I started playing the Division 2 Beta today, finally was able to get into it after my private key got all fucked up and I wasn’t able to use it in my area. What I found was a game that’s definitely a little rough around the edges.
My biggest issue with the game was that I had issues with the sound. Multiple times there would be enemies shooting machine guns or on turrets shooting at me and no sounds would be coming from their weapons. It definitely took me out of the experience when that happened. I also felt like the sound around my character was too low and pushed away from my avatar. When I fired a gun I never got a good “punch” of the round firing, it all felt a bit muted. Hopefully all the sound issues I had get resolved by release date.
The graphics in the outdoor open areas didn’t really impress me that much, especially the further into the distance you look, they are using a lot of LOD which makes things seem bland toward the horizon. There is also a lot of texture streaming going on, which often leaves large blurry sections of texture that slowly filter in as they’re loaded. I’m running on the PS4 Pro by the way.
I ran into some other glitches, like these guys all stuck in a falling animation while they move around the environment, it was pretty weird and funny seeing this happen.
I found most of the other characters in the world to be very ugly looking. This mission giver here had an ugly looking face, doesn’t seem like they’re pushing the facial tech that hard in this one. The skin shaders also don’t look that great.
The menu system is the last thing that I’m going to complain about with the Beta. It’s just fucking confusing and annoying. It feels like a missed opportunity really. It feels thin and uninspired. You have to analyze the fucking screen and decide to take the time to figure out where shit is, it’s either that or just be lost. They need to find a better, more graphical solution to their menus that make them easier to read at a glance. And I hate how when you pull up the menu screen it’s rendered at an angle, with the vanishing lines going toward your character, which means the left side of the menu is smaller than the right. It just doesn’t look visually appealing.
Oh Wait, One More Issue…
This is a big one for me, it’s the silent protagonist in this game. The fucking main character doesn’t talk! Meaning they have no personality and are just going into meeting with people, getting talked to, and then walking out to do the next mission on the map. Makes me want to skip the whole story. It feels like there’s nothing pulling me into what people are saying to me.
So What’s Good Then?
The indoor environments I think are great. There is a high level of geometric detail going on in the indoor sections. I like how, for the most part you can easily vault over low objects, enter a building and are basically in a little dungeon. When going into these little sections the amount of objects scattered about are impressive. That’s one thing the SnowDrop engine does really well.
I enjoyed the gameplay, which of course has a loot based progression system. It’s fun to run around and shoot people, even if it takes an inordinate amount of shots to kill certain enemies. I found what I think is a pretty great weapon, the MK17, so I ran around with that and a shotgun fucking people up. I hope that the enemy variety changes up a bit in the final game also.
So What’s the What?
As it stands right now, I don’t think I’ll buy The Division 2 when it comes out, not at the 60 dollar price range. It does seem like I’d be able to play it solo and have a good time leveling up, getting better loot, and shooting assholes in the head. Perhaps I’ll wait for a banging deal so that it’s not as much of a commitment to go through.
I do hope the sound issues I had get sorted out, they really where the biggest issue I had with the Beta, the glitching stuff will most assuredly get taken care of. The hollowness of the soundscape, that might be harder. I’m glad that I got a chance to finally try out a game in this series, while it doesn’t make me want to go back to the first one, even though I hear good things and the price is at basement bargain levels right now. It has piqued my interest, which might be enough some day.
Update – Played a Bit More
So I jumped back in and played all of the missions available and got what I’d call the end credits on the demo. Hitting that point opened up 3 extra operators that you can play as, each one a different class and kitted out in high level gear and weapons. I played as two of them just to check out what the late game looked like.
I’m not so sure I’m sold on what they’re offering. It seems a little odd to me that I’m doing a mission in the same building I did in the demo. I get that it’s a Destiny type game where you basically do the same things over and over again with harder enemies. So my character had some awesome weapons that were leveled up, but the time to kill was longer than with my shitty weapons when I started. The only difference was that I had a much larger backpack on and the enemies started using drones and robots to attack me. Oh, and they had a medic that kept reviving people until I figured out what the hell was happening.
I’m basically in no rush to play this game. I’m curious to see how the price drops on this game, having watched the first games price drop to sub 20 levels. Perhaps I’ll just wait it out, let more content come out, perhaps a game of the year edition or something, and then snatch it up if I get a little bored and need something to play.