I’ve been playing the closed beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division, an upcoming fantasy RPG about patrolling Manhattan and murdering Black Friday “rioters.” The game’s version of New York City isn’t the most convincing I’ve ever seen, but the graffiti is solid.

I’ve complained about bad video game graffiti in the past, so I like to highlight good graffiti when I see it. In my book, bad graffiti is the stuff that seems explicitly informed by the plot of the game. When Ubisoft’s artists were coming up with wall decorations for The Division, they could’ve gone with the usual post-disaster stuff like, “Where is our food?” and “Down with the government!” and “Anarchy in NYC!”


Rather than doing that, they went with the sorts of chaotic scrawls that we’d probably actually see should something like The Division’s city-clearing bioweapon attack come to pass. Hell, parts of Manhattan already look like this.

I liked this one in particular:


The best graffiti is down in the subway, though the stuff around the streets is fine, too. The other, non-graffiti signage around the city is more generic and unconvincing:

I do love to run down to “Chicken Place” every so often, though.

Maybe it’s a beta thing, and they’ll have a few more distinct #brands when the full game launches. Even if they don’t, it’s good to see another game playing it cool with graffiti.

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