The Division 2 has finally been announced, kickstarting months of speculation in the run-up to its debut reveal at E3 2018. The official reveal of the game was short and sweet, but disclosed enough information to answer a few questions and pose plenty of new ones. Where will it be set? Will we return to the Dark Zone? Will the end game be any good? We try and answer all those questions and more in our guide to everything we know about The Division 2.
The Division 2 release date
The Division 2 release date has yet to be confirmed, but it seems likely that we will find out a release window at E3 2018, where Massive Entertainment have promised to show off our first look at The Division 2. The developer issued a press release that reads: “The teams are extremely grateful for all the support over the past two years and we can not wait to show you what we have planned for The Division 2 during the E3 2018 in June.”
Knowing that we will see a first reveal of The Division 2 at E3 in June, we can begin to predict when the game will launch. Ubisoft do not keep their hype trains running as long as they once did; Watch Dogs 2 was announced at E3 2016 and released later that same year. In contrast, the original Watch Dogs took two years to launch after its debut announcement, and there was an almost three year wait for The Division. With Ubisoft showing off The Division 2 at E3 2018, it seems likely to expect a late 2018 or early 2019 release.
A short wait to release seems increasingly likely considering the length of time the game has been in production; creative director Justin Gerighty revealed on a livestream that development of The Division 2 began just weeks after The Division launched, meaning there has been over two years of work put in so far. In addition, Ubisoft recently advertised for a 25 new roles at Massive Entertainment, suggesting development is really ramping up.
Finally, The Division 2 will be based on an updated version of the Snowdrop engine, and that the original game will receive a further two updates.
The Division 2 setting
Perhaps the most important thing about The Division is its setting; a wintery, pre-apocalypse vision of New York City. The environment was so minutely detailed that you could learn the layout of NYC by simply exploring the game. Presumably Ubisoft will be looking to replicate that success once more, but where? Will The Division 2 return to New York, or explore elsewhere in America?
A return to New York would most likely mean boroughs beyond those seen in the first game. That means exiting Manhattan and visiting the likes of Queens, Brooklyn, and perhaps further beyond the city limits. While Manhattan contains arguably the most iconic elements of New York City, there is plenty to see and do elsewhere. NYC is the heart of The Division, so it would be nice for us to return in The Division 2.
The pandemic in the first game, engineered by the terrorist Amherst, was part of a plot to destroy humanity and preserve the planet. A message sent to the player at the end of the first game offered them a position in Amherst’s group, which presumably wishes to spread the poison beyond NYC. We assume we won’t be joining the bad guys for The Division 2, but visiting a new locale as Green Poison spreads seems very possible. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, or Washington D.C all seem sensible bets, but with the globe set in Amherst’s sights, we could potentially end up in Europe, Africa, or Asia. Anyone fancy a virtual trip to Tokyo or Shanghai?
The Division 2 factions
Enemies in The Division were split into key factions; Rioters, who were regular folk taking advantage of the disaster; the Rikers, escapees from Rikers Island; The Cleaners, blue-collar workers using their sanitation equipment to eliminate the infected; and the Last Man Battalion, a rogue private military company.
But who will we face in The Division 2? Presumably regular old rioters will be present and correct, but new locations will call for new threats, and presumably the shadowy eco-terrorists behind Green Poison will play a greater role in combating The Division. We hope there is a suitable replacement for the terrifying flamethrower-wielding Cleaners, though.
The Division 2 Dark Zone
The main story is a great introduction to The Division, but the bulk of its appeal came from the Dark Zone; a terrifying, lawless PvP segment of NYC. A little like DayZ, every other player in the zone was potentially hostile, and could stab you in the back without even a moment’s notice. The best loot in the game could be found here, and you would need to extract it with tense helicopter rescues in order to secure it for use in the PvE areas.
The Dark Zone was a fascinating idea in 2016, but it would need a few extra features to deliver the same kind of magic in 2018. It already possess some of the core features of the popular battle royale genre, but can Massive Entertainment offer a new spin on survival scenarios that beat the highs of Fortnite and PUBG?
The Division 2 raid and other modes
Perhaps the key thing that let The Division down was its lack of content. Beyond the campaign and Dark Zone, the base game had little to offer, and DLC failed to fully rectify this. With any luck, Ubisoft and Massive will have learnt from this and launch The Division 2 with plenty of activities, including end-game attractions such as a raid and replayable dungeons.
It would also be nice to see PvP expand beyond the Dark Zone. With the Dark Zone being so tense and dangerous, it would be great to have a more casual competitive experience to unwind with. Watch Dogs 2 delivered this with several fun PvP modes, and Massive could learn a lot from Ubisoft’s successes there.
That is everything we know about The Division 2, plus plenty of things we are hoping for. What would you like to see in a sequel? Let us know in the comments.
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