Tom Clancy’s The Division
The Division puts players into the shoes of a sleeper agent trying to deal with the chaos caused by a pandemic in a gritty recreation of New York. But it’s no solo adventure – instead The Division promises massively multiplayer action in an open-world that’s more Skyrim with-friends than World of Warcraft wannabe. It’s not out as yet, so many of the details are still to emerge – though you do get the feeling that the designers want you to play endlessly. One thing we do know already is that The Division is one good-looking game. Work on it might have started in 2008 but thanks to Snowdrop, Ubisoft’s whizzy new game engine, the crumbling New York streets shown so far are a great showcase for new generation console visuals.
The grubby streets are impressively detailed and are set to be complemented by state-of-the-art weather effects that will include snow that later melts into slush. The Hollywood-inspired lighting system promises to take the visuals even further, with some uncannily realistic sunlight and indoor lighting effects. On top of this, the developers – Ubisoft Massive are adding in plenty of in-game destruction, with bullets that smash, puncture, shatter and splinter materials such as wood, glass, brick and concrete just as they would in the real world.
Most of us have probably spent more time roaming virtual post-apocalyptic New York than we have the real place, but The Division offers more than a chance to visit run-down recreations of the Big Apple’s tourist hotspots. The map is set to be huge, taking in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Newark and Staten Island. But it doesn’t stop there. The action will also take place in the forests and beaches on the edge of the city. Although full details of the map and how fully it will recreate the five boroughs haven’t been revealed, the chance to battle on Rockaway Beach, the Brooklyn Bridge and beyond is an exciting prospect.
As well as being able to explore the streets and rooftops, The Division will also let players skulk about in the tunnels beneath the city, although we’ll have to wait to see if societal breakdown makes any noticeable difference to New York’s grubby subway system. The icing on the cake is that the in-game map is a super-cool holo-map that you access using your agent’s smart watch.
Full review of Tom Clancy's The Division