Everything you need to know about The Division, out tomorrow on PS4

Ubisoft talks us through its epic new open-world shooter

Tom Clancy’s The Division launches on PS4 on 8th March 2016… that’s tomorrow! Set in a representation of New York ravaged by a biological attack, Ubisoft Massive‘s third-person, cover-based shooter features a heavy emphasis on player progression, loot collection and social interaction.

Having played the recent open beta of The Division, we had lots of questions for the team behind this ambitious new project. We got in touch with Martin Hultberg, IP Director from Ubisoft Massive to get some answers.

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The Division is a huge project with a lot going on — how would you describe it in a single sentence?
Martin Hultberg:
A highly immersive and social open world RPG-shooter set in the most realistically recreated New York ever, where a deadly pandemic has brought the city to the edge of collapse and even your best friend can become your worst enemy.

Loot-based shooters are becoming more and more popular. What’s your approach to the loot system in The Division?
Martin Hultberg:
We have separated them between two types of loot; equipment and cosmetic items. Equipment, like weapons and gear, affect the stats and power of your character. Cosmetic items allow you to create a unique character of your own. Being a shooter, weapons are of course important and they can be fitted with mods and skins to further enhance or change both performance and appearance.

Are you building The Division as a long-term experience? Will players have reasons to keep playing after finishing the main campaign?
Martin Hultberg:
We see The Division as the start of something bigger than just the initial release as we have extensive plans for updates and DLC. Our goal is to create a universe we can expand on, together with the fans who play it.

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The Dark Zone is an interesting social experience. At what point during development was it implemented, and what is its role in The Division’s overall ecosystem?
Martin Hultberg:
The Dark Zone concept has always been at the heart of the game. It is a social experience, with everything from casual social spaces, to cooperative group play and the risk of adversarial encounters in the Dark Zone. The idea is to create a very dynamic and tense situation with high risk and high reward; something that will resonate with players who want to explore, look for loot or fight other people.

What has the team learned as a result of the recent open beta? Have any significant changes been made as a result of player feedback?
Martin Hultberg:
I think we learned a lot. We found some issues we hadn’t seen before, got confirmation on how people acted with features like the Dark Zone, and had a chance to do loads of optimisation and bug fixes. This is what betas are good for and we got a great deal out of them.

What was the team’s goal when designing and implementing Proximity Chat? It certainly leads to some tense situations.
Martin Hultberg:
Exactly that! Communication is key and we have always tried to get this into our games. It is a perfect fit for the Dark Zone where we want to create tension, suspense and fragile teamwork.

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How 1:1 is the architecture and layout of The Division’s New York to the real-life city?
Martin Hultberg:
We’ve taken some liberties in recreating New York, but it is quite close. It isn’t just about the size, but the detailed recreation of everything from graffiti to certain buildings. It really feels like New York as you walk through it.

The Division excels as a multiplayer experience. Is it designed primarily around social interaction, or will players be able to fly through the game solo without feeling like they’re missing too much?
Martin Hultberg:
You can play it alone, for sure! There are many systems that encourage and try to tease that social experience of playing with or against others, but if you don’t want that then the game has a full single player experience as well.

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36 Comments
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Reduce the price on the PS store by 15 quid then I will think about buying this. Thanks.

ScrewThePooch 07 March, 2016 @ 17:45
1.1

Wow, just wow

1.2

Digital games on PlayStation have no real incentive and have absolutely no reason to be full price.

There is no manufacturing costs, so why the high price?

I’ll stick to physical games.

StevenJamesHyde 08 March, 2016 @ 08:33
1.3

Hey, the last game Ubisoft released came with a 15% launch day Plus discount – if this had followed suit I might have been tempted

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2
2

Here’s all you need to know if you didn’t feel like reading the post: It’s got waaaaaay more content and epicness than Destiny. You’re welcome.

2.1

Seriously more content than Destiny? Divisions been extremely vague on its end game, you know that thing you do after you’ve finished the supposedly threadbare 26 main missions and various tech collecting encounters/side quests … Dark Zone (seems like it could become dull fast, I suspect a few Dull Zone memes in its wake) essentially its just an area you hit-n-run other players for boringly familiar loot that you’ve gained from killing AI (so technically can be gained solo anyway).

Destiny (for all its harsh feedback) actual endgame had group raids, strikes, weekly nightfalls, daily bounties, competitive pvp including events that took actual skill like trials…and mostly an amazingly varied set of weaponry and perk changing loot… I honestly can’t see a wow factor in Division than when you first rolled a Gjallarhorn or Visions of Confluence.

I’ll hold my hands up maybe theres more than we know like dedicated pvp playlists, some style of faction v faction events to liven up Dark Zones ...

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Seriously more content than Destiny? Divisions been extremely vague on its end game, you know that thing you do after you’ve finished the supposedly threadbare 26 main missions and various tech collecting encounters/side quests … Dark Zone (seems like it could become dull fast, I suspect a few Dull Zone memes in its wake) essentially its just an area you hit-n-run other players for boringly familiar loot that you’ve gained from killing AI (so technically can be gained solo anyway).

Destiny (for all its harsh feedback) actual endgame had group raids, strikes, weekly nightfalls, daily bounties, competitive pvp including events that took actual skill like trials…and mostly an amazingly varied set of weaponry and perk changing loot… I honestly can’t see a wow factor in Division than when you first rolled a Gjallarhorn or Visions of Confluence.

I’ll hold my hands up maybe theres more than we know like dedicated pvp playlists, some style of faction v faction events to liven up Dark Zones mechanics and dynamic pve weeklies. I’m buying it, but purely due to being between games.

DrskaBitanga 07 March, 2016 @ 21:42
2.2

Saying that Destiny has content is like saying Spelunky is tons of hours of pure fun. Destiny is like WoW with 3 WoW-sized zones but only 10 times smaller. It’s impressive that anybody actualy claims that Destiny has content at all.

2.3

… well Division hasn’t been out 24hrs (give’n’take your timezone) and I’ve friends already at rank 20+ (its cap is only 30 so some will reach that tomorrow). I’m only 10 myself (but stopped to watch a few hours of tv) the main missions are admittedly atmospheric, looks sounds great but so far (at a guess I’ve done a 3rd of the main missions, a few twice on harder level) and I can’t imagine replaying any endlessly. The AI’s just too repetitive for starters (shield & axe dude, grenade or turret dude, flamethrower dude, sniper dude, epic bullet sponge boss dude… zzZZ).

I’d not mind all the above let downs if the game had decent pvp… but Dark Zones feel sooooo inanely pointless theres just zero feeling of competition. Essentially you kill mobs for loot (exactly like the campaign area) or you can choose to kill other players for loot/dz credits, but they can also kill you. Sure its fun a few times, but in its current format I’ll be bored senseless long before I eventually hit dz level ca...

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… well Division hasn’t been out 24hrs (give’n’take your timezone) and I’ve friends already at rank 20+ (its cap is only 30 so some will reach that tomorrow). I’m only 10 myself (but stopped to watch a few hours of tv) the main missions are admittedly atmospheric, looks sounds great but so far (at a guess I’ve done a 3rd of the main missions, a few twice on harder level) and I can’t imagine replaying any endlessly. The AI’s just too repetitive for starters (shield & axe dude, grenade or turret dude, flamethrower dude, sniper dude, epic bullet sponge boss dude… zzZZ).

I’d not mind all the above let downs if the game had decent pvp… but Dark Zones feel sooooo inanely pointless theres just zero feeling of competition. Essentially you kill mobs for loot (exactly like the campaign area) or you can choose to kill other players for loot/dz credits, but they can also kill you. Sure its fun a few times, but in its current format I’ll be bored senseless long before I eventually hit dz level cap.

Destiny had so much more going for it, especially if you’ve an appreciation of competitive pvp and running hard strikes and raids, sure it wasn’t as epic as BUNGiE’s previous red vs blue hit (from that other console) but I along with many millions pumped 100+ hours in… Division which I am having fun with, but I honestly doubt I’ll get 40hrs out of.

3

Finally :)

damienmcnugget 07 March, 2016 @ 18:09
4

Happy to hear that it’s possible to play a pure single player campaign. Makes it a lot more interesting to me.

singularAnomaly 08 March, 2016 @ 04:51
4.1

Yea but I’ve read somewhere that it will still need to be connected to psn (i.e you can’t play it if you are not connected to the internet). Which I understand is not big of an issue, but still…

Ubisoft said servers wouldn’t be up until tomorrow so reviewers would have to wait to play yet today there are hundreds of streams all day playing the game.

Been playing since the servers went live, had a few random disconnects but that’s to be expected at launch. Loving it so far though, top job from Ubisoft!

6.1

This is developed by Swedish Massive entertainment. Ubisoft is the puplisher

Umm, you do know Massive is an Ubisoft owned studio right? Hence the name Ubisoft Massive.

Can you free roam co-op in New York or is co-op only for set missions and the dark zone?

7.1

In the beta you could, so I assume so. :)

SolidSlack66 07 March, 2016 @ 21:55
8

pre-ordered the physical game from amazon, will arrive soon hopefully, but i also want to buy the digital gold edition of the game, but it’s not available, only the standard edition; any chance of release date on digital gold edition?

CoolRichy007UK 07 March, 2016 @ 21:59
9

Not the whole of newyork no buy

10

The Division is out tomorrow? Already I learned something from this article I didn’t know. :)

And that’s not sarcasm, like Destiny I have little interest in this since its announcement 3 years ago. Can safely say I will NEVER be picking this up.

Now, when is the next GOTYs coming, i.e. 100% single player only games like last years The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4? :)

“Everything you need to know”… not quite. But hey, the reviews won’t come out until tomorrow so that’s when I’ll find out if this game is worth a look or not. This is obviously and understandably a PR piece. I’ll wait until I know how much bad is there as well.

jamie-sixtyfour 07 March, 2016 @ 22:53
11.1

Most of this blog is PR, right? Outside of that its store posts.

bluemoon1987 08 March, 2016 @ 01:05
12

The timing of this release is spot on in fairness to Ubisoft. I wasn’t going to bother with this as it seems from gameplay clips and playing the beta like it’s something that will get boring very easily but due to the lack of new releases recently and we’re still a month away from Dark souls 3 and longer still from Ratchet and clank and Uncharted i’ve decided to get this so kudos to whoever picked the release date a week or so later and i probably wouldn’t of bothered.

12.1

It’s kind of like the Dying Light sweet spot.

12.2

Yeah agreed bluemoon1987 (fine name btw fella, take it ya a city fan?) Ubisoft picked an almost perfect launch date, marketing team pat yourself on the backs. Theres next to no competition, months after Fallout 4/Starwars BF/CoD-BoIII… people finances back on track after Xmas… nothing essential for at least another month.

Doom’s likely my next new game, I traditionally hold off on Souls and Uncharted games and get the goty editions at a later date.

singularAnomaly 08 March, 2016 @ 04:49
13

Make it playable offline and I’ll buy it.

I was considering this game but third person? No thanks.

Why is Digital so dammed expensive again?!

It needs to be cheaper for the buyers not a cash cow for you guys. I want to go Digital but will not till the greed is gone and margins are sensible on an item with no manufacturing or distribution costs. Until then I will be forced to keep buying used copies ultimately costing you cash. Deal with the digital games properly and charge more for physical, so if some one wants to sell on THEY pay the premium struth!

15.1

Because there is no competition, unlike physical editions they arent fighting over prices with other stores.

15.2

If they made digital games as cheap/cheaper than physical then obviously we’d expect to see a lot more people buying them. However, this means a lot LESS people buying physical and consequently gaming stores shutting down. In turn, this gives PlayStation/Xbox no highstreet retailer really pushing their consoles.

Not for me, between now & end of June it is all about completing ESO & Carmageddon as best I can before No Man’s Sky is out.

17

A full single player experience which requires a constant online connection.

CoolRichy007UK 09 March, 2016 @ 14:52
18

Im not buying this till sony deals with the trolls that get in the way of other players and stops them talking to npc,s and blocking doorways

mrobinson91 8 March, 2016 @ 3:18 pm 1.5 Report

For those asking why digital games are expensive: If they made digital games as cheap/cheaper than physical then obviously we’d expect to see a lot more people buying them. However, this means a lot LESS people buying physical and consequently gaming stores shutting down. In turn, this gives PlayStation/Xbox no highstreet retailer really pushing their consoles. If a time comes where Ps/XB don’t need the game outlets then I’m sure Digital games will drop in price,

Just wanted to comment on this:

I agree with what this person says but it would be nice if PSN could give customers a buy now pay next mth. offer or something like that or may be pay over a period of time for there high price digital games and maybe give there loyal long term customers discounts or offers, if they don’t already do that, that’s the only thing that puts me off buying digital games (the price of them), I bought a physical copy of The Division and paid £39.95 f...

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mrobinson91 8 March, 2016 @ 3:18 pm 1.5 Report

For those asking why digital games are expensive: If they made digital games as cheap/cheaper than physical then obviously we’d expect to see a lot more people buying them. However, this means a lot LESS people buying physical and consequently gaming stores shutting down. In turn, this gives PlayStation/Xbox no highstreet retailer really pushing their consoles. If a time comes where Ps/XB don’t need the game outlets then I’m sure Digital games will drop in price,

Just wanted to comment on this:

I agree with what this person says but it would be nice if PSN could give customers a buy now pay next mth. offer or something like that or may be pay over a period of time for there high price digital games and maybe give there loyal long term customers discounts or offers, if they don’t already do that, that’s the only thing that puts me off buying digital games (the price of them), I bought a physical copy of The Division and paid £39.95 for it with free P&P from an online shop and it arrived on the 6th Mar.
The only thing that’s confusing me about this game is the 12 mth or is it long term pass? what does it mean they say that it cost £3?.?? or something like that, are these all extras over the next 12 mth cos i thought once you bought the game that was it, other than that it’s a great game never played a game like it before.

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