‘Tom Clancy’s The Division’ Gameplay Preview

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 12th, 2013 at 2:06 pm,

Tom Clancy's The Division Gameplay PreviewWhile Ubisoft and developer Ubisoft Massive officially unveiled Tom Clancy’s The Division at their E3 2013 Press Briefing, they provided us with a closer look at the game in a behind-closed-doors, hands-off demo. In the presentation, the team at Massive took us deeper into the world of The Division, explained how players will be able to interact with it, and showed the game in action.

The Division imagines a future where the human population has been depleted by a rapidly spreading virus. Some unknown entity releases the virus onto the population by contaminating a small amount of currency and distributing it during Black Friday – mankind’s reliance on money does the rest.

The eponymous Division is a classified group brought in under Directive 51 to keep the US population safe while it struggles to recover from this massive pandemic. The player, along with thousands of other players online, will work to achieve specific objectives in rundown, almost post-apocalyptic New York.

The most striking thing about The Division, aside from its unique story conceit, is its visuals. It should go without saying that The Division is a next-gen game – most likely on Xbox One, PS4, and PC – and it certainly looks the part. Dynamic lighting and procedural destruction were among the game’s chief highlights. For example, bullets were ripping through car windshields in a very realistic fashion, leaving familiar-looking bullet holes behind.

At its core, however, The Division is still a third person, cover-based shooter. It may sport the visuals and destruction of a next-gen game, but players will still be popping up from behind cover and shooting at enemies. The game does structure missions into an open-world context, though, with players acquiring new points of interest by scanning maps tacked to walls.

The Division PreviewAside from very familiar gunplay, there was a brief moment where the player character emitted a large sonic blast, knocking an enemy backwards, but the action came and went without any explanation. There’s also a distinctly high-tech design to the HUD and various visual elements (waypoint indicators, street overlays, etc.) that looks cool, but needs further clarification. With this being a classified government outfit, it seems likely that the tech comes from sophisticated government programs, but we’ll wait to deliver full details when Ubisoft provides them.

When playing with friends the game will become more tactical, allowing one person to draw aggro or flank enemies. The developers wouldn’t say how exactly playing online changes the gameplay, but it sounds and looks intriguing nonetheless. And The Division’s gameplay only starts with the console.

What makes The Division’s experience unique is its companion app, which lets players interact with each other while offline. With the app, players can take control of a drone hovering above a team of players, providing assistance whenever needed. The drone can buff friendly players – healing them or increasing their bullet resistance – or debuff enemy players by weakening their armor or sending missiles their way.
The Division CompanionIt’s evident from games like Watch_Dogs, The Crew, and now The Division that Ubisoft is pushing forward an initiative that puts companion apps as a main pillar of the experience. Obviously, the drone gameplay experience is something players can ignore altogether if they wanted to, but it seemed like a fun time-killer with some important in-game impacts.

Much like with our limited preview of Watch_Dogs last year, there isn’t much we can say about The Division, and even less we can say with certainty. Ubisoft Massive evidently wants to create a specific world state, generate interactive experiences for the player, and see what happens, but how that will inevitably work and in what context is still a mystery.

But from a visual standpoint the game looks phenomenal and has some unique multiplayer trappings. For a brief teaser as to what The Division is all about, make sure to check out the game’s first trailer below:

What do you think of The Division? Does it sound like a new IP you would be interested in seeing become a franchise?

Tom Clancy’s The Division is targeting a 2014 release date on the Xbox One and PS4. No confirmations regarding the PC.

Follow me on Twitter @ANTaormina

TAGS: PC, PS4, The Division, Ubisoft, Xbox One

  • Cariannis

    Yea I might have to start this game even though I’ve been MMO free for the last year and a half.

  • Vampet

    This is one of the most impressive third party games I’ve seen this E3.

    • 1015

      Ubisoft is considered third-party?

      • Cariannis

        Yes. Since nether Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony own them they are 3rd party.

  • Jeff

    God, there’s too many good games coming out.

  • Dovahkiin

    My question with all these tablet companion apps, will they come to vita as well? The vita should be more than capable tech wise to do all of them if a tablet or smartphone can.

  • Dang

    Totally agree with you Jeff. I see a bright future for next gen and I’ll be sure picking this one up day 1. Also Maybe this game is replacing grfs 2, but I don’t know.

    • Drake

      I believe Patriots was scrapped and this is the project that they have been working on. Although, I could be wrong obviously. It sucks this is releasing late next year :/

  • jwalka

    this along side splinter cell and watch dogs are the only games that have really stood above the crowd and have come across as more than just pretty visuals or ‘open world’.

    really looking forward to all 3 titles and hope that division comes out on pc (i just got a pc for 3d work so i can run almost everything) 😀

  • Ken J

    If we go according to E3 demo’s, pretty much every game is a great game. And that’s the same case with every E3… Until the actual games comes out, then we find out about 80% of them are all flash no substance…

    I mean, if this game isn’t actually developed by Ubisoft and is just being distributed by them, then maybe I might be interested. But when it comes to anything Tom Clancy, Ubisoft has churned out turd after turd after turd…

    I’m not really a fan of 3rd person shooters anyway. Don’t really like the unrealistic advantage of peeking around corners or over objects without revealing any part of your body. Especially if multiplayer is involved. It makes using tactics kind of useless because an enemy player can just be completely hidden and still see you coming… Sure I could do the same, but firstly, I don’t like camping, and secondly, I don’t like what I consider cheating even if everyone else is doing it. That’s why I like games limited to the first-person perspective, because your character is limited to the capabilities you actually have in real life in terms of visibility. But we need the oculus rift so we can quickly glance around us like we could in real life. Then gaming will be so life-like it’ll be awesome.

    I have an idea for a first-person shooter using the oculus rift. I think instead of holding a fake gun and physically turning your body to turn, you could stick with the keyboard and mouse controls, but your head is always on free look. So you can keep your gun and body pointed in one direction, but turn your head and look at another. But if you see an enemy when you turn, pressing the right mouse button to aim down the sights will automatically turn your body and the gun to be aiming at what you’re looking at. Kind of like how you would react in real life if you’re going one way, turn to look and see an enemy, you’ll turn your body and the gun to where you’re looking…

  • Ken J

    Ubisoft likes to make Tom Clancy games where it just has a façade of a realistic tactical shooter. You play it and it turns out to be just the typical run and gunner with a “tacticool” look given to it. It’ll have all of the standard shooter fare like regenerative health, scripted spawning enemies, “balanced” weapons, wannabe witty banter, etc. etc. I’m tired of their fake tactical games… I rather it be straight up sci-fi fake action game, or a realistic tactical action game. Not the bastard child between the two…

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