The Last of Us showed us how to really make an apocalyptic game. With stunning visuals, a compelling narrative and a fitting online component. But Ubisoft hope to take the premise of the apocalypse in video games to a whole new level through a MMO…
“A lot of games are post-apocalyptic, but there aren’t any that take place in a mid-crisis scenario,” explains game director Ryan Barnard. “This setting could only be achieved on next-gen hardware, since we wanted to explore a very real and frightening threat to our current social collective, and showcase it as a plausible and realistic scenario. Beyond graphics, next-gen consoles are incredibly powerful when it comes to player immersion, realism and offering huge, open worlds to explore.”
The Division is set in a chaotic New York with supplies scarce and heavily sought after. What differentiates The Division from other apocalyptic games is that it doesn’t only focus on scavenging supplies and surviving, the game still bears the importance of society in and amongst the violence. You play as a member of the eponymous Division, you’re fighting to restore order to the city. Once there is order, everything else can be sorted without the need for crime and violence.
“[You’re] society’s last hope to save New York from total collapse,” Barnard continues. “[You] will fight to restore society while exploring familiar landmarks in an unfamiliar, devastated setting. New York City is a symbol, recognisable to anyone, that mirrors the complexity of our society. It’s one of the most renowned locations in the world, so the contrast between what we have and what we lost will be instant and frightening to most of us.”
The Division’s reveal at E3 was focussed around the idea of economic collapse. A video showing the ramifications of each part of the city becoming dis functional was shown in order to set the tone for the gameplay demo.
“The whole foundation of this game is based on realism,” says Barnard. “That’s what makes our story so scary and engaging – it could actually happen. We spent months researching the subject, and the more we learned, the more frightened we became. Our objective is to create a setting that is as plausible as can be, which is why we consulted with experts and even had some of our team attend ‘mid-crisis’ survival training. All of this showed us how quickly everything can spiral out of control, how unprepared we are, and how vulnerable our society is.”
The Division certainly shows the signs of a promising MMO, one that is for the next generation At this point in time nothing more can be said than we can’t wait to see and hear more about the game.