Release: 2016(?)

Tom Clancy’s The (Troll Hard) Division puts you with a group of 3 post-apocalyptic sleeper agents in the midst of a viral epidemic killing off the US population and you have the single goal of looting every player and NPC that you come into contact with. It doesn’t even matter if they were situational allies or members of your own party, if they have a gun that you like, you can shank a fool and take it off of their body. What’s a dead body going to do to protest? Ragdoll in anger? At least, that would be what the E3 demo would lead me to believe that this game is going to play out.

The Open-world cooperative shooter-genre is definitely trying to explore new directions since Borderlands made its debut a few years ago for the closed party format and Destiny released last year as the drop-in drop-out open party format. Troll Hard has both a drop-in-drop out system where parties are automatically dropped into random servers with other random groups already in them but this is the first with a betrayal system that works contains both inter-party and intra-party mechanics.

The way that The [Troll] Division handles inter-party betrayals is that if any member makes a move on another group, your group is considered rogue (hostile) and all other groups in the area are notified of this putting your group at a disadvantage because you thought loot was more important than cooperation. The same modal goes for intra-party betrayal, if you shoot a member of your group, you’re marked as rogue so you better pick your battles carefully or stay that itchy trigger finger.

The reason why someone would want to betray the team is because of the loot you found in your run of the city. You find loot by killing mobs that protect chests, and the items in these chests can only be acquired after you evacuate the premise, of which there are only a handful of evacuation points. You can also find loot by killing other player-groups.

As far as the demo went, I should say that they didn’t make it a far comparison to the real thing because the coordinators gave an incentive to be the first to evac loot. Normally there wouldn’t be an incentive to pick a fight with a group currently trying to evac but for some awful reason they wanted to instigate the 3 groups that were in the demo into combat and so that’s what happened for about 15 minutes or so before the demo time was finished.

The internals of the game were simple. Your group can be comprised of different “classes” with different loadouts. A healer, a gadget tech assaulter and a ranged assault. The enemies in the demo were fairly diverse, ranging from a few basic goons to elite pyrotech enemies with weak-points to learn and backstories for all.

The game lends itself to having a fairly complex lore assuming the time is put into it, but I would really hate to pick up the game and always be stuck with people prioritizing gear over teamwork, whether it’s from within your group or dealing with other groups. I can just see the game a few weeks in, having bands of max level players camping evac points and killing everyone coming into contact with the zone.

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