The Division 2’s Newest Mode Is All Action And I’m Into It

The Division 2’s Newest Mode Is All Action And I’m Into It
Image: Ubisoft

A strange skyscraper filled with lots of enemies and an always-changing floor layout is the star of the new Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 update, which also kicks off the game’s third season.

The Division 2’s latest update, Title Update 11, went live earlier this week. It fixed a bunch of bugs, added some new weapons, and introduced the ability to transmog gear like armour and kneepads. But the biggest new addition is The Summit, a mode that challenges you to work your way up 100 floors, each one containing randomly generated areas, enemy patterns, and objectives. The idea behind The Summit is to offer longtime players, who’ve played all the game’s missions and control points hundreds of times at this point, a fresh new event that should, in theory, be different each time it’s played. The Summit mostly accomplishes this, though a few tweaks and fixes could truly — wait for it — elevate this new mode.

Repeating the same content over and over has always been part of The Division 2’s gameplay loop. But over time it’s become more and more of a drag for me to slog my way through the same missions over and over again. Not because I don’t enjoy the combat or gameplay, but because I see the same setpieces, experience the same enemy patterns, explore the same areas, and hear the same dialogue every time. The Summit adds more randomness to the experience and focuses on the gunplay and combat, ditching the narrative elements of previous events.

The Division 2 (Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku) The Division 2 (Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku)

The end result, while still repetitive, doesn’t feel like as much of a slog. This is a leaner and more action-focused mode, which might not be for everyone. If you come to The Division to solve puzzles, explore new areas, or take part in large-scale raids or events, The Summit will probably be a letdown. But if you, like me, enjoy the combat a lot and just want more of that, The Summit might prove ideal.

Most floors consist of large groups of enemies you have to kill. But other floors shake things up. You might have to hack different terminals, save some hostages, shut down some EMPs, survive a drone ambush, or hold a location for a set amount of time. There may very well be more variations that I haven’t yet seen.

None of these scenarios, it should be noted, are exclusively new to The Summit. All of it is stuff Division 2 players have seen and done before. But not knowing what’s next helps make even these previously seen objectives more interesting. And as you ascend, the floors get harder and harder. The final 10 or so seem very challenging, with tougher enemies and more directives. Some floors get random modifiers, like slower skill cooldowns or less ammo spawning.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

Even if you only play The Summit’s first 20 floors, it’s still fun and you can walk away with some decent loot and XP, making this a mode that feels like it can accommodate both endgame veterans and newcomers alike. (That said, you do need to be level 40 and have beaten Warlords of New York before you can access The Summit.)

But The Summit has its issues. One of the most annoying is the invisible walls I keep running into, which players are reporting on Reddit too. My guess is that the randomly generated floors might be spitting out walls or objects that aren’t properly textured or spawned into the map and leaving behind ghost walls and boxes.

Another problem is the general look of The Summit. While some floors open up a bit, with atriums and balconies, most are just hallways, barren offices, or empty construction areas. It can feel a bit claustrophobic and dull, and considering it might take you a few hours to complete your ascent, that’s a shame. I wish there was a bit more visual variety throughout the skyscraper.

Also, the rewards aren’t any better than in other events, which makes the long time it takes to climb from level 1 to 100 feel less efficient. Luckily, you can return to the tower and begin on every tenth floor you’ve reached. So if you hit floor 40 and want to take a break, you can come back and start right there tomorrow, instead of having to work all the way back up to 40.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

Solo players should be able to scale the tower, assuming you have the proper gear and the time, thanks to the tower scaling to how many players are in your group. I played solo and with some randos and I preferred playing with a group as it let me make mistakes, like dying, without having to then respawn at the previous floor and try again. But skilled lone wolves should be able to make the climb relatively easily, until the very top floors. Then things get tricky regardless of how many people you bring.

For folks who just want to mindlessly shoot waves of enemies and grind XP, The Summit is a nice addition to The Division 2. With some tweaks and updates, it could be even better. Thankfully, Ubisoft says it has plans to add more to the new mode, as well as improve and fix elements of it, based on player feedback.

In the meantime, avoid the ghost walls and you should be fine. You might even make it to the top. And if you don’t, you can just blame the ghost walls until Ubisoft removes them.

Log in to comment on this story!