At the end of last year’s E3, the one title that remained stuck in everyone’s minds was the surprise reveal of the new IP Watch Dogs. Ubisoft was going for a similar effect this year with the reveal of Tom Clancy’s: The Division. They set the scene with an intro talking about the possibility of a deadly pandemic outbreak, spread around by the transfer of money on a day that cash is exchanged more than usual, black Friday. The government responds by putting into effect Directive 51, giving them the power to protect and preserve the last remnants of society. You, the player, are an agent of The Division whose responsibility is to restore order in the nearly abandoned neighborhoods of New York City.
Shedding all resemblances to any previous Tom Clancy game, The Division is an open world-action RPG-shooter with an emphasis on coop with friends. Like most RPG’s, there will be a progression of skills and weapons available to the player as they progress, making the game much more intriguing to me than the standard shooter. There will apparently be thousands of different weapon/skill combinations available to the player, allowing customization down to the smallest detail.
The graphics looked really nice too, both in clarity and smoothness of framerate, but also the desolate look of the setting. New York City really looks like it was abandoned in a fairly short timeframe, leaving a handful of survivors to squabble over the scant resources left in the city. The Division is decidedly next gen, especially with its integration of mobile devices into the game. Players can jump in with their tablet or smartphone to assist friends by taking control of a flying drone, and getting a bird’s eye view of the battlefield. You can then relay enemy placement to your friends, or assist them in combat by painting targets or firing from above. Many of the other uses for tablets/smartphones at E3 seemed gimmicky or unnecessary, but The Division’s use seems like it could really work well and be an integral part of the experience.
At this point The Division is only going to be available for the next gen consoles, (PS4 and Xbox one) but PC players have the opportunity to make their voice heard too. There is a petition floating around on the internets (which can be found here) that PC gamers can fill out to show interest in a PC version of The Division. I’m really excited to play The Division, as it seems to be right up my alley. Modern day post-apocalyptic setting, (not like BLOPS or Modern Warfare) character progression, gear, etc. I don’t know if it had quite the effect Watch Dogs did last year, with all the awesome new next gen titles and all, but The Division definitely left its mark and is an early “must play” title.
Ubisoft's gameplay reveal from E3 2013.