Additional content isn’t only a way of keeping money rolling in for video game developers. By their very nature, they offer players the opportunity to dive back into a game long after they’ve completed its main story. DLC packs often include new levels to complete and locations to explore. The Division Survival Expansion stands to do the same thing for the company’s now three-month old online shooter.
Ubisoft confirmed The Division Survival Expansion earlier this year. That confirmation came during a video promoting The Division’s Season Pass. Unlike most shooters, The Division mixes third-person shooting mechanics and online play for a connected experience. Players create their own member of Strategic Homeland Division, then go through the game’s missions, leveling up and acquiring new gear.
Here’s what we know about The Division Survival Expansion so far.
The Division Survival Expansion Trailer
Ubisoft may have confirmed The Division Survival Expansion earlier this year, but it sure didn’t provide any details about it. At the time, staying quiet about the upgrade made sense. Before Ubisoft can launch Survival, it first has to get The Division Underground Expansion done and available to users.
Then, a new trailer for the expansion arrived on Microsoft’s Xbox YouTube Channel. The trailer begins with what’s clearly an agent of SHD sneaking around Manhattan Island in the dead of night. It’s still winter, the same season that the game’s main story is in, revealing that a significant amount of time hasn’t passed.
A helicopter crashes and the SHD agent is forced to think quickly about his next moves. He manages to avoid the crashing aircraft, but is left unsteady in the process. With the environment outside deteriorating, he heads into a store looking for supplies. A gang shows up, eager to kill him at all costs. That’s despite him not having supplies.
Still unsteady, he eventually succumbs to the group of armed attackers surrounding him. The screen goes dark, as if preparing to leave the fate of the SHD agent unknown. Three other agents suddenly come to his aid. A description of the video reveals some detail: “SHD agents have run out of supplies in the middle of a harsh Manhattan winter and will have to survive as long as possible in a very hostile environment.”
Everything in The Division Survival Expansion trailer seems open to interpretation. Some speculate that the game will add a new mission type that throws increasingly dangerous enemies at a team of players. The idea some sounds very similar to what Halo offers with Firefight and Gears of War offers with Horde Mode. At this point, we just don’t know enough about what Ubisoft Massive, the game’s developer has planned.
The Division Survival Expansion Release Window
In that aforementioned effort to provide context for purchasing the season pass, Ubisoft did give players a relative idea of when they could expect The Division Survival Expansion release to arrive.
The game update was set sometime for the summer of this year, after the game’s earlier expansion launched. It would The Last Stand Expansion release would have followed sometime this winter.
All of that changed in late August. In a blog post on The Division website, massive confirmed that issues and bugs were harming gameplay in ways it didn’t like. To address these issues, the studio revealed it’d delay The Division Survival until well after summer’s end. The delay is so it can dedicate teams and infrastructure to improving what users already have with Update 1.4. The Division Update 1.4 will launch in October. Survival is still set for release this year, but won’t be available before October.
Update 1.4 will allow users to run through the Base of Operations, balance enemy difficulty, improve the single player experience, tweak the Dark Zone, stop weapon skins from taking up slots in a player’s inventory and make “loot drops more relevant to the play,” Massive says.
Unfortunately, despite the 2016 launch, gamers won’t all get to enjoy The Division Survival Expansion at the same time. Microsoft and Ubisoft have a deal that ensures only those with an Xbox One or a Windows PC get access to large-scale content updates on release day. PS4 owners will have to wait for a month before they can play whatever the expansion has to offer. Survival will be the last upgrade that this agreement will apply to. The Last Stand will arrive for everyone, all on the same day, Ubisoft says.
If The Division Survival does launch sometime in November, Ubisoft still plans to have the exclusive delay. Theoretically, that could mean that PS4 users don’t get their hands on it until January.
The Division Season Pass & Other Additional Content
The Division Survival will cost $14.99, if the price of the game’s Underground expansion is an accurate indication of Ubisoft’s plans. Luckily, users don’t have to buy it on its own. The Division Season Pass includes monthly drops of character items and access to every expansion. It’s $39.99 on the Xbox Store for Xbox One, PlayStation Store for PS4 and Steam for PC players.