Why is there so much hype for a squad based, third person MMO; well for many reasons, story/gameplay as well as the pedigree of the creator. The creators at Ubisoft have designed a truly fantastic squad based open world MMO. With wonderful demos shown at E3 and a beta this past weekend, why would someone get excited about this upcoming game?
What we know about the game: New York, in the near future. A virus spreads through the US on Black Friday. New York is the center. You are part of the Division, a group of every day “soldiers” that have been activated for a crucial mission: To find the source of the virus and restore order to New York City.
Ubisoft has created an online only, third person shooter with strong RPG elements. What we know about the open world game is that it is an almost one for one direct scale of New York City. Areas will be open at the beginning with others being opened as you progress in level as well as through potential DLC. The game is strictly online based, with strong MMO elements. Enemies are all over the city outside designated safe zones. You as a soldier of The Division, have the ability to select what skill set you want to play each with a skill tree that is upgradeable. You have the ability to go at the game solo, or team up with friends to take on obstacles including recon missions and search and destroy. The open world map is filled with zones of enemies vying for control of the city, or those just wanting to make a stake in the now chaotic and law free city.
Why all the hype and excitement for this game? Tom Clancy is in the forefront for squad based military assault games. With games like Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and the Splinter Cell series, fans are treated to a variety of styles of play with stories of international espionage and intrigue. Through viral videos that have been released, we can only expect the best in twists and turns in the story. The visceral feel of being a regular person being called into service during a crisis is only enhanced by your limited but powerful technology that is a staple amongst Clancy games. The use of high powered weapons along with infrared detection, smart bombs and technology to search and destroy the enemy is only part of the tools of the trade.
The game has a survival sense to it as well, being that there are only small camps or safe zones amidst the anarchy of the city. Those that have survived the outbreak have holed up in different parts of the metropolis either in dedicated safe areas or even their apartments. You are tasked with rescuing and liberating areas as well as collecting scraps and supplies to fortify already existing safe zones. There is also of course a dedicated PVP zone, called the Dark Zone, which has a drop, or supply crate, of weapons and gear that is unique and powerful. People can team up to assault the NPCs guarding the crate, however they must be able to make it to the extraction zone in order to secure and walk away with their newly acquired gear. That of course can be thwarted by other high level players, or even teammates that are in the zone.
The beta was release this past weekend, and servers were filled almost instantly. Players were able to get a feel for the game as well as play some missions, upgrade some skill sets, and get a taste for the city. As folks increased their levels, they noticed that their enemies also scaled up in difficulty. This is a staple of MMOs, however The Division is looking to take it a bit further. In your exploring of the city you will find enemies that are heavily armored, or have special abilities – and that makes them much more difficult to kill. We can only assume there will be boss enemies as well, littered throughout enemy controlled territories.
In closing, The Division will be releasing in March with a newly added flavor to the tactical shooter. Players will be able to play solo or team up with their friends in an effort to secure the city and unravel the mystery y that lines within. With wonderful tactical action through third person covering, the game should be loads of fun. And with a dedicated PVP area with prime loot to fight over, there are many facets and levels to the game that will tend to the need of any player.
What do you think about The Division, did you play the beta? Share in the comments below your thoughts on the game.