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The Division 2

When games with a popular and almost cult-like following lands on our consoles, it’s not unusual to see a slew of rumours regarding the state of the game, updates, patches and DLC come flooding through.

With Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, there is no exception and rumours have been coming thick and fast for the game – which is surprising for a game which isn’t even a month old.

The latest rumour which is doing the rounds is that agents around the world will soon be packing their travel bags and heading back to where it all began – New York City.

With the game only being released a few weeks ago, players are still in the midst of running around Washington D.C, grinding through to get better weapons and to read the end game so they can get better gear and get their level up. Of course, once you’ve hid that all important level 30 and you begin to take on strongholds it’s noticeable that there is one stronghold which can’t yet be taken on and that’s Tidal Basin (due April 5th), so looking forward at any potential DLC might seem a little bit premature, especially as the rumour which is circulating is in regards to the third piece of DLC in the Year One line up.

However, the rumours which were hearing this time is that the upcoming DLC (due January 2020) will give agents the opportunity to return to New York and the scene of the original Dollar Flu outbreak.

The rumour isn’t without convincing reasons, however, and it’s thanks to a find by Division 2 player and known Redditor “WillyPete”, who discovered a poster which can be found in game and reads “NYC After Dark” in big, bold lettering. This title is followed by a smaller section which goes on to state “A return to the Big Apple – January”.

The Division 2 DLC

The developers for the Division 2 have made themselves known for putting little Easter Eggs throughout the game for players to find and share, and bearing in mind the NYC, it does appear that they’ve laid a clue inside the game for agents to find and begin piecing together to uncover a secret that one of the DLC’s will be set in NYC.

Add to this that, prior to the games launch, Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment had revealed that the Division 2’s Year One Updates would be issued to players in the form of three different “episodes” of content.

We already know the names and the locations of two of the three DLC episodes: DC Outskirts: Expeditions and Pentagon: The Last Castle, but the third one has remained a tightly kept secret and the only information we’ve received thus far is that it’s scheduled for a winter release. After Dark would be the third and final instalment and it will be released in January 2020.

For those unaware of new to the franchise, New York City was the setting for the original The Division and it takes place several months before the Division 2. This would certainly make it interesting to see how Ubisoft an Massive plan to bring the New York themed content into The Division 2 and it can’t be denied that returning to where it all began would be a nice touch to those gamers who have been Agents since the beginning.

If this is what the companies are planning on doing, the next step would be to discover exactly what the DLC would entail and whether it would provide a setting for a new Dark Zone (which is unlikely), or whether it would be the setting for a new Survival Mode – a game mode which we saw in The Division 1 which proved to be hugely popular.

One thing that is for certain is that we will have to wait to find out exactly what Ubisoft and Massive are planning for the third piece of DLC in The Division 2, and if it does connect with the adverts which we can find throughout the game. Until then, you should continue to gear up and grind your way through Washington D.C in preparation for Tidal Basin and the release of Tier 5 and all of the content that is set to be released with that on April 5th.

You can be sure that My Games Media will continue to keep a close on on any developments, so if you want to keep ahead of the rest in terms of news and future releases regarding the Division 2 and anything else gaming, stay tuned with us.

Until next time, stay safe agents.

resident evil 7 biohazard Review

It’s rare these days that we see a long-standing game franchise take big risks when it comes to new releases, but that’s exactly what we’ve seen with the latest instalment in the Resident Evil franchise – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

Biohazard is the first game in the series which uses a first-person view while still remembering that the game isn’t a shooter and, instead, it’s more of a survival-horror game. This means that the game creates some truly eery and tense moments, from fight scenes right through to exploring the environment and hunting for new and better items. If you’ve been playing Resident Evil from the moment the franchise first hit consoles, you’ll note that this is what made the previous iterations so darn memorable.

Personally, I began to lose interest in the Resident Evil franchise after number 4 as the game have moved away, in my opinion, from the creepy and downright pant-filling horror that made Resident Evils 1 and 2 some of the best games to hit consoles and also made Resident Evil a staple in the horror-game genre.

However, Biohazard goes back to the games original roots and puts you in one of the creepiest settings since the Spencer Mansion and sets you on a course of solving one of the most bizarre mysteries which is difficult, annoying and frustrating but at the same it’s the most fun I’ve had on a Resident Evil game in years.

The game begins with your character, Ethan, receiving a mysterious email from his missing wife. Once received, he then ventures to the creepy Dulvey Plantation to uncover the mystery and find his wife.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard gameplay

However, upon entering the plantation, you quickly find yourself submerged in a world that would make the Texas Chainsaw Massacre seem like an episode of One Tree Hill. Complete with grotesque imagery, dilapidated buildings and cannibalistic horror, the game quickly lets you know that you’re not going to be getting much sleep after playing it.

In fact, during the first 20 minutes of gameplay alone I think I jumped so much that I nearly broke the chair that I was sitting on.

Once you’ve reached the plantation, the game then lets you explore its history and find traces of the residents and how they descended into this hellish savagery and how it completely mutated their idea of “normal” life. Behind locked doors you find photographs, trophies and memorabilia to give you an insight into the past lives of the residents.

The Baker house sets itself apart from the cold, dungeon-like feeling of the Spencer Mansion in Resident Evil 1 and actually presents a warm(ish), lived-in home. This is another change that the game features – moving away from scenery which felt evil right from the off where you felt that evil and horror was lurking behind every door and it works well, as it gives more of a creepy feeling and provides a few jumps along the way.

However, don’t be fooled, despite the homely feeling, the Baker family are, simply put, disgusting, as you find out as you get through the game.

resident evil biohazard

Much like classic horror films such as The Hills Have Eyes, the Baker family play into the rural, hillbilly family stereotype that we’ve seen oh so many times before, but don’t be put off just yet, the game does go on to explain their upbringing and avoids using classic clichés that we’ve seen over and over again in the horror genre.

For fans of the original, don’t fear.

The game still boasts secret underground lairs which force you to remember the original mansion and the secret, hidden laboratories which were hiding behind and underneath the creepy interior.

The graphics are good. They’re not the best you’ve ever seen but they are really good and you can begin to see the effort and detail that they’ve put into the game with the way that the characters speak and the way that your hand is brutally lobbed off at the wrist by a chainsaw-wielding psychopath.

As well as being a survival-horror game, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard also brings back puzzle solving which is largely hit and miss. Some puzzles you’ll find that the game is holding your hand through them and there are clues located which solve the puzzle for you before you’ve actually had a chance to begin trying to solve it.

Then, there are elements in the game, such as being trapped in a garage with a spade-wielding lunatic, where you’ll find yourself running around for a while with him chasing you (which is nerve-wracking in itself) and the game doesn’t make it obvious that grabbing the car keys and running the fool over is the best way out of your predicament.

Then, at times, the puzzles are hard, very hard in fact, and if you miss the clues of how to solve them, you’re stuck for a while or having to backtrack to try and figure it out.

It’s not only the puzzles that are hit and miss as the enemies can be the same as well.

The Baker family are among the first enemies that you encounter and they’re also the most interesting. Fighting them will have you scrambling for a way to try and defend yourself while at the same time laughing at how frantic and funny they can be. This makes them difficult to defeat and also highly memorable thus keeping the game interesting and the Baker family unpredictable.

For example, the way that Jack Baker patrols the mansion and bursts through walls makes him feel like a formidable threat which you’ll have to fight at a seconds notice. But even when you’re armed with more than a knife, the game prompts you to make a choice of fleeing or unloading 7 shades of hell into him from your gun – all the while making you aware that you decision may just come back to haunt you later on.

The game doesn’t try to be a stealth game. It’s a Resident Evil game in every sense. You need to kill enemies otherwise they’ll continue to roam around the same area waiting for you to pass by again so they can kill you. However, there are no loading door sequences to give you a moment’s rest-bite and protection from them which means that, when you’re low on health or ammo, it creates tense moments where you need to escape otherwise you’ll die.

Also, closing doors behind you will become your new best friends as no rooms are safe anymore – not even safe rooms.

While the Baker family do make great enemies, there are others in the game which sadly don’t live up to the hype.

The only other enemy I’ve encountered so far are creatures called The Molded and these come in a few different varieties: the standard Molded which have giant, warped arms similar to the classic tyrant designs, there are ones which crawl around and then there are the heavy ones which spew acid onto you.

While they are pretty horrific to look at and they are menacing and create tense moments of combat, they lose their ability to shock and scare easily. You encounter them in similar scenarios which makes it easy to know when you’re about to come face to face with one and, thus, they lose their ability to surprise you.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Cast your mind back to old Resident Evil games and you’ll remember moments such as the introduction of the Hunter in the original and this was entirely unpredicted, it was a surprise and something which threw a completely new element and a terrifying new enemy into the mix instead of fighting off the same old Zombies over and over.

Resident Evil doesn’t really create moments like this and when it does create something that could compare it signals the arrival way in advance and ruins the moment.

All of the Molded tear themselves from the walls with the same slimy sound and they only do so in areas which features mounds of black mould – think The Last of Us and seeing the spores in the air but without the fear that came with them.

This means that when there’s a chance to deliver a jump, you’ll be aware of its arrival and this will ruin the element of surprise.

The game finds its home in putting you in situations where you struggle to adapt. The game is a survival-horror and its about scavenging for items and giving you just enough health and ammo so you have to use them wisely.

There is also limited inventory space which means that you’ll be storing small amounts of handgun and shotgun ammo. You’ll be collecting the herbs to create health-regenerating potions much like the originals and its good to see them still featuring in Biohazard.

However, giving you different enemies and unpredictable situations where you have to change your style in order to survive would have make the experience scarier and more memorable.

Overall, the game is very good. It brings back memories of the original Resident Evil while also adding new elements to the game which do add to the experience while you’re playing. It delivers jumps and moments of horror and the scenery takes you right the way back to the start – something which I loved about it.

However, it has to be said that the game could have delivered more moments of epic gameplay, or enemies that really deliver in terms of horror and unpredictability, then it would have been closer to being as perfect as the original.

Saying that, following on from some fails in the Resident Evil series, Biohazard sees the franchise return to the right track.

Buy it now on Amazon.co.uk

£12.49

Buy it now on Amazon.co.uk

£20.32

International Women's Day - Let's celebrate women in gaming

It’s no secret that over the last few years, the gaming world has taken huge strides towards becoming an industry which is more inclusive of females and female gamers.

It’s no surprise either, as the ongoing journey for equality for women in gaming is something that has brought with it a lot of social attention: including a lot of debates and scrutiny.

If we cast our minds back to 2014, the gaming community was rocked by the Gamergate controversy and this opened up a huge debate about sexism and progressivism within gaming culture. Inequality and misogyny were examined and this made it abundantly clear that the industry needed drastic change and to welcome the inclusion of women, not just in the gaming community, but in all areas of the gaming industry – An industry which has been male-centric for decades.

Nowadays, the idea that women have a firm place within the industry isn’t just a notion, instead it’s something which has been highlighted, celebrated and discussed on an almost daily basis.

If you take a look at some of the most popular titles, women are now at the helm. These titles include the likes of Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dead Rising 2, Prototype 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Tomb Raider Lara Croft

Although we’re heading in the right direction, we can’t just accept we’re in a good place now, instead, we need to acknowledge that there is still much work to be done.

As today is International Women’s Day, here at MyGamesMedia, we want to acknowledge and celebrate the women within the gaming community, not just those who have worked hard to deliver massive titles, but everyone behind the brands of a whole host of indie games.

When it comes to gaming, there are loads of examples of positive change and we are now seeing just how powerful a force women can be in numerous areas of the industry.

Now, instead of imagining a teenage boy, locked in his bedroom playing a console, the latest statistics show that, as of 2017, the split between male and female gamers was closer to 59% male and 41% female.

If you thought that women were only playing games, then you’d be wrong. Women have also found their place within the industry as well and they are accepting awards annually for their contributions to the industry as a whole.

Women in Gaming

The Women in Gaming Diversity Awards has been running for over 8 years and is widely celebrated as being a brilliant opportunity for employers to begin recognising diversity in their company and the way in which women have contributed towards the overall success of businesses everywhere.

If we rewind to a decade ago, then we’ll remember how much of a challenge it would have been to bring together as little as 100 women from inside the gaming community. Now we have awards which celebrate just the top 100 women.

These events are hugely encouraging and they highlight the success women bring to the industry and the gaming community as a whole, as well as highlighting how important it is to have a diversified industry.

The issue of gender equality isn’t only being noticed and challenge by awards events.

The issue of inequality in gaming has also got the attention of tech heavyweights Facebook and Google and they’ve taken action and are continually striving to encourage more diversity in gaming.

Last year, Facebook announced that it was launching their Women In Gaming Initiative, an initiative which aims to bring women together and create a platform where women can share their stories and the challenges they faced while trying to enter the gaming industry.

Google also joined the celebration of women but showcasing games and apps developed by women on the Google Play Store.

One thing is for certain, while we all use International Women’s Day to celebrate the genius, success and achievements of women within all industries, we need to strive for it to be more than just a once-a-year event.

Instead, the achievements of women should be celebrated all year round and we need to realise their creative influence which goes into some of the most-loved games and that women also make up a lot of the most loved characters in gaming.

Doom Review on Xbox One

March 8, 2019 | Latest Blogs, xBox, xBox one | 2 Comments

Doom Xbox One Review

To say that Doom was the world’s first first-person-shooter would be wrong, however, it’s safe to say that Doom was one of the games that went on to completely revolutionise and define the FPS genre.

The game was originally released back in 1993 and the Hell-on-Mars shooter went on to revolutionise PC gaming before making its debut on a whole host of different consoles throughout the years.

Doom Xbox One Review

Well you can now add Xbox One to that list as well and Doom is once again ready to tantalise the tastebuds of fans of retro gamers and original classics once more.

The Xbox One version of the game stays faithful to the original and it’s a testament to the original that it’s still able to hold its own in a new world full of 3D graphics and improved visual and story-telling.

What can you really say about Doom except for the fact that the game is everything that it’s designed to be? It’s a single player campaign game which puts you, your shotgun and just about enough ammunition against every single demon that Mars has to offer.

The game is exhausting, it’s frantic and, at times, it’s just down right sphincter-clenching.

Doom leaves you stranded and alone on Phobos, one of Mars’s moons, and it’s here where you will find that a bunch of not-so-clever scientists have been playing around with teleportation experiments and managed to open up a portal to Hell – Facepalm!

The result of this is a host of demons heading to Mars to call it their new home and what’s the one thing that demons don’t like?

That’s right – You!

Doom Review on Xbox One

This leads to a simple concept for the game, send as many of those demons back to Hell as you possibly can. Oh, and don’t do it in a nicey nice way of negotiations, instead, blow them apart with a variety of different weapons to ensure that they regret ever venturing outside of their toasty confines.

The game is broken down into different episodes, but the game doesn’t really feature a “story” per-se. Instead, the truth is that it doesn’t need one. The power of Doom is firmly within its ability to create truly hostile situations which are designed to ensure that the odds are always firmly stacked against you.

The weapons are also iconic. So much so that you’ll see Doom-inspired weapons in the majority of todays modern games. Think of a first-person-shooter game that you’ve played recently which doesn’t feature a shotgun, automatic machine gun and a rocket launched? Seriously, it’s tough.

The original weapons from Doom are all featured in the game, from the chainsaw to the BFG. The weapons are accompanied by the classic level designs as well and the original enemy designs, and it’s fully understandable because one look at the screen and you’ll definitely know that you’re playing Doom.

Your own excitement and enthusiasm will decide if that’s a good thought or not, but there’s no denying that Doom is a staple that we’re all thrilled has returned to modern-day consoles.

Rather than attempt to remake the game and bring it up to modern day standards, the graphics are taken from the original and, as a result, the graphics on monsters are blocky, but this isn’t off-putting, instead it feels more like the developers have decided to pay homage to an original, classic game.

There are a few things that we would like to see, such as being able to jump or look up and down, but on the whole, there’s nothing really to not enjoy about playing this classic title.

From the moment you load the game, you know you’re playing the original title as the menu takes up the whole TV screen, but once you actually launch a campaign, you’re restricted to the 4:3 image mode of the original. Then you’re hit in the ears by the MIDI guitars which made the games soundtrack so memorable that it’s lasted all the way up to 2019 – although it has to be said that the soundtrack has been updated to take advantage of surround-sound systems.

One thing that everyone will remember about playing Doom in 1993 is how much of a hassle it was to play multiplayer. You were restricted to playing two player games over a modem or a four-player game over a local connection but this is because the internet wasn’t exactly up to much in 1993 – certainly not when compared to modern day standards.

Now Doom on Xbox One features split screen support for offline multiplayer and a 4 player online mode so you can either run co-op or play a deathmatch.

Doom Xbox One

You’ll also notice that Doom’s multiplayer is incredibly fast compared to modern day shooters as well. Holding down the left trigger will make you sprint, and Doomguy can move! But, then again, so would I if I was faced with a BFG trying to ruin my day.

There were a few minor issues, such as staying connected to matches and a few connections which were unplayable because of the lag, but on the whole it was a fairly enjoyable experience.

Overall, the game is a lot of fun. The levels are all hostile and they’re full of traps and scares which are designed to give you the complete Doom experience. There’s a nice balance as well between simple layers and complex ones which means you won’t get bored of rinsing and repeating the same-old on each level. There’s also some exploring to get on with as well which means that you can also find hidden secrets as you go along.

The game can be easy for beginners, or you can up the difficulty level to make it tough for even the most experienced of Doom players.

There are also aspects, such as hearing footsteps but not seeing the enemy when you reach the boss level right before he jumps out in front of you which then means that you require a. change of. underwear before you’re able to proceed with the game.

The same is also true when you notice that a level is quite…to quiet in fact, and then suddenly all Hell breaks loose.

The game is designed and it’s famous for its non-stop action. The idea behind Doom is that you’re never safe. Even when it’s quiet, the game managers to create an eery anticipation that the hostility levels are going to get ramped up to 10 very soon and you’re going to be chased around the room by more than one of the SOBs.

One of the main downsides though, and all games have downsides, is the lack of achievements.

Sure back in 1993 there wouldn’t have been achievements for you to work towards and the Xbox One version does include some achievements, but they’re all fairly basic. We think having achievements such as getting 10k kills will give you something harder to work towards and keep the game more interesting.

Also, as mentioned, the lack of being able to look up or down makes the game feel a little bit restricted but this doesn’t really take that much away from the enjoyment of the game.

Doom was one of my favourite games back in ’93 when it first came out, I remember the. times when we would sneak on the. game during our IT classes at school. Playing the game now doesn’t make me think any less of the game, in fact, I love that the game has stuck to original, it’s simple, it’s fun, it’s touching-cloth hostile and playing it now only reminds me of those times.

If you’re a. fan of retro gaming, or if you’re new to the gaming scene and want to go back to. when FPS began – definitely give Doom a try and you won’t regret it.

Get it now on Amazon.co.uk

£10.41

The Division 2

Ah, The Division, what can I say about The Division that hasn’t already been said?

If you’ve ventured onto my Twitch channel or caught any of the YouTube videos you’ll notice that I create a lot of content regarding Tom Clancy’s The Division.

This is because it’s one of, if not the only, favourite games of mine but it’s safe to say that this wasn’t always the case. In fact, after getting the game on release day and experiencing all of the issues that came with it, I didn’t really play it much for a year and there were also times that I was going to trade in the game and use it to purchase other titles.

The Division 2 Brands

But there was something about The Division which had me hooked, I loved the idea of it and I kept hearing that the developers were creating fixes for the issues so I decided to give it one more chance and venture back inside the post-apocalyptic New York city one last time to see if the game could ever be fixed and, too be honest, I haven’t looked back since.

The game, for me anyway, features everything that I want in a game.

It boasts a compelling story, combines PVE with PVP in such a way that, as a fan of online games, I’m not noticing the difference when I’m taking on teams in the Dark Zone or clearing the Landmarks while still getting the sense of fear when an enemy drops high-end gear and I know I have to extract it. The different gear and build sets gives you a chance to build your character to suit whatever play style suits you best.

For example, I regularly run a Nomad build. In my team we have someone who runs D3-FNC, someone who runs Reclaimer and then one more who will swap between Predator’s Mark, Nomad, D3-FNC or other builds to suit the mission and help us complete it. Occasionally, I fancy changing my own build as well and I might run D3-FNC on a mission or take to Lone Star to run the Dark Zone as the game gives you the chance to mix things up or change your style to suit the game or vice versa.

I have also challenged myself to do tasks such as looting a purple beanie hat or running in the DZ while have a build equipped which consists of only purple gear.

Now, the downside is that the game can become repetitive. It seems harsh to say this as I’m writing in 2019 about a game that was release in 2016, but I’ve found at times that I’m getting bored of doing the same mission over and over again and, in truth, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was running in a team, I might have given up on the game a while ago and focused on something different. After all, 3-years in the gaming world is an incredibly long time and although Ubisoft have tried to smooth this over by releasing DLC content, it still becomes monogamous when you’re running the same missions over and over or fighting a team of 4 on your own in the Dark Zone and it does become tedious.

So, it will probably come as no surprise to hear that, following the announcement of The Division 2, I was sold and made the decision that Ubisoft were getting more of my money instantly and I was making the change from saving the streets of New York to fighting a new war in Washington.

While there’s still a bit of a wait (although, it’s only a couple of weeks), Ubisoft attempted to drum up some excitement amongst it’s regular players by offering a BETA version which was available by invitation or by pre-ordering the gold edition (or higher) of the game and I was received my invitation to download the BETA.

After downloading the 50gb download and jumping in, I was instantly impressed.

The scenery is gorgeous. The post-apocalyptic streets of Washington was quite breathtaking. I was quickly reminded of I Am Legend with the empty overgrown streets and the animals running through the city and I was quite in awe of the environment when all of a sudden it came crashing down as I was kicked from the game and was placed in a queue before I was able to get back in.

Disappointed? Yes.

Determined to play on? Yes!

After a short wait I was back in the game and I was doing the first mission of defeating enemies on the lawn of the White House and unlocking the new Base of Operations.

That’s right, in The Division 2, the new Base of Operations is the home of the President of the United States, how cool is that? I found it a genius idea and, even as someone who isn’t American, I found myself impressed and a bit inspired.

After unlocking the BoO I was assigned my first mission in which I had to make my way back through the streets of Washington and go to an encampment of survivors and interact with someone to get the mission going. Running through the streets I encountered more enemies (also known as ‘Hyenas’) and it was here that I really fell in love with the game.

The Division 2 BETA review

sponges, and I was able to quickly and efficiently dispatch the enemies even though I was using a white gun. The ducking and moving mechanics just felt smooth and transitioning from different covers felt nice.

But it wasn’t easy. While the enemy weren’t bullet sponges, neither was I. I found this out after someone lobbed a grenade in my direction and, after thinking I could handle it, I was quickly repairing my armour as this grenade had wiped out my armour and half of my health, but at least it helped me work out the new health mechanics.

So, instead of popping med kits when your health is low, the game now focuses on armour and you have to repair your armour after an enemy breaks it down. The real difference is that you need to make sure that you take cover while doing this because you can’t interact or continue shooting while replacing your armour. You can’t just tap left on the D-pad and instead you have to hold it down, so you can continue to get shot while doing this, so hiding is more important.

This, for me, is a welcome change as I’ve never been the best at remembering to pop a health kit when I’m engaged in battles with other players in PVP mode and often I would lose fights because they were much better at administering health than I was so this change will make a difference and, I feel, that it will make fights in PVP modes more competitive and more of an even playing field.

So, after this, and another kick, I was at the first mission and I was in a hotel trying to rescue someone’s daughter. I was running up the stairs of the hotel, entering rooms and fighting off enemies and I admit it was quite difficult. I went down a few times as I struggled to remember that I couldn’t simply tap left and instead I needed to hide and restore my armour. However, it didn’t really both me that the fact a grenade could wipe out my armour, instead I was more happen that the game offered more in the way of realism.

Too often in the Division 1, I would withstand multiple grenade attacks and keep on fighting. One thing that also bothered me were my grenades were pretty much useless in PVE as I would throw a grenade, they’d see it and then dodge the grenade. That’s not the case in this one, if you’ve got an enemy pinned down and throw a grenade, the enemy is still pinned down and they can’t move and this resulted in them being killed by the grenade.

One thing I also loved was shooting the enemy resulted in them being incapacitated and unable to move until the shooting had stopped. This meant that, providing you can keep steady, you can shoot and kill an enemy and they won’t be able to duck or attack you.

Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Anyone who’s played the Division 1 will know that you could shoot the enemies and they would still be able to continue running or shooting you, frustrating when you were emptying magazine after magazine in them and they would casually walk over to you, slap you round the head and suddenly you were down – it seems now that this has been fixed by the new mode and it’s especially useful as some of the enemies you will encounter are the charging enemies who will proceed to layeth the smackdown on you with an electric baton or they’re suicide bombers who will charge you and then attempt to blow you, and themselves, up.

The gear drops were pretty reasonable as well. I found armour and bullets were dropped regularly so you wasn’t always having to look for a restock point but the weapons and gear that were being dropped was good as well.

My guns were upgraded fairly quickly to the MPX (the house in The Division 1) and the Police M4 – a gun I fell in love with in the Division 1 after upgrading it quite a lot, in fact it’s still a gun that I run with quite often instead of the Lightweight M4.

The sniper rifles are powerful and come with a change, now when you press aim it goes straight down the scope, it doesn’t aim and then you click the analogue stick in anymore which could be an attempt to make the game more realistic, or it could be an attempt to make it harder for the players that like to camp at the back and just aim without using the scope in PVP modes – either way, it’s a change that I liked.

One new feature is the inclusion of drones in the new game which replaces certain perks from D1. This includes a drone which provides a healing instead of the healing box, a drone which can drop grenades on the enemy and gun turrets which have sniper shots where you determine the targets and press R1 to execute. While they’re interested, they don’t really change the game that much from what I was used to, I couldn’t level up my character past level 7 so it’s hard to know if the healing drones could be used in a team or if they’re purely for solo playing, and likewise, the grenade drone was good if you can keep the enemy pinned down long enough to drop grenades on them.

In total, there are 2 playable missions and then there’s some enemy bases which you have to clear.

Clearing the enemy bases felt like a challenge, there were loads of Hyena’s inside the base and you had to try and get in, kill them all and then, once they’re all down, stop and defend the base from invading enemies who try and get it back. This included them using a gun turret which rips through your armour and also heavily armoured boss’s where you had to have sustained fire on them in order to break away their armour and be able to do any real damage to them.

This was combined with the charging enemies and those that sit back and take shots at you. Once you’ve cleared out the first lot, however, you can get on the turret and use this to take them out as it makes light work of defeating the enemies, even the heavily armoured ones. You can then provide tools to the new camp leader. I did notice that I could go back to one leader every so often and they’d request new tools, so it’s possible that the enemies could attempt to retake the bases after you’ve captured them, something that I would welcome in the game.

After completing the missions it was time to head over to the Dark Zone.

In case you didn’t know, TD2 now has 3 different Dark Zones: Dark Zone North, Dark Zone South and Dark Zone East.

In the BETA we were allowed inside the Dark Zone East and after watching the doors open in true Jurassic Park style, I felt all of the emotions that I originally felt when entering the Dark Zone for the first time, a mixture of excitement to see what’s inside and a hint of fear in knowing that I would be fighting against others who had possibly invested more time, had better weapons or might have been running around in a team and were looking for a loner like me to pick on and steal my stuff.

The Division 2 Review

This didn’t happen in the start as it was more of an introduction, showing you how to go and claim some gear and then extract it before running back to a safe house.

I noticed instantly my armour shot straight up, I’m guessing providing a bit more cover in the Dark Zone to start off with to help us be able to get a good feel for what’s happening inside. I didn’t notice that the Dark Zone levels were capped and I was able to get to level 8 before the BETA had finished, and was able to extract some decent blue gear.

One interesting bit we discovered was the skulls.

When you clear a landmark, if you look around the walls you can find a skull on the wall and activate something which then sets you off as rogue. Then you have to run around the map looking for other skulls which either led to an activation terminal or a chest where you could find some decent loot.

Once you’ve activated all of the skulls you’re then invited into a thief’s den where you will find more loot that you’re able to extract. A nice touch which will give you some decent gear and provides a reason for going rogue, something that I didn’t do all that often in TD1.

I don’t know if it was the group that I was with, or if something has changed, but I only saw one rogue who I was able to dispatch of before extracting my gear and then leaving the Dark Zone but there’s a new feature with gun turrets around the safe houses in an attempt to stop those who go rogue and wait by the respawn points to get as many kills as possible.

Instead, you can activate the turrets which will rip through the enemies if they get too close, giving you time to respawn and escape and stop the spawn campers that happened in TD1.

All in all, with the Dark Zone and the Light Zone, it seems like Ubisoft have listened to the players and made changes which will be positive for the gamers who love the Division but were having issues with certain points. These changes, for me, made the game feel more enjoyable and it created a better experience. One person who I run with usually in TD1 who wasn’t a fan of the Dark Zone, suddenly fell in love with TD2’s version of the Dark Zone and we made a few runs in there clearing the Landmarks and was on the search for decent gear.

It no longer felt like a chore, instead it felt more enjoyable and, I guess being back in the starting levels helped, it felt more worthwhile running there. Whether this will be the same when we reach the end game remains to be seen.

Speaking of the end game, once you have got to entering the Dark Zone and completing the missions set inside there, the game then opened up some end game content and we got a chance to test out the 3 builds that the Division 2 offers once you’ve cleared level 30. These 3 builds are the sniper, demolition and survivor builds and each one comes with its own signature weapon.

At first I chose the Survivor build and got my chance to test out the crossbow which I found quite fun to use. Without realising that the crossbow came with explosive tips, I was expecting more of a sniper weapon and was trying to aim for the heads hoping for quick kills and then, after seeing the enemies explode, I was incredibly impressed with the weapon and thought I had found my final build until I got to the demolition build which I had a lot of fun with.

The builds themselves were good, with mixtures of purple and gold gear and weapons, ranging from close quarter combat with shotguns and the MPX, to getting the Famas and assault rifles each build felt like it was offering something, a big plus from Ubisoft is that no build felt rushed or like it was better or worse than the others.

The grenade launcher from the demolition build was as much fun to use as the sniper or the crossbow and every bit as powerful.

Testing the 3 characters came in the form of running one of the final missions as a level 30 character, which gave us level 30 enemies and it was fun. The issue I had was we couldn’t enter as a team, instead it went on to matchmaking for each person, but I was paired with a member of my team and we found a way around it by getting one of us to enter the mission and then the others joining the game from the Playstation menu as opposed to the Division 2 menu.

The mission was fun, hard, but definitely fun and we went through it a number of times with the different builds to test the characters and the signature weapons. We got to test out the new enemies, the Black Tusk, and got to experience how they’re different from the standard Hyenas.

The shotgunners were hilarious, saying and shouting things at you as they tried to blast their way through you, but they didn’t feel as powerful and as hard to dispatch as before, they wasn’t easy by any means, but with the suppression fire and the them being stunned, unable to move if you managed to keep steady while aiming on them, they was so difficult.

Rather than throw boxes down, the medics were able to heal and revive the enemies by running to them, which meant that killing the medics became a priority but it wasn’t impossible to kill them unless you took out the box, which made it more fun without being overly difficult.

There was also an inclusion of different robots such as one that was like a robotic dog which ran around shooting at you, and one which looked like Johnny 5. They were equally difficult to kill but fun and a nice change in the game, preparing tactics to take them out before going down, which we failed at a few times, was a nice change of pace and added a new difficulty to the game without making it too challenging or impossible to complete.

If you’ve been following the Division 2 and watched any of the videos previously, nothing in this article might sound new to you. However, as someone who has invested a lot of hours in the game without being a professional player, I can say that the game features changes that are well welcomed and definitely well received.

It’s perfect for those, like me, who have invested a lot of hours in TD1 while remaining new and exciting for new players to come in and learn about the game without feeling too “new”.

It also creates a more level playing field in terms of PVP while keeping the difficulty and adding more to make it less of a chore and more exciting to run in the Dark Zone and the changes to the game mechanics and the way that you can take out the enemies feels much, much better as you’re not using all of your ammo on sponges and instead engaging in good battles with enemies that feel the right power level.

The BETA version has definitely got me excited for the Division 2 and, whereas I might have been a bit more open to wait the month that I have left before TD2, I’m now getting impatient and I’m genuinely disappointed that the BETA is over, even if it only consisted of 2 missions a few enemy bases, 1 of TD2’s 3 Dark Zones and an end game mission.

Ubisoft, you’ve well and truly earned my money this time round, now if you can make sure that the crashing and the loss of sound during the BETA is restricted to the BETA then the Division 2 will definitely be a winner.

Buy it now on Amazon.co.uk

£49.99

Buy it now on Amazon.co.uk

£49.99

The Division 2

Brand sets are one of the new additions that will feature in The Division 2 and they apply to all of the armour pieces that you can acquire as you grind your way through the post-apocalyptic Washington setting.

Each one of the six forms of armour which you can carry around with you has a brand (think Armani, Gucci, D&G and so on) and they’re all named in true The Division style and all come with different bonuses and perks depending on the brand which you apply.

The bonuses stack up, meaning the more of a brand set you have, the more bonuses are triggered, but as there’s a maximum of 3 bonuses, it looks like the game is geared towards mixing and matching the brands in order to activate different bonuses.

This means that you can create a build which features one of each brand and trigger six different bonuses, or you can start stacking brands up and activating more of their bonuses.

WHAT ARE THESE BONUSES?

Each bonus maxes out at three items. So with six slots available you have multiple ways that you can mix and match to create the perfect build to suit your play style. There are nine different brands as well, meaning that there’s plenty of variety and choice so you can fully customise your build to ensure that you earn the right set of bonuses.

For example, you could carry six different pieces from six different brands and create a well-rounded build which triggers multiple perks and bonuses or you could max out at 2 brands which compliment each other and create a character which is specialised in a particular area.

The Division 2 Brands

What’s important is to remember that brand sets are not the same as gear sets, although they’re similar. It’s not yet confirmed if gear sets will make a return, but they were synonymous with the end game in The Division. This means that it’s likely that they’ll return.

Brand sets are a new way of providing players with a way of refining their character builds from the very start so you can instantly begin customising your character and refining them into the play style which you want to use.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT BRANDS?

The different brands and the bonuses that come with them are as follows:

Airaldi Holdings:

+5.0% MMR damage, +10.0% headshot damage, +10.0% accuracy

China Light Industries Corporation:

+8.0% shotgun damage, +10.0% all resilience, +10.0% skill haste

Douglas & Harding:

+5.0% critical hit chance, +5.0% weapon damage, +10.0% critical hit damage

Petrov Defence Group:

+8.0% LMG damage, +10.0% turret skill power, +10.0% skill power

Providence Defence:

+4.0% weapon damage, +10.0% skill power, TALENT: Well-rounded – critical hit chance bonus for 6 seconds when completing cover to cover move.

Richter and Kaiser:

+20.0% pistol damage, +15.0% shield skill power, +10.0% all resistance

Sokolov Concern:

+10.0% SMG damage, +8.0% critical hit damage, +10% critical hit chance

Wyvern Wear:

+7.0% critical hit damage, +5.0% headshot, +10.0% critical hit chance

Overlord Amendments:

+7.5% armour percent bonus, +5.0% weapon damage, +10.0% damage to elites.

So, you can see how each of these brands can begin to be mixed together in order to create a brand that suits your game style.

For example, in The Division, I regularly ran with a Lightweight M4 and The House (I know, almost everyone did), with these brands you could combine x2 Sokolov Concern which would give you a +10.0% SMG damage and +8.0% critical hit damage with  x2 Douglas & Harding for the. +5.0% critical hit chance, +5.0% accuracy and then add 1 piece of Providence Defence for +4.0% weapon damage and 1 piece of Wyvern Wear for an additional +7.0% critical hit damage and it will give you a strong build with SMG damage, accuracy, critical hit chance and critical hit damage.

This shows just how flexible the different brands are set to be in The Division 2 and how the game is going to give you the ability to craft your perfect build, whether you prefer to play as a marksman, close quarter combatant or if you prefer to use skills and turrets.

The beauty of this is that you can mix and match your brands to create the ideal build.

What’s not know, however, is if Ubisoft plans on releasing more brands into The Division 2 and, if they do, what kind of impact this could have of your build.

One thing that is for certain is that the new flexibility of the brands and bonuses which are applied makes the game far more flexible and simpler to understand while you’re crafting your character, prior to the end game at least.