The Division 2 is nearly upon us, so here’s the lowdown on what to expect from the game come March

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the sequel to Ubisoft’s multiplayer third-person shooter of 2015, The Division, set in an open world where players fight to survive amid America’s descent into anarchy, after a deadly bioweapon is released in the middle of Black Friday. While the first game took place in New York City, The Division 2 globe-trots further south to Washington D.C., complete with a new class system, a much improved game engine, and eight player raids, among other things. 

Ubisoft announced the game in early 2018, before it received a big media blowout at E3 later that year. Below, you can catch up on all the trailers, gameplay, info, and release date news on The Division 2 before its release next year, alongside details about its upcoming beta, which lets players put the game through its paces before launch day. Not long to go now, soldier, so best start preparing yourself early. 

The Division 2 release date is set for March 2019

You’ll be able to play The Division 2 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One when its release date arrives on March 15, 2019. For your reference, that’s just over three years after the original game came out on March 8, 2016 – though primary developer Massive Entertainment has kept busy with substantial post-launch updates since then.

The Division 2 private beta is arriving early next year

Ubisoft hasn’t said when The Division 2’s beta will begin, but given that it has to arrive sometime before the game’s March 8 release date, you can expect to see it go live either in January or February of next year. For guaranteed access into the private beta, you’ll need to pre-order a physical or digital copy of the game, but you can also sign up for a chance of getting in by registering interest at the game’s official website. There’s no details yet on what The Division 2 beta will entail, or how long it will last for, but expect to enjoy a reflective taste of what the full game plans to offer on launch day. 

The Division 2 locations include the White House, Air and Space Museum, and Roosevelt Island

At Gamescom 2018, Ubisoft confirmed some of the specific places you’ll be visiting in The Division 2, and it spreads far beyond the National Mall. Here’s what Ubisoft had to say about each of the confirmed locations:

Roosevelt Island: “Roosevelt Island is forested, people go walking in there, they go hiking and for us this is a mysterious place.”

Air and Space Museum: “Anybody who ever talks about it does so with a smile—it’s got aviation, it’s got space exploration, people often went there as children. Looking at the space alone looks fun, and it represents something for players to explore.”

The White House: This place stirs “strong emotions” in people, which is definitely putting things lightly, for better or worse.

The Division 2 trailer takes you to Washington D.C.

The original Division was all about New York City in the winter, beginning just weeks after a deadly strain of flu struck down most of its population and chaos seized the rest. The Division 2 will pick up months later in Washington D.C., which is looking downright apocalyptic at this point. Apparently the quarantine efforts failed pretty hard. Now it’s on you, an agent of the secret government sleeper group called The Division, to put things back together.

The Division 2 gameplay has a strong emphasis on the endgame

You still won’t pick a class when you start playing The Division 2, but you sort of will after you finish the campaign. The sequel introduces multiple Specializations that agents can pick up just as they’re getting ready to head into the endgame; selecting one will give you access to exclusive weapons like sniper rifles and grenade launchers, and unique variations of agent abilities. It’s sort of a class-lite system, and it sounds like a cool way to encourage planning for the new Raids. Yep, watch out Destiny – The Division 2 is getting raids, and they’ll support teams of up to eight players.

The Division 2 DLC will give away at least three new episodes for free

No word on whether The Division 2 will offer paid DLC – though it’s a good bet – but Ubisoft has already confirmed that every major expansion in its first year will be free to all players of the game. That said, there will be a “Year One Pass” for those who wish to cough up some extra money for all that The Division 2 will provide over its first 12 months, which includes a week’s early access to all major DLC, alongside a bunch of other cosmetic goodies and otherwise. 

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