The Division 2 Has Problems, but Performance Isn’t One of ‘Em
Two years after the release of Tom Clancy’s The Division, Ubisoft is back with another loot shooter set in an apocalyptic modern America. Frigid New York is out the window, replaced with an exceptionally muggy D.C. for this brand new showcase of Ubisoft’s in-house Snowdrop engine.
At our sister site IGN, reviewer James Duggan gave The Division 2 a Great score of 8.5/10. He found it to be an excellent installment that has improved significantly over the original’s formula. Even better, Duggan is bullish on the upcoming content based on what Ubisoft has laid out in its roadmap. If you liked The Division, it’s safe to say that the sequel will be right up your alley.
While the likes of GamesRadar+ and Destructoid gave The Division 2 similarly high marks, not every critic is pleased with what Ubisoft has put out. The metascore is hovering around 81 with 25 reviews counted on the PS4 version, and in one case, it received a rather blistering review from Matt Paprocki at Variety.
Paprocki’s distaste doesn’t come from drop rates, cash shops, or technical issues – his criticisms are pointed directly at the politics of the game, and Ubisoft’s insistence that the dev team is “not making any political statements.” As many game writers have pointed out already, the setting, narrative, and the “Tom Clancy” branding evoke a very specific and explicit political worldview. And regardless of where anyone stands on that worldview, the smokescreen put out by Ubisoft is very much worthy of criticism.
On the tech side, Digital Foundry points out a number of issues that should be addressed quickly with patches. Pop-in problems, buggy AI, and misplaced characters hurt the overall experience, but frame rate is thankfully very consistent. The Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, and vanilla PS4 are pretty much locked at 30fps, and some of that is due to the dynamic resolution. The Xbox One S does see occasional dips, but the impact is far from catastrophic.
Resolution-wise, the Xbox One X sits atop other consoles with a native 2160p. It’s certainly possible that there are circumstances where the resolution drops under heavy load, but DF’s Thomas Morgan has yet to see it happen. And while the PS4 Pro‘s resolution ranges from 1944p down to 1382p, the image reconstruction being used here allows for very similar end results to the native image.
The stock PS4 renders at a native 1080p, and delivers that consistently. Very similarly, the Xbox One S typically sticks to 1080p with occasional drops down to 936p. All told, Microsoft’s budget console is clearly the worst version, but the compromises are relatively small thanks to the highly adaptive engine.
The PC version, at least when using an SSD, doesn’t have the same level of pop-in issues as the console versions. Plus, you can pretty easily make the jump to 60fps, so that’s a huge benefit for PC players. However, there have been many stability issues reported for various set-ups, so your milage may vary.