Playing The Division 2 with LeVar Burton

The Division 2

At this year’s E3, Ubisoft finally unveiled The Division 2 to the world. The game takes place 7 months after the first game and is mostly centered around why Division headquarters has gone silent. One of the most noticeable differences from the start has to be the change in location from the skyscrapers of New York to the streets of Washington D.C. Ubisoft has stated this map will be 20% larger than before and will feature six different biomes in comparison to two from previously. This includes suburbs, jungle-like areas, wide-open spaces and more.


Like before, co-op will be largely emphasized in The Division 2. It seems like this time they’ve decided to double down on it and go for broke on enhancing that experience. The biggest way they’re doing this is by adding in Raids. Not like the 4-player Incursions from before, but in the form of an actual 8-person Raid.

Another way they will help achieve this is with restructuring abilities/classes and a new signature weapon system. You start out with the choice between 1 of 3 classes: Demolition (grenade launcher), Survivalist (crossbow), and Sharpshooter (.50-caliber sniper rifle). Within each of those classes are class-specific weapons you gain access to. This will not affect your primary and secondary weapons, which is great as you’ll still have various loadouts. In our playthrough though, we only got to see three of them but was assured there would be many more.


By now you’re probably wondering what or where LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) fits into all of this, so I guess I’ll let you in on it. I got a chance to play The Division 2 at E3 thanks to Ubisoft. As I made my way into the meeting room for my appointment, I was told we’d be playing a live demo with a squad of 4. The setup was 4 stations aligned with a pre-selected class, so whichever station I sat at, that’s the class I had to use. Luckily I was seated at the Sharpshooter class, as sniping is one of my specialties. Two other members of the press were placed on either side of me, leaving one seat open. And then it happened.

Strolling in as cool as he always is, LeVar Burton came. It turns out he’s a casual gamer and just happened to be at Ubisoft checking out all the new stuff they had to offer. I was lucky though, as they told him there was one seat left for The Division 2 and he’d be playing on my squad.

Jumping into the game, we were tasked with capturing an aircraft wreckage area close to Capitol Hill that was being held by enemy forces. Oh, and that wreckage happened to be Air Force One. Our mission wasn’t exactly a main mission for the game, but one of the new capture/control point events that pop up in the world. Just before starting, the dev asked us who played the previous Division game, and I was the only one. Looks like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. We were ready, and off we went.

Aside from my class-specific weapon (.50-cal sniper rifle), I was rolling around with a scoped SCAR rifle, a Vector SMG, and a pistol. While working our way to the crash site, you can see the immense graphical improvement that Ubisoft has poured into the game. From the way the trees swayed in the breeze and puddles of water rippled and reflected to the sunlight filtering through, it all looked gorgeous. Upon arriving at the crash site, we saw the task at hand: a large group of enemies spread about with one heavy (tank character) in the middle. It was go time.

The 4 of us had headsets to communicate with each other, with the dev behind us coaching us on. We devised a plan of attack and moved in to execute it. LeVar (playing as a Survivalist) opened fire first with the rest of us following suit. Because I was more ranged, I stayed mid to long range away from targets, while the rest of the team engaged from medium to close range.

It seemed like things were going well, as we were thinning out the enemy numbers. That all changed when they called for backup. More enemies started finding their way to the crash site, and within moments it felt like we were being overrun. Headset chatter was abuzz as we tried to establish a counter to their counterattack. It was more difficult as well due to a new enemy type: Medic. This guy is exactly what you think; he goes around the battlefield picking up downed enemies. So we made it a priority to take those out first.

Things felt like they went from bad to worse after this as we were getting split apart and a few of my teammates got downed multiple times. I found myself running from cover to cover just to get close enough to pick them up. LeVar held his own for a bit but was then downed a bunch of times. As we got scattered and flanked by a vastly improved AI, we were wiped out. But fret not, as we did get another try and picked right up from where we left off. This time though, LeVar gave us a little pep talk, and we stuck to our plan.

Moving in a diamond pattern, we pushed through from one side of the crash to the next, not allowing anyone to flank us. One cool feature with the Sharpshooter class was the ability to send a drone out to attack enemies, which keeps them occupied long enough to take them out. Once we cleared out all the small fries, it was time to take on the big baddie. Enemies all have weak points, with it being the head for many. Others have different types of equipment they may be carrying that can be shot. On the bigger tanks, there are usually multiple weak spots.

Together, we all started activating our class ability weapons in hopes of obliterating our final opponent. Class weapons don’t have ammo until you activate them, so it’s not something you can just spam use. On my sniper rifle, I was doing some work to the tank, whittling down his health. It’s probably one of the most satisfying weapons I’ve ever used in The Division series. Combine that with my other comrades, and it was a concoction for destruction. That tank didn’t stand a chance.

When it was over, we rejoiced in our triumph as the wreckage was under our control and the neighborhood is a lot safer. As we put our controllers down, we all started excitedly discussing everything that just happened and how we came together. It was a great moment because not only was our squad standing on the shoulders of victory, but LeVar Burton happened to be a part of it as well.

Final Reaction

I think Ubisoft is definitely moving in the right direction with what they’ve learned on feedback from the previous game. The changes and updates made really seem to improve the gameplay and overall playability. Granted, this is just a demo build and we’ll have to wait for the full game but until then, it seems like The Division 2 will deliver everything it boasts and more.

The Division 2 will be available March 15, 2019, on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC.

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