As The Division 2 settles into its 2nd year of content Ubisoft starts it off with a bang with Warlords of New York. This introduces not only more levels for character advancement, but a change to the stats on items, a new meaning to gaining XP after you’ve hit the level cap and a story that immersed me into the hunt for Rogue Agent Aaron Keener. I was very happy with my time spent getting back on the streets of New York for this expansion.
The first thing I want to touch on for The Division 2 Warlords of New York, is its overall story. I left DC behind as I came back to New York to investigate a new virus that had been used to attack the Division HQ in New York. I really felt immersed in this city that was the same, yet had enough difference from the first Division game that I was constantly walking around looking at the environment. This is a city that had survived that harsh winter in Division 1 only to be struck by a hurricane that left parts of it devastated with upheaval everywhere. I was struck by what a great job the developers had done in crafting a narrative that did live in a world where things were either black or white. It was layered with many shades of gray that at times had me sympathizing with my enemies and at times questioning what I had been ordered to do.
As always the Division delivers with not just the story that is shown to you, but also the little bits and pieces scattered throughout the world in echoes or audio files I came upon. Giving me a deeper understanding of my enemies, my allies and the Division as a whole. It was also great to come “home” to New York and see some of the old faces like Benitez and grumpy old Rhodes. I enjoyed the climax of the story and can’t wait to see what Ubisoft delivers next.
While speaking about the story, I feel like I should mention the environments and the music as well. The environments in Warlords of New York are beautifully done, there were times I would stop what I was doing just to take pictures and marvel at such a beautiful, yet destroyed landscape. It really is the silent partner to the story that helped to further immerse me into what I was doing. I’ve always believed the sound was a key component to any game and the music here is great. It blended well while I was in a fight or just out exploring. The music that played during crucial fights or moments always got me pumped up.
The Division 2 Warlords of New York brings with it new changes to the current item system. Many stats are being redone and items changes to make it easier for everyone to understand what gear to equip to get the result they want. With this also comes a new level cap bringing the total to 40 levels. After that, as I gained experience, I got the loot cache as per usual when I got a new level, but now I also gained SHD levels which I could use to increase various stats to change my overall character build. This is something that gives me another end game goal besides raids or season content.
With The Division 2 Warlords of New York, we are introduced to season content in the form of a season pass that is much like what you see in say Destiny 2 and the like. With levels that I gained while playing that unlocked skins, items, and various rewards. Seasons also give me bounty targets to go after that over a time period that is part of that story for that season, giving me, even more, to do once I hit 40. This doesn’t open up until you finish the main story in Warlords. The first season is free for currently for those who buy Warlords, but future passes will cost extra.
Not everything is rainbows and sunshine in the land of Division 2 Warlords of New York. There are still some fights and bosses that feel too bullet spongey. I’m also concerned with Season passes and whether they will be worth the price of admission.