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How The Division's Community Inspired The Division 2's New Photo Mode

The Division 2 might not have a photo mode if it weren't for its creative community.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Photo modes have become the norm in video games—even Kingdom Hearts 3 has one. The Division though, when it first released three years ago, was sorely without one. That didn't stop members of its community though. One even added The Division to a far-reaching mod called "Cinematic Tools," which adds camera tools to a number of games (and warns that some with anti-cheat systems may detect it as a hack). The creator got banned for using it—something that even prompted The Division's creative director Julian Gerighty to take notice and look into it.

In The Division 2, no drastic course of action will have to be necessary. That's because The Division 2 is bringing with it a new photo mode on launch. Some eagle-eyed players have already noticed it in some gameplay footage, but at an event last week I stumbled upon it in the menu during my extensive demo of its PvE content. According to The Division 2's lead designer Keith Evans, finally making a photo mode was downright essential for the series.

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"It's something that the community asked for a lot," Evans tells USG. "Throughout post-launch, there would be these amazing pictures that the hardcore community members would start posting on Twitter. They were just doing it themselves and it was very grassroots."

Toying around with the photo mode (the object in my frame being the White House, your base of operations in The Division 2), I see that it's similar to some of Ubisoft's other photo modes, like the ones in recent Assassin's Creed games. You can play with filters and how dramatic they are, tweak the depth of field, and adjust the brightness and other miscellaneous settings. It's robust, but maybe not as expansive as, say, Spider-Man's.

The new photo mode will be available on day one of The Division 2. Usually photo modes are tethered to single-player games only, leading to players working around the game's infrastructure to frame an amazing screenshot. The Division 2 will be held back by no such workarounds though. Now, everyone will be able to take beautiful pictures of Massive Entertainment's recreation of Washington D.C., with no finicky UI to obfuscate things.

For more on The Division 2, check out our everything we know guide for news, previews, and more. The Division 2's private beta kicks off later this week too.

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