Tom Clancy’s The Division free weekend starts today

I never expected to like heavily instanced MMO shooter The Division [official site] as much as I did, but performing the cover-and-shoot-and-flank loop against its curiously strong hoodie-wearing enemies was moreish and a great backdrop for playing with friends. That’s why we named it yesterday as our favourite co-op game of the year, and that’s why it’s good news that there’s a free weekend for the game running from today until December 18th.

The free weekend begins today at 10am PST / 6pm GMT and runs until Sunday, December 18th at 1pm PST / 9pm GMT and allows you to “play through the entirety of the core game, along with all of its free content updates.” You obviously won’t be able to complete such a large multiplayer game in that time, but the progress you do make will carry over if you decide to buy the full game, which will be on sale at 50% of its usual price. That makes it £20/$25 right now. The DLC season pass is half-price too, as is the bundle of both.

If you’re planning on trying the free weekend you don’t need to wait until 6pm tonight to start downloading, as pre-loading is available – although, yes, taking part in all of this does mean you’ll have to remember your Uplay password.

[It’s now on Steam too -update ed.]

The Division is one of those games I feel like I’d be playing a lot of if it wasn’t my job to constantly be playing new games, and if my life wasn’t at a point where I had very little time to play anything. It’s a total comfort game. You trek into a snow-covered New York which is being torn apart by a virus and various factions of looters, take some quests to kill some angry men, collect some loot, and then head back to expand your HQ and craft some new items. The combat itself shows signs of having gone through a bunch of different iterations, but where it ended up is with a system that rewards headshots and some basic tactics employed with your co-op partners, but which doesn’t necessarily require either excellent twitch skills or much concentration. Playing it with Adam was some of the most fun I had this year.

Or here’s what Adam said in the above linked Calendar entry:

“Brendan is right – The Division is junk food. Specifically, for me, it’s the kind of junk food I want to order from a takeaway when I’m hanging out with a few friends on a Sunday night and we’re at a loose end. I’ve used it as a chatroom and hangout, and that feels a little bit disrespectful considering how much work went into actually building the place. I’ve also played a fair bit of solo, when nobody is around to share the family bucket with me, and even when I can see how the loot and shoot loop is working, it still manages to fasten around my limbs and trap me in its web.”

10 Comments

  1. freiform says:

    I just received a copy with my new keyboard. I guess that’s a good opportunity to test The Division before deciding whether or not to sell my copy.

    While I heard good things about it, especially about the game being constantly improved, I’m not really into FPS, let alone the multiplayer variety. Maybe It will provide a few good casual sessions, though.

    • Ghostwise says:

      It’s pretty, it’s big, it’s atmospheric and there’s a lotta things to do.

      The one genuine danger is to piss oneself laughing about the politics, but then it says “Tom Clancy” on the cover.

      • freiform says:

        I never read or played something related to Tom Clancy. The name occasionally pops up and for some reason rainbows come to mind, bus besides that I have no idea about the specifics. With all the military stuff he has going I could guess, though..

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          Risingson says:

          Haven’t you played anything with Tom Clancy in its title or watched any Tom Clancy adaptation? Or even read about that? Even no one ever mentioned that to you in a conversation?

          • RuySan says:

            The name “Tom Clancy” also doesn’t mean anything to me, and I read a lot of books. His popularity is probably an American or British thing.

          • freiform says:

            Well, of course I read the name, what with it being printed on PC game boxes for ages. And occasionally I glimpse one of his books in a bookstore. But the themes never appealed to me so I never played/read any of his content. Having played The Division for an hour or two yesterday, I guess I’ll go back to that ignorant state.

            I like the graphics and polish style it delivers on first glance. But the menu, who is responsible for that menu? Also, I find the average NPC taking that amount of direct hits before finally calling it quits a bit ridiculous. Well, I suppose it’s not for me, although I could refine my opinion a bit ;)

            On the bright side, I can sell my bonus-key which makes my new keyboard even more of a deal. And then I’ll take my old Notebook, make myself comfortable on the couch and finally finish The Dig!

    • ninjapirate says:

      It’s not an FPS though, but a third person shooter. It handles more like Mass Effect, for instance.

  2. Jabberslops says:

    I played the “beta” just before release and found the game to be pretty and detailed, even on mostly low setting with a backup GTX 560ti (while I waited for my replacement RMA card) I got @35-45fps. The combat made the experience feel awkward though, because the bullets I shot into heads didn’t seem to do anything to the mobs and grenades were also somewhat of a novelty. The “hub” was also annoying with everyone getting in the way when trying to turn in missions or just walk around.

    I think it would have been more fun if the mobs were weaker, like Borderlands 2 levels 1-50 before switching to true vault hunter mode. I’ve watched video of people playing what looks similar in bullet sponginess to ultimate vault hunter mode which made Borderlands 2 far less fun when it took ages to kill anything without an amp shield or the bee shield.

    I’ll still give it another shot though.

  3. Bjulle2 says:

    Can’t get it to work on Steam.. downloaded the game, it’s linked to Uplay/Ubisoft, but it want a CD-key/Activation Code… cant get passed it…

  4. GemFire81 says:

    Something missing in this game. Honestly I think its love. I mean the graphics look amazing, but the characters in the story are boring and dry. A lot of the gameplay concepts and ideas are just so cut and paste. I just kept feeling like I was just killing the same exact guys over and over. On top of all that , its another mmo style game that feels alone and empty from a co-op standpoint. If I could just jump in and meet people to voice chat with and play with than I probably would not mind killing the exact same enemies over and over and over and over again.