The worlds of science fiction and gaming are replete with depictions of the apocalypse, but it's not the full-on, end-of-the-world scenarios that people who think seriously about the future are concerned about. It's something more akin to social collapse, producing a world that looks a lot like the one we live in, but in which vital services - including those that maintain law and order - have disappeared.
It's into a world scarily like our own that you step with Tom Clancy's The Division. A pandemic has seized the city, spread on bank notes during Black Friday sales. The city has fallen, and The Division, a classified unit of self-supported tactical agents, has been activated. The agents find themselves caught up an epic conspiracy, fighting not only the effects of the conspiracy but also the threat of those behind it.
The game is an online, open-world, role-playing game based around third-person shooter mechanics. The world itself is certainly one of the stars of the show. It's a beautifully-rendered, almost one to one depiction of a decayed New York in which the city's opulence can still be glimpsed beneath a layer of grime and violence.
Ubisoft has taken the game's RPG elements seriously, and detailed stats mean that players can tweak and refine each element of their arsenal and gear through an extensive crafting system.
The multiplayer aspect of The Division takes place in what's known as The Dark Zone. It's an area of the map strewn with high-end weapons and gear, abandoned by the army as it retreated from New York. It's somewhat separate from the main game and has its own progression. The goodies held there can be retrieved to help players in the main campaign - with the help of friends if you prefer - but you'll need to call in a helicopter to extract it. That, in turn, can bring the attention of other players who might take an interest in the kit you've gathered...
Tom Clancy's The Division presents a dark, sinister vision of a world that's scarily close to our own.