The events of The Division 2 take place in Washington D.C. approximately 7 months after the original game. But do you ever find yourself wondering what is going on in the world you left behind? If so, then prepare to satisfy your curiosity and return to the city that never sleeps with The Division 2: Warlords of New York expansion for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The Division 2: Warlords of New York Details
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Genre: Third-person shooter
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Welcome back, agent
If you played The Division then you likely remember the snowy streets of midtown Manhattan. Now The Division 2: Warlords of New York is calling you back. However, this time you’ll be touching down further south in lower Manhattan in the sweltering summer heat.
The scenery and environmental challenges really capture the difference in locales between here and the capital. This is fairly impressive considering both are large east coast cities. Yet New York still somehow feels a bit more claustrophobic as it towers over you.
Lower Manhattan almost feels like a jungle gym of exploration. Passages are narrow are buildings feel taller. Yet there are plenty of hidden areas and enticing rewards for those who are willing to solve the environmental puzzles that disguise them.
The size of the map itself is sufficiently large. At least, it’s basically in line with the expansion’s asking price—roughly a third of the area of Washington. Regardless, those who are regularly exhausting the D.C. map are likely very happy to have a new playground to explore.
New story content
The Division 2: Warlords of New York raises the level cap from 30 to 40. Naturally, the best way to get there is through a host of new missions, side quests, and collectibles. The core of the expansion brings somewhere between 6 – 10 hours of new gameplay.
Those hoping for a lengthy new narrative may be slightly disappointed however. While The Division 2: Warlords of New York does bring with it a new plot development, it really just bookends the action. There is a beginning and and end, but not much in between.
Probably the main reason for this is the fact that for the most part, players can take on new missions in any order. The Warlords of New York expansion focuses on a manhunt for Keener (a familiar antagonist from the original title) and four more of his rogue agents. Players can tackle these bosses however they please as they gain intel leading to the final showdown.
This eliminates much of The Division 2: Warlords of New York‘s capacity for linear storytelling. However, it does play well with the “open-world” style of the game. Those who favour freedom over narrative structure will inevitably enjoy the experience more.
Traditional boss battles
Probably my favourite aspect of The Division 2: Warlords of New York is the more traditional approach to boss design. The climax of most missions in the main game is normally simply waves of increasingly difficult enemies. Here the developers have put a bit more of a unique spin on boss encounters.
For example, one of my favourite fights involves a boss who can generate holographic projections of himself. This turns the arena into more of a survival puzzle than simply a matter of outlasting waves of baddies. False targets are everywhere, and players need to develop a strategy to deal with this wrench in the gears.
My solution to this quandary was to employ the turret gun as one of my loadout skills. While the human eye may not be able to discern fake enemies from real ones, it seems the turret can. Its manual targeting feature won’t allow you the option to lock on to “fake” enemies. This method is a lot quicker (and less ammo-consuming) than firing rounds at holograms to determine their authenticity!
Playing through the story content will net you a few new skill options as well. For example, defeating this Mysterio-wannabe will earn you your own hologram skill. This can be used as a decoy to distract your enemies.
Introduction to Seasons
Of course, all this initial fanfare primarily intends to bring players up to level 40. At its heart, The Division 2 is a looter-shooter, and the Warlords of New York expansion is really just the gateway to the game’s latest foray into current trends. Like most persistent online shooters, The Division 2: Warlords of New York is introducing ongoing timed events, or “Seasons”.
Seasons will last for twelve weeks at a time. During these seasonal periods, players will be introduced to a “reward track” that will allow them to earn rewards in the form of new weapons, gear, and more. The same gear can also drop outside of the seasonal track by RNG, and players will be given the option on making real-world currency purchases to mitigate the grind.
In other words, “Seasons” introduce the equivalent of a more familiar term—”Battle Pass”—that many gamers are likely familiar with! Each season will introduce new and unique “manhunts” and other events where players can earn the necessary XP to level up and earn their rewards. However it’s likely not a surprise that a bit of extra real-world spending can fast-track the process.
All-in-all, seasons are The Division 2: Warlords of New York‘s big attempt to engage players and grow the game as an ongoing experience. If you truly can’t get enough of the close-quarters gameplay and precise shooting mechanics that The Division 2 is known for, you’ll probably love the excuse to return again and again for more seasonal action.
The Division 2: Warlords of New York expansion returns to the Big Apple for big boss battles and Seasons
The journey to level 40 with The Division 2: Warlords of New York is a fun mix of exploration and intriguing boss fights. There isn’t much ongoing narrative, but there is at the least a story payout at the end. As always, the game leans most heavily on its tight shooter mechanics.
Ultimately, the real goal of The Division 2: Warlords of New York is the introduction of Seasons. This is where players must decide if they were only ever here for the campaign, or if they wish to participate in the persistent endgame loop of seasonal XP and reward grinding (or purchasing). What remains to be seen is if The Division 2: Warlords of New York has the chops to keep players coming back again and again for more.
+ Engaging boss battles
+ Lots of exploration to do in NYC
+ Ongoing seasonal content
– Lack of additional narrative
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF THE DIVISION 2: WARLORDS OF NEW YORK
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
Overall Rating 4/5 (80%)
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