The Division 2 returns to New York in major expansion this March – Our Preview

Next month, Ubisoft and series developer Massive will be rolling out Warlords of New York – a jumbo expansion that takes players back to where The Division first started.

As much as we enjoyed our romp through the districts of Washington D.C in the Tom Clancy sequel, it was arguably less memorable than stalking those snowy Manhattan streets. After spending dozens of hours retaking the capitol and gunning down Black Tusk, we’d struggle to tell you what had happened, story-wise.

Right off the bat, Warlords of New York establishes a new chapter in The Division saga that steers the overarching plot back on track. Eight months have passed since the outbreak and Division Agents are looking to hunt down the man responsible and find a cure.

Aaron Keener is easily the most recognisable character in this universe among a cast of throwaway vendors and quest givers. An actual antagonist with a fleshed out backstory who still poses a threat long after the Dollar Flu brought America to its knees..

The setup here is refreshingly simple – you’ll explore the southern region of NYC hunting for Keener who has surrounded himself by four of his elites. The so-called Warlords of New York.

The Division 2 Warlords of New York Screenshots and Artwork

To access this slab of content you’ll be transported from D.C. and dropped onto a new map shrouded in a fog of war. Unlike the core game, you’re free to go anywhere you want without areas being gated off. Warlords of New York won’t completely overwhelm you though. It’s easy to gain your bearings with plenty of clues scattered throughout, pointing you to your next target.

For those who weren’t particularly keen on the way The Division 2 had you grinding through the same content to top up your gear score and world tier, it’s a welcome change of pace and one that has you more immersed instead of obsessively optimising stats.

The Warlords themselves definitely help in this respect. They actually have a sense of character unlike the legion of faceless bosses you’ve encountered before.

Each one occupies their own slice of lower Manhattan and you’ll need to cross off a handful of objectives before going toe-to-toe with them. For Massive, they also present an opportunity to introduce dynamic boss battles that are meant to feel more “bespoke” than what’s come before.

For example, the Warlord we faced during our hands-on preview would attempt to snipe us while creating hologram decoys circling the battlefield.

As you try and nail down his location, you’ll also fend off squads of enemy soldiers with beefy turrets also bearing down on you. It was a challenging encounter made all the more satisfying by its rewards – an shiny rifle and one of four new skills being added to The Division 2. If you hadn’t guessed already, killing this particular boss unlocks a decoy gadget.

That all sounds great but what if I didn’t complete The Division 2, you may be asking. “What if I didn’t even touch the sequel?”.

One of the smartest decisions Massive has taken with Warlords of New York is allowing anyone to dive into this new content, regardless of how much time they’ve put into the core game. You’ll simply conjure up a battle-ready Agent and off you go.

Warlords of New York isn’t free, however. The past twelve months have seen The Division 2 constantly expand with free “Episodes” as well as other bonus content though you’ll need to pay for this upcoming expansion.

Launching on March 3rd, Euro30 will net you the DLC if you already own a copy of The Division 2. If you don’t then you can grab both for Euro40 or upgrade to the Euro60 Ultimate Edition that includes all the extra premium bobbins from Year 1 too.

Massive has been tirelessly working away at The Division 2, and this is something the team has been planning for a long time.

However, that’s not all fans have to look forward to this year.

Warlords marks a major step forward yet those who don’t fancy returning to New York won’t get left behind.

Not with new features such as The Foundry Raid, Battle Pass, and an increased level cap in the pipeline, not to mention a serious loot overhaul.

Needless to say, almost a year after launch, The Division 2 is looking much stronger.

The Division 2 Warlords of New YorkPreview Words by Jim Hargreaves

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