Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 storyline continues with its latest expansion Warlords of New York. The narrative-driven expansion brings a brand-new storyline to the game, as well as new features and items. In this review, we will mention them all, so bear with us to the end to learn our opinion.
Warlords of New York very much resembles those expansions which later become a standalone game. It features a new region, new storyline, tweaked gameplay features and many more. We go back to the place where it all started: New York.
This time, we get the chance to enter “Lower Manhattan” after immediate help is needed. As a player, you will observe a completely different New York than the first The Division. The first game was set in midtown Manhattan, in winter. Like The Division 2 itself, Warlords of New York also brings summery weather to the Big Apple.
As the title states, we go after the “Warlords of New York” in this expansion. Of course, we will try not to give any spoilers, so you should be safe. Rogue Agent Aaron Keener somehow manages to unite all of the factions under him, leading them to destroy the city with a new virus.
With these grounds settled, we will first talk about the map and the lore of the expansion. Also, we will mention the gunplay and the gameplay mechanics as they are very much tweaked.
The storyline and the Big Apple
We need to mention that the story of the expansion is not really a jaw-dropper. On the other hand, no one said it needs to be one. The story here serves a purpose of dragging the player through various types of fast-paced Division gunplay. Episode 3: Coney Island settles the grounds for the expansion of Warlords of New York. As you first hear about Aaron Keener after a long time. The story begins with the agent responding to a call for backup from New York.
I will not go into the details of the storyline itself, but you’ll need to hunt down four henchmen of Aaron Keener. Through the story, you will collect enough information to find a way to Keener himself. In fact, this is what “Manhunts” will bring to The Division 2. Therefore, the story is really well-placed and integrated into the game that you really want to play story missions. Not just to collect a new gear piece, but also to feel that accomplishment.
Previously, I said that the Warlords of New York is much more than an expansion. Filled with missions and various open-world activities, Lower Manhattan could be a full map for another game in the series. Comparing to the base game and Washington D.C., the Big Apple does not let you feel bored. For the whole time, I played the expansion, I never traveled to a mission on foot without getting into a purposeful fight with NPCs.
Underlining the “purposeful” in the above paragraph could be the right choice, as this is what Warlords of New York feel like. If Ubisoft is trying to reboot the game with core gameplay mechanics and a compelling game overall, the expansion is a really big step. When you go into a fight, it is not for nothing. As the player, you always get something which may force you to play maybe twenty more minutes.
The Lower Manhattan is a 1:1 recreation of the real-world New York City, we need to give the developers a huge credit on that. This, however, does not only serve the purpose of looking good to the player’s eye. Vertical development of the map seems to be allowed for developers to focus on better combat options. NPCs are constantly running from floor to floor to find a way to get a shot on you. With both vertical and horizontal combat, Warlords of New York significantly improves the gunplay of The Division 2.
With Warlords of New York, the level cap of the game increases from 30 to 40. Therefore allowing you to collect higher level gear and improve your end-game experience. In addition, there is a new SHD level system with your watch, which is practically uncapped. As you level up, you’ll have the option to improve your watch, which has effects over your whole stats. This gameplay feature pushes the player to be more aware of their stats. In order to be able to utilize your watch upgrades, you need to know what do you want.
Aside from those, I can’t say that the missions are different from the base game. You capture areas, maintain them under your control for a while, kill the enemy leader and so on. But, the game feels different than before when completing those missions. Also, with Warlords of New York, loots you get are tweaked too. You don’t need to worry about getting what players call “rubbish” loots anymore. The endgame of Warlords of New York is a nice gaming experience.
Manhunts, Seasons and Endgame
The Division 2 will offer you a boost to level 30, so if you did not reach the level cap yet, you will be able to create a new character and begin at level 30. The Warlords of New York expansion features the “Seasons” update. With these, you will follow a new manhunt like Aaron Keener’s from time to time, to obtain newer loot and gear. The new seasonal content assures the re-playability of the game, by adding more endgame experiences and challenges.
Furthermore, Warlords of New York already includes the first season pass. So, if you get the expansion, you will not need to pay for additional content for a while. Starting one week after the release of Warlords of New York, the first season will last three months. If you would like to learn more about what Seasons are in-detail, you can visit the official Ubisoft website here.
On the other hand, it is hard to say that expansion is bug-free. With all the additional features and content poured in, the game is full of bugs right now. NPCs you can’t talk to, barricades you get stuck behind and much more cause the game experience to be torture sometimes. Because you see, while enjoying nice gunplay, the worst thing can happen is you get stuck behind a barrier and get killed. I have to mention that Ubisoft constantly tweets about server maintenances for bug fixes, therefore we should experience a more bug-free game as time passes.
Warlords of New York almost feels like a new The Division game after The Divison 2. With all of the bugs aside, the expansion features great gameplay upgrades with new features like seasons and manhunts. Being back in New York City once again, the game offers way much more open-world activities. If you tweak the difficulty level of the game enough, you may even find yourself trying to capture a control point for an hour.
As the new expansion makes more endgame content available and increases re-playability through seasons, the game will probably even more content as time passes. Right now, the expansion fits well within The Division 2 and carries it further. Ultimately, assuming this is only the beginning for the more long-term development of The Division 2, Warlords of New York is well worth your time and your money as well.
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