There are just days left until The Division arrives on store shelves. There’s been a lot about this game said since it was first announced at one of Microsoft’s Electronic Entertainment Expo briefings. Through a few delays and what feels like drastic changes in looks, gamers have stayed interested.
Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect over the next few days as The Division release date arrives and players start to populate the open-world, third-person shooter to hunt for character upgrades and save New York City from anarchy and a very dangerous virus.
The Division Release Date
The Division arrives for Microsoft’s Xbox One entertainment console, Sony’s PS4 gaming console and PCs running Windows on March 8th. Though the beta launches were staggered with Xbox going first, the launch isn’t. Everyone will get the game on the same day.
That isn’t to say that everyone will be able to play the game at the same time. The Division has a story and multiplayer that rely on it being able to communicate with Ubisoft’s servers. As such, The Division release day buyers need these servers to be active before they can play.
The Division’s servers will start allowing people to enjoy their copies of the game at midnight Australian Eastern Daylight Time or AEDT. In the United States, this server time seems to only correspond to physical copies of the game. Anyone that purchases a digital copy can expect the game’s servers to work on March 8th at Midnight Eastern Standard Time or EST.
Before buying, know that The Division absolutely requires a high-speed internet connection to work. The game won’t make it to the Xbox 360 or PS3.
The Division Deals
The Division deals are pretty hard to come by at the moment. The Microsoft Store is offering anyone that purchases a physical copy of the game there a $10 gift code to the Xbox Store. GameStop isn’t offering any boost in values when shoppers trade-in a game towards The Division. At least, such a deal hasn’t kicked off yet.
Best Buy Games Club Unlocked and Amazon Prime users do save 20% off all new games. Pre-ordering at either retailer saves some cash.
The Division Pre-Loading
With digital game purchases growing in numbers, PlayStation, Steam, Xbox and UPlay all offer ways to let users download their titles before release day so that they’re ready to play.
Pre-loading for the Xbox One version of The Division has already started for digital copies purchased through the Xbox Store. Anyone that purchased the game through Steam and UPlay can expect pre-loading to be available today, March 3rd at 9AM Pacific Time. Pre-loading will go live on Sony’s PS4 console on March 6th at midnight local time.
Pre-loading doesn’t mean that you get to play the game before it arrives. Digital versions of the game will unlock at midnight Eastern Standard time on March 8th in the United States specifically.
The Division Reviews
With The Division being so online focused, Ubisoft didn’t think it’d be wise to let video game reviewers get access to the title early. In a blog post this week the company confirmed that it wasn’t possible for it to replicate the real online experience of the game on the scale that it expects after release. There won’t be any The Division reviews before the game launches.
Some speculate that there’s a direct correlation between how late journalists are allowed to review a game and how great that game is. It’s too early to draw that conclusion, I think. If you’re nervous about how the game will play and waiting for reviews, plan on holding off on purchasing it until Friday or Saturday.
The Division Season Pass & Free Add-Ons
Finally, there’s The Division Season Pass to consider. Available as a standalone purchase or with the game in The Division Gold Edition, the season pass will unlock three different expansions over the first year of the game’s life. These expansions are called Underground, Survival and Last Stand. In addition to the expansions, monthly item drops are included with the season pass. For example, on launch day season pass holders will get access to a sawed-off shotgun, a few new outfits and some weapon skins.
New game modes, challenges and rewards will be delivered in free updates that everyone will get access to. Ubisoft confirmed this in a recent post on the UbiBlog about the expansions.