The Division’s servers are now properly off until the game’s launch next month (or maybe even later this month) and I personally am missing the entire thing. I adored running around in the Dark Zone as much as the next guy, but what I really miss about The Division is its desolate, icy recreation of Manhattan. Ubisoft have really pushed some of the game’s more dynamic systems, but I don’t think I even appreciated half of them as I do now.
That’s thanks to a new, 24-hour in-game time-lapse showing the impressive dynamic weather and time of day systems working hand in hand to create a world that not only feels alive, but truly is. The blanketed streets of New York gave off some incredibly beautiful reflections in puddles of melted snow, but did you actually notice them freeze over when it got cold enough? Maybe not directly, but it’s these types of subtle details that make the entire city feel a lot more real than a single screenshot ever could.
Hell it’s even hard to notice what you’re looking for without a little guidance. Like the puddle on the bottom right which slowly solidifies as the blizzard’s winds roll in, or the amount of snow that gathers on the player as he stand in the frigid night-time storm. These are impressive but technically taxing details, so it’s no surprise that they come from the PC version of the game. These things like snow particles are a lot more physical, and I assume some of these features will be toned down for less powerful hardware.
Still it’s a testament to the type of world-building that Ubisoft is striving for here, and I’m sure a lot of it will bring this MMO shooter to life when it launches on Xbox One, PS4 and PC next month. Just make sure you aren’t carrying any loot if you plan to stand out in the open like that for so long. You’d then be cold and stupid.
Last Updated: February 3, 2016