It’s not about sheer power as much as freedom from constraints.
Whether you’re fan of its always online gameplay or not, there’s no denying that Tom Clancy’s The Division looks incredible. We recently witnessed a showcase for the game’s Snowdrop Engine, which allows for real-time destruction and realistic weather effects. This is thanks to the power of next gen consoles but managing director at Ubisoft Massive David Polfeldt reveals that there’s more to the PS4 and Xbox One than just sheer power.
On being asked by VentureBeat about how far the studio can carry its narrative in the next generation, Polfeldt replied, “It’s a difficult question to answer. I might not say it’s because of the machines, per se, so much as the maturity of the engines and the simplicity and ease of developing for next-gen. That allows you to think more about things like narrative.
“Before, no matter what we wanted to do, it was hard to do. You’d come to work with a great idea and we’d say, ‘That’s cool, but we have to be pragmatic. What are we really able to do?’ We had to compromise to get things done. With this generation, you have a crazy idea in the morning and we could see it up and running the next day. That puts people in a different mindset. They start thinking, ‘How do we tell stories in games? Does it have to go gameplay-gameplay-cutscene, or can we do it a different way?’
“It’s not so much the technology as the liberty the technology gives you, the freedom to think more openly about how to solve different issues. The same goes for audio. It’s easy to do advanced things with audio. All you need now is a very creative audio director who takes advantage of the fact that it’s a very open landscape of opportunities.”
The Division is currently slated to release in Q3 2014 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.