Tom Clancy’s The Division is one of the most anticipated next generation games, but what makes it truly “Next Gen?” According to Massive Entertainments Managing Director David Polfeldt one of the elements contributing to the generational leap is the removal of the two-dimensional UI between the player and the game, as he explained in an interview on Gamereactor Sweden.
There’s another thing that we did that I think is very next gen, and that’s made possible a little bit by the capacity of these machines. It is the removal of the 2D space, because in the game you have the 3D, which is the world, and you have the gamer. You need them both, and what happens between them is the interactive experience, but for years and years and years we added a 2D layer between them, which is where you’re interacting too. And I was looking and that [and thought] “What is that 2D layer?” Because it’s not the game, it’s not the gamer, so…where does this exist philosophically? Where does it belong?
So I gave my guys a challenge on this one: I said “I forbid you to use that 2D space.” We’re never going to use it in The Division, unless it creates more immersion. Some times it can be an immersion improver, but normally it’s just a glass between you and the game. if you look at our game, everything that is UI is actually in the game’s world. It’s in there, it’s not in a space between you and the game. And to me that is another way to create better immersion, and in a way a more next gen experience.
Personally I feel that Polfeldt is quite right. I’ve always been bothered on a subconscious level by the most intrusive HUDs, and the Minority Report-like approach to the UI we see in The Division does seem to improve immersion quite a lot. How do you feel about it? is this “next gen” enough for your taste?