The Division

Smart, stupid and scrappy, The Division is an ambitious online RPG that delivers strategy and spectacle in equal measure.

Spotlight

Digital FoundryThe Division delivers another powerhouse upgrade for Xbox One X

A huge resolution boost over PS4 Pro with other improvements too.

Digital FoundryFace-Off: The Division

PC takes point in Digital Foundry's three-way analysis.

Key events

18th March 2016

Face-Off: The Division

15th March 2016

The Division review

The Division delivers another powerhouse upgrade for Xbox One X

Digital FoundryThe Division delivers another powerhouse upgrade for Xbox One X

A huge resolution boost over PS4 Pro with other improvements too.

The Division was a controversial release back in 2016. On the one hand, there were claims of a downgrade from its initial reveal trailer, but on the other, Ubisoft Massive still showcased some beautiful technology in the final game. In fact, booting it up today on Xbox One X - now updated with an enhanced 4K patch - it's striking how vast the Snowdrop's engine feature set actually is. Volumetric fog effects, real-time reflections, object physics and parallax occlusion maps help anchor this post-apocalypse Manhattan as something real and believable. The terrain isn't just a wasteland of derelict cars either. Factoring in the beautiful snow particle effects and lighting, there's a vibrancy to the map that dodges the grittiness of most apocalyptic shooters. Two years on, The Division still holds up - and it's a real treat on Xbox One X.

As of patch 1.8.1, Ubisoft Massive gives the game a substantial resolution boost on the new Microsoft machine, along with a suite of minor visual extras that all combine to make this great 4K demo material. The game is something of a tricky one to firmly pin down in image quality, with temporal anti-aliasing, chromatic aberration and a dynamic resolution in play on every console, from PS4, PS4 Pro and even Xbox One and X, but our final numbers are fascinating nonetheless, with the new Microsoft console really flexing its muscles.

But first, let's backtrack a little. PS4 Pro already has its own enhanced patch to support ultra HD TVs - an update we missed when it first dropped - but it doesn't hit the lofty heights of a full, native 4K resolution. In fact, the highest number we picked up in pixel counts is 3200x1800 while indoors, with a dynamic scaler letting it flex downwards at stress points. And although 1800p is the upper bounds of the scaling range, there is a catch. Like all of the console versions, the Snowdrop engine reconstructs the image while movement is static, to give the impression of a true 4K. It's convincing as long as you stay still, but once we step forward, the illusion breaks and resolution drops.

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The Division's latest update adds Xbox One X enhancements, two new Global Events

Ubisoft's latest update for The Division, known as Update 1.8.1, has now released on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, bringing with it a range of tweaks and additions, including two new Global Events, and 4K support for Xbox One X.

The Division's two new Global Events are Blackout and Onslaught. The first is scheduled to begin at the end of April, with the second due to launch at the end of May.

In Blackout, agents are equipped with Shock Ammo that stuns enemies. By running and shooting, it's possible to increase your Charge meter, with more damage being dealt to opponents the greater the Charge.

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The Division 2 details leak online ahead of announcement

The Division 2 details leak online ahead of announcement

Sequel to launch after further updates to Division 1.

Ubisoft has had a surprise announcement of The Division 2 leaked after its press release popped up online, seemingly earlier than planned.

The announcement is fairly low-key - it's a pledge to keep The Division 1 updated for the foreseeable future (more on that in a moment) but that the team at Massive Entertainment is now working on a sequel.

The Division 2 will again run on the studio's own Snowdrop Engine, albeit an updated version.

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The Division update 1.7 adds global events and loot boxes

The Division update 1.7 adds global events and loot boxes

Reworks gear, adds face masks, lets you change your face.

Still playing The Division? If so, you should know its next big update drops tomorrow.

Update 1.7 adds new global events, with modifiers for the whole game, as well as activity modifiers for specific tasks. They sound like the modifiers and burns added to Destiny's weekly activities.

Word of loot boxes being added to the game is also tucked into the patch details. These "Encypted Caches" contain "exclusive emotes, outfits and skins" which can be purchased with "premium credits, or assembled from key fragments, which you can collect by completing commendations or killing named bosses".

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Ubisoft and The Division dev announce new Avatar video game

Ubisoft and The Division developer Massive Entertainment are making a new game set in James Cameron's Avatar world of Pandora. It's in partnership with Cameron's Lightstorm company and Fox.

There are no concrete details about the game only hyperbolic waffle about how excited everyone, including James Cameron, is. Apparently the partnership was agreed upon after Massive showed an early game prototype built on its Snowdrop engine.

Says Cameron in an announcement trailer: "With the power of Massive's Snowdrop game engine, and with the team's passion and obsessive focus on detail, we know they're the right group to bring the beauty and danger of Pandora to life."

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The Division's next big expansion is coming to PS4 and Xbox One at the same time

The Division's next big expansion is coming to PS4 and Xbox One at the same time

Last Stand buffs up the PvP in Ubisoft's open world shooter.

The Division's third big expansion, Last Stand, is coming out on PS4 and PC at the same time as Xbox One, following a period of timed exclusivity for Microsoft's console which covered the first two add-ons for Ubisoft's game.

Last Stand places a focus on the PvP in The Division, adding a new separate game mode away from the Dark Zone where players previously fought each other. 'Last Stand is session based and features clear objectives and win conditions, while still incorporating aspects of the Dark Zone such as PvE enemies and Landmarks,' reads the official blurb on Ubisoft's blog detailing the expansion.

Players will need to be at Level 30 to get in on the Last Stand expansion, and the PvP modes will be 4v4 with teams working to control capture points in matches that last a maximum of 20 minutes. The Division's twist on a staple multiplayer mode is that NPC enemies will be patrolling the maps, guarding capture points and awarding points themselves when downed.

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Best-selling Steam games of 2016 revealed

Mix of old and new, big and small.

Happy New Year! Valve has revealed the top 100 best selling games on Steam in 2016. And given the size and dominance of Steam in the desktop gaming marketplace, the results are worth noting.

The Division's next big expansion adds survival mechanics

The Division's next big expansion, which we already knew after its announcement at E3 would be called Survival, lives up to its name with the introduction of survival mechanics as part of an all-new game mode.

Ubisoft announced further details on the paid expansion during a surprise livestream today (watched by an attentive Kotaku), which revealed the expansion will drop 24 players into a snow-covered instance of The Division's map, stripping them of their high level gear and tasking them to get to the centre of the map. There in the Dark Zone they can find antiviral drugs that can cure their sickness - with players also having to manage hunger, thirst and keeping on top of their illness as they build up a tolerance to medication. Sounds fun?

The mode will be available in both PvE and PvP flavours, and if you're downed in either mode without a teammate nearby to revive you you could be kicked out of the session. A session looks to have an upper limit of two hours - at least that's how long you're expected to survive before your sickness kills you.

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The Division 1.4 patch reinvents the game's single-player

Remember The Division? It feels like longer ago than March it launched and everyone got stuck in that door. While some hardcore players are still grinding away, many who tried The Division have since moved on.

Well, judging by the scope of Ubisoft's massive new patch, the developer is hoping you might fancy coming back for another go.

Simply put, the update - numbered 1.4 - is enormous.

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Big changes are coming to The Division

Ubisoft wants to bring back "the shooter feeling".

The Division, Ubisoft's big online multiplayer-focused third-person shooter, burned brightly at launch but quickly faded as a myriad of gameplay, performance and technical issues left players feeling disillusioned.

Ubisoft announces The Division film starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Ubisoft announces The Division film starring Jake Gyllenhaal

And Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain.

A film version of Ubisoft's The Division is on the way, starring Donnie Darko's Jake Gyllenhaal and Interstellar's Jessica Chastain.

The duo will also help develop the film - both of their own production companies are involved.

It still sounds like early days. Ubisoft's press release suggests the project has yet to pin down a story.

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Last month we reported that Donnie Dark and Brokeback Mountain actor Jake Gyllenhaal would be playing the lead in a film adaptation of Tom Clancy's The Division. Now it's looking like he may be joined by Zero Dark Thirty and Interstellar star Jessica Chastain.

Squad goals: Returning to The Division

Empire state of grind.

It's been a while, New York. About three months in fact. Three months since Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment surprised an audience turned cynical by Watch Dogs, The Crew, Assassin's Creed Syndicate and anything else with a watchtower to climb. The Swedish studio delivered a coherent and compelling 'shared world shooter; a game that matched Ubi's obsession with map-littering busy work with an infectious loot grind and deceptively complex character building. Not to mention the genuinely innovative combination of PVE and PVP, The Dark Zone.

The Division's major Survival expansion teased

The Division's major Survival expansion teased

Plus, a Splinter Cell outfit.

The Division's second big expansion, Survival, sees players take to a new blizzard-filled environment. The enemies are tougher, the environment is harsher, but you must persevere for the sake of a possible cure for the game's pandemic.

Details are thin on the ground, but it will be coming soon - and first to Xbox One and PC, as is the norm.

Before that, The Division's Underground expansion arrives later this month. It also includes Ghost Recon Wildlands, Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six Siege outfits for your character to download via Ubisoft Club.

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The Division fixes a major bug in today's big Conflict update

The Division fixes a major bug in today's big Conflict update

Patch 1.2 also brings new Incursion, Dark Zone loot hijacking.

The Division's long-promised 1.2 game update lands today, bringing with it new activities, fresh gear and a second end-game Incursion mission.

There's also a nifty new mechanic where you can nab Dark Zone loot from those around you after it has been tied to the extraction helicopter.

But, for fans, one of the patch's most welcome additions will likely be the raft of bug fixes it also brings.

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The Division's next free update, Conflict, is due next week

The Division's second of two free content updates, Conflict, will arrive on 24th May for PS4, Xbox One and PC and developer Ubisoft has outlined exactly what it entails.

Conflict adds Clear Sky, a new Incursion in Columbus Circle in which players fight escaped Rikers inmates to take back an anti-air missile site.

The free update will also add high-value targets (HVT). These high-level targets must be eliminated within a limited timeframe and you only get once chance to tackle them. You'll get a list of these HVT by speaking to the HVT officer in your base, who will offer a suggested gear score you should have before tackling these targets.

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UPDATE 25/4/16 9.45am We've since learned the enemy AI glitch reported by some players and mentioned below does not work after all. But that's not to say the game is now working as intended - far from it. Here's a rundown of all The Division glitches, as collated by the community.

The Division's big Incursion update has got off to a very rough start

The Division's big Incursion update has got off to a very rough start

Deleted characters, faulty matchmaking - is Falcon Lost really worth the trouble?

I was hoping to write a nice big impressions piece today of what it's like to play Falcon Lost, The Division's first Incursion that was added as part of its most significant update yet. What a lovely excuse to return to New York I thought as I not-so-selflessly set an evening aside to shoot things in the face in the hope of a better set of kneepads. After a night of frustration, it hasn't quite turned out like that.

Perhaps one of the more remarkable things about The Divison's launch is how there wasn't that much to remark upon. That queuing bug that saw players form an orderly line behind a laptop was an almost charming blot on an otherwise smooth release, suggesting Ubisoft has done much to address the issues that beset the launch of something like Assassin's Creed Syndicate.

The first night of The Division's big update felt like a return to the good old disorderly days, though. Three hard crashes, two server crashes and a glitch that meant I spent the first two hours of the evening standing around starting areas for daily missions waiting in vain for them to trigger wasn't quite the return to New York I was hoping for, and I'm not alone in having trouble, with some players coming up against more serious issues than that.

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The Division's huge new update detailed in full

The Division's huge new update detailed in full

Adds Gear Score, gear sets and bounty-like assignments.

Ubisoft has detailed the full patch notes for The Division's update 1.1, which is set to go live next Tuesday, 12th April.

There's the headline features we already know about: the game's first raid, or "incursion" activity for four players with characters at the current level cap, 30.

And there's the ability to trade items between players in your group - you just drop them on the ground.

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The Division's first big update looks to fix the Dark Zone

The Division's first big update looks to fix the Dark Zone

Rewards for going Rogue tweaked, plenty more fixes detailed.

Ubisoft has revealed full details of the first significant update for The Division, with the headline tweaks looking set to make the Dark Zone a more tantalising place for end-game players.

In the days since The Division launch, players who raced to the level cap found that the Dark Zone - the game's PvP space - was lacking, with little incentive for players to fight each other and poor rewards for those looking to acquire Phoenix Credits, the end-game currency required for acquiring high level gear.

Update 1.0.2 increases the amount of Phoenix Credits dropped by high level enemies, and the tweaks the rewards associated with players going Rogue. The full list of Dark Zone tweaks can be found below, while if you're after the full list of changes you can find them at Ubisoft's official blog. Update 1.0.2 is due to be implemented during server maintenance scheduled for tomorrow.

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It's been just over a week since The Division's launch, and it's been a successful start for Ubisoft's online RPG so far - week one sales for the game saw it topple Destiny as the biggest new IP launch, with it taking in some $330 million in just five days. With around 50 hours on the clock, I'm still having fun rolling around an abandoned New York, too, mopping up side missions while dipping in and out of the dailies in a slow and steady effort to build a load-out of shiny yellow high-end gear in preparation for the incoming Incursions, The Division's take on MMO raids.

Face-Off: The Division

Digital FoundryFace-Off: The Division

PC takes point in Digital Foundry's three-way analysis.

After two beta tests, some might say that The Division was a well-known quantity even before its full release. Ubisoft's multi-platform testing was exhaustive, allowing us to get a good measure on visual quality and performance. From a console perspective, changes since then are minimal but there are one or two welcome visual improvements on PC.

As before, the main point of separation between consoles comes down to resolution. PS4 permanently runs at native 1080p, while Xbox One operates using dynamic resolution scaling, which sees pixel quality reduced in more complex scenes. For example, outdoor areas tend to operate at 1792x1008 and 1728x972, with the engine switching back to native 1080p when moving indoors or into less detailed environments.

In practice the lower resolution is quite subtle, but there are areas where the difference is noticeable. Texture details on street signs and distant objects are blurrier on Xbox One, and sub-pixel edges are less clearly resolved. It's perhaps the main sticking point with this version of the game, though image quality still manages to hold up well considering the drop in pixel count.

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The Division review

RecommendedThe Division review

Divide and conquer.

A week after the release of The Division, maybe we're finally in a position to pin down exactly what this big budget genre hybrid is. Maybe not, though. In the run-up to the launch of this ambitious online open world action RPG, countless comparisons have been made to Destiny, Bungie's own MMO-tinged shooter, though that only goes a very small part of the way towards understanding what Ubisoft Massive has conjured up here. Given that The Division is perhaps the ultimate manifestation of Ubisoft's maximalist design philosophy, it might be simpler going through what it isn't.

The Division

Publisher: Ubisoft

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The Division is UK's biggest ever Q1 launch

The Division is the UK's biggest ever game launch during the first three months of any year.

The online shooter's arrival last week was the biggest Q1 debut for any game since previous record holder, PS2 racer Gran Turismo 4 back in 2005.

Ubisoft previously said that The Division was its biggest ever game launch worldwide full stop.

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VideoWatch: Three days with The Division

Thoughts so far from the video team.

The end is in sight for the first week of what Ubisoft hopes, I'm sure, will be a long journey for a lot of people. I'm talking of course, about The Division, which this week has both proven to be Ubisoft's biggest launch and not without its problems.

Performance Analysis: The Division

Finally released into the wild after two beta tests, The Division fully opens its incredibly detailed recreation of New York City to the masses. Besides a few issues, the game seems to be holding up well. Online connections have been consistently stable for us, while in terms of all-round console performance, there's little to separate the finished game from the solid beta code we sampled a short while ago. Ubisoft has delivered another technically sound title with The Division on consoles, and both platforms offer smooth gameplay and impressive visuals that really immerse you in the deserted streets and buildings of post-outbreak Manhattan.

In terms of resolution, we're on familiar ground. PS4 features a solid native 1080p presentation throughout, while on Xbox One dynamic resolution scaling is in effect. Indoor areas and less demanding scenes see the game output natively in 1080p - just like PS4 - but as we move into outdoor areas and more detailed locations, we see the pixel density take a small hit, with 1792x1008 and 1728x972 framebuffers appearing. The knock-on effect is that street signs and fine details on distant objects appear a little softer on Microsoft's console - but it's a minor quibble, and most of the time the two versions look extremely close during gameplay. The difference between the two is more visibly felt when disabling the chromatic aberration filter, due to the increase in sharpness and clarity doing so provides.

Ubisoft has done a good job maintaining parity between the consoles in the majority of key areas. Anti-aliasing appears to be provided by SMAA, with a temporal component adding an extra layer of coverage to the presentation; as such, image quality remains smooth and mostly free from artefacts. The core art and effects work are also a match. Streaming is one area that can be a touch inconsistent, though, with Xbox One sometimes being a fraction slower to load in high-quality assets in some scenes. However, during gameplay, neither platform gains a visible advantage for extended periods, with one console sometimes displaying mip-transitions a little faster, and vice versa. Texture and shadow pop-up are visible across both consoles as we slowly traverse the densely detailed city streets.

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The Division is Ubisoft's biggest ever launch

The Division is Ubisoft's biggest ever launch

But not bigger than Destiny.

The Division has sold more copies in 24 hours than any other game in Ubisoft's history.

Ubisoft trumpeted the news in a blog post last night, but did not claim The Division had won the most sales of any new game in a new franchise in a 24 hour period - that record still belongs to Destiny.

But Ubisoft has now laid claim to three of the top four most successful new game brand launches in the history of gaming - the other three behind Bungie's shooter.

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The Division's first two paid expansions have 30-day Xbox exclusivity

The Division's first two paid expansions have 30-day Xbox exclusivity

But the third one launches simultaneously on all platforms.

The Division is getting three paid DLC expansions, though it turns out only the first two of these have 30-day Xbox exclusivity.

As detailed on the Ubisoft Blog, the first paid expansion, Underground, tasks players with tracking down enemies in what's ostensibly a new map of subway tunnels. The second paid expansion, Survival, "tests players' ability to survive and gather crucial supplies in an incredibly hostile environment." Sounds like it might be some sort of "horde" mode where you fight impending waves of enemies.

The final paid expansion, The Last Stand, will launch simultaneously on all platforms "next winter".

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Tom Clancy's The Division is a strange beast. On one hand, it's a really fun cover based shooter; on the other, it looks like it ought to be populated exclusively by Liam Neesons. While the loot system is pleasingly comprehensive, there's something about The Division's realistic setting that renders the loot itself a bit, well, dull.

The Division beta sets record with 6.4m players

Tom Clancy's The Division beta was played by 6.4m players this weekend, setting a new record for betas of new IPs on current-gen platforms.

To put this in perspective, Destiny's beta was played by 4.6m players.

Of course, when Destiny's beta launched in July 2014 far fewer people had PS4s and Xbox Ones. It also wasn't available on PC, like The Division was.

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Watch us play The Division open beta live

VideoWatch us play The Division open beta live

Infectious gameplay with Ian and Tom from 3.30pm UK.

The Division is back in beta and this time everyone can take part.

Ubisoft's open world looter and shooter now has more things to see and do - so we're suiting up for an adventure in its infected New York.

Join Ian "Greetings gamers!" Higton and myself from 3.30pm UK time for a tour of The Division's new story mission, plus a look at what else you can expect in the beta this weekend.

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What's new in The Division open beta

What's new in The Division open beta

Subway morgue mission! New faction! More!

The Division's open beta is live right now on Xbox One, while the doors will open on PC and PlayStation 4 from tomorrow, 19th February.

This may be your first taste of The Division. Or, if you tried the game's closed beta, it may be a welcome return. Either way, here's what you should know about The Division's latest changes.

The open beta's biggest addition is of the main game's second mission, Subway Morgue, which introduces a new faction: The Cleaners.

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The Division open beta available for early download now

The Division open beta available for early download now

Nab the 26GB client before doors open.

The Division's open beta doesn't begin until later this week, but you can now download its client to your console and be ready as soon as its doors open.

Ubisoft's beta officially launches tomorrow, 18th February, for Xbox One owners and the day after for everyone on PC and PlayStation 4. The testing period will then continue until Sunday, 21st February.

The beta client is a fairly hefty download, so here are the links to get it downloading straight away, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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The Division open beta dates, details

The Division open beta dates, details

Expands on closed beta with second story mission.

Ubisoft will throw The Division's doors open for everyone to try later this month.

As previously leaked by Microsoft, the open beta will be held from the 18th-21st February on Xbox One, and from 19th-21st February on PC and PlayStation 4.

Anyone will be able to try Ubisoft's ambitious online shooter during this time, and helpfully you'll be able to download the game's client from 16th February (for the closed beta it was around 27GGB).

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The Division trailer outlines its skill system in under three minutes

Curious about The Division, but still trying to sort out exactly what it is? Well here's Ubisoft to break down the basic components of its skill system in just over two-and-a-half minutes.

Players must choose between 12 skills, split between three categories: Medical, Technical and Security.

Examples include the Medical skill Pulse, which highlights enemies through walls and obstacle. Technical skill Sticky Bomb is self explanatory, and Security skill Ballistic Shield offers portable cover of sorts.

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Digital FoundryTech Analysis: The Division on PC

How the PC code improves over console, and what it takes to run the game at 1080p60.

The Division's recent beta impressed us on a visual level on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, particularly in terms of its lighting, effects work and solid performance - but it's on PC where Ubisoft Massive's technology really comes to the fore. You're going to need top-tier hardware to get the most out of the game at 60fps, but initial impressions suggest that there's enough scalability in the engine to get a good experience across a range of hardware.

Digital FoundryThe Division on Xbox One uses dynamic resolution scaling

The beta version's image quality under the microscope.

We had some interesting feedback to our initial article on The Division beta, which concluded earlier today. Pixel-counts pegged the Xbox One version of the game on par with the PS4 offering at full 1080p, yet many noted that image quality seemed noticeably softer in motion, even when both versions were set to the same image sharpness setting. Ubisoft's decision to extend the beta for a further 24 hours gave us a chance to revisit the game and after further analysis, what seems clear is that a dynamic resolution scaler is in effect on the Microsoft platform.

There's 90 seconds until the extraction is complete and I'm eyeing the clock. I'm standing next to a guy I met up with a few blocks back. He was pinned down by looters. We finished them off together and exchanged jumping jack emotes, then headed off to the extraction point to secure our reward.

The Eurogamer Podcast

We talk XCOM 2, The Division beta and TRUCKS.

Hello again! We're back with the second episode of our video games podcast and this time it's all about XCOM 2. Or at least, it really should have been. After awarding Firaxis' latest a big golden badge yesterday, I assumed I'd have free reign to just talk about that for upwards of an hour, but, unfortunately, there were some other people on the podcast too.

Looks like The Division will get an open beta this month

Xbox Italy's official Facebook page has details of an open beta for The Division.

Ubisoft's online shooter will throw its doors open to the public from 16th to 21st February, the page has detailed.

This second beta test (the first to be public) has yet to be officially announced, so things may still change - although Microsoft should probably know what's what.

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The Division beta PC players are giving themselves godlike powers

The Division beta PC players are giving themselves godlike powers

UPDATE: Ubisoft vows to thwart cheaters before the game comes out.

UPDATE 2nd Feb 2016: Ubisoft has vowed to thwart The Division cheaters ahead of the game's launch in March.

In a statement published to the Ubisoft forum, the company addressed cheating in the closed beta, which we covered in detail below.

Ubisoft said there will be a system in place to block cheaters by the time the game comes out, although it stopped short of explaining how it would work. Here's the statement:

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The Division beta rolls on for another night

The Division beta rolls on for another night

Ubisoft extends testing period until 11am Tuesday.

There's good news for anyone with access to The Division's current beta: Ubisoft has extended its duration until 11am tomorrow, 2nd February.

Still levelling up your DZXP? You now have 24 hours extra to do so, although it's worth remembering your character and progress do not carry over to the final game.

And for those still waiting on entry, Ubisoft has said it is opening up a fresh wave of keys for people who've signed up online.

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Watch: Are betas beneficial for players?

VideoWatch: Are betas beneficial for players?

It's this week's Eurogamer Show.

The closed beta for The Division has gone live, letting players close car doors and look at digital dogs to their hearts' content. With the game so close to launch though, is the beta really a meaningful test exercise for Ubisoft, or is it simply another marketing beat?

Aoife and I sat down to address this very question (and show off my lovely new haircut) in this week's Eurogamer Show. Let me know what you think of my lovely new haircut in the comments below. Share your thoughts on video game betas too, I guess.

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Performance Analysis: The Division beta

Digital FoundryPerformance Analysis: The Division beta

A strong showing on consoles as Ubisoft Massive aim for platform parity.

The Division's beta may not match its spectacular E3 2013 demo point-for-point - back then a mascot for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One's brimming potential - but what we have today still outshines most current-gen titles in its technical spec. A post-pandemic New York sets the stage for some of the best lighting seen on console, harnessing plumes of volumetric fog, high quality screen-space reflections, and wind-affected particles. Atmosphere is king, and the rich, snow-battered look of its streets is a real showcase for the new Snowdrop engine.

But where precisely is the advantage on the console front, if any? We've dug deep into both PS4 and Xbox One betas, and ultimately the answer to this lies in the game's performance, rather than visuals. Both are capped at 30fps, and each holds strong at this number around Manhattan's most hotly-contested zones. Main story missions run without a hitch on PS4, while "go to X and defeat Y" style side-missions run equally well - on Sony's machine we encounter no spikes in the target 33.3ms render time needed to hit this frame-rate.

Xbox One is almost as solid too, with just minor issues. You get a near-locked 30fps, but in blowing the front doors during the Madison Field Hospital main mission, it shows a 28fps lurch downward not seen on the rival console. An adaptive v-sync is revealed at this point, and with screen-tear kicking in for a block of frames on our graph. But this is a one-off, and in scouring The Division for any other hits to performance on this machine, all side-missions come out at a flawless 30fps, and it's only a later shootout in a diner that flags a second instance of a performance drop.

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Digital FoundryThe Division has graphics settings we're not used to seeing on console

UPDATE: Ubisoft Massive discuss further console settings that could improve performance.

UPDATE 7/2/16 12:15pm: A recent Q&A session with Ubisoft Massive reveals that final PlayStation 4 and Xbox One builds of The Division could feature even more graphics settings. A developer revealed it's possible to tweak the game's lighting to improve frame-rates. In theory, this will let users balance the visuals and performance as they please.

Everything you need to know about The Division beta

Everything you need to know about The Division beta

Start times, PC specs and more ahead of the weekend's closed beta.

Ubisoft and Malmo-based developer Massive's ambitious, MMO-ish The Division is finally going to be in our hands in the coming days thanks to a closed beta that's running throughout the weekend on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. That glitzy reveal at E3 2013 seems so long ago, and as you prep yourself to play here's all you need to know to get up and running.

First up, you might want to know a little about what The Division actually is. Put simply it's Ubisoft's big open world RPG shooter - though if that concept's a little too unwieldy to grasp, think along the lines of Destiny in a seamless open world with a slightly stronger emphasis on the role-playing side of things, with nice shiny tech trees to work your way through and lots of oh-so-Clancy gadgets to toy with. Oh, and there's a lot more snow, too. You can read about what we made of it during a recent hands-on session, have a look at some quick gameplay impressions or, you know, play the beta that's landing this week. Speaking of which...

When does The Division beta start?

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PlayStation 4 players can download The Division beta now using this one weird trick

UPDATE 28/1/16 1.55pm: Pre-orders for The Division no longer grant access to the game's closed beta.

We discovered the change while attempting "this one weird trick" on another of our office's machines today.

Ubisoft has not yet commented on the change to its policy - although the number of people pre-ordering then cancelling their Division pre-orders just to gain beta access is likely the cause.

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VideoWatch: Tom Clancy's The Division - E3 2013 vs now.

Tom Clancy's The Graphics Comparison.

Tom Clancy's The Division feels like it's been in development for a long time, mainly due to the fact it has been in development for a long time. With just two months until publication, Martin spent some time with The Division to see how it holds up (and work out what you actually do).

Since Ubisoft revealed The Division back at E3 in 2013, there have been plenty of questions whizzing around it - and when we first set eyes on it, we weren't quite sure whether the ambitious open-world shooter with MMO tendencies would be subscription-based or a boxed release.

What you actually do in The Division

Two hours with the beta for Ubisoft's ambitious open world shooter.

So, what is it you do in The Division? Put in the simplest possible terms, you pad around its gloriously authentic, seamless and recently abandoned New York and you shoot things while working to push the numbers up; watch those digits that float out of the enemy's head shoot skywards, keep your fingers crossed that at the end of it all there'll be a nice new gun that can make even bigger numbers possible and, hey, why not hold out for a nice new hat as well? It's not that hard to get a handle on it after all. You might even have played something just like it not too long ago.

The Division beta gets January launch date

The Division beta gets January launch date

One day earlier on Xbox One.

The Division's beta will run from 28th-31st January on Xbox One, Ubisoft has announced.

PC and PlayStation 4 owners then get the beta from 29th-31st January - so a day less in total.

Ubisoft just revealed the dates via The Division's Twitter page. Access is open to everyone who has pre-ordered the game, as well as folk who sign up to the waiting list on Ubisoft's site.

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Tom Clancy's The Division trailer leaks new gameplay footage

Tom Clancy's The Division trailer leaks new gameplay footage

UPDATE: Video de-quarantined by Ubisoft.

UPDATE 13/1/16 8.45am: Here's yesterday's leaked trailer, now in officially published Ubisoft-o-vision:

ORIGINAL STORY 12/1/16 3.05pm: It's been a long wait for The Division, but now - eight weeks from release - Ubisoft looks set to finally draw back the curtain on its post-apocalyptic online shooter.

A new Italian trailer for the game popped up online this afternoon and was quickly pulled - but not before it was hosted elsewhere.

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Some fantastic games came out in 2015. Unfortunately, quite a few (hopefully) fantastic games didn't come out in 2015. With the likes of The Legend of Zelda Wii U, Tom Clancy's the Division and Uncharted 4 all pushed back into 2016, I decided to take a look at some of the upcoming games we really ought to own by now.

The Division beta delayed from December to early 2016

The Division beta delayed from December to early 2016

But there's an Xbox One-exclusive closed alpha this week.

Ubisoft has delayed its beta for Tom Clancy's The Division. The test was due to run this month, but will now take place in "early 2016".

However, a limited, closed alpha test will instead take place this week - but only on Xbox One.

Pre-order customers will be the first to receive invites. Then, other users who registered via Ubisoft's website may get invites as needed.

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EGX 2015: The Division playable, $100k CS: GO tournament

New Assassin's and Rainbow Six are also Brum-bound.

This year's EGX, the UK games festival formerly known as the Eurogamer Expo (and run by our parent company Gamer Network, disclosure fans), will be the first opportunity to play Ubisoft's 2016 juggernaut The Division in the UK, it has been announced. By which I mean, the guys a couple of desks away have told me.

The Division's companion app has been canned

It "created an imbalance".

Tom Clancy's The Division was going to ship with a companion app on mobile devices that would allow players on the go to interact with their friends playing the main game. That feature has been nixed.

The Division release date set for March

The Division release date set for March

Beta later this year on Xbox One.

Tom Clancy's The Division will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC simultaneously on 8th March 2016, Ubisoft announced at its E3 press conference.

A beta will be available later this year on Xbox One before arriving on PS4 and PC in early 2016.

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Xbox One gets exclusive The Division beta

Xbox One gets exclusive The Division beta

Plus: Xbox One Rainbow Six: Siege comes with free Rainbow Six Vegas 1 & 2.

Ubisoft has announced, on the Microsoft E3 stage, that Xbox One will get an exclusive beta for The Division this December.

Massive Entertainment's co-operative online shooter was shown in a brand new trailer. It looked graphically more down to earth than a few years ago.

Ubisoft's US boss Laurent Detoc also announced that Xbox 360 games Rainbow Six: Vegas and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 will be given for free with Rainbow Six: Siege on Xbox One. This will be achievable via the just-announced native Xbox One backwards compatibility. Siege launches 13th October.

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The Division set for an early 2016 release

Unannounced "triple-A title" teased for same window.

Ubisoft's upcoming post-apocalyptic survival game, Tom Clancy's The Division, has been delayed. It's now targeting an early 2016 release, Ubisoft revealed in its most recent financial report.

Does The Division live up to its promise?

A first look proper reveals an exciting if familiar game.

Following the widely perceived Watch Dogs downgrade from its spectacular E3 2012 reveal to its eventual release last month, there's been much attention on Ubisoft's wider line-up - and whether, following its similarly spectacular reveal at last year's show, The Division will follow the same trajectory. A first look proper, away from the blinding testosterone levels of an E3 conference, gives something of a mixed answer.

Tom Clancy's The Division footage shown off

Ubisoft sprouts a new look at the Snowdrop engine.

Ubisoft has shown off a new look at its impressive Snowdrop engine, which is currently in development for PC and next-gen online shooter Tom Clancy's The Division.

Eurogamer readers' most anticipated games of 2014

Your top 10 choices for the year ahead.

We've had our say already, and typically we were probably well wide of the mark, so it's now your turn to let us know what games you're looking forward to over the next 12 months. Thanks to all who voted (but no thanks to whoever suggested Pong, and to the handful of people who put forward Half-Life 3, well... I'm sorry). The top 10 are presented in reverse order below - and it was incredibly tight out at the front, with the top result beating out the runner-up by only a couple of votes. We've also included some of your comments, although since the submission form was anonymous we can't say exactly who made which point. Sorry about that - if you feel particularly proprietorial about one of your insights that we've highlighted, tell the world in the comments. Onward!

Ubisoft quiet on The Division delay report

Hope the wait's not too Massive.

The Division publisher Ubisoft has remained tight-lipped on the game's launch date despite a recent report that suggested the post-apocalyptic shooter will be delayed into 2015.

Outside Xbox investigates The Division

And Mike goes nuts for Forza Motorsport 5.

Hello Eurogamers! We picked you in the internet Secret Santa draw (shh), so we got you this selection of the week's videos on Outside Xbox. We hope you like it, it was this or socks.

Author Tom Clancy dies, aged 66

Prolific writer whose work inspired dozens of games, passes away in Baltimore hospital.

Tom Clancy, the prolific author of best-selling espionage thrillers, has died at the age of 66, his publisher has confirmed. Clancy passed away in a Baltimore hospital close to his home in Maryland.

Ubisoft confirms Tom Clancy's The Division for PC

Ubisoft confirms Tom Clancy's The Division for PC

Xbox One exclusive content announced, companion gaming detailed.

Ubisoft Massive has announced that next-gen online shooter Tom Clancy's The Division will be available on PC as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The PC version was confirmed this morning by the game's executive producer Fredrik Rundqvist on YouTube.

"Since E3 we've been carefully listening to what's been said on the internet. We've read your posts and discussions, and I can't enough stress how important it has been for us to feel your support and commitment to the game.

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The Division to launch towards the end of 2014

The Division to launch towards the end of 2014

Ubisoft expects Watch Dogs to sell over 6 million copies.

Eye-catching PlayStation 4 and Xbox One open-world game The Division will launch towards the end of 2014, Ubisoft has said.

The game's release window was narrowed by Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot during an investor call last night.

The Crew, a co-production between Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections, is nearer release. Ubisoft expects it to launch during Q1 2014 - so, by April next year.

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The Division: Massive by name...

The quiet Swedish studio breaks cover with a smart new wave MMO.

Petter Mannerfelt and Nicklas Cederström from Massive Entertainment sat in a dark corner of Ubisoft's E3 stand, wincing. The room was weird: a prefab triangular closet with a few chairs, no lighting and no roof, it was at once secluded and under constant, bone-shaking sonic bombardment from the synthesised thump and crash of trailers and Just Dance routines roaring out of the loudest sound system on the show floor. In the suite next door, Massive's game The Division was being demonstrated to showgoers through wireless headsets. It was the only way to be heard. Cederström said that after a day talking to reporters on the stand, their throats would be so raw they'd have to communicate with each other using hand gestures.

Showcased playing live on PlayStation 4 as the zinger to Ubisoft's otherwise trailer-strewn conference, The Division reinvigorates our expectations of next-gen gaming. With its always online, post-pandemic take on New York City, it features a slew of advanced effects-work and physics that are hard to believe could be possible on current console technology. It's the technical pin-up of the moment, taking the mantle previously held by Ubisoft's own Watch Dogs (and the now sadly defunct Star Wars 1313 project) as indicators of what could be achieved with exclusive development on PS4 and Xbox One.