Belghast recently said in his Division 2 Impressions post, “One of the core problems I had with the original Division is that it was a game without hope. The setting was bleak and it felt like as a Division Agent I was doing very little to actually help those around me.”
He’s not wrong, but it’s also not something I’d really taken note of before. It’s possible it just meant less to me previously. At the time, I really enjoyed The Division 1’s leveling content. It was some of the best I’d experienced (with the caveat that this was only true in a group that stuck together).
Nonetheless, Bel’s impressions stuck with me and since reading them I have been thinking of one sequence of events in The Division 2 in particular.
There is a line in the game delivered during the story that really brings this home. I don’t feel it too much a spoiler as it was in the story trailer. But nonetheless, consider this a (small) spoiler warning for the following little bit. The line is: “Outside those walls, it’s perdition. Whatever you’re doing out there — we’re not feeling it in here.”
I don’t want to give too much away, but necessary for context is that it would be fair to say your attention had been elsewhere up until this conversation takes place. They are at the end of their rope, splintering at the seams and beginning to feel like the end has begun all over again.
This state is reflected in the scenery, and while it isn’t as bad as a place you might’ve just been — the need of these people is clear.
And while your character is a silent protagonist, never uttering a sympathetic word, the change you can bring to not only their environment but the outlook on life is fantastic. There is a theme of life finding a way in the face of extreme adversity. Kids finding a way to enjoy the simple things again.
I’ve hit the start of the ‘end game’ now, and I’ll be curious whether this theme continues. It certainly starts on a darker note, with a whole ‘Act 2’ feeling about things. But we’ll see how it goes. :)