In a special report streamed on the game’s official Twitch stream, Ubisoft and Massive have announced that Survival, the upcoming DLC for the Division that was delayed to make way for Update 1.4, will be coming to the public test servers today (November 7) on PC. A full release date has not yet been announced.

The DLC sees New York descended into even further chaos as a huge snowstorm blankets the city. Antivirals left in the Dark Zone have been identified as potential cures to the plague, and so your Agent is sent via chopper to collect them. Of course, things get a bit FUBAR and you’re left alone trying to survive.

Survival is a 24-player mode that can last up to two hours to complete. It’s session-based, so it takes place in a separate instance to the standard PvE game and the Dark Zone. Those who aren’t fans of PvP can choose to tackle the DLC as PvE in co-op, too.

Players start without their usual equipment, armed only with a hazmat suit and a pistol. Even the minimap is removed. Starting in random areas on the outer edge of the map, players are tasked with making their way to the dark zone in the centre to collect the antivirals. NPCs will get stronger as you make your way to the middle, and the chances of encountering violent other players increases. The mode is semi-permadeath, meaning you will be removed from that Survival session if you’re unlucky enough to die.

Survival introduces further survival mechanics to balance: temperature, hunger, thirst and sickness. Each must be managed by finding resources and finding shelter, however sickness will only be totally cured once you extract at the end of the mission. Interestingly, vanity items such as hats and coats will be able to protect you from the cold differently depending on how warm the item looks. Fluffy scarves and chunky coats ahoy!

Named gear pieces are also being introduced – individual items that have their own unique abilities that can be found throughout Survival. Items that are earned found inside Survival can be taken back to the main game, as long as you successfully complete the mission and extract at the end. Dying will still give you rewards based on your score, which is decided by things such as how many enemies you kill. XP gained within survival transfers over to the rest of the game too, meaning a level one Agent will be able to level up through Survival.

The mode has a greater emphasis on crafting, as well. Finding hideout safe areas will let you craft equipment and, more interestingly, skills. All skills are removed on entering survival, and so abilities like first aid and pulse have to be crafted before they can be used within Survival.

The test servers for Survival are only available for those playing on Uplay and owned the season pass before last Thursday. Those who don’t own the season pass will still be able to play PTS, but will only get access to things included in the upcoming and as-of-yet detailed 1.5 update.

If you’re reading this news today, Ubisoft is currently streaming gameplay of Survival on the Twitch stream.

Survival sounds like an interesting change of pace from the Dark Zone. I never really got into that mode because it felt very aimless, and so having a more hardcore PvP with an actual goal and new loot to find sounds right up my alley.

 

Joe is LPVG’s resident hardware nerd. If it’s overpriced and has gaudy RGB lighting, he’s probably drooling over it. He loves platformers, MMOs, RPGs, hack ‘n slashers and FPS, with his favourite games being Mirror’s Edge, Left 4 Dead, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Oblivion and Dead Space. Don’t ask him about his unhealthily large Monsters Inc memorabilia collection. Seriously, just don’t ask…

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