Tom Clancy’s The Division came out in 2016 and it seemed like an ideal cross between shooter and MMORPG. The game immediately set itself apart with its contemporary setting, a realistic depiction of a snow-covered New York City enveloped in a pandemic crisis. Two years later, Ubisoft has announced that a sequel is in the works and that it’s set to appear at E3 2018. To prepare you for what’s ahead, here’s what we know about Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, as well as what we’re hoping to see from it at this year’s E3.
What We Know So Far
The Division 2 was first revealed when news of the game leaked through stock website 4-Traders in March 2018. While seemingly dubious on its own, an image showing The Division 2’s logo was soon discovered on Ubisoft’s own website. Ubisoft eventually got in front of the speculation not long after and confirmed the game’s existence in a livestream.
The original developer, Massive Entertainment, is working on the upcoming sequel in collaboration with Red Storm Entertainment and a number of Ubisoft studios (including Reflections, Anney, Shanghai, Bucharest). The game will run on an updated version of the Snowdrop engine, which was used to make the first game.
In a blog post, Massive Entertainment expressed its desire to build off the lessons learned working on the original, and has proved its attitude to keep improving by continually updating the first game. This is evident in The Division’s 1.8 update that added global events, Dark Zone changes, and tons of new gear.
Massive has remained vague about the setting of the next game saying, “we’ve always envisioned the story in the game we launched in 2016 as the beginning chapter in a larger saga.” It seems this statement implies the possibility of branching out of New York City to paint that bigger picture Massive envisions..
Currently, The Division 2 doesn’t have a firm release date. According to an Ubisoft earnings report, the game is expected to release by the end of the 2019 fiscal year, which ends before April 2019. While no platforms have been confirmed, it’s likely The Division 2 will release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
What’s Confirmed For E3?
The Division 2 is scheduled to appear at E3 2018–likely at Ubisoft’s press conference on June 11. Ubisoft says a “full reveal” is planned; though, what exactly that entails hasn’t been discussed.
What We Hope To See At E3
Since its initial announcement, we’ve heard next to nothing about The Division 2. We’d love to hear more about what the game is adding to the experience that isn’t in the original. Some of the major features on our wishlist are ones that were revealed in early trailers for The Division 1, like destructible environments, a larger map, a more personal story, as well as a companion app that lets you drop bombs on your friends game when you’re not playing.
In addition, we’re hoping to see tough choices incorporated into your character’s journey, potentially involving a faction system that gets away from the shoot-all-comers approach of the first game, so as to better complement its global public events. Based on Massive Entertainment’s approach to The Division 1, they’re likely to focus on expanded endgame content this time around, which they previously identified as an area of growth. The original’s Underground DLC introduced randomly generated levels and could prove a very creative foundation for improving on Incursions and Legendary missions in the sequel. We’re also hoping the developer focuses in on better loot and places to find it.
Ideally, we’d like to see a more cohesive vision for co-op and PvP areas. The first game was an odd mix of wandering an empty world, instanced Safe Houses full of other players, and the very unbalanced PvP Dark Zone. Although it’s tough to have it both ways, we’d love to see Massive Entertainment find clever ways to make both approaches work seamlessly with The Division 2.
A post-pandemic world, New York City in winter was fantastic in The Division 1, especially in the Survival DLC. However, we never got to know the survivors or see them begin to rebuild their lives outside of one personal base. For the game’s sequel, it would be great have a new environment to explore and an extensive cast of meaningful NPC characters to meet.