Destiny proved that always-online RPGs could work on consoles, provided the MMO-style experience was grounded by solid gameplay. Activision's space epic FPS took the inherent fun of blasting aliens in Halo, then gave players a reason to stick around for hundreds of hours with endlessly replayable quests, addictive progression, and all that sweet, sweet loot. And if any game's going to steal you away from Destiny's gear-grinding embrace, it could very well be Tom Clancy's The Division. Ubisoft's upcoming third-person shooter, due this March, has all the same hooks that can keep you coming back night after night for XP grinding and the pursuit of loot with your pals.
After over two hours of hands-on time with the game, it's easy to see how The Division could scratch the same itch as Destiny, from the enticing loot system (complete with multiple enhancements for each weapon) to the sprawling world. As an agent of the Division, you're tasked with restoring order to a snow-capped New York City after a contagion wreaks havoc on society. This entails teaming up in groups of up to four players, then mowing down rioters and escaped convicts who are prowling the streets, taking back the city one block at a time.
The Division might even have an edge on Destiny, in the form of the PvP-focused Dark Zone area. This self-contained sprawl in the heart of NYC is a unique kind of player-versus-player experience, built on fear and tension as much as skill and coordination. You can shoot anyone you like - be they NPCs or other players - in the pursuit of better gear, but doing so puts a target on your head, because the only way to retain your new loot is to survive an extraction. Check out our full video preview for a rundown on what you can expect from The Division.