The sequel to Ubisoft's The Division has been kept thoroughly under wraps, but we now have a proper new trailer for The Division 2. The third-person action-RPG shooter attracted gamers on first release with its mix of randomized loot systems, tactical gameplay, and the ever-unpredictable dangers and rewards obtainable in the Dark Zone, a dedicated, anything-goes PvP area. Ubisoft officially announced The Division 2 back in March, but fans of the original game now can train their eyes on a trailer hinting at what's to come in the upcoming release.
The Division pulled in some serious numbers when it first launched, prompting a wave of successful sales and leading to a few considerably hefty rounds of DLC. Its players are thrown into a wintry city recovering from a chemical attack, with widespread looting and military engagements replacing Manhattan's holiday shoppers. Aside from quests and deathmatch options, one of the original game's most appealing features was the Dark Zone, a sectioned-off part of the map which offered the most dangers but also the most valuable loot, all of which had to be extracted by helicopter before being usable. Roving mobs of players stalked this demilitarized zone, leading to novel emergent gameplay and countless stressful encounters, where every blip on your map was not to be trusted.
The Division changed quite a bit en route to release, with early details demonstrating a collaborative system of mechanics, including a feature where gamers on tablet devices could assist in the fight by piloting remote drones. While several of these features were changed before launch, the hope was that The Division 2 would elaborate on the previous game's systems, offering additional game modes, opportunities for more run-ins with other players, and a more satisfying set of objectives in the post-game content. For those looking to see if the sequel can deliver, we can at least enjoy some preliminary impressions from the hot new gameplay trailer revealed at E3 2018.
The new look at gameplay features an environment that looks much less clustered and claustrophobically urban that the original game, with participants dodging around wreckage in a wide-open area, navigating through a downed passenger plane, and even climbing onto its wings and hull. The fluid menu systems look to be the same as The Division, with interactive windows opening and expanding in a way reminiscent of ARG experiences, and fellow player call-signs, health, and armor bars hover over their heads, supporting the tactical team-based approach to combat.
The first game may have suffered post-launch due to its dearth of post-game options, matters which may not seem specifically addressed in this new trailer but which Ubisoft is doubtlessly aware of. The interactive aspects of The Division's combat does look to be intact, if not improved, with coordination being used here to trigger a payload from a teammate's "chem launcher," covering the enemy mobs in impressive-looking flames. If the combat is indeed indicative of the finished game, it appears to be a little less reliant on having to hole up in a corner while contending with bullet-sponges, which would be welcome this time around.
Luckily, a proper release date has now been announced, with The Division 2 releasing concurrently on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on March 15 of next year. To get a head start on that, gamers can head to the website for The Division 2 for a chance to join the upcoming beta.