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20Sep/19

Red Storms Terry Spier on The Division 2 Campaign and Endgame

first_img ‘The Division 2’ Is the Only Looter Shooter Worth PlayingThese Are the Games You Should Check Out in March 2019 Stay on target Last week, I got to check out a preview of The Division 2‘s campaign, endgame, and post-launch content. What I took away from the presentation is that Red Storm Entertainment is looking to provide meaningful content for narrative-driven players. If you combine this with the robust multiplayer, The Division 2 will certainly give players their money’s worth. In fact, it’s shaping into 2019’s must-have looter shooter. Sorry, Anthem!I once again had the chance to speak with Red Storm Creative Director Terry Spier. We discussed how The Division 2‘s narrative helps players better connect with the world and how the team crafted a believable Washington D.C. We also talked about how the new enemy faction, The Black Tusks, will force players to cooperate in the Dark Zone.While The Division had a solid story, it felt impersonal. How does The Division 2’s narrative help the player feel more connected to the world?Our approach to the civilians, the settlements, and engaging the player in those stories make it a little more personal. Taking players on that journey of recovery I think really engages me. I’m hoping it’ll do the same for you.If you’re trying to save the world in a video game it’s important to feel you’re actually accomplishing that.Exactly. You see that impact and change [in The Division 2]. You see the civilians and settlements as they’re recovering. You’re saving the city and the people. We hit it this time.In what ways do players see the impact they’re having on the world?Visually, you’re going to see it in the settlements and the living system in the actual open world. We talked about all the living world systems in there. Who is on the streets with you? Is it civilians or is it enemy factions? Based on what you do, you’ll see that difference in the world. There’s certain subtleties and there’s certain things that’ll hit you over the head visually. You’ll see a terrible run down section that now has beautiful flowers all over it with kids playing. You’re going to catch those vibes.This game takes place seven months after the viral outbreak, not weeks like in the first game. What kind of research went into creating a believable post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.?I want to give all the thanks to Ubisoft because they shipped a lot of us directors off on a special trip to D.C. We were there for over two weeks and had the opportunity to talk to scientists, first responders, SWAT team, police department, fire department, the national guard, and lawmakers. We had behind-the-scenes access to many amazing locations around D.C. and we asked them all: “How would you respond to a crisis like this? What would happen to the city in your expertise?” It was amazing the kind of things they said.I don’t think as much overgrowth would be present, but come on, it’s a video game. We wanted to make sure we expressed the fact time passed and nobody’s mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. We have so much insight into how the city would have actually reacted and we put that all into the game.You have to bump things up in order to make it more interesting even if it isn’t 100% realistic. But there’s also a lot that’s pretty accurate as well, right?Some of that stuff’s going to be totally true. There’s no doubt. When you talk about the sort of heat waves we’ll be presenting to the player and the kind of storms you’ll see in the dynamic weather. In my head it just started to click with me. It could happen like this in certain locations. It’s not ridiculous.What was different between creating New York City and Washington D.C.?D.C. was a whole new challenge. Like, you walk ten feet and trip on a landmark in Washington D.C. The whole place is iconic in a way. It’s much different than Manhattan. We worked really hard on that recreation. People that know D.C. will find things they recognize.How 1:1 is Washington D.C.? I ask because when I walked around in the first game some stuff was off. There’s no music store where the Javits Center is, for example. Is D.C. a more faithful recreation than Manhattan was in the first game?There’s some liberties we take for video games. Let’s just say it’s the same. I think there are parts that are more accurate in D.C. but there’s probably some parts we had to fudge on as well. It’s still going to be amazing. You’re still going to walk by the steps of buildings and think: “Oh my god, I took a picture here in real life.” Or “That’s my friend’s house! That’s the flower shop!” You’re going to see it.Can players use subways to get around the city?There’s a whole aspect to the game I can’t even talk about. I don’t want to spoil it but we created as much as we could of the city.We talked about the endgame last time. Based on today’s presentation I can tell it’s even bigger than you first described. What else can players expect when they hit the level cap and finish the campaign?We wanted to create content that mattered for a lot of people. That’s why we brought in this faction, the Black Tusks. We wanted to attach that narrative coolness factor to the endgame as well. We wanted to say: “You think you’re good now? You haven’t seen it all, baby.” Now we’re giving you a faction that’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done. They’re going to have their own story and reason to be there and it’s tied narratively. You get to uncover all this new stuff when you thought you finished the game.When people think of endgame, generally they think they did all the story and hit the max level. So yeah, we could take that traditional look at it, but we’re giving you more story at the endgame. It’s an infusion into all the content you’re familiar with. So you know what to do and how to do it, you know how to access it, you understand the world. But we just lift up all the old factions you’re used to and we put in this new amazing faction and say: “Now what are you gonna do?” It’s mind-blowing how the world changes, how the civilians respond to this endgame content, and to watch that living-world system react.What is the main thing you’re looking forward to fans seeing?Occupied Dark Zones. We talked about it at the PvP event but what I couldn’t say at the time was that it’s tied to the Black Tusks. They’re a critical element in the Occupied Dark Zones. They change the DZ from a rules standpoint, from a difficulty standpoint, and sort of the insanity that comes around it. I know we talked about the DZs already, but I can’t wait for players to get into that and see the difference in how they react.We’ve talked about how players tend to interact with each other in the Dark Zone. We talked about the rule sets we’ve established in the post-launch of the original game and the things we’ve brought over to the main game of The Division 2 like normalization and toggling of Rogues. People automatically assume when we say there’s no rules that everyone is just going to go buck wild. Dude, it’s so hard. I think people are going to be more cooperative. I anticipate there will be some people that need help, even the ones who think they’re the best, because it’s so difficult. The Black Tusks are that kind of crazy.That’s an interesting way of bringing players together.We’ll see. I’m sure people will prove me wrong but I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t want to be alone in the Occupied Dark Zone. I’d want to find friends real fast because of the Black Tusks.The Occupied Dark Zones are difficult, as I mentioned in the presentation. The factions don’t like the Black Tusks either because they’re more powerful and they’re a threat to their organizations as well. When they arrive in the Dark Zone they are killing other factions that are in the landmarks. They’re wiping them out. Everyone has to deal with the Black Tusks. They change everything.You aren’t asking players to pay extra for all the content you’re releasing post-launch. Isn’t that going to impact your bottom line? I’m sure some gamers would happily pay for some of this content.I’ll leave the money making to the business people. When we approached post-launch, the directors got together and said we wanted to keep everybody playing the same game. We didn’t have the opportunity to do that with the model in the original game because you had to pay for each installment. If you didn’t buy the underground, then we couldn’t play together, right? This time we said we wanted everyone together. How did we do that? Make it free. Everyone that buys the game gets all the same content. Now all the community stays together through this journey. That was our number one stance. We wanted to keep players together. They’ll find a way to make money. I’m not worried about that.More on Geek.com:Hands-On: ‘The Division 2’ Overhauled Multiplayer Modes Are Exactly What the Series NeededTerry Spier on ‘The Division 2’ Multiplayer ModesThe Most Exciting Video Games of 2019last_img read more