As a game steeped in near-future realism, creating diverse and unique enemies probably presented an interesting design challenge for the team at Ubisoft Massive. This latest trailer gives us an idea of how The Division’s enemy factions will operate, and what role they’ll fill in the game’s mysterious plot.
For those who don’t know, The Division takes place in a near-future New York City destroyed by a man-made viral outbreak. Body bags litter the streets and buildings rest abandoned. The city is overrun with violent criminals, dangerous psychopaths and desperate survivors.
The earliest enemies you’ll encounter are the Rioters, loosely organised bands of vagrants taking advantage of the social breakdown — looting and pillaging. Rioters formed some of the game’s most simplistic enemies in The Division’s recent beta test, but they’ll rush you with baseball bats, Molotov cocktails and smoke grenades — so don’t take them lightly.
Second up are the Rikers, a band of escaped convicts from Rikers Island — a real-world prison complex with an average population of 10,000 inmates. The Rikers have transformed the prison into a self-styled fortress and are expanding their territory into New York City itself. A deleted reddit post recently claimed that Rikers Island would house The Division’s end-game raid content, rumored to feature teams of 8 players. For now, take that rumor with a pinch of salt!
The third faction showcased in the trailer are the Cleaners, comprised of hazmat-clad sanitation workers previously responsible for the disposal of contaminated material. The Cleaners appear to have lost their grip on reality during the collapse, turning their flame-throwers on anything, or anyone they deem to be infected.
The final group revealed are the Last Man Battalion (or LMB). The LMB are a former private military company, hired by Wall Street corporations to protect their assets, presumably to be recovered once the outbreak had ended. Sadly for them, the outbreak didn’t end, and now this self-styled army has taken up a new purpose: imposing fascist rule over the surviving citizens.
These are some of the enemies standing between you — the Strategic Homeland Division — and the recovery of society. The Division answers only to the U.S. President, and its members are handpicked from all levels of the military to receive special training, intelligence, and technology. Division agents lived as regular citizens and were to be activated only as a last resort line of defence against a devastating threat. As a Division agent, it’s your job to save society from itself, and bring the outbreak to an end.
The Division’s beta will return on February 18th, 2016 for Xbox One owners, and will be open to everyone ahead of its final March 8th, 2016 launch on Xbox One, PC and PS4.