Over a year in, has Ubisoft proven that it’s third-person shooter The Division is here to stay?
When looking back at the slew of problems that Ubisoft’s gritty third-person shooter encountered during its first few months, you’d be forgiven for thinking that yaboi Ubi abandoned the project and moved on.
That, however, would be a grave mistake.
Dropping three DLC packs to lukewarm reception, Ubisoft has gone and done something that many believed to be permanently absent from their repertoire, the French-based studio has proven that it’s keen to restore its image as a development house that puts the needs of its customers first.
Just this month, Ubisoft has dropped what is possibly The Division’s largest update. And they did it all for free. The 1.8 update sees the game receive what is possibly the largest slice of Player Vs. Environment content to the game since its launch. The 1.8 update slaps a brand new zone called the “West Side Pier” to the game, and sandwiches in a brand-new horde mode with incredibly success.
Among countless quality-of-life and performance upgrades, the new update brings what can only be called a precursor to what The Division 2 will be like. The new game mode, Resistance, sees Division agents pairing up in groups to tackle waves upon waves of baddies for the promise of loot.
At first glance, resistance is nothing more than a horde mode – but the addition of pushing deeper into enemy territory and unlocking paths through performance turns the game into something akin to a reverse zombies mode from Call of Duty.
It’s relatively simple, but brutally effective. As what is seen as the only substantial addition to the game’s PvE segment, it’s no wonder that Ubi is throwing it our way for free after nickle-and-diming the playerbase through three largely PvP-focused DLC packs.
The surprise update doesn’t just end with Resistance, however. New guns, a new 4v4 PvP mode, and changes to the Dark Zone that make it more than just a PvP gank-fest and rolled into the mix. All of this while still being set within the post-bio attack version of a Christmas-covered New York City.
As much as what Ubisoft is giving its players is great, we can’t help but want more from the game’s narrative. Although the final antagonist proved to be underwhelming at best, Ubisoft has left a nice little breadcrumb trail for future developments through the notorious rogue Division agent, Aaron Keener.
Those that have finished the campaign know the notoriety that Keener exudes on the rest of the game’s cast of characters, and should his audio logs in the 1.8 update be trusted, The Division is heading toward a much more global scale on its next iteration.
While a global biological attack may be too far-fetched for the game to pull off once more, the prospect of operating within a tight squad of globetrotting Division agents has us salivating already. We can only humbly prostrate ourselves and ask: pls Ubi.