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The Division 2’s Warlords of New York: Acquainted? Or extra of the identical?


Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 bought its first premium enlargement, Warlords of New York, earlier this week. Gamers return to the Large Apple, scene of 2016’s unique The Division, to search out rogue agent Aaron Keener, going by 4 of his lieutenants first. Polygon’s Santorini Corridor and I are a number of hours into it, every, and we each agree that Warlords feels very acquainted for these with numerous time sunk into the sport.

I’m inclined to view that as a constructive reminder; Santorini is a little more stressed, nonetheless. Neither of us are actually positive that Keener will truly get bought, as that is the kind of franchise that wants an uber-malevolence driving the larger image, all the time throwing some new disaster for the heroes to deal with.

So will a chase that has now spanned 4 years and two video games ever attain a conclusion? Santorini and I contemplated this and different questions in hashing out our preliminary reactions to Warlords of New York.

Owen: I contemplate myself a Division 2 apostate — not as a result of I dislike the sport, however largely as a result of I bought myself to World Tier 2 across the time I used to be getting super-involved in different long-playing video video games. I discover Warlords of New York is a pleasant refresher and reintroduction to the explanations I used to be prepared to sink 150-plus hours into The Division 2 final spring and summer time (plus its predecessor the winter earlier than).

Downside is, going again into The Division 2 after so lengthy away, I’m sort of craving what I left behind in D.C., and there’s no returning to Washington till you end the marketing campaign up within the Large Apple. Everybody who owns the Warlords enlargement will get to spice up their character, and even create a brand new one and increase them, to World Tier 5, bypassing the entire superior endgame grind that in any other case gates the journey north. I selected to spice up the one character I’ve fought with, but now I’m sort of jonesing for the Darkish Zone and another issues I left out or left behind in D.C. Was {that a} dumb determination? What did you do, Santorini?

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/the-division-2s-warlords-of-new-york-familiar-or-more-of-the-same/53727/ by - on 2020-03-06T21:37:43.000Z

Seems you didn’t have to do the Coney Island preview

Santorini: Truthfully, I’m not totally positive that we didn’t all make a mistake right here, Owen. I talked to Faye Lau final evening. Roy Benitez was there too. They each look so drained. Every of them simply sorta wandered into the body to pinch out just a few expletives earlier than the digital camera moved on. There’s one other virus, I feel, and this one’s actual dangerous now, and we gotta repair it so we will return and work on the primary one once more. I feel.

How did we even get right here? I logged in for the primary time in just a few months to be greeted by a laundry checklist of bulletins and alerts. I opened packages. I cleared orange examine marks from my menus, after which … I simply sorta wandered across the White Home like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. I truly needed to Google “methods to get to New York Metropolis” as a result of I believed I had missed a step.

There was a little bit of preview content material that got here out that includes Coney Island. Seems you don’t have to go there in any respect. You simply want to complete the primary sport, advance to World Tier 5, and speak to a pilot sitting like William T. Riker backward on a chair, and off you go. I’m nonetheless terribly confused as to why I can’t return to D.C., however right here we’re. We’re right here now.

Are you having a pleasant time now, Owen, with all of the canine?

The titular Warlords of New York, from left: James Dragov, Theo Parnell, Aaron Keener, Vivian Conley, and Javier Kajika.

Picture: Huge Leisure/Ubisoft

Owen: Nicely, I went by the identical “OK, the place I did I depart off right here” onboarding, or reboarding, however I’m slightly extra sanguine about Warlords of New York and the way it reconnects me to the issues I’ve loved most about this franchise. I’m regularly awed by how detailed the world and the inside ranges are, even when procedurally it’s extra of the identical stuff: Go examine this space out, kill all these folks, tackle the extent boss, name in assist if mandatory, and type out your loot.

Extra concretely, Warlords of New York hits a problem candy spot that the bottom sport took just a few months to realize. The primary two massive fights I’ve gone by have felt solo-able — however simply barely. There have been even early aspect missions in launch-day Division 2 (occupied with the MLK Library) that had been enormously troublesome to solo, and something with a heavy unit completely demanded cooperative assist. One thing occurred to the sport within the late spring of 2019, although. Heavies’ weak factors bought loads simpler to hit, and even the Financial institution Headquarters mission was now manageable on my own. The sport merely felt too simple, and that’s across the time I put it down.

Warlords of New York hits a problem candy spot: solo-able, however by the pores and skin of your enamel

Warlords of New York most likely owes its interesting mix of problem and feasibility to being designed with the entire tweaking and rebalancing that has been executed in The Division 2’s updates over the previous 12 months. This can be one thing that pops out to me as a result of I insist on solo play a lot. Has partying up with randos helped the enlargement’s attraction for you, or is that, too, extra of the identical?

Santorini: For the reason that launch of The Division 2, I’ve been completely floored at its technical facets. When the unique sport launched, you couldn’t get into a celebration for a narrative mission if you happen to tried, and even the day by day missions themselves stopped working appropriately for a time. The identical holds true in Warlords of New York. I took on the primary miniboss that I encountered, with the assistance of a random participant. That’s how I made it by the primary marketing campaign and all the way in which as much as World Tier 5, and I’m completely satisfied to say that it’s simply as useful now because it was then.

I’m simply not vibing with the narrative parts, Owen. Or at the very least, not the primary narrative ingredient, which is “go homicide Aaron Keener, the big-bad it’s best to have murdered within the first sport.”

I’m a solo participant as effectively, and at first blush I used to be very a lot excited on the new “fog of battle” characteristic. As soon as I set down in Manhattan, the sport eliminated virtually all of ISAC’s pathfinding, making me really feel alone and susceptible for the primary time in a protracted whereas. But it surely feels just like the map fills out in a short time, and the narrative content material itself has been fairly sparse. It’s additionally a bit easy. I’m stumbling over audio logs that appear to be dropped at my ft, however they simply don’t quantity to all that a lot. Essentially the most attention-grabbing plot thread up to now has been the backstory for Theo Parnell, the son of a former senator and now one among Keener’s right-hand males. Parnell will get written off within the taste textual content as a conspiracy theorist virtually instantly … however he feels like he’s undoubtedly bought some extent? And an attention-grabbing story to inform?

I killed him, although. In order that’s over. I really feel now like I wish to get to the top of the narrative as shortly as potential, so I can return to looking out the atmosphere and getting misplaced underground and scaring myself with new Hunters. All of it feels a bit like a wasted alternative at closure, however we’ll see the way it pays off.

Who have you ever killed just lately, Owen? And with what surplus implements of battle?

Faye Lau, a wounded Division commander wearing an eyepatch, instructs a Division agent by pointing at a map of lower Manhattan
Faye Lau, a wounded Division commander wearing an eyepatch, instructs a Division agent by pointing at a map of lower Manhattan

Faye Lau returns to her duties from the primary The Division, which is outwardly to swear gratuitously whereas giving mission voice-overs.

Picture: Huge Leisure/Ubisoft

Owen: I likewise killed Theo. Within the expository dialogue all through that mission, I believed we’d get some sort of sympathetic angle on the rogue brokers being forsaken. However nah, he was your primary patsy henchman for the sociopathic big-bad on the high of the pyramid. Nonetheless, Parnell’s new gadget — the holographic decoy — was sort of helpful. Within the follow-up mission at One Police Plaza, the decoy can be utilized to show the heavy’s again to you. It’s a a lot better choice than my turret, which a heavy nonetheless stomps instantly.

Largely I’ve been taking the map sequentially, as I’ve in the remainder of my time with this sequence. I feel I went after Parnell first as a result of the opposite places (a quarantined high-rise and the Brooklyn Bridge) sounded extra harmful or technical. However from what I can inform, there is no such thing as a Darkish Zone right here (Decrease Manhattan was a Darkish Zone, within the story). I all the time made journeys to the Darkish Zone as a sort of mess-around chaser expertise after clearing a bunch of things off my PvE to-do checklist. In Warlords of New York, my chaser goes proper again out for some assortment jobs or thwarting yet one more public execution. And the gear I’m getting isn’t as thrilling as what’s across the nook in a Darkish Zone.

Structurally, I’ve loved an excessive amount of what The Division 2 has supplied, so I see no downside with merely delivering extra of that. However I can inform that that is an enlargement developed with utterly new gamers in thoughts, too, such that issues that would appear novel to them (or these getting back from a protracted layoff) would possibly lack oomph for many who have an extended tenure. It’s an excellent cause to return to The Division 2, but it surely’s not a remade sport, nor an “it’s by no means been higher” feeling.

Santorini: Agreed. I confirmed up for the Ubisoft model of Future’s The Taken King — a significant revision to the franchise that made it really feel each polished and contemporary. I’m getting a robust whiff of polish up to now, however that’s about it.

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