Ubisoft is becoming adept at E3 surprises. In 2012, Watch Dogs wowed the gaming community. This year belonged to Tom Clancy's The Division.
In a new question and answer post on the UbiBlog, The Division game director Ryan Barnard answers some questions about how the next-generation game is taking shape. One of the big points is that the title won't have a separate multiplayer component.
The player-versus-player action that was shown in the E3 video will be fully integrated into the story experience. "We wanted to integrate it into the storyline and add an element of mystery, so you don’t know who is a friend and who is an enemy," Bernard says.
He also discusses the importance of loot, but assures that it won't be so critical as to create an enormous gulf between veteran players and those new to the title's post-event Manhattan. Weapon and drone customization are also important parts of the experience.
The latter will be controlled via smart devices running Android, iOS, or Windows 8. The experiences may differ slightly between phone and tablet and across platforms, but the core elements will be the same.
The Division is one of Ubisoft's most ambitious projects yet. The title was just announced for PC, completing the now-common next-gen triangle (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC).
Whether Ubisoft Massive can pull off an experience that is both fitting of the Tom Clancy name and compelling enough to keep players engaged in its open world is something we won't know until we have a better sense of combat and story. I'm cautiously optimistic, but have a lot of questions yet to be answered.