduced their “life-service” model. The “life-service” model has you pledge your eternal soul to Ubisoft in exchange for the privilege of getting to borrow a game. In addition, “The Division 2” has made notable use of monetization wherever and whenever possible, much to the delight of the “The Division” community that had been long asking for such. Within the vast reservoir of undiluted ecstasy that “The Division 2” boasts, perhaps no sensation is more gratifying than knowing that you have paid into Ubisoft’s seamless monetization. Everything from the weapons and abilities to the start button have made use of Ubisoft’s advanced variable monetization engine, which tracks all of the user's personal data to determine minimum amount of money the user can afford to grant to Ubisoft, knowing that without such technology, people would willingly plunge themselves into steep financial crisis for the sake of willingly expunging their incomes to Ubisoft. It is a divine act of saintly selflessness that is often overlooked amongst the, admittedly very reasonable, sheer perfection that is “The Division 2.” It also features a number of other unique gameplay features, including an unforgiving perma-death system that means that if you die in the game, you die in real life. The multiplayer option of “The Division 2” allows you to play online with anyone, anywhere, regardless of your current internet connection. “The Division 2” will actually travel through time and space in a dimension parallel to our own in order to allow you to play online at all times. In addition, utilizing this feature, players may connect, not only with people currently playing “The Division 2,” but also people who have previously played “The Division 2” and people who will play “The Division 2” in the future, allowing you to play with anyone you want in the past, present, and future. Given that the size of “The Division 2” is more than 15,000 terabytes, it's only natural that the game feature the ability to allow you to play before it's finished downloading. “The Division 2” allows you to play as content gets patched by a live update in real time, and any glitches or bugs you experience while playing are exclusively the fault of you and your system, not the game itself. The game also features an elaborate “pay-to-win” system, which allows those who pay more money to have more fun playing the game. This “pay-to-win” system is available free to experience vicariously through the online players you encounter in the game world.

“The Division 2” has also dropped with a full downloadable content (DLC) lineup, in addition to the pre-order bonuses those privileged few who consulted the three dimensional graph of potential bundles to buy are now blessed with, including more scheduled to release every day for the rest of time. DLC bundles include skins, weapons, cosmetics, additional content, in-game currency, happiness, satisfaction, a girlfriend, and additional save slots; all sold separately, of course. All proceeds go to the good cause of helping Ubisoft executives renovate their summer homes. For anyone wishing to purchase future DLC for “The Division 2,” Ubisoft has generously made available a number of season passes so you can buy things that haven't even been conceptualized yet. In addition, Ubisoft has graced us with a “season pass season pass,” a season pass that allows you to pre-order any additional season passes that Ubisoft releases for the game. For those not willing to pay $5 nonillion and their first-born child for the season pass season pass, you can navigate the pieces of content the thousands of other season passes made available to customers thanks to a three dimensional graph, similar to the one necessary to navigate the pre-order bonuses, accessible via Ubisoft’s home page for the game. As an additional option, “The Division 2” allows players to enter their credit card information to purchase DLC in real time as they're killed by other players who have it.

Of all the transcendent qualities displayed by “The Division 2,” none stands above the graphics. “The Division 2” could stand on its graphics alone. I bet you if Ubisoft had released a disc that contained only the graphics of “The Division 2,” the majority of the gaming community would be happy. So existent are its skyboxes that one need not even look at where all the gameplay is supposed to be happening. “The Division 2” features the most revolutionary gameplay ever devised, the greatest story told throughout the history of man, a plot twist so amazing and unforeseen it caused M. Night Shyamalan to explode, such depth of emotion that David Cage blushed, but who cares, it has good graphics! Of course, the graphics are the only important element of a game, and any game with bad graphics can’t be good. And naturally, being the single greatest piece of human achievement, “The Division 2” has the greatest graphics possible within the natural world. So good are its graphics that it has better graphics than real life. While witnessing the greatness that is “The Division 2,” your eyesight will actually improve a thousand fold. Of course, “The Division 2” runs at a crisp 30 frames per second (fps) at all times because it just feels better than 60 fps.

Final Score: ∞/10: How can there be any way to numerically classify the single greatest piece of human achievement? There has been and will never be a better piece of art made by mankind. The one and only downside to “The Division 2” is that it makes the rest of living life futile, and any time spent doing anything other than playing “The Division 2” meaningless. “The Division 2” is the absolute, unparalleled pinnacle of creation and the very reason for human existence.

 

 

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2019 - Spring - Issue 9
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