Ubisoft's third-person shared-world shooter The Division has certainly had its struggles since its explosive launch last year. In fact, we predicted earlier this year that Ubisoft's plan for its second year of operation "dooms it to a slow death." But it's possible that we were a bit hasty in that judgment: The upcoming 1.8 update, "Resistance," is "the biggest update for the game so far," with two new game modes, a West Side Pier map expansion with two zones, and a new "Camp Clinton social space." And it will be free for everyone.
The two new zones in the West Side Pier will be open to all players, and it sounds like that's where the action is going to be. "Defeated factions were last seen converging towards the sector and seem to have started working together for the first time," Ubisoft said. "The Division must investigate the area to confirm that factions are indeed forging an alliance and determine the reason for their sudden interest in this location."
It will also be the home for two new game modes: Resistance, a PvE mode in which up to four agents try to survive for as long as they can against waves of enemy NPCs from all factions, and Skirmish, a four-on-four competition "to get the highest number of kills before the time expires," which is probably more handily described as Team Deathmatch.
The update will also make improvements to the Underground DLC, change up the rogue mechanics, optimize the gear system, and bring in that new Camp Clinton social space, "where players can gear up and meet up with other agents."
The big question is whether it will be enough to push The Division's player count up to a more respectable level. It's averaged just over 4000 concurrent players over the past 30 days, which is good enough for the top 100 but only about ten percent of the average concurrent player count for Ubi's other online shooter, Rainbow Six Siege. New modes and maps is a good start, and it's great that Ubisoft isn't giving up on it, but that's an awful lot of ground to make up. The new PVE content, in particular, is exactly the kind of thing Tim was calling for in his piece. But with the arrival of Destiny 2 on PC in October, there's a good chance players will be distracted by that.
The 1.8 "Resistance" update doesn't have a hard release date yet, but Ubisoft said it will reveal more information in a Twitch livestream scheduled for 8 am PT/11 am ET on August 31. In the meantime, we're working on some impressions of what the 1.7 update has brought to the party.