For better or worse, immersion is becoming a technological spearhead for many a gritty RPG title. Proffering open worlds to get lost in, and spangling visuals to rival the dimensions some might refer to as real life. The rolling – if a little disgruntled, hills of Tom Clancy’s The Division appears to concur but its roots might still come as a surprise.
The world of Ubisoft’s upcoming RPG-shooter was inspired by a scenario known as “Operation Dark Winter (via GameSpot).”Designed by confederates of U.S. Biodefense and Analytics services to raise an awareness of the fragility of society during a widespread bioterror disaster. Dark Winter focused on the inevitable tally of human casualty and the formidable breakdown of governmental processes.
The scenario took place on the 22nd-23rd of June 2001, involving a local “smallpox attack” on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The contained attack was then planned to catalyse a sweeping contagion; an epidemic National Services would have trouble simultaneously containing and researching.
Naturally, the situation expected that the infection would prove so powerful that the rate of human casualty would drown emergency services, leading to the ultimate disintegration and collapse of national operations. Whilst medical and resources would have imposed forcible rationing and government media-tinkering, widespread panic would lead to social contingencies such as gang violence and friction between the population and government authorities.
Dark Winter represented the societal rift that would result from an extensive bio-catastrophe, and Tom Clancy’s The Division opens up a world that real representatives feared possible, reinforcing the game’s ‘What if?’ tone.
The Division is set for release for the 8th March, for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4.