Changing weather conditions are common in open-world games, but they're mostly visual accents - with the notable exception of MGS 5 (opens in new tab)'s blinding sand storms. But Tom Clancy's The Division (opens in new tab) takes place in New York City in the depths of winter, and Ubisoft (opens in new tab) is getting serious about those snow storms.
If you've ever walked through a blizzard, you know how hard it can be just to keep your eyes open against the piercing wind and cutting snow. Now imagine trying to accurately aim and fire a gun in those conditions. Ubisoft says that on top of hindering visibility (enemies don't have name tags (opens in new tab) until you manually mark them or hit them with a sensor pulse) for players and NPCs, "full storms" will affect both aim assist and enemy detection ranges.
Sounds like blizzards will be a great time to try and sneak by that pack of Cleaners, but get caught and you'll have a grueling fight ahead of you. Might be better to just duck into a nearby building (no loading screen, naturally) and wait for the storm / flamethrower-wielding maniacs to pass. The Division also has a day/night cycle, so dally inside too long and you might end up doing your operations while it's dark out.
Sadly, this update has significantly less fodder for my The Division dog theory (opens in new tab) than I was hoping. Looks like I might just have to wait for the beta in December (opens in new tab) to prove it out.
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