Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 — Washington DC Aftermath

Collapse, civil war, survival: the new world order after the pandemic.

The world has changed — 27 days after the zero patient infection in New York, Washington has fallen. With government personnel and soldiers evacuated, the civilian population was left abandoned on the streets in total anarchy. The survivors are now organized into self-governing communities and armed factions in constant struggle for survival. As a conspiracy grows in the ruins of Washington to unleash a new civil war and control the city and nation, agents of the Strategic Homeland Division are the only hope for stopping a new devastation.

This document examines in brief Washington DC Aftermath (1:39; Patrick Clair, 2018), promotional video of Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 (Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft, 2019). The research considers the product and its materials by studying the creative choices, the informative properties, the modalities of visual representation and promotion.

Image for post

1. Analysis

Introductory note: Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 (Massive Entertainment/ Ubisoft, 2019) it is set in Washington after a devastating pandemic caused by contaminated money spread on Black Friday. The city is now in total anarchy, with civilian communities and armed groups fighting for survival between limited resources and fortified areas. In an urban guerrilla context, Strategic Homeland Division (SHD) government special agents join forces to save survivors and retake Washington, investigating the mysterious cause of the pandemic.

Washington DC Aftermath was first presented to the public during the Microsoft E3 2018 event, as an introductory prologue to the revelation of the first game session of Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2, introducing the narrative coordinates of the new scenario.[1]

Conceived in documentary style, Washington DC Aftermath describes a synthetic chronology of events linked to the US capital, telling the effects of the pandemic that arose in New York during Black Friday. Six months after the initial government crisis and administrative collapse, urban guerrilla survivors founded self-managed communities, building fortified areas to continue their struggle for survival. In this new world order of limited resources, occupied territories and hostile factions, the desire for total control of the rebels threatens to provoke a new devastating conflict, with the danger of unleashing an uncontrollable civil war for control of the nation.

Image for post

“Washington DC. The most heavily protected city on Earth. Within its limits 177 foreign embassies, 550 elected officials, and 23.000 military personnel. In the event of an attack critical personnel are evacuated, underground shelters open, while complex defence system patrol the sky.”

1.1. Narrative structure (selection of primary elements):

  1. Documentary reference
    Washington is the most protected city in the world: 177 embassies, 550 elected officials, 23,000 military personnel. In the event of an attack, political officials are evacuated, the underground shelters are open to protect the population while a complex defense system monitors the area.
  2. Bacteriological attack
    27 days after the New York pandemic with patient zero, Washington collapsed. Riots on K Street and shootings at the National Mall against the army arise. The military withdraw, but civilians are abandoned in the city now in total anarchy.
  3. The new world
    The survivors organize vertical gardens, guarded by communities in constant siege: survival has become an urban guerrilla war.
  4. Historical reference
    As it was centuries ago, American citizens on this earth clashed in a civil war to create their nation. This brutal scenario could repeat itself with the growing threat of a new conflict.
  5. Alarmist note
    Six months after the pandemic, the danger of a civil war continues to grow in a conspiracy for total control of the city and nation.
  6. Existential question
    How do you save a nation when its enemies come from within?
Image for post

“But nothing stopped the virus. 27 days after patient zero, Washington fell. It began with riots on K street, then shootings in the National Mall. Troops withdrew to bunkers. Civilians were left in the streets.”

Image for post

1.2. Information elements:

  • Security protocol
    - With over 177 embassies, 550 elected deputies, and 23,000 military personnel, Washington is the most protected city in the world. In the event of an attack, the protection protocol provides for the evacuation of priority political officials, the protection of the population in special underground shelters and the activation of a complex defense system to patrol the skies.
    The invisible enemy
    - The unexpected spread of the virus rendered ordinary security protocols useless.
    - 27 days after patient zero in New York, Washington has fallen. The crisis began with street riots and then shootings. The army eventually withdrew, abandoning the civilian population in anarchy.
  • Urban guerrilla warfare
    The survivors began to cultivate vertical gardens and organize themselves into armed communities, conquering resources and fortifying inhabited areas. The crisis has become an urban guerrilla for control of the territory, divided between peaceful groups and hostile factions.
  • A new world order
    In a context of violence and despair, the threat of a hidden conspiracy seems to confirm the intent to provoke a new civil war to gain total control of the city and nation.
  • The salvation of the nation
    The hope of a future society is entrusted to the agents of the Division, charged with fighting a mysterious internal enemy willing to sacrifice the population to obtain absolute power.
Image for post

“America is on the brink of collapse. But some people have survived. Gardens grow on rooftops. Their fences patrolled with rifles in communities that live under constant siege. Survival has taken the form of urban warfare.

Now, in the mid of summer, six months after the outbreak began, a remnant of a corrupted state looks in the shadow ready to engage in a new civil war.”

Image for post

1.3. Dialogue transcription

— Washington DC. The most heavily protected city on Earth. Within its limits 177 foreign embassies, 550 elected officials, and 23.000 military personnel.

In the event of an attack critical personnel are evacuated, underground shelters open, while complex defence system patrol the sky.

But nothing stopped the virus. 27 days after patient zero, Washington fell. It began with riots on K street, then shootings in the National Mall. Troops withdrew to bunkers. Civilians were left in the streets.

America is on the brink of collapse. But some people have survived. Gardens grow on rooftops. Their fences patrolled with rifles in communities that live under constant siege. Survival has taken the form of urban warfare.

Centuries ago on this very soil, brother fought brother, spilling blood to forge the United States. History is threatening to repeat itself.

Now, in the mid of summer, six months after the outbreak began, a remnant of a corrupted state looks in the shadow ready to engage in a new civil war.

Agents of the Division are the only ones standing against it.

But how do you save a nation, when its enemy come from within? —

Image for post

Notes

[1] See also additional information presented during the Ubisoft E3 2018 event by Julian Gerighty, creative director of Massive Entertainment. https://bit.ly/2Um7xg6

Study method and sources
This document is the result of a compilation process created with scientific and accessibility requirements. Special care has therefore been devoted to coherently structuring the texts and analysis sections, to selecting functional visual devices, and to providing verified information by correctly citing sources of documentation, with the final objective of sharing useful material for the purposes of study, criticism and information.

Legal notice
The iconographic material, the trademarks (registered or unregistered) and all the information reported as being in any case protected belong to the respective owners. The internal use of protected material responds exclusively to a scientific and cultural intent.

The author releases the document through the license:

  • Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0.
    This allows third parties to share the published material indicating the origin, respecting the same type of original license and prohibiting the use for commercial purposes.

Contacts
Humenhoid is a creative research unit specialized in immersive entertainment and transmedia storytelling, with focus on cinema, tv series, and video games.

For information, communications or proposals for collaboration write to
Enrico Granzotto | e@humenhoid.com | Humenhoid.com

Follow Humenhoid on Instagram

Humenhoid’s projects include:

  • Project Prometheus
    A comprehensive case study on information management and narrative design in the Alien (R. Scott, 1979) and Prometheus (R. Scott, 2012) interconnected franchises (120 pp; available upon request)

Written by

I’m a creative research unit specialized in immersive entertainment and transmedia storytelling with focus on cinema, tv series, and videogames | humenhoid.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store