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E3 2013: The Division Impressions

by on 06/15/2013
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A new Ubisoft title is on the way and it will once again feature the iconic “Tom Clancy” branding. This time around a global pandemic is spreading and a special division of fighters must fight to maintain order in NYC. In this online open-world RPG you will cooperatively take down threats in what was easily my favorite game of E3.

In the Division you take the role of an agent for as you may guess…The Division, you are sent in to stop the collapse of New York City. Unlike most apocalyptic-styled games, New York City can be saved, it is not past the point of no return and your actions can do just that i.e. taking back a police station will restore it to help maintain order in a specific area of the city.

Division-GPS-Map

These agents are not tied to any class-based system and rather have a deep set of skills that you are able to pour points into and create your build. This system offers a lot of freedom and allows you to change the distribution of points as freely as you would like depending on the situation at hand.

You do all of this though to take on missions with other players in the city. Customizing your player/weapons, finding new items/loot, and creating peace or chaos. The player-versus-player aspect of the game may be directly tied to your success or failure during a mission as well.

Division-Mobile-App

My favorite part of The Division was the companion app that was presented to us. Unlike other games that try to do a minor tie-in like a map, statistics, guides, or random abilities you can use, you are able to play real-time with other players.

Real-time gameplay on smart phones and tablets, that lets one of your friends play with you from anywhere, anytime. They take control of a drone and are able to tag enemies, heal you, buff damage, and even attack the enemies. We were able to watch as a tablet user actually watched his friends moving around rooftops getting into firefights, it wasn’t a reenactment of the action either, you could see the player’s stopping, spinning around like an idiot, reloading, or whatever they were truly doing in the game. You were just viewing it from an isometric angle, it was almost eerie seeing how well it worked.

When I watched, as the companion player targeted a rooftop across from his friends that were engaging heavily in a firefight, I was blown away to watch as the billboard next to the enemies shattered just as it did in both of their games. This is not a gimmicky app and in my opinion has set the standard on how to make a legitimate tie-in to your title.

Pair this up with the beautiful gameplay that has bullet holes forming where bullets are actually shot, the player’s ability to do little things like shut a half-open car door that is in his way, and putting a focus on the RPG elements, it is clear that Ubisoft has a hit on their hands.

The actual game has been in the works since Summer of 2012, so although this is slated for a Fall 2014 release date for the Xbox One, it is easily my most anticipated game of the next generation.

The Massive team has done amazing work in the open-world RPG market thus far with Far Cry, so this next logical step should really blow the door off the hinges.