In our continuing reveal of new information about the highly anticipated game, The Division, we take a look at what developers are working on for allowing players to be able to drive cars, what NPC-player interaction may look like and if police NPCs will be hostile toward players.
Mathias Karlson and Axel Rydby, who are the lead game designer and design director on The Division, respectively, discussed these topics beginning with whether or not independent NPCs will be able to help players.
"Once again being an open-world game, we're in New York City and it's not the apocalypse we're mid-crisis, so you're not going to be alone in the city, that's for sure.
"We really don't want to spoil this [right now] because I think how you come into contact with the outer 'elements' in the city and how they will work together with you or not, is something we want to keep for you to experience when the game is out," Karlson said.
As far as being able to drive cars around New York, Rydby had an interesting response, while Karlson made it sound like it's something the development team is still working on.
"That's a big question. Let me answer it like this. If society fell and suddenly you had to hunt for food and water, you couldn't go down to your local supermarket and buy whatever you want, you have to actually start conserving it and start to think about how your spending those valuable resources that you have.
"If you did have access to fuel, would you use it to make sure you have access to clean water or make sure that you have access to be able to heat your food by a mobile generator you can fuel and produce electricity. Or would you use it to fuel your car? I know what I would do," Rydby said.
Karlson added, "The way you navigate and move through the city or a game that is open in nature, it's very core to how you experience the world. We are currently investigating what is the best for our game, what can we do to give you the best experience as a player because that is, in the end, what's most important to us."
It could be very difficult to imagine not mobile transportation for players, but when you think back to the E3 demo in June, they ended it with an extraction team coming to get the players, before being ambushed by other agents. So perhaps getting around the city will be done by helicopter and players will choose the areas of New York City they want to get to?
The Division is a very stealthy, unknown agency and local police departments may not know about these agents, so will cops react in a hostile way toward players?
"It's another really interesting question where we don' t want to spoil the intricacy between the Shade agency and other government agencies in New York. But I can say this, The Division is a top-secret agency and when an agent becomes activated, he is activated with an absolute mandate. So he can take control of any situation and deal with it accordingly.
"So will he be able to work with other elements of law enforcement? I think it's safe to say that if a situation like that would arise, yes of course they would try to work together to try and solve the situation, but exactly how that's going to work, we don't really want to spoil that. We have some ideas," Rydby said.
We did see players help out cops during the E3 demo, so perhaps helping out cops with tasks and freeing them will be how people build up a reputation around the city. The better reputation players build up, the more NPCs will come to their aid when needed. This could be true because reputation has been known to have some sort of role in most Ubisoft open-world games lately.