I’ve spent about 20 hours in The Division 2 now, battling my way through the ruins of Washington D.C. in all kinds of weather.
The majority of the time, The Division 2‘s Washington has fair weather; it’s clear, with blue skies, and high visibility. But not all the time. It rains fairly regularly, there’s a day/night cycle, meaning sometimes you’ll be out in the dark, fog can roll in, and there are even thunderstorms.
Last night, I experienced my first thunderstorm in the game. I’d just finished a mission when a bounty popped up. As I was making my way to the bounty marker on my map, an almighty rumble ripped through the darkened sky, accompanied by a torrent of rain. With a decent set of speakers, the sound was incredible; constant deep rolls of thunder that seemed to be coming from all around. Plunged into darkness by foreboding clouds and thick sheets of rain, my visibility in the game was practically non-existent. It didn’t make for great conditions to wage a big fight in, but my god, it was spectacular.
Fights in darkness, or in low visibility conditions – The Division 2 is no stranger to mist or fog – are made tricky for a couple of reasons. One: you can’t see a great deal. Enemies can more easily flank you by moving around the outskirts, out of your field of vision. And two: it’s easy to get blinded. Enemy factions love using those big floodlights to illuminate their territories. But they’re blinding, especially if you’re looking down your sights right in front of one, trying to shoot an enemy. It’s disorienting and distracting – but it does help to keep The Division 2‘s combat challenging.
Thankfully, you can shoot out some of those floodlights if you hit it just right. But not much can be done about the game’s weather effects. You’ve just got to ride the storm, as it were. If you get into combat as a thunderstorm rolls in, stay in cover and take it slow. But if you’re away from any danger, simply take it in, crank up your speakers, and enjoy the fantastic spectacle that surrounds you.