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E3 2013: Tom Clancy’s The Division

Posted on June 12, 2013 AT 04:00pm

Publisher Ubisoft
Developer Ubisoft Massive
Platform XB1, PS4
Release Date 2014
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Inspired by real-world events that play on our vulnerabilities as a nation, including Operation Dark Winter and Directive 51, Tom Clancy’s The Division builds on the idea that America has become soft, and that a plague passed around via money could collapse the infrastructure of the United States in less than a week. In this open-world online RPG, players will insert their original character into a post-pandemic version of New York City and struggle to survive this harsh new reality that starts right in the middle of winter.

The Verdict

While my demo walkthrough was short—and the first two-thirds reiterated what I’d seen during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference—I was able to glean several interesting details from the new parts I saw of The Division that will keep my interest piqued for the time being.

Moving into another conflict, this time on rooftops, I got to see the demo drivers illustrate several new powers. After smoke was kicked up by a seeking mine, serving as a distraction, the first new power had the player run into the confusion between three enemies and pound the ground with his fist, sending bad guys everywhere and out of the action.

The other significant ability I saw came from the drone, controlled via iPad. I was shown how the loadouts for the flier worked and that it has several interchangeable powers, including dropping health and damage boosts, as well providing some serious offensive capabilities of its own. To demonstrate the drone’s attacks, we saw it fire missiles at an enemy in cover, not only wiping the foe completely off the map, but decimating the barricade as well. This gave me an even greater sense of destructible environments, and I daresay it could potentially rival that of the Battlefield franchise.

As I prepared to leave the demo, I approached the representatives from Ubisoft Massive and also got one other detail confirmed: the character you play as is fully customizable, from gear right on down to sex and skin tone. Just another way to help immerse yourself in the apocalypse.

Despite these interesting tidbits, it wasn’t enough for me to be completely enamored with this game. Still, the potential is clearly there, and some longer demos in the future will hopefully build on what was started here at E3.

Ray Carsillo, Reviews Editor
Ray Carsillo has extensive roots in geek culture, as he’s written about videogames, comics, and movies for such outlets as Newsday.com, ESPNNewYork.com, Classic Game Room on YouTube, Collider.com, and Comicvine.com before finally settling into his role as EGM’s reviews editor. His main goal in life? To become king of all geek media, of course! Follow Ray’s exploits on Twitter: @RayCarsillo. Meet the rest of the crew.

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