One of the first set of screens to greet you on the stage of the E3 Xbox Showcase Games all held images for Division 2, in sections of 4 seats at a time, teams sat down with the developer as their guide and played though a single mission of Division 2, a huge sequel for Ubisoft.
I sat down at a console and the developer, who was nice, but shall remain nameless, greeted me and asked if I liked the first Division. I, sadly, was dumb and told him the truth, “I want to play division, I own it, but its sitting on my desk unopened, I haven’t had time to play it. Yet” His eyes went beautifully dead as he spoke a line he must have said a thousand times before, That’s a nice way of telling a developer, ‘no’.” Then he didn’t laugh and neither did I and w both stared at the empty chairs for a couple seconds as I uselessly tried to defend the truth of my position. He clicked into his presentation mode and changed the subject by asking me how I like to play my shooter games; Melee, Sniper, Bow and arrow, explosives… “I’m a sniper guy”, I said. He pointed towards the 2nd seat down in front of a character holding a large sniper rife. I moved to sit when a very excited, physically fit guy with blond hair and a big smile grabbed the chair before with a “Yaaahooo” before putting on his headphones. I instinctively moved to the furthest
chair from him and sat in front a screen with girl holding a shotgun. Sigh.
The other chairs quickly filled up and the developer started the game.
My play through was very similar to this one… except with less coordination and more dying.
The game begins and it looks fucking great. Controls are familiar and easy; the developer is leading us on a raid through a municipal building of some kind. The virus raged world feels and looks real. The communication was seamless and the world looks truly like the world would look, hyper realistic and with trash everywhere.
I make the best of the character, trying to out flank my excited co-op players next to me, which turns out to be a solid tactic in the game. The developer reminds us to use grandees and other items, and while I spend most of the time rushing into skirmishes, his advice works and makes the game better, a lot more fun.
Things start to take a turn here, not for the Division 2 itself or the gameplay, but for my pride. After a few squads of baddies, we cross a street and into a city square an armored boss battle begins. Waves of lower tier bad guys are still coming in and the Developer tells us to call in reinforcements. No one does, so he does it for us. As we enter the battle with the heavily armed and armored boss, my flanking and rushing in strategy fails… miserably. In Division 2, you don’t “die”, instead your character doubles over and lips around slowly, holding their wound. The developer has to come save my ass, and almost immediately I get that same ass handed to me, but this time I’m in a bad position, out in the open, and he can’t get to me without sacrificing himself. He tells me to get to a safe area where he can heal me and I tried to do this, but ended up getting turned around and just limping towards the armored big-bad himself. Obviously I wasn’t going to get healed before this was over and I felt the developer’s internal eyes rolling, so, I did what I felt anyone would do… I shambled into the villain… hard! Not hard enough to “attack him, more like I heavily brushing against him over and over. In turn, the armored attacker ignored me completely as I just kinda brushed up against his side while he shot at my friends. They weren’t my friends, but you know what I mean.
The developer, once again, asked if I could get to safe area for healing and I steadied myself, and told him, “No, I got this! He’s mine!” and continued to what amounted to leg humping the enemy. Eventually, he was put down by the rest of my squad but it was my hobbling that gave them the strength to carry on when the odds were against us and the chips were down.
The Division 2 releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on March 15, 2019 (4 days before my birithday, FYI)