There were a hell of a lot of apocalypses at E3, from predictable zombie outbreaks to Mad Max dishing out carnage on poor, unsuspecting mutant baddies. Yet despite it's familiar-sounding "let's save New York, guys" setup, Ubisoft Massive's new entry into Tom Clancy's ever-enormous, not so much Ghost Recon as ghost-written, legacy is rightfully bagging a lot of 'best of E3' garlands.
Tom Clancy's The Division: Plot
In the wake of this economy-as-biology outbreak, you're part of a rag-tag specialist group (of course) put together to "save what remains". Yet this doesn't just pit you against the machinations the plot throws up, but also other human opponents.
Cover is essential amid the blue-hued and part-destructed skyscraper's dangerous environs, helicopters circling and trouble waiting around every corner, car windows being shot out around you as you edge nearer your objectives.
Tom Clancy's The Division: Features
To attain new skills and equipment within the grander world, challenges must be completed as you scavenge the city, which, we're promised, will also have a tangible effect on the game world. As well as the main story, live tasks can be set, such as staying alive for a certain duration as areas are swept by AI attacks, with rewards for the best times across the community.
Sharing a visual bond with fellow Ubi future thriller Watch Dogs, the use of lighting and shade is noticeably a step on from what we've seen before, the crisp visuals a bigger leap forward than much of what we saw in Los Angeles.
Tom Clancy's The Division: Gameplay
Particularly swish flourishes include the in-game map, which rises in an orange glow like a hologram from beneath your feet, the Options menu, which rotates around your wrist as the camera zooms in, and the dynamic vital stats of you and your team, which extend from your body constantly and unobtrusively. Importantly, none require you to exit to a pause screen or break the game's fiction.
Indeed, the French publisher appears to have a companion app in development for every next-gen game they're working on, from The Crew to Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, although these are all self-contained, title-specific experiences rather than sideshows on the platform holders' parties.
Players control a drone by moving their finger over the touch-screen map, sending it to attack or defend areas as they see fit. The twist is that the drone will appear in friends' worlds in real time, on the main system, and effect what goes on there, too.
Tom Clancy's The Division: Verdict
When people talk of "next-gen", they often only mean in terms of graphical fidelity. Yet while The Division has all of that down pat, too, it's this grander vision of a connected, many-screened world that seems to truly fit the term.
Helping/interfering with your mates' games while they're on the sofa and you're at work? The stuff of dreams, we tell you. It's makes a mean case for being "always online" while it's at it, too.
Tom Clancy's The Division preview
Tom Clancy's The Division previewT3
Tom Clancy's The Division is set to land on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC in 2014. T3 took a closer look at E3...
Tom Clancy's The Division
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