Tom Clancy's The Division has already caused quite a stir in the video game industry after a stellar showing at both E3 2013 and E3 2014, but fans are getting anxious for that unspecified 2015 launch date.
The Division is a post-apocalyptic third-person shooter developed and published by Ubisoft for the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. It's based on the Operation Dark Winter real-world event that took place in 2001 to prepare the U.S. military for a large-scale spread of small pox during a terrorist attack. The covert simulation was conducted to show the inadequacies of a national emergency response during a biological attack.
Directive 51, another concept that The Division is based on, states that the nation's government can be redirected to comprise of "a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President" in the event of a national emergency.
Tom Clancy's story in The Division expands on these two situations in a post-apocalyptic scenario showing just how fragile and complex the country's infrastructure can be. You play as a member of the Strategic Homeland Division (or The Division for short) who is tasked with fighting the looming threat that lingers in New York City after a fast-spreading disease causes the United States to collapse in only five days. Your character is given direct authority by the U.S. President to "save what remains" of the country by any means necessary.
The Division is an open-world game that borderlines on the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) mechanic that is featured in popular games like World of Warcraft, but Ubisoft is reluctant to throw on that MMO label.
"You're starting to see similar mixing of genres in other games," explains Rodrigo Cortes, senior brand art director for The Division. "Before a game was either a shooter, or a third-person game, or a driving game. But now more and more there's a blend of genres into a bigger game. It can make the game hard to define - it has shooter elements, RPG mechanics, it's cover-based, online and a seamless open-world."
While you'll be playing along side other players online, Cortes says that you can still play the game entirely solo if you choose. "You are never forced to do any grouping or any PvP. You can complete the whole game yourself. You will see other players in the social areas but you don't have to engage with any of them. You can play almost as a single-player game but it's always online."
And for those afraid that an immature player may ruin your experience, Cortes offers solice: "We took the decision early on to create the experience to compliment 1-4 players. We don't want an emotional experience ruined by a guy with a weird name dancing in front of you."
First developed exclusively for consoles, Ubisoft decided to port the game to Windows computers after online petitions showed the company demand for that platform. On May 15, 2014, Ubisoft announced that the game would be delayed until 2015, although no definite date has been given.