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Tom Clancy's The Division preview

Tom Clancy’s The Division is an online, open world RPG heading to the Xbox One and PS4 in 2014 that proves Watch Dogs is not the only trick up Ubisoft's sleeve for next gen consoles.

Just when you think you’ve had enough of surviving a lethal virus outbreak in the Last of Us and every Resident Evil game ever released, The Division tackles the tried and tested narrative from a refreshingly new perspective.

Watch the Tom Clancy's The Division trailer from E3 2013

Read our in-depth Xbox One vs PS4 comparison

Set in a Tom Clancy universe and based on real-world events, New York has been hit by a pandemic passed on by bank notes on of all days, sale-grabbing Black Friday. Cue the Big Apple in chaos struggling to cope with the fallout and forcing the President decides to invoke Directive 51, unleashing a specialist group of tactical agents known as The Division.

It’s your job to try and restore order clearing out the scavengers preying the innocent and slowing down the spread of the deadly virus whether it’s in single-player, co-op or multiplayer mode.

The Division screenshots 3

Like Splinter Cell: Blacklist and previous Clancy games, the third-person action is still based around tactical, cover-based combat, but the new MMO elements means there’s a greater emphasis on building skills and making the best use of each squad member’s individual specialist skills.

You can play with up to four squad mates and one of those players can be involved using a companion app like SmartGlass. That means a tablet or smartphone user can take control of a drone that can launch missile strikes, mark enemies, heal players and assist the team in real-time from a birds eye view.

Tom Clancy's The Division

Ubisoft has not given away entirely how the story will play out and why the President was forced into such drastic action, but we do get to see The Division storming police stations and roaming the empty new York streets to complete challenges and missions.

While we fully expect most games on next gen consoles visually to be leaps and bounds ahead of the current gen, Ubisoft has introduced its own Snowdrop game engine to proceedings which delivers some of the most jaw-dropping visuals and fluid gameplay that were on show at E3 this year.

Tom Clancy's The Division

Ubisoft is clearly on a roll after Watch Dogs swept the awards boards at E3 last year and The Division has created the same kind of buzz that could make it one of the biggest games of 2014. Graphically, there’s no doubt it looks spectacular and the gameplay while running on PCs looks extremely smooth.

The companion app support shows the great potential of tablet and smartphone integration, but the most fascinating element will be whether The Division successfully manages to blend single and online multiplayer elements. If Ubisoft nails it, The Division could have another stunning game on its hands.

Next, read our PS4 hands-on from E3 2013

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