No early reviews for The Division

3 min read

The Division launches at this time

Here’s a little insight into the way reviews work (at least, outside of SA), for the small few that don’t yet know. Most of the time, we’re given access to games in advance. It could be a few days or a few weeks, but more often than not this happens. It comes along with a contract – a Non-Disclosure Agreement – which explicitly specifies what we’re allowed to talk about and when. These embargoes usually precede a game’s launch, and when they don’t it’s often a clear sign that something is wrong.

I’m sure Ubisoft isn’t trying to hide something, but they’re breaking this rule for The Division. Instead of getting any sort of early access, Ubisoft has revealed that everyone – press and public – will only get to play their MMO shooter on the day of launch. And they can do this pretty easily, by keeping servers offline until the last second.

It’s something that shouldn’t be too unfamiliar to those who stood waiting for Destiny reviews on launch day. A game of the same skin, Activision only opened up the doors to their shooter a day before launch, which gave reviewers no time to assess it fully before it landed on shelves. Sure, it makes the undecided gamer unsure of a purchase, but it’s all done with good reason.

As was the case with Destiny and is now the case with The Division, these types of games need large numbers of players to achieve the type of immersion and cohesiveness they’ve been designed for. Sure I could’ve wandered the streets of post-apocalyptic New York alone for a week in advance, but would that have led to an accurate – let alone trustworthy – review? Would it be a fair way to critique a game that needs co-operation between players to function? No, definitely not.

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So Ubisoft have made the call, and as such we’re not going to be playing before any of you. Neither will anyone else globally too, with Ubisoft flicking the switch on servers at exactly 00:01AM Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) come launch day. Pre-loads on Xbox One are already live, PC will fire up today and PS4 players will have to wait until the 6th to start downloading. It’s all only useful on the 8th, when The Division lands proper..

Last Updated: March 3, 2016

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff’s a bastard.

  • Trevor James

    If the servers are online the 8th at 00:01 Australian time that calculates to 3pm SA time on the 7th? Digital will probably still be locked but if you get a early physical copy you can play on the 7th. 🙂

    • Guava_Eater

      Is it not a Global unlock?

      • Trevor James

        I asked Ubisoft now so I am waiting on a reply. I doubt it can be a global unlock as Aus will apparently play it first then EU then the US.

      • Trevor James

        Just got confirmation the servers will be online on March 7th 15:01pm here in SA. 🙂

        • Guava_Eater


        • Guava_Eater

          They weren’t unfortunately. They went live on 8 March 00h01… Yeah I stayed up 😛

  • Jonah Cash

    I have no issue with this. The cynics among us will see this as a reason to not get the game. But if you played the beta and enjoyed it then you will enjoy the game, if you played the beta and didn’t like it then you won’t like the game.
    Just look at some of the always online games over the last 3 years and you will find reviewers experience completely out of touch with what we the players get when we play on launch day. Every COD it would seem is great when the reviewers are being treated to it before it launches, and then it launches and there are some kind of issues with matchmaking or servers. Street Fighter 5’s reviews also didn’t have any of the issues that has plagued it from its launch.
    Good on you Ubisoft, I will believe you did this not to hide something but to rather give reviewers a chance to review the true game.

    • I disagree. MMO’s rely on staying power and even if you liked it in the Beta if the lack of content or sameyness (it is a word … I just invented it) of said content is an issue the game will die down like Destiny.

      • Jonah Cash

        Destiny lasted for more than a year for me. I played just under 550 hours… I am happy on that return on my investment. I played the beta for 7 hours and I enjoyed every second. If there is enough content to keep me interested for 30 hours then I will gladly pay the R599 that it costs on PC. (Already have paid it)
        If their story is engaging then I will easily get 30 hours out of it. The gunplay and movement is more than good enough for me. And the bit of the story we got, got me interested to find out the rest of the story. I can’t wait to start the game.

        • You may have liked it but it does not mean that everyone else liked it and as I already said the game needs staying power. Unfortunately some of the youtubers have called the game an easier glorified DayZ and a (expensively) cheap crude knockoff of Destiny and Warframe. Other people have said that the games main flaw was slapping the Tom Clancy name it. Best one was from the Cynical Brit. “Does not matter how beautiful the game looks if the content is extremely sparse the game will be horrible).

          Then again I am still boycotting Ubisoft and the only game they are bringing out that has me interested is WildLands.

  • This could possibly be due to the amount of neutral reviews online from the beta.

    Most reviewers thought it was extremely meh.

    • Also why I went physical copy on PS4. That way if I don’t like it I can flog it and get No Mans Sky or something.

      • I will most likely just pick it up on a steam sale later. Same for NMS. Very unsure about that game at this point.

        • Only reason I’m not waiting on reviews for Division is because the group I run with in Warframe/Destiny/insert other co-op PS4 game here, are all getting it on launch. Don’t want to be the only kippie left out. At least I have options to get rid of it if I dont like it whether it be a trade or sale for something else.

  • This could possibly be due to the amount of neutral reviews online from the beta.

    Most reviewers thought it was extremely meh.

  • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    With Ubi’s track record, I don’t think they intentionally left off the servers, they probably weren’t on to start with…

  • Didn’t Watchdogs do this too?

  • I ended up getting the Physical copy purely because of the preloads. The game only drops on a Tuesday. So if preload starts late on Sunday I wont have it down in time to play as my DSL is only uncapped after 6pm. Not prepared to get home on launch day and still have like 5 GBs remaining… Any word on a day 1 patch tho?

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