The Division is now six days away, which sounds fairly specific until you break it down into hours, at which point it becomes clear that you could be missing out on valuable play time on launch day if you’re not careful. With that dire warning in mind, Ubisoft got more specific today with an announcement that preloading on Steam and Uplay will begin at 9 am PT/12 pm ET on March 3—which, by the way, is tomorrow. Game servers will be switched on at 00:01 Australian Eastern Daylight Time, which is 8:01 am ET on March 7, but the game won’t actually become active in North America until 12:01 am ET on March 8.
Interestingly, and unusually, reviews of The Division will not (or at least should not) go up the moment the game is live. “Since it’s impossible for us to populate the servers in a way that would adequately replicate playing The Division on launch day, reviewers will start playing the game along with everyone else when it’s released on March 8—after the servers go live officially and globally at 00:01AM Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT),” Ubisoft explained on its blog.
Depending on how you feel about such things, you can view that as either a genuine expression of confidence in its game (and an admirable solid for gamers), or a cynical PR ploy to dodge the bullet of mediocre reviews. We’ll find out which soon enough—in the meantime, don’t miss our impressions of the closed beta, which left us cautiously optimistic despite a complete absence of shitting dogs.
As for our review, we’ll jump in as soon as the servers are up and start writing updates throughout the launch week, probably focusing on performance initially, with our review to come as soon as we feel we’ve spent enough time with it to offer a complete critique.