Ubisoft has openly stated that sales for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 fell short of their expectations. There’s a multitude of reasons why however in traditional Ubisoft fashion, the game has received numerous updates and changes to address many if not all of these issues. Developers “Massive Entertainment” have done an outstanding job communicating with The Division player base. Every Wednesday on The Division 2 official Twitch channel, they host a live discussion titled “State of the Game” with various dev team members to provide up to date info on current known issues, maintenances, and forthcoming improvements. This level of engagement is why fans of the franchise such as myself never deterred. We knew the developers were truly listening and the absolute proof is in the pudding with Warlords of New York.
Those who completed Tom Clancy’s The Division will notice a familiar name is the main antagonist in Warlords of New York. Aaron Keener, the first division agent to go rogue has assembled a new elite group of former Division agents to takeover Lower Manhattan. Keener’s new goal is to create & deploy a new biological weapon based on the notes obtained from deceased Dr. Amherst, creator of the “green poison” aka “the dollar flu”. It is also revealed that Keener had kidnapped Russian Virologist Vitaly Tchernenko to create this new weapon. As you can see, this entire story is a continuation of Tom Clancy’s The Division. The steps taken to weave Warlords of New York into the original narrative feels fluid and concise. It also makes you want to replay those key missions from Tom Clancy’s The Division and pay closer attention to the dialogue.
As morbid as this may sound, Warlords of New York’s open-world design is a beautiful depiction of dilapidated lower Manhattan. As someone from New York and who worked in Lower Manhattan for over 10 years, I can see a high level of attention was put in the details. From the Battery Park bench layouts to the recently redesigned Staten Island ferry terminal, everything looks as they should in the present day. For those not from the area, this is trivial, however, players from New York City will appreciate this level of detail.
The most notable change is the season. Winter has passed and gone are the snow-covered streets. We now have a more 2007 film “I Am Legend” feel with overgrown brush and an eerie sense of abandonment due to the hurricane that hit the City. With Tom Clancy’s The Division taking place during winter I never felt alone, assuming people were self-quarantined in the surrounding buildings. Also, there were a good amount of citizens scavenging around. In Warlords for New York, I get this feeling of isolation, as if all these buildings are now completely empty and I really am alone.
There are four new areas to explore in Warlords of New York. Battery Park, Financial District, Civic Center, and Two Bridges. Since all the action takes place in lower Manhattan do not expect to revisit locations from Tom Clancy’s The Division. There is also an additional location that will become available toward the end of the campaign. Each area is controlled by one of the new four elite rogue agent’s Keener has recruited. These new rogue agents have also acquired the services of familiar factions such as “Cleaners” and “Rikers”. There is also a new home base of operations called “Haven” which is run by a group called the “Peacekeepers”.
The gameplay in Warlords of New York and The Division 2 has been completely overhauled (click here to see my piece on all the changes). Some of the key changes to the removal of gear score and the return of levels. Regardless of your previous Division 2 stats, you will begin at level 30 in Warlords of New York with a max level of 40. “Gear 2.0” simplifies the recalibration process of weapons & gear to a more straight forward approach. The ability to recalibrate your items is absolutely critical when creating new builds and it was evident The Division 2 version was a bit cumbersome to the point many players just ignored the feature entirely. It’s, for this reason, I decided to add a quick example guide below.
At the recalibration station, you can select Recalibration or Recalibration library.
When you go into the Recalibration library you can see all your weapons and gears neatly organized by type. For this example, I’m going to recalibrate my Stonger LAMG level 40 LMG. If you look at the LMG category you can see the quick overview of what I can extract in regards to core attributes, attributes, and talents. After selecting LMG, I extracted a core attribute o +8% DMG to target out of cover from a lower-level model. This core attribute is now in my recalibration library and can be swapped with any other LMG.
As you can see I have my Stoner level 40 selected and it has +6% DMG to target out of cover.
I then select the core attributes and can see the ones I have extracted. I select the +8 DMG to target out of cover and transfer attribute.
The new attributed has successfully transferred over and I now have the +8 DMG to target out of cover core attribute on my level 40 Stoner LMG.
The key to harnessing this improved recalibration system is to try to add a visit to the recalibration station before breaking down or selling your items. If you don’t need some of the attributes or talents now with your current build they may still become handy later on. With that said, a plethora of new weapons and gear has been had exclusively to Warlords of New York, meaning you will not find these items back in D.C. It’s also worth noting that this new “Gear 2.0” applies to your older D.C gear. So I highly recommend you open your stash and start extracting attributes/talents.
Once you complete the Warlords of New York campaign which could take 8-10 hours (depending on play style) you should be level 40. Once you’ve reached level 40, seasons mode will unlock. Seasons consist of completing various challenges within that season’s window which is 12 weeks to obtain various rewards. This is similar to other games that offer similar season structures.
Massive Entertainment has stated a raid will also come to Warlords of New York at some point in time, however, there are no plans of adding a new dark zone in this expansion. This is strictly a PVE expansion and for those looking to continue that experience, they can do so in the existing D.C dark zone which they have also tweaked with the latest update. We will also see global events and other new game modes added to the Warlords of New York. I hope this implies we will see the return of “Resistance” and “Underground” and maybe a variant of “Survival”.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York is the epitome of a quality game expansion. The core gameplay/enemy interaction is fast-paced and engaging. The investigative storytelling of the Division continues in Warlords of New York and at no point will you feel like it’s a tacked-on pointless experience. Massive Entertainment listened to their player base, made the adjustments and not only created a content filled expansion but one that will continue to see new additions for the foreseeable future.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York for the PlayStation 4 provided by Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft.