The first open "Tom Clancy's The Division" beta is now available for Xbox One users ahead of the game's release March 8. The beta will be available for PS4 and PC users who preordered the game on Friday. The first public data included several bug fixes, a new enemy faction, new skills and an updated Dark Zone experience.
"The Division" beta lets players engage in the solo campaign or the multiplayer Dark Zone. The beta introduces players to The Cleaners, a group of firefighters who have turned against the city. The faction is equipped with flamethrowers and submachine guns, Players will meet the faction during the game's section mission, Subway Morgue, where they will attempt to locate Paul Rhodes, a missing engineer. Finding Rhodes will unlock the new Tech wing in the Base of Operations.
There are also big changes to the Dark Zone, the seamless multiplayer area where what happens is up to the players. In the Dark Zone, players can complete missions with other players or become traitors in order to obtain high-level items. For the open beta, the Dark Zone has been upgraded to include more enemies and tweaks to going rogue will make it harder for players to collect their reward for surviving in the Dark Zone.
These changes to the Dark Zone were in response to player feedback, a plan that's integral to the development of "The Divison," according to Magnus Jansen, the game's creative director. "The Dark Zone is such a new thing, especially on consoles, this ambiguous open-world where you decide what to do. This is the first installment. It's never been done before and we're starting from scratch and there's no lesson to be learned from other games," Jansen told IBTimes during a "The Division" event in New York on Feb. 2.
Players felt the Dark Zone was sparse, which led to the addition of more enemies. The update also includes changes to different areas of the Dark Zone that gave players an unfair advantage. "The Dark Zone is something I see evolving very rapidly within the first year of this game," Jansen said. "We're going to be releasing free updates, providing new experiences and the Dark Zone is a part of that. It's going to evolve rapidly once its in the wild."
For the closed beta that took place from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, Jansen said players were already figuring out tactics and strategies that were not anticipated by the developers. While "The Division" emphasizes the multiplayer aspect of the game, Jansen said players will find a lot of value within the single player campaign.
"If you don't want to play online, that's perfectly fine. We worked hard to make sure it had a great narrative, a roller coaster ride with explosions, betrayals, twists and a great payoff. You get a satisfying conclusion, a great classical campaign," Jansen said.
The open "The Division" beta is available until Feb. 21. Based on the timing, there could be a chance for a third beta that lets players experience a new mission and the third wing in their base before the game is released on March. 8.