Ubisoft's released a vast Tom Clancy's The Division Q&A which explores the always-online shooter from top to bottom. Here's the key takeaway, from my perspective: the companion app stuff is effectively a free-to-play game by itself, with a distinct progression system and storyline. A quick recap: The Division takes place in New York not long after a viral outbreak, which has reduced the Big Apple to a snowy survivalist's paradise. "Ubisoft has a long history of working with experts and consultants," reads the release. "For The Division, we have consulted with ex CIA agents, the military, survivalists, doctors, as well as experts in this kind of scenario. "We are also lucky to have in our teams at Massive, people who have experience on these matters, which is valuable for this game. Some team members have even participated in survival trainings to develop first-hand experience of living without the things we all take for granted like food or water." You'll play a member of the titular Division - an undercover agent, embedded with the civilian populace and activated by the US government in the event of a catastrophe. Agents must decide whether to save the city or hasten its collapse, and will come into conflict with other players over resources and territory. "The whole foundation for the IP is based on realism," apparently. "That's what makes our story so scary and engaging. We spent months researching the subject and the more we learned the more frightened we became. "When it comes to New York, we want the player to feel like he is actually exploring the city with all its landmarks, street names and atmosphere. Of course, we also took some creative liberties with the map of New York, as in the end it's about making a great game." If you haven't seen the trailer take a look below before you read on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWJD8DMasCU&feature=player_embedded Developed by Ubisoft Massive, the game takes advantage of modern console connectivity and memory allowances in the form of an open world that's "dynamic and persistent", which "feels alive and ever-changing". "Replaying an area or piece of content will vary from session-to-session and therefore feel fresh to the player," promises the release. "We want our players to be able to replay content which they have discovered, possibly for a specific item or certain achievements or just because they really enjoy it. Persistency of the environment is also very important, as we will add content and features to the game long after launch." The Division runs on a new Snowdrop engine that's "designed from the ground up to harness the power of the next generation of consoles". The tech "allows us to create a universe offering a wide variety of features, such as a reactive living-world system with complex AI, procedural destruction and dynamic global illumination. We were also able to integrate more objects than ever before in the environment in order to create a devastated and chaotic New York. "Next-gen consoles also focus on online and social features," the Q&A continues. "Within our engine, we have developed a new platform with a state-of-the-art matchmaking technology. That enables you to play with people that match your play-style, preferences and behavior." There's a bit more info on the Smart Watch, which generates a fancy Dead Space-style holographic map and houses various communication features. "When triggered, the pulse scans the environment surrounding the agents and gives them relevant information, such as civilian infection status, locations or useful items. "The pulse itself is one of the many functions of the smart watch, which is tied to player progression in the game. It can be upgraded, and the players can expand its capabilities as they advance through the game." Last but not least, there's the companion app for tablets. "We believe we are setting the bar for what companion gaming means for the next generation of consoles," the Q&A gushes. "Having applications which allow you to view and modify your character offline is not enough. "Companion gaming will be a meaningful experience in this game, where players can feel that they influence the world from their tablets or smart phones and are able to truly interact with other players. Companion gamers will be able to join groups, act in combat situations and experience their own progression and storyline through the game. "In addition, all of this will be free to play, because we want as many players as possible to be able to experience the game." Source OXM, My views, The more I hear about this, the more I like. What do you guys and gals think of it let us know in the comments below.