It’s been a while since I ventured back into the bleak world of The Division, most likely since Last Stand, the final expansion, launched. That changed this past weekend thanks in large part to a free to play weekend and the fact that Ubisoft and Massive recently launched update 1.8, which is arguably the biggest non-expansion update to date.
Hearing about all of the quality of life changes and the addition of a massive new zone, I was intrigued. I was happy to see that even though Last Stand was the last official expansion, Massive continues to tweak and make the experience better at this point as 2 or 3 big updates had launched since I left. I was all too happy to see so much new content, much-needed improvements, and overall found myself settling back into a game which I had previously spent a lot of my time. Kind of like putting on your favorite pair of pants.
With The Division going free to play this past weekend to coincide with the mega huge update 1.8, I couldn’t help but start thinking about where Ubisoft could take this franchise. Considering how well the game sold and continues to be supported by the community, I’d imagine a sequel is very likely.
So let’s have a bit of fun and start looking ahead to some of the features and changes I’d love to see in a potential sequel.
More unique and diverse enemies
Even though the game featured multiple factions, they all seemed to have like 4 or 5 different looking types. From a gameplay perspective, it made sense as it allowed players to quickly identify what type of enemy they were fighting and what style they utilized.
From a story and world-building perspective, it got a bit repetitive. Fighting waves upon waves of enemies that looked all the same kind of pulled me out of the game’s immersion. I like the factions idea, though my hope is that the enemies will be a little more diverse in how they dress and look from one another. There’s what to retain that telltale sign of, this is a sniper character or this is a melee character, but giving the enemies a more unique look from someone else in their faction would definitely be a welcomed addition.
Bigger and Better Missions
I’ve always felt that The Division had a Destiny style problem with its missions. That is, most of them played out the same way. Generally speaking, players typically infiltrated an area, fought enemies at specific rooms, and ended the mission either with a boss fight or trying to survive against waves of enemies.
Destiny learned its lesson with The Taken King and its eventual sequel, so I’m hoping Ubisoft also follows suit and spices up the missions on a potential sequel. Lets mix up the gameplay formula a bit, not everything has to be wave defense. Personally, I’d love to see a stronger bond between the narrative and the mission gameplay. I want more cutscenes, more mission objectives, more possible detective work. Like, make me feel like an Agent trying to make sense of a situation that is quickly spiraling out of control. I don’t want to have to defend resources for 5 minutes over and over.
This also extends to the side content as well. Make it more meaningful!
I’m torn on this one because I generally thing Ubisoft nailed the look and feel of the world. Christmas time in New York was pretty special and lent itself well to creating a unique looking environment to explore.
This idea is a tough one because it ultimately comes down to the question of: do you stay in the city or do you shift away to somewhere completely new? In my opinion, if they were to use New York again, the map would have to be expanded considerably. I can’t see the same exact playspace being acceptable in the eyes of the community for a sequel.
On the other hand, where could a sequel move to that would feel as significant as New York City? Ubisoft has already done Chicago with Watch_Dogs, so that’s out, and you’d have to alter the world’s narrative to make it fit with another major city such as Los Angeles. Perhaps expanding New York is the way to go in this case, or making a jump in time.
One aspect that I actually loved is the loot system. I felt like the game did a great job of handing new stuff at a consistent rate. I mean, what other game could you have this badass agent wearing a pom pom winter hat. For the sequel, I’d love for the artists to take this concept further and create some really memorable and cool gear for players to collect. Since this is a Tom Clancy title, I know the team is rooted in realism, but still, there’s gotta be a bit of wiggle room, right?
Also, lets buff the character editor a bit. The options were a bit sparse, especially for the face options. I believe Massive made a few tweaks to this in a recent update, but having more options out of the gate on day 1 would be a welcomed change.
In addition to player customization, I really enjoyed building out the base of operations. I’d love to see the base building aspect take a more prominent role either by giving me more to customize at the base, or perhaps having to do it at other safe zones as well. Really though, anything that dynamically impacts the world, making it seem like what I’m doing is having a positive impact would be fantastic.
Bring Back Survival!
One thing Destiny 2 really failed at was taking what ultimately worked in its predecessor and building the sequel on top of it. Here’s hoping Ubisoft continues to build a potential sequel off of the successful foundation by adding the things that really worked and that the community enjoyed.
Survival was a mode that took what people love about current Battle Royal style games, added in roaming AI enemies to deal with, as well as status indicators that needed attention such as hunger, health, and temperature. I found it to be a completely thrilling and dynamic mode, which really brought something new and different to the game. The only drawback was that it was locked inside the second expansion, so those unwilling to shell out the money for it couldn’t access it. For The Division 2, why not include the mode from the outset so the entire game population can participate and hopefully propel it to new heights.
Those are my ideas, but I’m curious to hear yours. If/When a sequel to The Division is announced, what are you hoping to see in it? Let me know in the comments below.