Tom Clancy’s The Division promises to bring a unique experience in the form of a persistent online world in a post-pandemic New York City . In this years E3, we attended a live demo of the game, and this time we learned a lot more about what it has to offer.

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Apart from the gameplay shown during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, we were treated to a night time mission. Time of day, among other conditions, will affect your playing style – enemies will have a harder time spotting you if you, say, shoot out the lights of a parking car. Conversely – the player will have the same issue with identifying threats.

To this end, we were introduced to another player playing the game from a tablet. Well, it was more like supporting then actually playing. The player with the tablet was controlling a flying drone, which was hovering above the main character. The drone was fully integrated into the game, and clearly visible to us at all times. In the case of this nighttime mission, it helped the player identify the enemies better by highlighting them.

Customizing your character is very versatile. Each player can choose from various skills, divided into several tiers, on the fly. In the demo we saw, one player chose to go the assault route, equipping a seeking grenade (which has a very literal name), while the second player went for a supporting rule, equipping tear gas. Once deployed, the tear gas grenade makes an area where enemies stand and cry their eyes out before being torn to pieces by bullets.

Other cool items were a automated flying drone which blinds enemies, and a small deployable turret, which seemed to be useful only as a distraction for the enemies, and not a real threat.

Speaking of which, besides the normal scavengers you’ll encounter during your time in The Division, there are those who are called Cleaners. Cleaners are armored people who go around using flamethrowers to clean the city of the deadly virus. These guys are tougher than normal, and require extra care to deal with.

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The user interface, besides looking cool, is an amazing source of information: it helps you by showing routes to different objectives around New York City and the status of the different zones – sorted by security, contamination level and moral. From what we’ve gathered, improving zone security (represented by a number, as with the contamination level and moral level) will help you by making better equipment and items available. The other two attributes probably have a similar effect, but we didn’t get the chance to get into more details. All of this information appears to be presented in real time.

The bottom line is that The Division is not just a pretty game with guns. It also offers incredible depth in character customization and the unique user interface gives it a high-tech feel in a post apocalyptic world. While the shooting is cover-based and is nothing out of the ordinary, the ability to tailor your character in any given situation keeps things fresh.

We can’t wait for the opportunity to actually play the game and explore the frozen city ourselves. We’ll keep you updated on any new information.


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