Yesterday, Ubisoft surprised everyone when they announced that The Division was uh, evolving, for lack of a better term going forward. While Massive is busy working on Avatar and Star Wars games, the torch is being fully passed to Red Storm, which has been doing substantial development on The Division 2 for a while now.
The Division: Heartland has been announced, a standalone, free-to-play game on Xbox, PlayStation and PC probably coming out in 2022. There were really no details offered about the game at all, only that you don’t need to play previous titles to enjoy it, and that it would be a “different” perspective on The Division universe.
The more I’ve thought about this and talked with folks, the more it seems obvious what this will be.
This is likely The Division doing a standalone Survival mode, and it’s the reason that despite an overwhelming amount of fan requests for it, The Division 2 never added it.
Survival was a mode that was introduced way back in November 2016 for The Division 1, long before Fortnite had taken over the world. It was certainly battle royale-esque, but back then that genre was just starting up with games like Rust and DayZ.
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In the mode, you battle both other players and AI enemies to remain alive in a snowed-in map, also having to deal with cold, hunger, thirst and disease as you scavenge for supplies to heal yourself and weapons to fight with.
In The Division 1, you could earn gear there you could take out into the other modes with you after you finished, and generally speaking it was one of the most well-received additions to the franchise over the years. As such, it stands to reason that these clues A) a free-to-play game B) set in Rust-like open landscapes when C) The Division 2 never got Survival, equals that yes, Heartland probably is a standalone Survival game.
How the mode will have expanded in the last five years, I don’t know. Clearly they were on to something when they made it in the first place, but now it will have to deal with half a decade of advancements in the genre, and transform at least to a certain extent accordingly.
It will also, presumably, not be attached to a larger looter, so fans of the exist Division series may not enjoy an inability to collect loot they can hang on to. I do see how they could still use RPG elements like skill trees or such as you build characters in different ways to survive the mode, which would set it apart from existing BRs. But we’ll see.
I’m almost positive that is what Heartland is going to be, but we’ll have to wait until testing starts to know for sure.