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Tom Clancy's The Division

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Only just seen this from watching the Ubisoft conference. Reaction? :omg::omg::omg:

Looks absolutely fucking amazing. This next gen just keeps getting better and better from the more videos I watch!

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GameCentral have put up a preview and interview about this game, they don't say who wrote it, but the headline pretty much sums it up :)

Tom Clancy’s The Division preview and interview – the real next gen

http://metro.co.uk/2013/06/14/tom-clancys-the-division-preview-and-interview-the-real-next-gen-3840916/

The Northern Euro heritage of tech superiority in full effect:

GC: Don’t take this the wrong way, because I think the game looks fantastic, but when did Massive suddnely become so good at graphics? How long have you been working on this?

PM: For the last couple of years we have worked on a brand new next gen engine, called Snowdrop. So currently we have 50 or 60 programmers working on the engine, so it’s a big investment and it’s a really fantastic engine. It looks fantastic and it’s really good to work with as well. But what we have tried to do is push the graphics, so we’re pushing it with the lighting and we’re pushing it with the destruction – as you saw in the demo. And it’s not predetermined destruction, it’s actually modifying things in real-time.

GC: How do such detailed graphics add to the gameplay though? If it looked terrible would it still play the same?

PM: The destruction, for example, it actually changes the landscape and that then changes the lighting, so everything is kind of intermingled with each other. So we can destroy something and we have a global illumination system so that the lighting actually adapts to what’s happening – say you have shot out the overhead lights – and then you have to adapt to that new situation as you fight.


GC: I see, so you started the game as a role-player not as a shooter?

FR: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. The shooting came later actually.

GC: So if it’s a role-playing game does that imply that there’s also complex character interactions? Perhaps Mass Effect style dialogue wheels or something similar?

PM: We haven’t really decided about that yet, about the exact level of interaction we’ll be including.

GC: But it’s a possibility?

PM: Oh yes. I mean, you’re not playing the hero. In a RPG you’re typically playing yourself: it’s your own story, it’s your own progression. So the other factions – both the hostile and the friendly – they will play a very important role in the game. It’s the whole dynamic of the game where different parts of the city are taken over by hostile factions and then can be taken over by you, as an agent, and handed back to the public. So it goes back and forth.

FR: So it’s very much about your actions and how you affect the world, but also about how the events change you personally in terms of experience, and loot, gear customisation, weapon customisation, character customisation, skin customisation… a lot of customisation!

GC: You almost make it sound like an MMO, were you not tempted to call it that?

PM: You can call it whatever you like!

GC: But how many people would be playing in a typical city at once?

PM: You can either play solo or you can go into group play, and that’s completely seamless. And you can also go into multiplayer PvP (player vs. player) zones. And in those we have many players, exactly how many I can’t really talk about but it is certainly a lot.


GC: So will the Snowdrop engine be used for other Ubisoft games in the future?

FR: At the moment it’s for this game only, but we think it’s a powerful and versatile engine so we’ll see what happens.

GC: How far do you feel you’ve pushed the next gen consoles with Snowdrop? Do you have a clear picture yet of exactly what they’re capable of?

PM: Well, if you look at the full cycle of the current gen – the first games and the last games – I’m sure you’ll see the same with this gen.

FR: We’ll just keep pushing the next gen, and I think what you’ll see next year will be much more impressive than anything this year.

GC: Does the game use cloud-processing on the Xbox One?

PM: Yes, but not in terms of gameplay.

GC: I’m still not clear but is it possible to do that with the PlayStation 4 as well? I don’t see any reason why not and you seem like you’d know…

PM: Yeah, sure. It’s just the cloud.

GC: Is that something you’re doing with the PlayStation 4 at the moment?

PM: We’ll see. [laughs]

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Look, i'm not saying it looks bad exactly - hell I'd probably buy it. I have no problem with third person shooters at all. I like the little homing rolling bomb. The co-op stuff sounds fun and the visuals are amazing. Level of detail, lighting, particles, animation - the steam you see at a gew points is fucking gorgeous!

I think my point was it's not like it's anything really exciting or interesting gameplay wise. A few people were like 'OH SHIT SON' in the Steam chat but only the visuals would get that response from me.

I largely agree, however - adding in so many other players immediately makes it not just another shooter.

Otherwise we could say that Day Z is just another Zombie game.

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Ubisoft are asking PC gamers to show interest in The Division, which seems odd when there's been no confirmation of it launching on PC. Free marketing?

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Yeah, I don't like this new tactic. Release on consoles and then release on PC a few months later to combat piracy, but pretend you're doing it out of the kindness of your heart due to popular demand.

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What's the alternative?, release on PC day and date and if the internet is to be believed, watch a load of your sales go on the higher margin but lower priced PC version or disappear to piracy instead, they could just not bother with a PC port, it probably won't make that much difference to their bottom line. If you tell PC gamers they are 2nd class citizens to their face upfront, they get a bit stroppy...

For this sort of game, getting a reliable crew together regularly is more of a headache than anything else, the need for tactical co-operation would indicate that playing with random strangers is going to dilute the experience a bit.

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This is an online only shooter though so piracy won't have too much importance in how it does on the PC. What matters is uPlay and when (if) it's released.

If you tell PC gamers they are 2nd class citizens to their face upfront, they get a bit stroppy...


What's this? Saying something that's vaguely insulting in a confrontational way annoys people? Shocking.

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What's the alternative?, release on PC day and date and if the internet is to be believed, watch a load of your sales go on the higher margin but lower priced PC version or disappear to piracy instead, they could just not bother with a PC port, it probably won't make that much difference to their bottom line. If you tell PC gamers they are 2nd class citizens to their face upfront, they get a bit stroppy...

For this sort of game, getting a reliable crew together regularly is more of a headache than anything else, the need for tactical co-operation would indicate that playing with random strangers is going to dilute the experience a bit.

Seems to be OK for AC4.

http://www.vg247.com/2013/06/19/assassin%E2%80%99s-creed-4-to-release-on-pc-a-few-weeks-after-console-versions/

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An interesting choice of counterpoint, the history of the PC releases for that series has been all over the shop, they move enough units from the day1/week1/month1 crowd on console and even then, still delay the PC version (the 2nd class citizen version, delayed launch for economics).

If this game was a true MMO (one with a monthly subscription fee), then it'd be stupid to not get a PC version out at the same time as the console versions, but the way I read all these new generation online-centric console games is the B2P model, like Defiance or Guild Wars 2.

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As I said after the original review whilst the game looks INCREDIBLE the real kicker for me is the procedural damage modelling.

The usually terrible and OTT damage models in games is a big bug bear of mine and I'm always interested in realistic damage models. The ones we usually get....jesus.

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As I said after the original review whilst the game looks INCREDIBLE the real kicker for me is the procedural damage modelling.

Total agreement. The enhanced sense of immersion, even just on a few short videos, looks fantastic. I also feel that way about some of the incidental animation, like in the previous video where the guy is in cover, crawling along the side of the car, and he reaches out and closes a door so he can continue to slide along in cover. The Last Of Us did some stuff like that and although it's only a small thing I think it has a disproportionate effect on how involving the game is.
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Total agreement.

I mean, fuck, we're talking about 9mm bullets carving out 3 foot wide chunks in reinforced concrete. I hate that shit. I struggle to think of many games without terrible shit like that.

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Well, it's kind of funny in the trailer that the side mirror of the car doesn't get blown off when it's hit by bullets.

Next gen my ass.

;)

It gets chewed up, much as it should I imagine.

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