Ubisoft‘s strategy change can already be felt in this game, as the new The Division is going to be a free-to-play game, and not an AAA title.
The first leaked video features Taylor Epperly, Red Storm Entertainment‘s lead game designer, who introduces the game to the testers (internal reviewing, the game is currently is in a closed beta test). Here’s what she said: „You’re about to play a whole new The Division experience. In this free-to-play open-world survival action shooter, we move from the big cities to a small town American city called Silver Creek. You’ll come to know Silver Creek and its mysterious story through a co-op PvE mode called Expedition. Then, once prepared, you’ll hop into a 45-player PvPvE mode called Storm.
Both modes will have you scavenging, exploring, looting, fighting, and surviving, all while avoiding the most aggressive and unpredictable virus contamination The Division has ever seen. The team feels that we have something really exciting, but to make it the best game possible, we need your unfiltered feedback. Your feedback is crucial to delivering the best experience possible at launch. To that end, we’ll be sending you a short survey during the test,” Epperly said.
The second video can be accessed via a download link. The beginning has some commentary (as we could only find it in such a format anymore, as Ubisoft tries its best to wipe the video from the Internet, but they should learn that it’s never going to happen). So, click here to access the 20-minute gameplay video. From it, we learned that Silver Creek is heavily contaminated with the virus, which is why the players must protect themselves using mask filters, or they will get sick and start taking damage, especially in the two most contaminated categories of the town (heavy, severe).
The Division Heartland seems to split specializations into Assignments. (Shooter, Medic, and Survivalist) Each provides unique abilities and perks. Players will have to activate SHD Beacons to reveal intel on potential areas with loot such as enemy encampments. They can also craft Prep Items in their base to deploy them for tactical advantage.
The Division Heartland will launch by the end of March 2022 on consoles, PC, and the cloud.