Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is nearly upon us, and so plenty of gamers will be wondering what the must-know facts are about the game before release. The Division was a major hit when it launched back in 2016, but it’s fair to say that the sheen of excitement was short-lived with a significant drop-off in players early in the game’s life. Nonetheless, developer Massive Entertainment continued adding content to what was initially a frustrating game, which for some players meant it eventually reached the point of being a truly enjoyable multiplayer-focused experience.
Because of this, there’s a lot of hope that The Division 2 will improve upon the original. A number of lessons learned from the original title and a few years of changes within the gaming world has given Massive Entertainment a base line for what players of The Division 2 might expect. What’s more, the kind of multiplayer gameplay that The Division originally provided has since become a much more combative field, so the pressure is on to give gamers something unique for them to get to grips with - particularly with Anthem stumbling.
So, ahead of The Division 2’s release, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the game. From its release date through to gameplay changes, this should have would-be agents covered when they start up The Division 2 for the first time.
The Division 2 Release Date
It won’t be long before The Division 2 releases. As a matter of fact, the launch date for The Division 2 is just around the corner, with Ubisoft set to release The Division 2 on March 15. In terms of platforms The Division 2 will be available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. PC players may need to change their distribution method of choice, however. The Division 2 will not be released on the hugely popular Steam platform, with instead Ubisoft partnering with Epic to make The Division 2 an Epic Games Store exclusive. It's not the only major release to go to Epic for exclusivity, either, as seen with Metro: Exodus.
The Division 2 Story
The Division 2 has had a bit of a change-up when it comes to its setting and plot. The game follows on from The Division, but has moved the action to Washington D.C. instead of the streets of New York. However, in spite of the move the game still sits in a world on the brink of collapse, with a (perhaps contentious) Mexico border wall to try and curb the pandemic.
The game follows the bioterrorism of the first game, which saw a smallpox outbreak nearly bring New York to the brink of collapse. Now, though, the threat has moved to D.C. and with it comes the potential for the USA as a whole to grind to a halt. Although the threat is still there, the capital is a much more colorful environment than the grim, urban streets of the first game however.
According to Massive Entertainment's Yannick Banchereau, there were a few reasons why Washington D.C. was chosen for The Division 2. For one thing, the capital made sense as Massive wanted to "up the stakes to be a nationwide issue," while its varied locales and mix of open and enclosed areas meant that it was perfect for everything that Massive wanted from a setting for the game.
The Division 2 Gameplay Changes
Beyond a simple change of location, it does seem as though there are going to be a fair few improvements in The Division 2. In terms of numbers, the game's campaign is set to see a major bump in time. Whereas The Division clocked in at around 20 hours, The Division 2 will run at approximately 40 hours long when it comes to its campaign.
Aside from this, there are a few bits and pieces that players should be aware of. The Division 2 will contain 8-player raids, which should equate to an interesting dynamic for agents to contend with. On top of that, Ubisoft has plans for free content for the first year of The Division 2, although those who have the season pass will reportedly get this content before other users.
What this boils down to are some very strong predictions that The Division 2 could be a seriously big game for Ubisoft. The game has broken Ubisoft's own record for the number of players in a beta test, and it will be fascinating to see how this converts into success down the line. In particular, the title's end game will play a major part in long-term popularity.
The Division 2 End Game
One of the issues that The Division had was in keeping players around for its end game section. Thankfully, it looks as though Massive Entertainment has decided to combat this problem head-on for The Division 2. The game has reportedly been built with the end game in mind from the get-go, with a target of making a compelling end game that appeals not just to hardcore fans.
But, how will this end game look? For starters, the end game will unlock once the player has reached level 30 and completed three strongholds. Then, the agent in question will be able to choose between three specializations. These are the Survivalist, the Demolitionist, and the Sharpshooter, who focus on traps, explosive weapons, and sniping respectively.
Beyond that, another big change for the end game is the introduction of a new faction called the Black Tusk. This private military group are extremely tough and heavily organized, which should prove to be a major challenge for players. This should mean that The Division 2 has a rather impressive end game.
The Division 2 Dark Zones
When it comes to PvP, The Division had an intriguing take with its Dark Zone. This mechanic, which allowed tense PvP gameplay within an area with an emphasis on scavenging, will return in The Division 2, but with a bit of a tweak.
This time around, there will be three different Dark Zones. The Division 2's Dark Zones will be smaller, with a few mechanical differences from the more chaotic Dark Zone of the first game. For starters, killing another player will kick off an icon that other players can use to hunt you down, introducing a nice facelift to the cat-and-mouse feel - particularly since a bounty will be added if the player is particularly adept at killing off other agents.
The Dark Zones will also be made into a more even playing field. Weapon rankings will be levelled out, meaning that The Division 2 players with weaker equipment won't immediately be annihilated by better gear, which will ideally make the Dark Zones a little less intimidating and lead to some more interesting battles to boot.
That covers off everything The Division 2 players will need to know ahead of the game's release. Hopefully, The Division 2 will be a vast improvement on the original title, and provide gamers with a seriously strong shooter to sink their teeth into.