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‘The Division 2: Warlords of New York’ review: a fun experience with new enhancements

A screenshot of Tom Clancy's The Division 2: Warlords of New York

A screenshot of Tom Clancy's The Division 2: Warlords of New York   | Photo Credit: Ubisoft

The latest expansion of the Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft video-game takes us back to familiar territory

The more I played The Division 2, the more it made me miss the first game. In many ways, New York was the definitive setting for the game. The Division 2 could have continued in New York instead of the less-exciting Washington DC. With the new Warlords of New York expansion to The Division 2, the setting thankfully switches back to New York, complete with the Christmas decorations.

Persistent threats

The world of The Division, which features a pandemic that spread along the backs of dollar bills, feels very in line with the news today. The game brings a new biological virus threat into the equation, and the return of Aaron Keener, the antagonist of the previous game. A rogue Division Agent, who along with his four horsemen, is set to bring about a reckoning in Lower Manhattan.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York
  • Developer: Massive Entertainment
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Price: ₹700 onwards for the standalone expansion.
  • Availability: All platforms.

Warlords looks every bit as impressive as its predecessor. Streets are claustrophobic with realistic debris piled high, brimming with abandoned cars, giant broken Christmas ornaments, all telling a story of a better time. The agents themselves look detailed, reflecting the guns, skills and armour that you select, while the enemies are varied with distinctive markings for each type. The best part? The guns in the game are well-implemented, from hip-fire to aim-use, and you will actually feel like John Wick.

New York is a little different this time around. Lower Manhattan is still reeling from a hurricane, resulting in some impressive scenes of urban decay and disarray. For those who are fairly new, the game bumps you up to Level 30 for the expansion. The gameplay largely remains the same, with Warlords being more of a single-player jaunt. To draw out Keener, you have to take down his warlords — you do that by freeing their territories. Standard Division slash Ubisoft grind tactics. Though, it’s a lot more fun than Division 2.

A screenshot of Tom Clancy's The Division 2: Warlords of New York

A screenshot of Tom Clancy's The Division 2: Warlords of New York   | Photo Credit: Ubisoft

‘Overwhelming but accessible’

Apart from the action, Division is about the maths. When you shoot people, you see numbers pop out. These numbers are governed by more numbers. One look at the inventory screen is a gaggle of figures and statistics that make up your damage and defence attributes. These, thankfully, have been streamlined to show you the numbers that matter, with gear roll ranges along with handy icons. It does look overwhelming but, overall, accessible.

Along with this expansion, also come a lot of enhancements. The most important is the post-endgame SHD level system, which enables you to keep playing through various Division 2 seasons. You can amp up your ‘skill tier’ upto 6 by strategically acquiring weapons and other equipment. If you are at tier 6, then the effectiveness of your selected skill increases by upto 60%.

A screenshot of Tom Clancy's The Division 2: Warlords of New York

A screenshot of Tom Clancy's The Division 2: Warlords of New York   | Photo Credit: Ubisoft

The Dark Zones have been streamlined, which is the best part of The Division games. Agents go into a highly infected zone filled with powerful enemies, other agents, and a whole lot of loot that you have to extract via a helicopter dispatch. Anything goes here. You never know when an agent, who you thought was your ally, will go rogue to steal your hard-earned loot. You can choose to go rogue if you want, but you would be marked for a manhunt.

Ubisoft has understood the risks in Dark Zones and have upped the quality of loot with each excursion.

While there is still more of the same going on in the new edition of the game, being back in New York was a fun experience, even if it was for a short time. The enhancements are welcome, especially the skill tiers, making Washington DC a bit less boring.

The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:08:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/the-division-2-warlords-of-new-york-review-fun-experience-new-enhancements/article31023245.ece

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