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Do Want: The Division

Oh, Ubisoft, you’ve done it again!  Just like E3 2012, you ended your conference with something that blew my mind.  Every year at E3 I write about my “Do Want” title of the show, and once again this year I’m not at all disappointed with my choice.  This was a tough one though, and while Infamous: Second Son was a close second, you can mark it down, it’s official, my Do Want of this year’s E3 is potentially the most intriguing game in the Tom Clancy series ever, or at the very least, the most ambitious.  I speak of The Division.

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Here’s what we know so far:  The Division is set in New York, 3 weeks after a lethal virus pandemic.  Power, water, and emergency services have failed, society is collapsing in on itself, and The Division, a super-secret tactical agent squad’s mission begins to restore back to the world.

Ubisoft has said that they do not like using the term MMO, but instead prefers to call this an “Online Open-World RPG”.  Every play-through of the game is said to be different than the last due to the ever-changing game world, and there’s plenty of RPG goodness built in with leveling up player abilities, skills, crafting, and more.

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Unlike the traditional RPG, there are no quest givers to seek out, and no one to turn in your completed tasks/missions to for loot.  Instead, you are given 72 hours worth of supplies and ammunition to start your game, and from there it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to survive in this brave new world.

As you can see from the first screen-shot of the map above, there are times when a particular building or zone will go “Critical”, and while those will be the most dangerous areas to explore, they will also bring the highest reward.  The police station in the E3 demo Ubisoft showed off, for instance, the squad who cleared that area got experience points, loot (including one of the players ending up with an impressive looking gun as a reward), and more importantly, the police returning to the area to help clean up the streets.

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The game itself, is bigger than you or your squad, however, as players begin to turn the water, power, or emergency services back on, some areas get safer, and the world begins to change around you.

Fredrik Rundqvist, executive producer of the game was quoted at E3 saying:

“Our goal with Tom Clancy’s The Division is nothing short of completely changing the way people play online RPGs.  With the power of next-gen consoles behind it, The Division puts players in the middle of breathtaking, persistent multi-player thriller in which they will explore, fight and work together as modern society collapses around you, all with the authenticity for which Tom Clancy games are renowned.”

While that’s all and good,what truly sold it for me was the folks at Massive who are developing the game have made a world I want to dive right in and be a part of.  As I mentioned above, they’ve set out to do something quite ambitious, and while it’s still very early to tell, I think they may have nailed it.

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Third-person action seems to be the name of the game here, and I’ve confirmed squads are based around 4 player co-op with a tie-in to what they’re calling “companion gaming” through the use of a tablet.  Pointing back to the E3 demo again, Ubisoft showed the player who was using the tablet was able to fly in, put down a team damage buff on the rest of the squad, throw down an air strike, and laser mark an enemy who was hiding behind a billboard so a teammate could take him out, all in real time.

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There’s also going to be a unique matchmaking system so if your friends aren’t around to play with you, you can be set up with other players attuned to your play style.  For example, if you have to frequently go AFK for things, the matchmaking system will set you up with players that are respectful of that and allow you the freedom to enjoy playing with your new found teammates without the worry of being left behind or left for dead.

The game will also be absolutely seamless, no loading whatsoever from the social lobbies to the areas of the game itself.  Also, have I mentioned how amazing this game just flat out looks?  Take a look at some of these screenshots!

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If ever there was a game that fit the thought of a next-gen system, I believe this is the one, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.  Confirmed for the PlayStation 4 and XBox One sometime in 2014, this title will be one I will definitely be putting my ear to the ground for, so keep coming back to Default Prime for more information on this incredible looking game.

A part time gaming journalist and radio practitioner, and one of the first editors here at Default Prime, Mike has been gaming since birth, starting back with the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, on through to the PS3, PC, and whatever comes next. He is educated in communications and is a project manager by trade.

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