Many are levelling The Division with accusations of “downgrade” after discovering how much of New York City is playable.
In the long run, the biggest controversy surrounding Ubisoft games over the past four years centers around a one-word accusation: “downgrade.” Despite it being just the cherry on top of bigger problems, the pre-release hype surrounding Watch Dogs was quelled when players starting seeing the effects of a long development cycle, resulting in a lower graphical fidelity than from the game’s initial announcement trailer at E3 2012.
While the same can be said for Tom Clancy’s The Division, the bigger focus right now seems to be on the playable area of the game. With pre-public-beta videos being released on Youtube, select players are starting to notice something particular about where exactly in New York City this game will take place. Within the above-pictured perimeter are 22 different districts; six of which are black zones, fifteen are Player versus Environment and one being a player hub in the lower-left corner of the map.
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Most notable, however, is the geographical locations absent from play in The Division, which includes Queens, Brooklyn, Jersey, The Bronx, Central Park and others. MarcoStyle goes into depth about how exactly expectations for the map’s size were fed by Ubisoft’s marketing team, in addition to developers on hand at E3, led to the current accusations of downgrading the total playable area of the finished game.
It’s interesting to see how it’s both the rabid fans of The Division, who make bigger deals about social media postings than what the developers intended, along with the developers themselves not reigning in expectations, that has led us down this path. After reading or watching players’ impressions of The Division, the map size doesn’t seem to be much of a final straw; just one of the realities of modern open world game development. The fact that it’s Ubisoft, once again, responsible in part for another downgrade claim still remains partially their own undoing.