Upping the Brand (E3 2013)
Tom Clancy games have made their rounds over the years, from great to bland. We've been seeing this brand evolve and devolve back and forth for a long time, and it seems like it would be hard to re-spark old interests, or bring a slew of newer gamers away from other, now stronger, series. Enter Tom Clancy's The Division. This release is ready to bring the brand to a whole new level, not just graphically, but with enticing gameplay, setting, and story.
In the world of The Division, society is near collapse. The societal apocalypse hasn't happened yet, but its nigh. The genesis of this is a disease which has spread across the human race on Black Friday. The Division throws players into this world and right into an MMO situation.
When I say MMO, I don't want you to roll your eyes and think about everything you've seen before. The Division looks like it plays hard in a shoot-and-cover system. It has a military-centric style of gameplay that simply looks insanely slick and on target with a good shooter. This is truly a pure action shooter in a massive online world, and not some RPG disguised as an action game.
From what I saw at Ubisoft's E3 booth, it seems like The Division will offer a solid gaming world built upon teaming up with friends, fighting enemy A.I. threats, and going up against other players. It will be a richly detailed and fleshed out urban scenario. Even the environment will be intelligently damaged by bullets. If you shoot up a car and your bullets hit the hood, only holes will appear on the hood. If you shoot at the windshield, only the windshield will break. There is that much detail being put into this game!
The Division also uses mobile devices in a really cool way. Players can hop into a game taking place real-time within The Division via their tablet. They will enter the game as a flying drone and will be able to back up their fellow teammates. From what I saw at E3, this looked as far from a gimmick as you could get. The drone can fly in to heal players and offer support, and then dip out when the mobile player decides it's time to stop playing. It's just another example of Ubisoft really pushing the completely at home / on the go gaming experience at this year's E3.
The Division was one of the most exciting titles I saw at E3 this year, though I always seem to get a little too excited at the Ubisoft booth (last year it was Far Cry 3). The Division has quite some time before its release (Q4 2014), so all we can do is now is wait and catch any updates about how the game is shaping up. It will be released for both PS4 and Xbox One.
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