Not Quite On the Right Track
Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft’s tour of Washington D.C. continues with The Division 2’s second piece of post-launch content. This time, you’re going to the Pentagon, the headquarters of the entire United States military, in the aptly named Pentagon: The Last Castle DLC. Since you’re evidently the only competent Division Agent left, you have to stop Black Tusk from taking apart the world’s largest office building and claiming its secrets. The new story spans a grand total of two missions and launches alongside Title Update 6. You also get a new PvP map and mode, if that’s something you’re interested in.
If you took an extended break from The Division 2, Title Update 6 is basically a global overhaul of armor perks and weapons. Generally speaking, the vast majority of weapons got a damage buff to compete with top tier items. As far as armor perks are concerned, the most impactful change will be that you can’t stack multiple Damage to Elite perks. The Damage to Elite attribute can still be stacked, but not the perk itself. In addition, you will only need to equip four pieces of a Gear Set to fully activate their unique abilities.
In addition, Title Update 6 introduces Named items into the loot pool. As is the case with many other loot-based games, Named items are unique variations of standard gear that allegedly have a higher chance to drop from certain activities and or enemies. You will also have a chance to unlock the Technician skill tree. The skill tree comes with a (rather finicky) multi-lock multi-shot rocket launcher and abilities that revolve around party buffs and the destruction of robots. It’s somewhat situational, though there’s certainly no shortage of annoying robotic enemies in The Division 2.
The Division 2 | Finally Catching Up With Modern Loot Mechanics
Unfortunately, it seems like most of Massive’s efforts were directed at Title Update 6 at the cost of Pentagon: The Last Castle’s story. While unquestionably better than the previous DLC chapter, The Last Castle is still a very short experience. It doesn’t help that the plot remains incredibly straightforward. There was an attempt to introduce a new character, but it’s laughably ineffective. To the surprise of no one, having a mute protagonist is not a good idea when the new character is supposed to be a prior acquaintance. To say that it results in one of the most awkward cutscenes in recent memory is an understatement.
The Pentagon itself can best be described as a missed opportunity. You’d think that the place where the largest military in the world does business would be more interesting. Secret labs with lasers, vehicle prototypes, power armor, things of that nature. As it turns out, The Division 2’s commitment to realism extends to the Pentagon too. The most visually stimulating part of the Pentagon is the security doors. A couple of rooms look like they should've had some interesting environmental hazards. Some Black Tusk soldiers even comment on how their robots would be negatively affected. And yet, nothing interesting happens at all.
The Division 2 | No Secrets, No Lollygagging
On the bright side, Pentagon: The Last Castle does feature some new enemies and boss mechanics. You’ll notice that Black Tusk has captured some Division drones and they aren’t shy about using them. One boss is particularly fond of throwing out drones to protect himself. Unfortunately, he seemingly hasn’t grasped the concept of using the drone buffs to push you and mostly hides. Another boss sits in a room with an EMP generator that disables your abilities. It would be an interesting fight if it weren’t for the fact that you can destroy the EMP generator rather quickly. The final boss has the potential of being very interesting given that he can call in mortar strikes and medics, but you can kind of just shoot him in the face and ignore all of that.
To make up for this, Massive created a drone gunship that’s armed with miniguns and rockets to function as a boss. When compared to what other games offer, the gunship isn’t a particularly impressive enemy. When compared to what The Division 2 currently has, the gunship may as well be the second coming of sliced bread. The gunship uses the Pentagon’s walls as cover, it has weak points, and it actually flies around. The usage of the gunship as the first (and only, depending on your point of view) major boss that you fight is a little odd in terms of pacing though.
The Division 2 | At least it's not Horse Armor
Outside of that, Pentagon: The Last Castle is doing little to inspire confidence in The Division 2. It’s getting rather suspicious that the Title Updates have more exciting long term gameplay implications than the new missions. The story certainly isn’t really going anywhere no matter how you look at it. Two missions every couple of months is not a sustainable post-launch plan. Adding one new gun every couple of months is definitely unacceptable. Now to be fair, the drone gunship boss fight and the new boss mechanics are a step in the right direction. They add some much-needed complexity to a series that has long been criticized for being one dimensional. However, it seems doubtful that it’s enough to keep people interested even if you disregard the competition.
- New Boss Mechanics
- Massive Balancing Changes
- Technician Skill Tree is Decently Effective
- Named Gear
- Very Short Length
- A Single New Gun
- Forgettable At Best Story
- Less Noteworthy than Normal Update