2018 was a big year for video games. We saw the likes of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man and God of War hitting shelves, all of which were phenomenal.
As you’ve probably noticed, though, 2018 is over now. The holiday season is done with for another year, and we’re all shifting that weight at the gym like we promised in our New Year’s resolutions (or, we’re not).
It’s time to look forward to 2019, then. There are lots of big releases in the pipeline this year, but the one we’re concerned with right now if the follow-up to Ubisoft’s super-successful The Division.
Buckle up for everything we know about Tom Clancy's The Division 2 so far.
As I say, The Division did fantastically well for Ubisoft. They proudly boasted that it was their best-selling title ever, and enjoyed the biggest first-week launch for a new franchise to boot.
As such, it was inevitable that a sequel would be on the cards. A potential The Division 2 has been the topic of much discussion prior to last year’s E3 show, but it was there that we actually got to see something concrete. At Microsoft’s press conference at the show, the lid was lifted, and we had some new details to ponder over the long, long road to the game’s launch.
That’s right, friends. As fans of the original The Division will remember, the game took place in the New York City of the near future, in the midst of a smallpox pandemic that threatens our very survival.
The sequel will shake things up a little on that score. This time, the action will be set in Washington D.C., seven months after the events of the first game. There’ll be no snow to be seen this time around; the action will take place during the hot summer months, with bands of marauders and survivors squabbling in the streets. Heck, nobody said it was going to be easy.
As we’re about to see, we don’t have too much longer to wait before The Division 2 touches down on our system of choice. That’s all subjective, though, and it can feel like a darn eternity for the original’s many fans.
The good news is, Ubisoft hear our anguish, and they’ve prepared a little something to keep us occupied in the meantime. As Windows Central reports,
“Ubisoft has already started to pave the road for its release. They've even added a new Shield Challenges feature to the first edition of The Division; by unlocking these you'll be able to get yourself some exclusive in-game items for The Division 2 at launch.”
Okay, no more suspense. ‘Soon’ is all well and good (an all-too-popular ETA in the gaming industry, actually), but you want to know the actual date of release.
Barring any last-minute snafus, The Division 2 is slated for a March 15th release (March 12th for the Gold and Ultimate editions of the game). It will release for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on that day, and will certainly be looking to top its predecessor’s record-breaking early sales.
Whether the game will achieve this lofty ambition remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: the hype is reaching fever pitch as the release approaches.
With all that hype-tastic in mind, then, you’re probably wondering when you can give the game a shot for yourself. Luckily, Ubisoft has announced all the details about the upcoming beta, and you won’t have long to wait.
The action kicks off between Thursday, February 7th and Monday, February 11th. Specific times will be announced nearer to the event.
How do you gain access? By pre-ordering the game, for one thing (codes for retail versions, and automatic access for digital). Failing that, you can also sign up for a chance to join by entering your platform of choice over on the official site. We don’t yet know just what we’ll be able to play in the beta, but presumably, it’ll be similar to the original’s beta: a selection of early story missions, a little co-op and a dash of PvP. It also unlocked a weapon skin for the full game.
Hold on just a darn minute, though. We’re getting way ahead of ourselves. Before diving into the intricacies of exactly what the beta will offer and the like, there’s an obvious question we haven’t tackled yet: what exactly is this The Division series all about?
For the uninitiated, Tom Clancy’s The Division is an action RPG centering around the Strategic Homeland Division (or simply ‘The Division’), of which the player is a Special Agent. Your task is to restore order in the wake of a smallpox pandemic in a near-future New York City, as we’ve covered It’s largely a third-person shooter, backed up by robust RPG mechanics.
The sequel, as we also know, moves the action over to Washington D.C., seven months after the outbreak, with society in further decline.
So, The Division 2 is looking to continue the story, and the success, of the original. As with any sequel, then, the aim is to build on what the original did so well.
The new installment’s going to have a big focus on the end game. This element is brand-new, Ubisoft themselves report, and will see players picking a specialization for their Division Agent on reaching level 30. You can pick from the likes of Demolitionist (forget stealth, you’re going all out with explosives) and Sharpshooter (the good ol’ fashioned sniper), each with their own signature weapons and skills.
With the addition of new end game modes and challenges, you’re sure to be playing The Division 2 for a long time.
Speaking of those character customizations, they’re going to come in really handy in the raids, which are one of the most exciting new elements of The Division 2.
Back at E3 2018, the team revealed that these intense new 8-player raids will also be a part of the end game. The great thing about this is that players will be able to settle into their roles on the raid team, as it will be partly defined by their chosen specialization.
You know how it can sometimes be in these multiplayer modes: lone wolves running away and compromising everybody else. Thanks to the specialization system, The Division 2 seems to have that problem covered.
As we all know, you just can’t have a AAA title these days without a season pass in tow. Oftentimes, they’re available for pre-order before the game itself is even released! The Division 2 isn’t about to buck this trend, but Ubisoft is doing something distinctly un-Ubisoft with it.
The end game DLC content that’s on its way to The Division 2, they’ve announced, will be available for free. A surprising move, but even more surprising is the fact that a year one season pass will also be available. It’ll offer access to each of the DLCs a week early, exclusive customization options and activities to partake in and more. As Segment Next reports, we don’t yet know what else the pass will consist of.
The final thing to bear in mind about The Division 2 is that it’s going to be immense. While the first game was a huge success with critics and players alike, there was some definite room for improvement. The launch was marred by a few crucial hiccups, and gamers have long memories.
What a foundation to work from, though. In light of everything we know so far, it’s clear that this is going to be one of the biggest games 2019 has seen so far. A game of the year candidate? It’s a little early for that, but the hype that’s been building around this one is certainly well deserved.