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The Division: How Ubisoft's Tom Clancy mid-crises shooter could top Destiny

Could this be the online shooter we've all been waiting for?

Jack Shepherd
Monday 07 March 2016 11:58 GMT

Despite middle-of-the-road reviews, the intergalactic space shooter Destiny sold over $500 million worth of software in its first day of release, almost purely on people’s intrigue, eagerness and mounting media hype.

There’s a similar expectancy for Tom Clancy’s The Division. Already, parallels are being drawn between the two franchises - both are online-only shooters, both are original franchises and both went through very long development periods - yet The Division is so much more intriguing.

Unlike Destiny - which had little-to-no plot except shoot everyone else - The Division has both a solo campaign and is ‘grounded in realism’, a phrase the developers have used at least a hundred times in this hour-long press conference.

Instead of being all-out warfare, The Division begins mid-crises, just days after a virus sweeps through New York City thanks to a biological outbreak released on Black Friday via bank notes. The city is cordoned off, and the government send in a ‘division’ of soldiers to keep the peace and find out just what happened that day.

A cliché plot yet the delivery is exquisite; the experience of running through a city filled with vigilantes, not knowing if another online player is going to turn on you or help is both a thrilling and unique experience.

When you consider that many current online games encourage mindless run-in-and-shoot-everything tactics, this blurred line between ally and enemy brings in an interesting dynamic that has barely been explored before.

However, there is still the appeal of a modern-day shooter, it is just not as dumbed down as some of its contemporaries. It’s easy to understand how players racked up over 600 million minutes of play time in the closed beta.

With huge excitement for The Division having built over the last three years, it will be interesting to see if Ubisoft can deliver the rounded package Bungie failed to with Destiny. Having racked up a few hours both on my own and with a group, it's looking more and more certain players won’t be let down by what could become the biggest release of the year.

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