Video game worlds are like movie sets. They’re invented worlds, filled with artificial detail. There’s no such thing as making a game “on location.” Every thing you see, in every game, was built from scratch. Including all the scratches. Someone had to make texture to make that wall look rough and worn, to make it look damaged by whatever monster you’re chasing or being chased by.
In an invented world, then, it makes sense that occasionally someone would forget something.
As I played The Division this weekend, I was constantly surprised by how much detail there was everywhere. Check out the screenshots I took below to see the level of detail and scale the game has on display. It’s really incredible.
Once in a while, though, you find a buttonless elevator. This wasn’t a glitch – the elevator wasn’t part of a mission, it was just decoration. If there had been a button, it likely wouldn’t have done anything. But it stuck out, all the same. It’s like the Uncanny Valley, but instead of being about human faces, it’s about world detail. We explore these invented worlds year after year, and as they become more and more detailed, the things that are omitted become that much more noticeable.
It’s one of those things that doesn’t impact the game in any meaningful way, but it’s hard not to notice.
Tom Clancy’s The Division hits PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 8, 2016.