When The Division 2 launched last March, the cover-based shooter set in a wrecked Washington, DC was received positively by fans and critics. Then things soured. Players who expected a game that would expand over time were disappointed by a lack of new content as well as balance changes that nerfed popular character builds. Months after release, the game was fading. A year has now passed since launch, and the Division 2’s developers at Ubisoft now hope to revitalize the game with a paid expansion called Warlords of New York and a free update that tweaks many of The Division 2’s core systems. If this is a restart, it’s beginning well.
Warlords of New York takes players back to the setting of the original 2016 Division game. The global pandemic that ravaged the world of The Division 2 started in NYC, so this is also a return to ground zero. The time and setting have changed a little. The first game was set in the winter in midtown Manhattan, near such landmarks as Madison Square Garden. The expansion is set the following summer, downtown, closer to Wall Street. Players spend the expansion chasing after Aaron Keener, the antagonist of that first game.
The Division is a government-sanctioned force of sleeper agents spread throughout America who are activated after a biological weapons attack on Black Friday. You play as one. In the lore of the game, Keener was one of the first agents to go rogue, turning his back on the federal government and The Division. In the first game, he left New York and worked with the man who helped create the original deadly virus. He has now returned and recruited four lieutenants to help him control New York. These are the eponymous Warlords of New York. Players have to track down these warlords, fight through their armies, eliminate them and find clues to Keener’s whereabouts.