PS4 PreviewsTom Clancy's The Division Preview

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Tom Clancy's The Division Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA

Publisher:

Ubisoft

Developer:

Ubisoft Massive

Number Of Players:

TBA

Genre:

MMORPG

Release Date:

TBA

“Freedom” may be the central theme of the new generation. As developers create bigger and more elaborate worlds, the very definition of interactive freedom will be redefined. Ubisoft Massive is cranking away on an extremely ambitious project that may break boundaries in the world of online entertainment, and its engaging, post-apocalyptic atmosphere will impart a sense of urgency. Although the developer is hesitant to label this game an “MMO” (they’d prefer to call it a role-playing game), we’re going to compromise and call it both.

The government has dissipated and anarchy reigns. All around you are the remains of what was once a prosperous New York City. These remains should appear extraordinarily detailed and authentic thanks to the powerful new Snowdrop engine, and don’t forget that we’ll get the enhanced power of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This third-person multiplayer-oriented shooter combines the concepts of raw survival and tactical combat into a really diverse package. Your task isn’t an easy one: You must attempt to locate as many survivors as possible, and see if you can restore some semblance of order amid the chaos. Uncertainty lies around every corner.

You can search for new objectives at any time by using a map on your nifty VR wristwatch. This will give you some direction in the sprawling, crumbling city, and you’re allowed to tackle anything you wish, any time you wish. The designers aren’t big on restrictions, because even though your character will progress through skill trees, you’re never locked into one particular avenue. You can reassign abilities at any time or even on the fly, and you can even custom-build classes if you so desire. In short, you needn’t sit in front of the screen for eons, attempting to make a difficult decision that will forever alter your character’s path. Remember— freedom.

It’s the combination of role-playing and survival elements that makes this particular title so enticing. For instance, when you begin, you’ll only have three days of food, water and general supplies. You’ll need to forage for more supplies, as well as weapons, ammunition and other necessary equipment. This requires a tactical and logical approach: If you require food, check an old grocery store. If you need ammunition, see if you can find an abandoned police station or barracks of some kind. The only problem is that you’re hardly the only person looking for the same necessities. This means that encounters with gangs and other unsavory types is inevitable.

The situation is even more desperate because there’s some sort of man-made pandemic that’s sweeping the already-ravaged landscape. We don’t have exact details but it’s supposed to have a “very, very sinister” impact on the story. Based on all this information, it becomes clear that fear is going to be a primary hurdle; innocent civilians just trying to survive come into the picture, but so do civilians-turned-animals. It reminds me a little of I Am Alive coupled with DayZ or The Last Of Us, with an additional infusion of depth and customization. Running around shooting anything that moves probably won’t work out too well.

Ubisoft is preparing a companion app for the game, too. From their mobile devices, players can control drones that spot enemies from afar. Even the drone has its own upgrade system, so you’ll have dive into the nuts and bolts of everything. The idea is to explore and survive; maybe we’ll experience moral dilemmas, maybe we’ll be more interested in food than bullets, maybe we’ll be forced to adapt to a chaotic, undisciplined combat situation. The Division is slated to arrive later this year but recently, we’ve heard that in fact, the game is farther off. We can be patient, though.

1/21/2014 Ben Dutka

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Comments (10 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 @ 10:44:26 PM
Reply

Squad kills it for me.

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mk ultra
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 1:54:32 AM
Reply

The launch trailer at e3 (was that last year or two years ago?) really impressed me. Hoping it doesn't disappoint, but I really try not to get too excited for games when I don't know enough about them yet.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 2:09:51 AM
Reply

Argh, the premise of this game is really, really cool but the 'connected world' just makes me want to stay away. And it also sounds kinda directionless. I know, freedom, but I like to be doing something for a reason in my games.

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ZettaiSeigi
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 3:50:33 AM

Same here. I really liked what was shown at E3 but I am hoping that the online component is not forced and I can still finish the game just with having AI party members.

Thanks to The Last of Us, I started playing online a lot more than I did. But that game's campaign was completely offline and the multiplayer component was kept completely separate. I personally don't have a lot a lot of time to dedicate for gaming nowadays so the games I'd like to play would be those that would allow me to play exactly the way I want without being subject to other people's schedules.

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ZettaiSeigi
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 3:50:33 AM

Ooops, double post. Might as well use the space to say that it's also the reason why I'm not too fond of open worlds. I don't hate them, definitely. I just want a more focused approach to the story that I'm never spending a lot of time accomplishing so little. Heck, that's why I check FAQs when playing such games.

Last edited by ZettaiSeigi on 1/22/2014 4:01:35 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 3:52:05 AM
Reply

"You can reassign abilities at any time or even on the fly, [...] In short, you needn’t sit in front of the screen for eons, attempting to make a difficult decision that will forever alter your character’s path."

I hate this! Hate hate HATE! This is a trend that I hate so much. You build a CHARACTER! It makes no sense that this character can just change into whatever whenever. To make those decisions and choose a path is much of what makes skillpoint spending FUN!

This "do whatever cause nothing really matter anyway" thing must GO. Create a new character instead, FFS!

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___________
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 4:17:58 AM
Reply

makes me so sad that THE next gen games, this, destiny, titanfall, the crew, are basically MMOs.
sigh.
but f*ck me does this look amazing, like christ look at those texture details, look at the lighting, look how the surfaces change so drastically from a snow filled road to hours later its all melted and how the sun reflects off the surfaces.
this may be the game to get me to say to hell with it, and play it anyway, and i HATE MMOs!

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JackC8
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 1:00:08 PM
Reply

I like freedom too - the freedom not to be harassed by a bunch of 12 year old griefers when I'm trying to enjoy my new game I just paid $60 for. Guess this game doesn't have that kind of freedom though.

And I don't care what the graphics look like, if they're just being used to render a bland and monochromatic NYC, I have no interest in them.

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BigDanT
Thursday, January 23, 2014 @ 1:53:59 AM
Reply

Why is everyone on these forums so anti online multiplayer. All I read is the bitching and whinning, oh the squad kills it for me. Boo hoo jesus world your the worst crybaby on here about it too.

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Beamboom
Thursday, January 23, 2014 @ 4:46:01 AM

There's plenty of gamers here who enjoy mp/mmo/coop gaming. In fact I believe most of us do.
It's just the universal truth of it being easier to complain about something. So typically only those who have a problem with mmo will comment on a mmo article. The rest just stays cool. :)

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