Tonight brings a slew of news from Ubisoft’s The Division franchise, which will soon be boosted by the arrival of free-to-play spin-off The Division Heartland.
Originally announced in May 2021, Heartland has been in closed testing for over a year now – but there’s still a lot to be done before it gets a final launch date.
Tonight, Ubisoft instructed interested players and their parties to register for access to a new round of testing (at thedivisionheartland.com), ahead of “more news this summer.”
Heartland moves the series’ city-based action to a rural small-town America setting, and is described as a survival action PVEVP shooter where you fight AI factions and other players. You play as a Division agent on a quest to keep the city safe from the virus itself, along with other rogue agents.
The game’s opening sees you assisting Boston agent Mackenzie Reed, who has arrived in Heartland’s setting of Silver Creek in search of a former boss “rogue agent” who murdered the team she commanded.
Heartland begins with you helping Reed set up a base of operations. You’ll also have to get used to the day/night cycle, where after dark you can face enemy players and the game’s focus on survival increases. Even during the day, it looks like you’ll have to search for water and other resources.
The franchise’s pandemic virus is different here, apparently, and it’s up to you to help Reid find out why. Changing zones of infection will move across the city every day, and you’ll need to use a mask (the one you get with the consumable filters) to detect within its range.
Ubisoft also provided an update on The Division 2 Year 5, which begins in June and brings a new game mode called Descent, a free roguelite mode that won’t require you to have the Warlords of New York expansion. The game’s Castle will also be rebuilt, while later seasons will bring a new Incursion and – later this year – more (which appears to be paid) DLC. If you buy the Year 5 Premium Pass first, you can dress up as Sam Fisher, while the outfit surrounding Resident Evil’s Leon S. Kennedy will be free to claim in the coming days.
The Division Resurgence, a free-to-play mobile game that bridges the gap between The Division 1 and 2, is also a thing.