The Division 2 – The Best Loot Shooter?

We’ve spent a few hours in Washington DC already but there’s a real chance that The Division 2 might be the best loot shooter ever made.

Since the original Destiny graced our consoles a number of years ago, the ‘loot shooter’ genre (to give it an unofficial name) has seen countless entries come and go, each with an issue or two that’s stopped it from truly endearing everyone to its potential.

The two Destiny games suffered with a lack of content, The Division failed to hit high expectations following its release and the recently launched Anthem seems to has encountered so many problems its alienated much of its player base within its opening weeks. However, The Division 2 is impressing right from the get-go.

The accussation that’s usually hurled at loot shooters is that of a lack of content. Based on my early time with the game so far, I can attest to the fact that that isn’t the case here.

While Washington DC looks generic beyond your opening minutes inside the White House, The Division 2’s streets are filled with things to do, enemies to take down, control points to take over and missions to complete. You’ll even find trinkets to collect that can help you to level up and expand your bases around the United States’ capital.

Upon travelling from base to mission or even whilst aimless roaming around Washington, I was met with a multitude of tasks to accomplish. Usually, it can be difficult to take me off the beaten path in a game as I often choose to careen toward the main path but in The Division 2 I find myself sidetracked by whatever I run into. Perhaps it’s the freshness of the game that’s making me feel like it’s not a chore but so far, so good.

I’m enjoying my time exploring the world of The Division 2 because it doesn’t feel desolate and generic, in fact, despite the concrete appearance, it’s quite the opposite. In the early stages, it’s more content overload rather than looking for things to do and it really feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface so far.

Content is no use if the game itself doesn’t feel right though.

The Division 2 The Best Loot Shooter

Gameplay is where contemporaries like Destiny excelled and while The Division 2 isn’t quite up to the mastery of Bungie in this regard, it still feels like a solid shooter. Guns have the weight and recoil you’d expect and downing a particularly tough enemy provides a sense of satisfaction that takes you closer to your objective. General gameplay and traversal is, on the whole, pretty good, but it’s when you’re in a sticky situation when issues occur.

At numerous times when the rather smart AI has you pinned down, it flanks with regularity, so much so that a hasty retreat is the only option if you want to survive. The way the games’ cover system works can make this a chore though, with turning around and high-tailing it out of there without getting stuck on another part of a wall difficult. In fact, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to go back 10 or 15 metres to find new cover when flanked, only to attach myself to every wall in the vicinity and then vault over the cover I wanted to stay behind. It’s a minor gripe but one that has forced me to change the way I’m playing from being ultra-aggressive to now being a little bit more reserved. As my character levels up and gets stronger I may revert back to my more pressing approach.

After almost a dozen hours, The Division 2 is giving me exactly what I want from a GAAS (game as a service) – enjoyable gameplay, a steady stream of content, tangible loot and an interesting world to explore. Whether it’s end game will change my mind on it all we’ll have to wait and see but for now, it’s a game that will be taking up plenty of my time for the forseeable future.