Franchise expansion takes players back to New York

By Gieson Cacho // East Bay Times (TNS)

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia
Genre: Third-person shooter; action role-playing
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Rating: M, for mature

Coney Island was only the beginning. As players check out episode 3 of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 post-launch content, they’ll discover that more is coming.

The franchise is making a full-fledged return to the Big Apple courtesy of Warlords of New York expansion pack that’s coming March 3. The DLC Players venture to lower Manhattan on a mission to defeat Aaron Keener, the longtime bad guy of the series.

The rogue Division agent may finally go down, but it will take some effort on players parts. They must go through a narrative-driven campaign that features four named zones (Battery Park, Two Bridges, Financial District and Civic Center), five main missions and eight side missions. To reach Keener, players will have to take down his lieutenants, who each hold a special skill.

The campaign unfolds as an investigation. Defeating bosses brings up clues to Keener’s location. Defeating a boss also means that players pick up their skill, and for longtime fans of the series, this will be a huge reward. Ubisoft is bringing back the sticky bomb, fire sticky bomb, decoy and shock trap. These pieces of tech were fan favorites of the original, and they’re finally making a return.

When it comes to the world, lower Manhattan will offer something a little new and little old for fans. Players will encounter the Cleaners and the Rikers factions, but they aren’t the same as the versions encountered in the original. A lot has happened in New York since the holidays. A hurricane hit the area and the disaster has taken a toll on the island.

Lower Manhattan was formerly a Dark Zone and players can see the telltale signs with the body bags and broken walls. The factions have updated AI and react more like the enemies in The Division 2.

Although Warlords of New York Content is filled with plenty of new content, Ubisoft worked on other parts of The Division 2 as well. Players will fine a major overhaul to the end game and gear mechanics.

What that means is that players ended up hoarding gear and not knowing whether one piece of China Light was significantly better than the other. The team simplified that by letting players keep all the talents and stats from a gear piece and store it in the recalibration bench.

If they’re looking for more of a challenge, players can add modifiers before a mission in order to earn better rewards on completion. An example of this is turning off armor regeneration. That will increase the difficulty when players face new foes like tougher Black Tusk variants. That layer of difficulty is added on top of new one called Legendary and option to take back all the Control Points in a living world and reset it back. Those are for folks who are addicted to the grind.

 Episode 3 — Coney Island: The Hunt launches on Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 on Feb. 12 for all Year 1 pass holders on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It will be available to all players Feb. 19.

The Warlords of New York expansion comes out March 3 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The Division 2 and the expansion will come out on Stadia later in March.