7 months… After New York was ravaged by the Green Poison and The Division agents located in Washington DC were working to re-establish the order in the capital, agents in DC receive a distress call from New Your city where an old and well-known shadow spreads fear over the streets of the Big Apple.
Upon the arrival, the agents are informed that Aaron Keener, a former agent of the Division that went rogue – and one of The Division’s original antagonists – his four lieutenants and factions under his control have taken control over part of the city. And now it’s up to you to clean the mess they’ve done in Lower Manhattan.
Although all the criticism received towards the first title, Ubisoft was really bold to once again let you venture through areas of New York after the initial outbreak of the Green Poison and its developments. The game still looks far from what they’ve shown us in trailers (who of you still remember that E3 2013 gameplay trailer? Yeah, I know…), but the city received a welcome redesign and upgrade, showing much more detail and care with its ambiances and streets than in its original (and downgraded!) release. Sightseeing in the streets of the capital of the word is as sad and depressing as you would expect a city after a catastrophe to be.
After all the rebalancing the game went through in 2019, we have now a much solid experience to live. This new adventure will let you explore 4 distinct areas of lower Manhattan – Battery Park, Financial District, Two Bridges and Civic Center – each one controlled by one of Keener’s men. In these areas, you will look for leads that may take you to Keener’s location until you eventually cross the path of his lieutenants, key members of his operation. Only by defeating them you will be able to discover Keener’s whereabouts and what he’s up to.
The story, his lieutenants’ motivations and reasons for them to have gone rogue will be discovered as you collect audio logs throughout exploration. Talking a little bit more about them, you’ll be facing Javier Kajika, a former JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) operative and security consultant that is operating from the Battery Park, Vivian Conley, a former chemical engineer who abandoned The Division and joined the Cleaners and is believed to be located in the Financial District, James Dragov, a former police officer activated during the first wave that joined the Rikers for unknown reasons and now terrifies Two Bridges, and Theo Parnell, a former navy pilot and mechanical engineer who’s now located in the Civic Center. The development of their backstory is meaningful and will give you a different point of view about what The Division does. Nevertheless, they’re quickly forgettable after you eliminate them: their role in the story lies only in their respective missions, with no further impact in the conclusion of the story, unfortunately.
Whenever you defeat one of Keener’s lieutenants, you receive new apparel to one of your skills: By defeating Kajika, you will receive shock trap, a unique skill; when you eliminate Conley, you will receive the burn mod for your sticky bomb; beat Dragov to receive the blast mod for your sticky bomb; and finally, after killing Parnell, you will receive his unique skill that creates holograms.
One of the great changes the game announces when you start exploring New York is that the population no longer trusts The Division agents and will be less receptive and willing to help. You will need to regain their trust not only with your words but with your actions as well. It got me really excited to see what kind of changes I would see in the game economy and society due to this lack of trust, but it was just part of the story: control points, safe houses, patrols… everything still works like it always did.
You can choose to start the expansion at any given moment, but it’s recommended for you to only venture through New York City after finishing the main campaign in DC. But if like me, you were deadly curious to see what’s new in this DLC, the game gives you a level 30 boost (by default, your specialization will be Demolitionist), allowing you to jump into the new campaign by pronto. For me, who haven’t played the game in months, these new areas were tough and challenging, but still manageable while trying them on my own. But I’m dead sure (hmmm… maybe DedSec?) it would much more enjoyable if I had other friends to play with me. This new area
The progression system now is extended up to level 40, granting you more levels to upgrade your character. New exotics, gears and skills will be available for you in this new campaign, increasing your tactical options to deal with the threat.
There’s also an extended endgame in this new DLC: after finishing the story of Warlords of New York and reaching level 40, you will have access to the Seasons, three-month campaigns that revolve around a multi-step manhunt against rogue agents. New gears, global events, leagues and apparels also become available with this new adventure.
Phew! That was longer than I intended it to be (especially considering this is a short review). All the elements that made you love (or hate) the franchise are still here, so if you didn’t have a crush on the game at first glance, probably you won’t fall in love for it now. But if you’re willing to try something new (and amazing!) or want to see what happened to the game after so many updates, this is the perfect opportunity to join the ranks of The Division and help reunite the country.
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.