Back before The Division lost the plot, around the time of its first DLC expansion, its second DLC add-on; Survival was put on hold until Massive could iron out a bunch of the game’s problems. On Monday, on Twitch, Massive detailed what will come with the next expansion, due before the year is out. It sounds fun, but will it work, or just put us all back to where we were a month ago?
Survival sees players match-made into a lobby of 24 players, all set in the full map of New York that you’ve threaded for hours on end. The helicopter that was taking you into the city crash lands, and all of the Agents get scattered across the map. You have no gear, you’re in need of clothing, food and water. You must survive.
The game features PvE (player versus environment, or AI) and some elements of PvP, which is where the trouble might resume again. While playing, you have to get to the centre of Manhattan to acquire some antiviral medical supplies. That is your goal. You have two hours to do so, before you die.
However, you could die much sooner, if you’re not careful. Throughout the 2 hour mission, you have to find warming clothes. You have to find food to replenish your health. You also have to find water which without, your start losing your vision, making it harder to see what’s around you. You also need to find gear such as guns, grenades and ammo. But is there enough to go around for all 24 players? Why of course not! This is where it gets interesting, see?
The map will be modified to show a harsher environment. Everything will be covered in snow, and field of view will be much more limited. Interiors will be modified to contain fireplaces to heat yourself, and all clothing items will have a heat rating on them. One last thing. If you die, you’re out. Back to the main game, meaning you’ll have to start all over in Survival if you want to progress further. At the end of your Survival experience, you will earn a rating and maybe some new gear if you fared well enough.
During the mission, you may acquire gear that can be sent back to your base, for use in your regular play, not just in Survival. In that regard, it may be worth your while hopping in every now and again to see what you can find. The issue here though is that The Division is better with friends, but Survival looks like it won’t allow for co-op, if it’s making use of match-making. Will it allow for parties? We can only hope.
It’s all a very interesting concept for The Division, however it introduces mechanics that players will be unfamiliar with. You’re not ready for this. Perhaps you’ve played games like Rust or State of Decay, or even DayZ. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe your video game survival skills are of the novice skill-set. Maybe there will be more annoying bugs or people giving your gamer card a bad rep because you happened to pick up the food before they did?
It will be interesting to see how it turns out. Either way, it’s a paid expansion, available for free to those who already purchased the season pass, but there’s no release date just yet, or standalone price that I can find. The idea is sound, in a way, but will the execution be?