We need some real hands-on here
This marks the second E3 we've seen Tom Clancy's The Division, an ambitious online open-world RPG that sees a players dealing with a disaster after society has fallen. This is also the second year in a row that we could not get our hands-on with the game.
Instead, Ubisoft played through a build for us. First they showed us what you all got to see during Ubisoft's press conference (video above). Then we got to see the same area, but during a nighttime setting.
The reason the developers behind The Division showed us the same district twice was to show how the same area can be experienced differently based on factors like time of day, player progression, and so forth.
One major new detail we learned was that players won't be front loaded with class choices. The team at Massive Entertainment wants players to grow into roles organically. The skill system in place is very open with multiple levels of depth to them, and you can alter your choices whenever you want. One player in the demo went towards more of an assault role as he picked from all of his skill options, selecting an ability to wield shotguns better, and a pulse perk that gave him a better tactical read on his surrounding area. The other player went more toward the support role with a healing skill and a portable turret.
Doing all this can happen on the fly, and it appears it's designed this way to make working with other players an easier process. The Division is definitely going to be one of those rare games that I'll want to play with other players, for me at least.
I'm still especially hyped about how people can work with other players straight from their tablet. This is more than just a companion app. Tablet players control a drone to support those playing on consoles/PC, and it's all happening cohesively. Meaning the tablet player and console/PC players are sharing the same world, same space, and experiencing everything together live.
The Division has a ton of potential. The visuals are remarkable, and working with other players looks like it will be a blast. But I'm ultimately holding judgement until we can get some actual hands-on time, as it's hard not to see what we were shown as simply a vertical slice of the real product.