‘The Division’ Beta Game A ‘Flawed Experiment’, But There Are Future ‘Surprises’ To Reveal

Tom Clancy’s The Division beta came and went in January, and associate creative director Julian Gerighty gave insight into the action-RPG MMO’s future, according to a report by the Guardian. It is questionable on whether or not that a Tom Clancy game could pull off a real world version of a role-playing MMO considering that it’s something more apropos to mostly fantasy or science fiction game formats.

There had been “mixed reactions” to the beta. Players discovered the similarities among the NPC (non-player characters) in The Division game. It was also mentioned in the Guardian how “the weapons felt underpowered and the loot seemed slightly mundane.”

However, Ubisoft did have a “mandate” set in place when they bought Massive Entertainment, which looked to be prepared for this new format for a rather modern game.

“Can you create an RPG from Tom Clancy?”

So it looks like they already had this in mind, and Gerighty ascertained the thematic vs. mechanical concept.

“Mechanically, they wanted a role-playing game but thematically, it had to fit into the Tom Clancy universe.”

The Division’s geographic location, New York City, is already familiar, as it ranges from a good amount of Manhattan, including Central Park down towards Union Square. Familiar venues such as Grand Central Station and other locations come to mind. A report by the Inquisitr mentioned that creative director Magnus Jansén thought it paid attention to the detail regarding the atmosphere, minus NBC’s Friends fountain.

Beyond that, Gerighty was asked about other well-known venues when it came to Ellis Island or the Bronx, according to the Guardian.

He replied, “This is what we wanted to focus on – there may be some surprises.”

Gerighty put a lot of stock into the accuracy of post-apocalyptic NYC after the man-made outbreak. He emphasized how the busiest city in the nation had now gone dark. NYPD squad cars left abandoned, dogs scrounging around for tidbits of morsels, hooded figures, and other factions intervene in your path.

The Division’s abandoned New York adds to the impressiveness of the environmental impact, and Gerighty paints a picture when it comes to a once busy metropolitan area.

“So when you show a screenshot or a photo with these iconic streets completely empty, that’s striking – you immediately know something’s wrong.”

The challenge regarding this game is how its authenticity may make it a challenge to take on MMO RPG games. Typically, in first-person shooters, it only takes a minimal amount of hits to take down a target, whereas in The Division, it takes a considerable amount of shots, which is indicated by the scaling points ramping downward next to the target. It’s something out of the ordinary and may take some getting used to, according to Gerighty.

“We’ll try and minimize [multiple shot kills] of course, but it’s something people will get used to and will become part of the experience.”

There was a Division game rumor going around about a raid of sorts regarding the Riker Island venue, according to Game Rant. Raids are typical with fantasy RPGs like World of Warcraft, where they take on a massive campaign or sizable dragon for unique rewards and loot. According to Game Rant last week, this rumor is said to take on eight players for a serious challenge. It was even mentioned two weeks before the aforementioned rumor back in 2013 that game director Ryan Barnard spoke of “Group Plus content.” Game Rant brought up the reiteration.

“For retention and the end game, ‘Group-Plus’ content will be really important; I can tell you that there will be multi-group content. I can’t get into it too much, but I can say there will be at least eight-player content.”

This is where it can get into a conversion about end-game content, where matchmaking can be done with other players in a co-op fashion, even in the safe houses of the Dark Zone. What is The Division’s equivalent to a beastly dragon synonymous with the fantasy world? A helicopter raid perhaps? Visions of Rambo taking on the Russian helio in the 80s sequel comes to mind. Gerighty addressed this jokingly but has been tight-lipped about The Division’s content.

“Would I be happy with flying dragons? Absolutely. However, the real-world military alternative to some sort of powerful flying beast could be a helicopter attack maybe? We’ve done a lot of things we haven’t shown yet that are cool with different types of exotic enemies, bosses, things like that.”

Details continue regarding the game with Julian Gerighty at the Guardian. The Division beta opens once again on February 19.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]