The hands-off demonstration of Tom Clancy’s The Division that we were treated to at Ubisoft’s E3 booth was almost identical to that of their press conference, but for one small detail: we got to see first-hand just how the game incorporated its second-screen experience into the mix.
Using the companion drone via a tablet in an unseen sequence against a ton of AI enemies, an Ubisoft developer hovered over his three other in-game squadmates, swiping left and right to move and pinching to zoom in and out of the battlefield. The tablet displayed the same, quite high-fidelity map as on the screens of the console players — just from a very different perspective, of course — and the console gamers’ movements occurred in real-time on the tablet itself.
The companion drone earns its own XP during combat and allows its user to add and strengthen skills using its own skill trees. As a member of the team, the drone actually looks quite useful; we watched on as the developer first pointed at enemies on-screen to tag them for console players. Tapping into its skill tree, the drone then cast armor debuffs on its own team members, causing them to deliver 50% more damage to baddies — previously tagged or otherwise — with every shot.
The drone appears on console gamers’ screens as well, meaning it is as much of a target as its other team members. It, like its human squadmates can take damage, but that’s okay; the drone is also able to use its healing ability to make everyone right as rain. The drone isn’t defensive either; it then called in a missile strike to deal actual physical damage to those enemies that remained.
Tom Clancy’s The Division will be released for next-gen consoles next year.