The New Division 2 Episode 2 Title Update is Not for Newcomers

...I would also caution solo players against braving the post-apocalyptic Pentagon.

At this point, for better and for worse, The Division 2 knows what it is. The third-person loot shooter is one helluva grind towards the top — requiring you to progress through “World Tiers” that reset your progress through its open map. It’s all the joy of cleaning up icons in every other Ubisoft game, but multiplied five times over. And it’s mostly pretty good at that! The shooting is just a little more intense than you might expect. The enemies are just a bit more aggressive than might make you comfortable. That’s true in The Division 2 Episode 2, which launches with Title Update 6, as well.

This latest free expansion takes players to a dilapidated Pentagon, but only if they have progressed through the game’s World Tiers. That’s because the military headquarters has been overtaken by Black Tusk: a pseudo-sci-fi military outfit with Big Dog tanks and flying, killer drones. And even in my preview build of the game, with a full set of endgame gear, it was one tough nut to crack. You probably don’t want to play this one solo.

Granted, I was a bit rusty. I last played The Division 2 after “resetting” the world for the first time. That gave me access to Specializations (basically subclasses that don’t unlock until a couple dozen hours into the game). I barely had time to grok what they gave me before being pulled away by other games.

More of The Division 2:

The Title Update 6 preview build I played didn’t just give me a fully kitted character. It also let me select the Technician. This is the new class available in Title Update 6 to anyone that owns The Division 2 Year 1 Pass. Anyone without the pass also gets it for free, but needs to complete some side quests to unlock it, first.

Frankly, I had no idea what I was doing. That’s not a good thing in The Division 2. Enemies can and will flank you relentless. And while health regenerates naturally, what you really need is armor, which does not refill on its own. You need to either use consumable packs or abilities on a cooldown. I… forgot most of that. But I remembered awfully quickly, as airborne troopers, robots, mounted guns, and remote controlled death machines hit me from all sides. That’s when I remembered that I used to rock a mix of the Hive (a portable canister that, among other things, can refill your armor) and the anti-armor grenade launcher.

I kept the Hive this time, but wanted to put the Technician to the test. So I supplemented my healing drum with a killer combat drone of my own. The Technician is largely based on buffing deployed devices like those. It worked a treat to let my helicopter friend cover me while I thinned the heard. Meanwhile my Hive grenade kept me from worrying about armor upkeep. That’s a nice addition, for me, since I tend to enjoy “pet classes” in games where I can get ’em. I like to play solo — with A.I. companions reliably filling the role of friends.

Title Update 6 Division 2 Episode 2

Going It Alone

I was a bit less sold on the Technician’s signature weapon. It’s a multi-target rocket launcher. That sounds cool, but it’s slow business, painting your targets, and the payoff doesn’t always seem worth it. The missiles themselves would sometimes harmlessly bounce off enemy cover. Other times they seemed to ignore it. I wasn’t quite sure what made some instances different from others…

It’s also not the best defense against bosses. The Pentagon missions have you squaring off a number of armored foes: including a large man that called himself “Mega” and a flying super-drone. The former deployed a jammer that turned off my cool powers (not so cool). Whereas the latter could get at me from any angle. Neither were particularly susceptible to my crowd controlling rocket launcher.

All put together, I got waxed — time and time again. Title Update 6 expects its players to have, well, played a whole lot of The Division 2. And while I’m not exactly a slouch, some of the particular intricacies were lost on me after so much time away. It didn’t particularly help that my favorite strategy was jammed (at least during one boss fight). It was a good reminder that, like Ubisoft’s other futuristic military shooter, this game is often best played cooperatively.

It’s also a good reminder that story missions are far from my favorite thing about The Division 2. And the stuff in Title Update 6 is eerily similar to that in the base game, despite the change of locales. The Pentagon and DARPA look different on the outside; it does not look so different on the inside. It’s another rundown government building with a mix of hallways and suspiciously open spaces.

Title Update 6 Division 2 Episode 2

What’s Old Is New Again

Inside those corridors are a number of collectible recordings from the pre-apocalypse worlds. And they sound just like the ones you’ve probably heard a dozen times before. It’s a lot of dramatic irony about people not knowing the world is going to end. Plus a bunch of hilarious political statements — brought to you by one of the many “apolitical” Ubisoft games — about real-world events.

My favorite was when the voice of some long gone secretary fretted over the Green Poison (the virus killing the world in The Division 2). When someone asked if the supercomputer inside the Pentagon, designed to cure the disease, would work in time, another voice responded that they still hadn’t even come up with a cure for AIDS in 30 years. Yes, The Division 2. It’s a shame the famously swift and thorough intervention of the U.S. government on the AIDS epidemic hasn’t borne fruit…

And yet, just like The Division 2 knows what kind of game it is, I also know what kind of game it is to me. It’s a game where I do my best to ignore what it’s saying. That makes this update a bit of a weird one… The meat of it comes from two new story missions and some secret assignments: story stuff, basically. But the Technician also feels perfect for the way I want to play!

It’s also functionally free, which is hard to argue with. Despite its tonal failings, and more recent expansions to other loot games, it’s nice to see Ubisoft continue supporting The Division 2. Whether you’re here for the plot or not, this is a meaty addition. Just make sure that you’ve played a lot of The Division 2 already, before you expect to go traipsing in.