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Into the Dark Zone: Agent vs Agent

15/06/2015 04:00 PM

Risk of infection severely elevated beyond this point. Quarantine is in effect. Violators will be shot.

Hopping the high walls surrounding the Dark Zone is an immediately daunting thing. The oh-so-welcoming message leaves us feeling distinctly unwelcome and we slowly creep by U.S. Army transport vehicles that have been abandoned in the streets. The world is silent, save the monotonous voice filtering through speakers near the quarantine zone.

The Dark Zone in Tom Clancy’s The Division is a place of fear and betrayal, and an uneasy feeling is a constant presence. Here it’s every agent for themselves and you’ll not only have to worry about enemy factions, you’ll also have to contend with other players – rogue agents who may not think twice about taking you down.


A Dark New World

The moment you set foot in the Dark Zone located in the middle of Manhattan, you’re even more vulnerable. All communication with the outside world has been cut off (it’s the Dark Zone, after all), so you’re effectively on your own. The Dark Zone is specifically designed to be the most tense, frightening place in The Division’s world. Despite a seamless transition with the rest of the world, everything looks, feels, and sounds more eerie. Even seasoned agents will feel a bit uncomfortable. Anyone can attack from anywhere at any time, and this thought alone is enough to put most people on edge.

Why enter the Dark Zone at all if it’s so dangerous? Part of the answer is loot: rare, valuable loot. Once you extract your rewards from the Dark Zone, you will be able to use them in the outside world, but only if you manage to survive the hunt and survive the 90 seconds you’ll have to wait between setting off the flare to signal for extraction and the arrival of the helicopter.

Loyalty or Betrayal

Upon encountering another team of players, each person will have to make a choice: work together or crush them and steal their loot. Every choice comes with its pros and cons, and choosing to work together will net you fewer rewards, as only one team can call for extraction at a time.

Should you attack your fellow players, you will enter rogue status and a timed flag will go up for every other player in the vicinity, marking you as such. You are now free game for other agents looking for some extra loot! Now whoever manages to take you down will get a nice reward for their troubles, including all loot that hasn’t been extracted yet... If you manage to stay alive until your timer runs out, you return to normal and anyone who attacks you after that point becomes the rogue agent.

You won’t just be hunting down legendary loot in the Dark Zone, however. This is also your chance to group up with other teams and take part in public and random events spread throughout the quarantine zone. You can also band together to become bounty hunters of sorts, taking down rogue agents. It never hurts to have a friendly team watching your back!