‘The Division’ Pre-Alpha Gameplay Leaked, Ubisoft Says Development Is Much Further Along

Ubisoft’s highly anticipated MMO shooter just got an unwanted sneak peek this week.  Footage from an early build was released by an insider showing some subpar animation and graphics.  Ubisoft has commented, stating these images do not reflect the content of the work in progress.

Tom Clancey’s The Division was shown at E3 in 2013 with a very impressive trailer highlighting it’s fast-paced OTS firefights and a strong emphasises on communication and teamwork.  The 15-minute video demonstrates a seamless romp through a dystopian future of cover-based mayhem.

After their extraordinary showing, Ubisoft has decided to push the game back to 2015, with an insider commenting in 2014 that “the actual game development has barely started.”  This may be expected, since the game is using Snowdrop, a new engine designed with the eighth generation of consoles in mind.

Since then fans have been clamoring for more gameplay footage, but the developer has stayed tight-lipped showing less in the following outings than in their initial.  Last year at E3, a cinematic trailer, and a shorter gameplay demo was shown

The leaked footage was uploaded to YouTube, but was quickly pulled off by UbiSoft, however in the age of the internet, these things are bound to pop back up.  Several screencaps and an animated gif have reappeared online, showing a severely less polished version than we’ve seen prior.  This may seem familiar to the release of Watch Dogs, which also went through delays and complaints of smoke and mirrors hiding the true build of the game.

Ubisoft has released a statement, saying “These low-resolution images come from a pre-alpha version organized by developers to test the infrastructure. A large portion of the game has been removed and is not in any way the current quality of the game.”

The leaker has agreed that the footage was taken from early in the development, and comments on the gameplay as being more ‘arcade’ in nature and is much faster than the methodical and calculated impression we got from the first trailer.

Some have accused Ubisoft of over-promising when it comes to early graphics, highlighting years of trailers that failed to live up to the high-quality presented; such as Assassin’s Creed, ZombiU and FarCry 3.

Besides beautiful graphics, the game promises an engaging storyline involving a leaked virus that spreads across the United States during Black Friday.  The game cites real world operations and directives as inspiration for the in-game collapse of the country.  The disease is spread through bank notes, so considering the seasonal setting and location, the game appears to have a rich foundation rife with subtextual inspirations.

Will the game live up to the hype, or is this another game Ubisoft will have to back peddle on after release?  The game is slated for the end of this year, and will be released on PS4, Xbox One, PC and feature an extra gameplay mode for tablets.  The Division is projected to be rated PEGI-18.
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