Following the delay of Ubisoft's The Division until 2016, Ubisoft has subsequently held a closed alpha for the much anticipated title. However, access was limited to those who had preordered the title and agreed to an non-disclosure agreement. It having recently concluded Julian Gerighty, the associate creative director on the game, recently spoke with IGN about the The Division's current status and what players can expect as the game approaches its release next year.
Gerighty emphasized that The Division will - as previously described - indeed be an "RPG experience'. Largely because of the choices allowed for equipment and character progression.
"Do you want to build yourself out as a particularly lethal long range sniper agent who is able to push forward in that one challenging late game mission," Gerighty posed, "or are you going to step in the shoes of a healer with your group to make sure that your entire squad makes it?"
Gerighty assured that because of such RPG elements The Division will distinguish itself from other Tom Clancy games.
He went on to speak about the game's narrative, saying that despite there being an ending to it, they never had the intention of the game ending with a "final end credits roll". The Division will allow players to continue to explore the game's open world after finishing its story.
Gerighty alludes to the "late-game/end-game content" one might come across -- including missions and encounters that will be of an "ever increasing difficulty". What he highlights though are the Dark Zones, areas that enable multiplayer PvP competition within the game.
Gerighty refers as to it as the means for players to earn the best equipment, both by going up against factions and other players. The mode has been previously described by the game's developers on The Division podcast on Soundcloud as sections separate from the main campaign. Game director Ryan Barnard aims for it to be welcoming of those generally reluctant to participate in PvP, while maintaining a level of risk. The Dark Zones will maintain that danger by requiring players to initiate an "Extraction" for the items they find; only through this process can players permanently keep the items they come across [in this mode].
During the recent closed alpha, several clips of gameplay from The Division leaked online. At the time it remains unclear to what degree this is or isn't reflective of the final game. Much of the footage uploaded has since been taken down, as Ubisoft had prompted players not to share such content as part of the mentioned non-disclosure agreement. A beta is scheduled for sometime before release in 2016; the only way to secure a key for it is through pre-ordering the game. Ubisoft's open world shooter/RPG is currently scheduled to come to Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC March 8, 2016.