Last week, Ubisoft announced The Division Heartland, a mysterious free-to-play spin-off based on its cooperative looter shooter series. Just days later, a couple of videos have leaked showcasing early gameplay and information on the setting.
The recordings come from a closed tech test given out to a small number of participants from the community for gathering feedback. A warning attached to the footage tries to ward off any NDA-breakers. Unfortunately for Ubisoft, this hasn't been very effective. Still, it is getting harder to find the leaks as mirrors of the unauthorized footage are already being taken down by the company, so embeds are out of the question.
Heartland Game Designer Taylor Epperly briefly describes the game as a "free-to-play open-world survival action shooter" in the first leaked video. The spin-off leaves behind the familiar massive cityscapes to present the small-town city of Silver Creek, an area heavily enveloped by the series' society collapsing virus.
At least in the test scenario, two modes are available to players. Expedition is a cooperative PVE raiding experience, while Storm adds 45 players into the mix alongside NPCs to be a "PvEvP" mode. It's unclear if this is meant to be a traditional battle royale or a dedicated spin on The Division's tried and true Survival and Darkzone modes. Players will be "scavenging, exploring, looting, fighting, and surviving" across both modes.
The second leaked video has gameplay of the systems currently in place, though with early assets and a huge serving of lag.
Being developed by Red Storm Entertainment, The Division Heartland has a broad release window that may see it launch either this year or the next. It is slated to hit PC, consoles, and cloud platforms. Ubisoft should have a proper reveal planned to showcase the project on its own terms during E3 next month. The company has confirmed it is bringing back its Forward showcase this year.