The manhunt for elusive boogeyman and rogue Division agent Aaron Keener is finally coming to a head with the upcoming Warlords of New York expansion for The Division 2. GameCritics was given a chance to go hands-on with the content to take a glimpse at how New York has fared since we visited in the first game, and also to see what it will take to finally track down Keener and his group of rogue agents.
While this new Division 2 expansion brings everyone back to New York (it was the setting of the first game) the setting is now a lower Manhattan composed of four new playable areas: The Financial District, Two Bridges, Civic Center, and Battery Park. A catastrophic hurricane has ripped through the area and there are still remnants of the Cleaners and Rikers gangs.
While it’s interesting to revisit the Big Apple, I do wish Warlords was in a different setting. Additionally, the return of the the The Division‘s old gangs makes it feel like a retread of familiar ground. However, this new area of the city looks far more like the D.C. we know from Division 2 than the original New York environment, and everything feels more alive and lived-in, even though I know I’ve seen that same massive pile of garbage bags more than a few times in the capital.
Besides the four new locations are fresh talents, gear, weapons, named items, and skills brought by Warlords of New York. I was able to play around with a few of those new skills such as the sticky bomb launcher and the shock trap, but my favorite was a holographic decoy not unlike one seen in the film Total Recall. This decoy is a godsend for a solo player like myself on any mission that requires someone to leave cover for an extended time to stop a transmission or rescue a hostage. I predict this one will be added into my regular loadout.
In terms of the narrative, it’s about time Ubisoft sent us after Keener. He’s been the shadowy figure behind the scenes of the franchise for around four years now, and not a single shot has been fired in his direction. I have no idea if Warlords of New York will finally see him in handcuffs or whether he might make an 11th hour escape, but either way it’s satisfying to know that the developers are finally doing something with him beyond a few scattered audio files.
Finally, I want to be clear that Warlords is definitely endgame content — reaching level 30 and being at World Tier 5 is mandatory to join. However, for those looking to jump right into what the expansion has to offer, there will be an optional boost to level 30 that can be activated. From there, the level cap will be raised to 40 and will introduce an infinite progression system where players will be able to incrementally raise their stats for as long as they keep advancing.
Regardless of how the manhunt for Aaron Keener plays out, we won’t have too long to wait. Warlords of New York launches for The Division 2 on March 3rd for PS4, Xbox, and PC, and Google Stadia receiving it later in the month.