I’ll be blunt: Playing Ghost Recon Breakpoint has been a drag. My initial ambivalence has given way to outright frustration as I trudge through generic military gameplay and the tangled web of pointless microtransactions. But Breakpoint has a twist that also offers a unique challenge. If you want, you can search and find the location of the enemy commander and try to take him out right from the start. It’s a seriously hard task, but the idea of skipping the gear grind and defeating the big bad certainly is appealing.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint starts by leaving the player stranded behind enemy lines, hunted by their former comrade in arms Cole Walker. Walker is a gruff, world-weary villain portrayed by The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal. He pops up throughout the story to hound the player and deliver simmering monologues. The goal, such as it seems, it to create an honest-to-God villain. 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands was lacking in that department. Walker provides a rival that players can eventually face off against, a fallen ally whose history with the protagonist ties into the main conflict. Normally, you’d play through the story and earn loot and get stronger along the way so that you’re ready to fight Walker on equal terms. However, if you want, it’s possible to interrogate enemy commanders until you locate Walker’s base. At any time, players can rush to his location and try to take on the big bad boss. It’s similar to how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild allows players to rush immediately to Ganon. Breakpoint suggests that the player has a gear score of 150 or higher before doing this, but I decided to ignore that advice and give it a try.
My first attempt was pretty stealthy until literally everyone noticed me.
Locating Walker isn’t particularly hard. I snuck into an enemy base, taking out soldiers until I reached their commander. Commanders can be interrogated to learn more about the game world. Sometimes, that means the location of a gun blueprint or nearby camps to rest at. I had selected the quest to locate Walker from my objective list, however, and that gave me the opportunity to ask where to find him. All it took was sneaking behind a few baddies and holding them a gunpoint to learn that, shockingly, Walker was the large base on the map I thought he’d be in. My gosh, who would have guessed it?
Sneaking into the base was easy enough. Breakpoint is not a challenging game. In fact, it’s often dead easy. Even when entering hostile territory with max level enemies, everyone can be taken out with a quick shot to the head. In some ways, that’s a good thing; it pushes back against the loot-shooter aspects of the game and avoids spongey enemies like what you’d find in The Division or Destiny. Unfortunately, it also erodes much of the challenge. All your weapons can be silenced, and you can simply jump from cover to cover sniping the most “difficult” enemies. My initial entry into Walker’s base was pretty simple, as I crawled through the moonlight and darted from building to building. I was eventually spotted after enemies heard my gunshots. The higher an enemy is in comparison to you, the more perceptive they are. I had ventured a little too close and drawn attention. Guards swarmed and I was swiftly dealt with. But even with that mistake, I felt confident I could find Walker and kick his ass.
That was complicated on my later attempts. It is not hard to find Walker in his base; he is inside the largest building. Another shocker. What makes things difficult is the fact that the doors are locked until you defeat a max-level tank drone. It can blast you into pieces in a second, alerting everyone in the base to your presence. I was able to chip away at its health by firing armor-piercing bullets at its glowing weak point, but this thing is nearly 100 levels of toughness above me. Taking it out was a lengthy proposition, one made harder by the dozen of high-level thugs that swarmed my position every time I engaged. Maybe there’s a scenario where I slink through the base and take out everyone first. Maybe I could come with a team of fellow players and manage to succeed. For now, I’m done. Breakpoint hasn’t made it too difficult to get better loot, and while you can get higher-rarity gear in Walker’s base, you can never get loot that’s much stronger than your current gear score. With a bit of luck and some prep work, I’ll get this one.
Breakpoint has a unique structure, and it’s neat that I can try to face one of the most difficult fights whenever I want, but that’s been a small balm on a game that’s gradually losing me. Moments like this point to a more interesting game, one with a unique structure and tons of freedom. It might be cool to blow up a high-level tank and prove my badassery, but so long as I’m trudging through a giant world map to take out yet another base, this is more of a fun quirk than a game-redeeming feature.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is here, or is it hiding in that bush over there? Whatever the case, Ubisoft’s latest addition to the Tom Clancy video game canon is here with plenty of loot to find and bases to assault. Breakpoint brings a lot of improvements over 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. Cool character creation, tons of weapon customization, an actual villain. But it’s also rough in other areas, less of a delicious action milkshake and more like a gritty military sludge.
I’ve played around five hours of Breakpoint today, waking up and diving right into the action. On the one hand, it’s a surprisingly chewable and chill action game. On the other, I feel like I’ve been here before. Breakpoint isn’t a game out to shatter the mold; instead, it wants to slide comfortably into it. That’s great if you’re looking for some tactical action but if you’ve played a military shooter before, then you’ve basically played Breakpoint. No amount of user-interface overhauls or big name actors can change that. I’m in for a long haul but here are some initial thoughts.
Maybe We Won’t Start A Diplomatic Incident This Time?
Okay, the bar is admittedly low here but 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands had some serious problems with its setting and villains. Set in Bolivia, it focused on a Mexican cartel that somehow took over the country and transformed it into a narco-state. It was sleazy and racist, with caricature Mexican gangsters traipsing about a Bolivia that wasn’t much like Bolivia at all. It was so bad that the country of Bolivia filed a complaint to the French embassy (publisher Ubisoft being a French company, of course) and considered legal action.
Breakpoint opts for a fictional setting: the island of Auroa, which has been taken over by former “Ghost” operative Cole Walker (portrayed by Jon Bernthal.) It’s a sort of tech-libertarian paradise where a company working on automation and drone technology was eventually seized by Walker and his cohorts. It’s generic, but I’ll certainly take that over the shitshow that was Wildlands. And hey, it’s nice to have an honest to God villain this time around.
Ghost Recon Has Been Taking Notes From Destiny and The Division
While not a full-blown loot shooter, Ghost ReconBreakpoint leans further into that direction than its predecessor. There are a variety of weapon rarity levels, and you have an overall gear score based on the quality of your equipment. Taking on Walker has a recommended gear score of 150 or higher, and much of your time is spent not only on story missions but slowly upgrading your character’s power. This is a bit different from Wildlands, which was far more focused on letting you choose the weapons you like and going from there. Don’t expect to get too attached to your gear in Breakpoint. I was upgrading, swapping out, selling, and disassembling tons of weapons and armor right from the beginning of the game.
Normal Mode Is Pretty Easy
If you’ve played plenty of shooters, don’t expect Breakpoint’s normal difficulty to offer much of a challenge. While there are tougher enemies—Walker leads a platoon of spec ops “Wolves” who love to hunt down the player—it’s nothing you can’t handle with a marksman’s rifle and some well-placed shots. All your weapons can be suppressed, and Breakpoint hands you a precision rifle in the first mission. If you can aim and click your mouse, the early game (and presumably much of what’s to follow) will seem straightforward.
The Structure Is Different
Wildlands built itself around a core loop where players would do a few odd jobs to gain access to a high profile cartel lieutenant who they’d confront to gain more intel on their leader, El Sueño. It was a little bit like Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. Very loose, not tons of story. Here are some bad guys, go take them out. Breakpoint splits activities into different paths: a main story path, missions for Auroa’s various factions, side quests, other events like high level raids. This means that you can focus directly on the main story if you want. There’s less screwing about and trying to unlock new missions. It gives Breakpoint a welcome momentum that Wildlands didn’t have.
I Might Be Able To Fight The Final Boss Right Away?
You can immediately tag a mission to confront Walker right from the start of the game. The main tasks are to interrogate enemy officers for intel on his location and to, if you can, level up your gear to the appropriate level. I’m not entirely clear on how this all works, and it’s possible that officers don’t show up until certain story beats. However, the idea of a playthrough that ignores all the intrigue for a mad dash at the villain is really exciting. Chances are that it doesn’t work that way, but I would love for it to be possible.
All Games Should Let You “Pin” Objectives
To help players manage their various tasks, Breakpoint allows them to pin up to three objectives to their interface. For me, this has meant a pin for my main story task, a pin for one side mission, and final pin marking the location of a nearby weapon blueprint. It’s as simple as going into your pause menu, hovering over a mission, and tapping spacebar. Super useful, easy to reference whenever you want, and great for tracking Breakpoints’ numerous distractions.
You Don’t Need To Wear Ugly Gear
Breakpoint’s focus on swapping out gear means winding up with some mismatched looks. If you find yourself walking around with half a ghillie suit and a crummy flop hat, you can hop into the menu to change your appearance at any time. You’re still mostly limited to tacticool gear, but if you don’t like a particular pair of pants all you need to do is select a new look. If you have better looking gear, simply transform the higher quality stuff into something easier on the eyes.
There’s An Exploration Mode
Lifting a page from Assassins Creed Origins and Odyssey, Breakpoint has a guided mode and exploration mode. The first places a marker on your map leading directly to your objective, the other asks you to decipher clues and peruse the map to find where to go next. It’s a neat touch for customizing your gameplay experience, even though I think it’s better to play guided in this case. Breakpoint’s map isn’t always easy to traverse; knowing exactly where to go speeds up an otherwise slow process.
Something’s Up With The Graphics For Me
I’m playing Breakpoint on PC and while everything runs smoothly, there’s some strange stuff going on with the graphics. It’s hard to explain but there’s either some depth of field stuff going on or a filter applied to things out of focus. Whatever the case, it’s given backgrounds a pixelated look that’s honestly distracting me. It’s not affecting my aim and I can soldier on without many problems, but I’m hoping that a few tweaks in the options will get rid of whatever the hell is going on.
This Could Take A While
Five hours or so isn’t a lot of time with a big AAA video game these days, but I’ve been focusing on the main story quest and was dismayed to see that the statistics screen said I’ve experienced 0% of the overall story so far. Maybe it’s a bug or a factor tied to the fact I’m playing a Ubisoft-provided review code before the game is supposed to be available in my region. Or maybe Breakpoint is that huge. I’d be more excited if the story wasn’t a standard behind-enemy-lines tale. Breakpoint s okay so far, but the prospect of untold hours of scowling soldiers and moody Jon Bernthal one-liners is daunting. All in a day’s work, I guess.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, the follow-up to 2017’s popular and controversial Ghost Recon: Wildlands, kicked off its closed beta weekend yesterday, letting players who pre-ordered the game take on two early story missions and a host of side missions that ostensibly will give players a clearer picture of what to expect when the game launches October 4. Almost immediately, players have been polarized over what’s arguably the game’s most prominent new features: its new gear system.
In a shift from Wildlands—which itself was an open-world reinvention of the more level-based Ghost Recon franchise—Breakpoint now has weapons and gear with levels, much like your character. The average level of all your gear contributes to an overall gear level, which gives you a rough idea of what kind of challenges you can take on. According to Ubisoft, the forthcoming raid mission is the only game content that will be locked behind a gear level limit, and enemies do not have a visible level attached—just a skull noting that their gear level is significantly higher than yours, and you’d better prepare for a tougher fight than usual.
SomeGhost Reconplayers consider this antithetical to the franchise ethos, which is predicated on realistic, tactical play. “One shot, one kill” is what, they say, people look to Ghost Recon for. Their argument is that It’s not supposed to matter what level your weapon is at or what kind of perks their character class has—if your character sends a bullet to another one’s head, that’s all it should take. From a messaging standpoint, Ubisoft seems to agree.
In a lengthy Q&A published the same day the beta went live, Ubisoft laid out its rationale for the RPG-style gear system, noting that it’s not meant to detract from the series’ brand of tactical shooting. For human foes, higher levels just mean they’ll spot you faster and be a little bit more lethal, taking an unspecified but slightly higher number of body shots before they go down.
“Whatever the human enemy level, you will always be able to eliminate them with a single headshot, as long as they are not wearing a helmet,” the post reads, “in which case you just need to land a shot once to remove it, and then a second time to take them down.”
The operative word there is human. Breakpoint is set on a tech magnate’s private island, and taking on a variety of autonomous drones is a big part of what goes on. It’s also Breakpoint’s out for having missions and areas that do scale based on gear level, although Ubisoft states that lower-level squads should still be able to take them on as long as they’re ready for a challenge. To which…sure. You can also technically beat Dark Souls naked with a single club, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Ubisoft’s argument for implementing this system stems from user data that indicated most Wildlands players found a weapon they liked and stuck with it for almost the entire game. This new system, the company says, encourages players to swap out weapons regularly and see more of what the game has to offer. It’s nice on paper, but if Ghost Recon is the skill-based shooter that Ubisoft says it is, and the tactical fantasy players seem to want from it, then players sticking with a gun they’re good at using seems a little bit like a problem that doesn’t need solving.
Similarly, classes feel like an addition made for the sake of having another thing to add in post-release content, the way Operators are added to Rainbow Six Siege or Specializations in The Division 2. It’s not that they aren’t fun—I like having the option of being a medic or a heavy weapons expert, but that’s also because I’ve acclimated class systems after years of playing shooters with them. If I think hard about it, there’s nothing particularly Ghost Recon about how they’re implemented here.
Despite these substantial changes, Breakpoint still feels tremendously satisfying to play. The trouble is that with its new class and gear systems, Breakpoint moves into fashionable areas of big-budget video games that aren’t entirely simpatico with Ghost Recon’s hardcore style. Figuring out how well developer intent meshes with player feedback is one of the purposes of beta tests like this—and it’s almost certain that players will figure out how well this early version of Breakpoint aligns with what Ubisoft says the game is meant to be.
Here’s one thing I’m certain of: Breakpoint’s new gear makes Ghost Recon a much more compulsive game, appealing to the big dummy in me who loves seeing numbers go up. I don’t have a problem with that, but there are also dozens of places where I can get that feeling any given week. Ghost Recon should feel different, right?
As reported by Eurogamer, the artwork in question features an exaggerated portrait of a police officer chowing down on a donut. Their badge bears the designation “FA6607,” a l33tspeak take on the word faggot. Whether the image was meant to lambast police or not, the use of a slur historically used to disenfranchise and mock queer folks raised eyebrows. If someone randomly yelled that garbage to me on the street—and that’s happened—it wouldn’t necessarily lead to anything good.
In an email to Kotaku, Ubisoft offered a statement similar to that which was provided to Eurogamer.
“It’s been brought to our attention that a piece of street art in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 contained offensive content,” the a representative said. “We removed the image from the game via a patch on Thursday, April 11. We apologize that this image slipped through our content review processes, and we are currently reviewing them in order to avoid this kind of oversight from occurring in the future.”
The offending imagine was removed yesterday but it raises questions about the internal review process for adding such art to the game and why no one spotted the thinly disguised slur. The Division 2 is a complicated game, both a fun loot shooter and a story with some less than subtle politics. This stumble goes to show that even in a supposedly apolitical game something nasty can slip through the cracks.
The Division 2 is a game filled with some incredible technology. Players can use automated turrets, bullet blocking drones and hyper-advanced weaponry. But currently, a lot of Division 2 players just want a simple flashlight.
Over on The Division 2 subreddit, you can find multiple posts and comments from players about how the game is lacking a flashlight. Sure, players have powerful guns, incredible tech and even full access to the White House, but many players would be happier if they could carry a small flashlight or activate a headlamp.
“Can someone shed some light? It’s completely terrifying in the underground, and I’m scared of the dark,” wrote one player on in a post simply called “Can I Get A Flashlight?” Other players in this post agreed that The Division 2, especially in sewers and buildings, can get really dark. For many, turning up the brightness doesn’t work or makes the game look too foggy or strange.
Making players more frustrated with this admittedly silly situation is that in the world of The Division 2 flashlights exist. According to some folks in the community, they have found in-game backpacks that have flashlights attached to them, though your agent can’t use the flashlight. Even if you equip the bag.
Another player shared a conversation they overheard at a friendly settlement between two AI guards. It was during the night and the player walked by a small group of friendly soldiers when he heard one mention putting away their flashlight. “I just looked at her. Feeling sad knowing that they have flashlights and I do not.” They then ended their post telling asking Massive, developers of the game, to add some flashlights, please.
Some players are figuring out how to better see in the world without a flashlight. Players are suggesting to others to use the chem launcher and equip the variant that lets you create fireballs. Other players are using the simple method of shooting and using the flash of the weapon to see around them in the dark.
One creative player, Reddit user Langy01, came up with a crafty way to illuminate their game without a flashlight. They simply hold and aim a grenade, which creates a bright circle reticule that can be used to add some extra light to a dark tunnel.
The lack of flashlights isn’t seen by the community as a major problem or something that is ruining the game. Like the floating square that blocked some stairs, this is a small issue that players are having fun with. You can even find some humorous posts where players run with the idea that the in-game SHD, the government agency agents are part of, is still trying to research flashlights. Others have joked that flashlights are banned and Division agents aren’t allowed to use or even collect them.
The Division 2 has mostly had a smooth launch, with not many game-breaking bugs. So players in the community have little to complain about and instead, small things, like missing flashlights, have become popular “issues” to talk about. This is in stark contrast to the recent launch of Anthem, which is still filled with problems involving loot and balancing.
So with a lack of serious complaints, players have taken to the internet to have fun. Which is a nice change from what usually happens.
But seriously, they want some flashlights. Or even just a flare gun.
The Division 2 is filled with things to do, places to explore, guns to collect and enemies to kill. For returning players, much of this will feel familiar. But for players who didn’t put any time into the first game, The Division 2 might feel overwhelming. So here are some tips for new and veteran players.
These tips mostly focus on the early and mid-game content, as I and other folks at Kotaku haven’t reached max level and experienced the end game. As we put more time into the game we will update this post with new tips and recommendations.
Brush Up on What Happened In The Original Division
You can do this by playing the first game or, much more easily, reading the in-game dossiers that are unlocked at the start of the sequel. You can also catch snippets of back-story during The Division 2’s loading screens. Note that you can flip through three different types of tips and then cycle through the tips in that category. Pick “World” and then click through them.
If even that’s too much, then, ok, we’ll just tell you: a scientist named Gordon Amherst created an extremely potent biological weapon, unleashed it on the population via tainted money on Black Friday and chaos followed. The first Division focuses on how this led to New York City being placed on lockdown, while the government activated sleeper agents amid the civilian population to help restore order. Those agents are calledThe Division and you play as one of them. A Division agent named Aaron Keener goes rogue around the time of the first game and, as that game ends, he’s somewhere out there, armed with Amherst’s bio-weapon. The Division 2 starts off several months later and we soon see that Washington D.C. has been ravaged as well. The Division is needed there, too.
Set Things Up Before You Jump In
The Division 2 has a lot of different options to mess with, even before you start the game. You can change the size of text and have the game audibly read out text menus. Unfortunately, increasing the text size doesn’t change all the text in the game. The size of words found on the map and in on-screen notifications can be really small. You might need to scoot your chair closer to the TV to read it properly.
Use Cover, Listen To Enemies & Be Careful!
Using cover is very important in The Division 2. If you run around the open during firefights you will most likely get killed in a few seconds. Enemies are accurate and deadly. If you need to get out of cover, use the dodge move by tapping X twice on a PS4 controller or A twice on an Xbox one. This will make you harder to hit and can be useful to escape a bad situation or to gain ground on a lone enemy who is reloading or stunned.
The AI enemies you fight in The Division 2 will charge, flank, hide from and ambush you constantly. They are pretty smart,and if you aren’t paying attention they can catch you off guard and drop you. Watch enemy movement closely, be prepared to fall back and, most importantly, listen to them. Enemies who run at you will often telegraph this beforehand with screaming and heavy footsteps. Other times enemies will shout out movements or positions. Use these audio cues to keep yourself alive in big shootouts.
Aim For Weak Spots
Many of your foes in DC will have weak points you can shoot to quickly kill them and even damage enemies near them. The Hyena chargers, for example, have bags they wear on their hip. Shoot these bags and their weird powder will explode on everyone nearby, causing mass confusion and stuns. Bigger enemies often have a weak point on their back.
Even bosses can have these weak points. One time a powerful boss with a foam-launching weapon was giving me trouble. I hit his foam gun container and suddenly he was locked into place by his own fast-hardening foam, making him an easy target to pick off.
It might be easy to forget, but you also can melee enemies. Just click in the right stick. This move is quick and can kill weaker enemies who you’ve already shot. There are also some challenges tied to using melee attacks to kill enemies. So punch some fools who get too close to you or your friends.
You Don’t Always Need To Fix Your Armor
During long fights, you will most likely take damage and your armor will get damaged or even totally destroyed. In these scenarios, you should fix your armor ASAP or you might die soon. But toward the end of a fight, when only a few enemies are left, you can save your armor and finish the fight instead. After every enemy is dead, the game will replenish your health and armor fully, saving you some armor plates.
Don’t Forget To Use Your Abilities
This is a mistake I made a lot in my first few hours. Your agent has some abilities, like a turret or a shield, that can be really useful in a fight. These will vary based on how far you are into the game and what you have chosen, but regardless of what abilities you have, they are worthless if you don’t use them. Even if you feel like you have a fight totally under control, pop an ability to build up some muscle memory and to get more comfortable using these gadgets.
Good Perks To Unlock First
In The Division 2, you will find SHD Tech. These small boxes will unlock tokens that you can use to unlock and upgrade passive perks. I recommend first grabbing the perks that t let you carry more grenades, crafting materials, supplies and most importantly armor plates. Also grab the perks that help you gain more XP.
One perk that might sound strange or worthless is “Detection.” What this means is that after you give some supplies to a friendly control point, all lootable containers will be marked in the world and you can even see them through walls. This is really useful if you want to farm for crafting materials quickly or if you are trying to find all the water or food at a supply node.
First Abilities To Unlock
Like perks, some abilities in The Division 2 are better than others, depending on how you play. One of my favorite abilities from the original game, Pulse, returns in the sequel but I would avoid getting it, at least early on. Pulse is supposed to reveal enemy locations around you, but the range is so short it feels useless most of the time. Mods gained later in the game might improve it, but we’re not sure how far they go.
For solo players, I highly recommend the turret, and I prefer its basic auto-turret version. This little thing does a surprising amount of damage and even better, it can help you flank and pin enemies. You can toss your turret if you hold the ability button you assigned it to. If you are behind cover and tap the button, you will set it on the cover itself instead. The turret won’t fire until you fire or it is spotted, letting you set up a deadly ambush.
I also like using the chem launcher, specifically the acid version. This can easily kill enemies hiding behind cover and chews away the armor on bigger targets. The Firefly is useful, but it takes a bit of practice to really make it work. Before throwing it, make sure the path is clear of any obstructions which are marked by a red X indicator. The Shield can also be powerful if paired with a strong sidearm or if you choose the variant that lets you use an SMG or assault rifle with it.
Don’t Worry Too Much About What You Unlock Early On
Maybe you unlocked an ability or perk and it really isn’t all that helpful? Don’t worry. After spending a few hours in the game you will have earned enough tokens and unlocks to gain access to a lot of the other perks and abilities in the game. If you get a stinker, don’t beat yourself up. Just go grab some SHD tech and unlock a new perk.
Focus On Activating Safehouses
When you enter a new area, prioritize unlocking and activating the safehouse in the area. These function similarly to the safehouses in the original game, allowing you to spawn and matchmake with other agents. These safe houses also unlock new nearby objectives that, once completed, will unlock a boss fight and connected bounty. Completing this will reward you with a good chunk of XP and other goodies.
Control Points Are Useful, Too!
Control points work almost like the outposts found in recent Far Cry games. They are initially filled with enemies, but once you’ve taken control of them you can spawn there or fast-travel to them. These control points are useful for more than just spawning. You get a good amount of loot and XP for liberating them. Plus, these areas will spawn friendly computer-controlled allies who will patrol around the area, making it safer to travel in that part of the map.
Each control point has a commander who you can give food, water, and components too. Doing so will award you with some XP and, if you have the appropriate perk, you will get the bonus ability to see loot containers in the world for 10 minutes.
Explore The Map
While it might be tempting to just focus on missions, control points, and random activities, you should also take some time to just explore the world. Players are reporting secret bosses and hidden missions dotted around the map. Beyond that, the map is filled with loot containers and collectibles. These will give you more XP and items.
Head Underground To Get Faction Keys
During missions, you might find locked chests. You will need a faction key to unlock them. They can be found underground in small utility boxes that hang on the walls in different tunnels and sewers below DC. To find entrance points to the underground section of the world, look on the map for yellow arrows pointing down. These mark manhole covers or other entrances to the dirt sewers below.
Upgrade Settlements & Complete Projects
Settlements are one of the big new features in The Division 2,and they are a great way to earn XP and loot. These settlements can be improved over time by completing projects. These projects will not only visually change the settlement, like adding more storage or solar panels, but they also award large amounts of XP and blueprints which can help you craft new weapons, mods, and items.
Another important tip: You can partially complete projects from the map screen. Sometimes you will need to donate certain items, like a pair of gloves, to complete a project. You can do this anywhere on the map at any time by opening up the map and tabbing over to the left. There you will find all your current projects, their objectives and you can donate any items in this section of the map screen too. Very useful!
Hold On To Gloves, Helmets and Other Armor Parts
Projects are important. Getting them done quickly will help you level up faster and will unlock new blueprints sooner. A great way to quickly knock these projects out is to hold onto gloves, vests, knee-pads, and holsters. Many projects at the first settlement, will require some of this gear. So don’t sell those crappy gloves you found. Hold on to them and donate them to a project when they are needed. If they are taking up too much room, just pop some into your stash for later.
Check Your Equipment Often
You will be picking up new items and weapons a lot in The Division 2. Especially early on in the game. Make a habit of checking to see if you need to switch stuff out. Sure that rifle you are using is good, but you might have an even better weapon sitting in your inventory. You might even be able to improve them with mods you didn’t know you had.
While in the inventory screen, you can sort items into a grid instead of the scrolling column. To make this change, click L3 on a PS4 controller or press down on the left stick on Xbox One to open a sub-menu and select the grid option. I find this makes it easier to see at a glance what I have and how good it might be.
How Mods Work
Weapon mods always have negative and positive attributes. Don’t just slap the first mod you find onto your favorite weapon. Instead, balance out what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice. For example, I have a great assault rifle that I attached a big magazine mod onto. This mod slows the reload speed, but I now have 61 rounds per mag making. Some mods will give you more accuracy, but lower critical hit damage. Try to use mods that work for you and your play style.
Craft Some Mods
As you complete missions, finish projects and make progress through the game, you will gain access to mod blueprints. These can be crafted at the White House, your base of operations. Unlike in TheDivision, these mods only need to be crafted once, then you can use them on multiple weapons. For example, if you craft a red dot sight, you can then add that to any weapon that is compatible with the sight and you won’t need to craft new sights for each gun.
Don’t Forget About Commendations & Uplay Challenges
These are easy to miss. Hidden in the character menu, players can find challenges and commendations in the progression section. Commendations are a series of challenges that when completed award patches, which can be placed on your outfit. Uplay challenges are in the same menu and rotate each week. These will earn you some extra in-game credits, useful for crafting and buying items.
Grab The Uplay Rewards Too.
On the main character menu, you can also open up Uplay. In here you can find some rewards that are free or cost some Uplay credits, that currency you earn by playing other Ubisoft games. These rewards aren’t incredible or game-changing, but they can help a new player starting out. Some of the rewards include crafting materials and credits. You can also get some weapon skins and patches.
Don’t Focus On The Dark Zone Until Later
While the Dark Zone is a tense and fun part of The Division 2, for players just starting out it really isn’t worth it. You can find good or even better loot in the main world and through completing missions and projects. I recommend doing the tutorial missions for the Dark Zone and for those curious, maybe exploring it a bit, but wait until you are a higher level to dive in.
The Division 2, an apolitical game about amassing purple quality backpacks, is currently playable for Gold And Ultimate Edition users. I’m having fun surviving battles alongside friends and finding secrets down side alleys, but I have some questions about the game’s opening cutscene.
In it, America has been ravaged to the point of near-apocalypse by a viral terror attack. We see a shot of a latte with Christmas lights glittering in the background slowly panning out to a “Free Wifi” sign on the cafe window—when internet and power were lost, people survived. (There’s a strange dig about free coffee here, but whatever; the message is mostly aspirational.) Then, a breaking point: Hospital services shut down, resources were limited, and basic health problems became life-threatening. But people came together—our narrator points to the power of human resilience. We see sweeping swaths of green: flowers blooming in the midst of a ruined city, verdant fields as far as the eye can see. They helped each other, built communities, persevered. “What we want,” the narrator explains, “is also truly what we need.”
We see a point of no return, and we see people coming together. What does the scene tell us was the crux of that transition? The narrator offers the answer via a question mid-scene:
“With no police to protect you, did you own a gun? Did your neighbor?”
Sir, this is a Wendy’s.
Of course, it’s not shocking that The Division 2 has such a pointed, if unsubtle, focus on guns. This is a loot shooter. You gotta shoot to loot to get more shooty things to help you do more looting. You can customize your guns, and there’s perks to expand your arsenal, missions to gain different types of modifications, and even cosmetic skins that you can slap on to higher-rarity weapons. Last night, I bought some of the in-game currency to test out the microtransactions. By the end of the night, I had found a blue-quality marksman rifle and added a 4x ACOG scope and a decent muzzle modification. It’s powerful and has a satisfying kick when you fire. For the microtransaction, I bought a trippy weapon skin—a sort of tie-dye pink and purple puke design—and added it to my weapon.
I’m enjoying exploring its dilapidated Washington, DC, and surviving tough missions with my friends, but I’m uneasy. It’s just hard to focus on that when I’m looking down the barrel of a cutscene so heavy-handed it looks like a Heckler & Koch infomercial. And yet, when night falls and I wander the quiet streets, the world sucks me in. When I expand my base and add a small game room for kids to play in, I see flashes of a game focused on community that I want to play. These human moments are what I think of when I consider community building. The game’s opening is a stark reminder that this is a Tom Clancy game, with all the problems that come with that name.
Fortunately, this is, again, not a political game, according to the developers. In 2018, Kotaku Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo interviewed creative director Terry Spier about The Division 2’s arrival into a charged political climate. Spier stated: “ So, the goal isn’t to make a political statement. It’s not to reflect on any of the things that are happening in the current world, in the live world.”
This is part and parcel for the military genre and post-apocalyptic storytelling. It’s also just part of The Division. Yesterday, I streamed The Division 2 with my coworker Paul Tamayo and we hit up a Control Point. These locations, dotted throughout The Division 2’s districts, are sometimes occupied by enemy factions. If you clear them out, you gain access to a supply room with multiple chests and boxes to loot. This usually results in tons of gear and a few new guns. When I was playing with Paul, I was pretty damn excited to find some new guns. When people in chat asked what my loadout was, I was more than ready to explain that I had a decent rifle and a good shotgun. In spite of all those conflicted feelings above, The Division 2 is fun to explore and play. Finding new loot is exciting, and I’ve enjoyed the easy curve upwards as I’ve been showered in loot. I want to explore this game. I want to build more than just a play room at my various outposts. I want to rebuild communities.
I’m going to play The Division 2 more tonight. I’m almost level 10 and there’s tons of missions left. I still need to try structured PvP and explore the Dark Zones, where players can gather loot and kill each other freely. I’ll probably snipe some unsuspecting player and take his guns. I have a lot of guns in The Division 2 already. I’m excited to see what I’ll get tonight.
Anyway, do you own a gun? Shout out in the comments if you go to the range. I used to.
Ubisoft has announced big changes coming to Rainbow Six Siege in Year 4. One of the biggest is a complete change to how friendly fire will work. These changes were revealed in a livestream during the Six Invitational 2019.
Friendly fire will now do reverse damage to players. This will only activate after a player has killed a teammate once during a match. Team killing has been a problem in Siege for years. These changes will hopefully make team kills happen less often.
Map changes are coming in Year 4. These will include reworks of three different maps: Kafe Dostoyevsky, Kanal and Theme Park. Map reworks usually involve moving obstacles, changing building layouts and altering different visual elements of a map.
Ubisoft also revealed a roadmap for future operators and events. Starting February 18 on R6 Siege test servers, players will be able to try out the two new Australian operators coming to the game. Later seasons will add operators from Denmark, Peru, Mexico, Kenya and India. An operator from the US Secret Service will also be added in a later season in Year 4.
Year 4 will also change how the in-game menus look and operate, rebalance multiple existing operators and make changes to playlist requirements and content.
The announcement of these changes and future plans has been met with mostly positive comments from the community. Many players are excited about how many improvements and fixes Ubisoft is adding in Year 4.
“Ubisoft have clearly put so much thought into all of this Year 4 content and changes.” said Reddit user RichardArrowSmith. Another user commented in the same thread that they feel more excited now than ever before about Rainbow Six Siege. Many fans also seemed happy that Ubisoft seemed committed to rebalancing maps and operators on such a large scale.
The Rainbow Six Siege subreddit collected all the new information revealed into a massive post. Check it out for more information and details about the upcoming new year of Siege content.