Ubisoft confirms that The Division will not include Brooklyn at launch, although the studio has shown plenty of footage from that area since the game's announcement.
The Division is poised to bring near-total destruction to New York in less than two months, when a virtual Big Apple will become filled with thousands of players attempting to carve out a space for their own survival after society falls to its knees. The premise of The Division is daunting, and evidently so has been developing of a game of this size: Ubisoft has now confirmed that one of the previously featured boroughs of New York - Brooklyn - won't be available at the time of the game's launch.
The announcement comes as somewhat of a shock since Ubisoft has already shown off several Brooklyn-based locations like the Dumbo neighborhood after they initially unveiled the game more than two years ago, and even seemed to give a strong focus on the Brooklyn Bridge itself. It's clear that Brooklyn will come to the game as some point, but for now gamers are left scratching their heads as the bigger question of "will we have to pay for this content" is floated around.
It's clear that Ubisoft has been planning an extensive downloadable content plan to support the title post-launch, and gamers will be given the option to purchase a season's pass when the game comes out with March. Whether Brooklyn will come as a paid content feature remains to be seen, but Ubisoft did go on to confirm what borough gamers would be able to kick off from: Midtown Manhattan, home to famous locales like Hell's Kitchen, Time's Square, and Madison Square Garden.
Creative Director Magnus Jansen revealed that the decision to place players in Midtown Manhattan was story-based, and was confident that players would find "more than enough to sink [their] teeth into" in the one-to-one recreation of New York's boroughs:
It is because of the 1-to-1 recreation and the way the pandemic has [happened]. Basically, everything has been hit and there are no more resources because everyone tried to get out. There is no more gasoline in the cars, there is no traffic, you're on foot.
Fans will finally get a change to test out The Division when its closed beta begins on January 28th. At that point, players can judge for themselves whether they feel Midtown Manhattan gives them enough room to move around.
The idea that New York is cut off at an inter-borough level isn't a new one to videogames, and Grand Theft Auto fans of old may have flashbacks to Liberty City. This time, however, accessing a neighboring borough looks like it may cost money, although Ubisoft has promised to support the game post-launch with free content in tandem with paid DLC.
The developers recently revealed that they originally considered adding in a microtransaction system that would let players skip entire missions, and after this week's confirmation about Manhattan, it looks like a solid coin flip as to whether the Brooklyn Bridge may be locked behind a paygate.
What do you think about The Division not including Brooklyn at launch, Ranters?
The Division is slated to come to the streets of New York (and everywhere else) on March 8th for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. A special Xbox One bundle that includes the game was also recently announced.