There is something to be said about the ability of the people at Ubisoft to take The Division 2, a game spoiled in terms of script, and draw the essentials to offer Warlords of New York, an expansion that succeeds not only in saving the furniture, but in offering a diverse, uplifting, and, let’s face it, downright enjoyable experience.
The basic principle remains the same: after having sufficiently restored order in Washington DC, following the fall of the American government in the wake of a bioterrorist attack on a national, even global scale, the player is called upon to return to New York City, the site where the first game in the series took place. This time, it is no longer a question of re-establishing control by the civil authorities over the American megalopolis – with the help of The Division, a sort of paramilitary organization serving as a “last resort” against chaos – but rather of giving the hunt for five former agents of the said organization who have decided to declare themselves warlords.
The leader of these rebels, Aaron Keener, launched a new viral attack on what remained of the forces of the “Good”, probably killing dozens of people instantly, before preparing something much more sinister …
The idea is classic: in a game revolving around an epidemic created from scratch in the laboratory, what better than another virus as the weapon of a new “super villain”? However, the interest of the thing, here, is twofold: not only do Keener’s lieutenants each have their own characteristics, which will thus vary their defenses and their weapons (whether drones, illusions optics, or even the use of hordes of infantry armed with flamethrowers, for example), but the developers of Ubisoft finally understood that the overload of things to do, which is unfortunately commonplace among people in ” open world ”ultimately deserved to be a thing of the past.
Gone, therefore, the cards full of various symbols, each representing a mission to accomplish, an objective to be achieved, a territory to be reclaimed, an object to be collected, etc. There are of course a few side missions, but this is a far cry from the orgy of ultimately repetitive and boring tasks of the two main games. Better yet, the player is then free to concentrate on the main quest, each part of which includes a series of relatively diverse sub-quests, in settings that are just as diverse.
Without much surprise, however, we find this same glorification of the military thing. No wonder a game revolving around guns features roughly a billion guns and accessories of all kinds (even though Borderlands was bolder and slobbery, in that sense), but enemies are usually literally faceless opponents, with a mask or helmet on their heads. If some groups seem to have an ideology, like the Cleaners, who want to eradicate disease by fire (and many people too, at the same time), and if Keener certainly has a vision for the future, there is always Black Tusk, a mysterious group of mercenaries whose main occupation seems to be owning an untold amount of high-end military equipment.
What are they looking for? Who provides them with this material? Does the United States simply have an infinite number of militias capable of mobilizing hydrofoils, armored vehicles, drones and hundreds of soldiers? And this, even after the fall of the government and the very probable disappearance of the majority of the logistics chains for refueling, food, ammunition?
However, it is unfortunately not with a single expansion that The Division 2 will be absolved of all his wrongs. That being said, the expansion Warlords of New York is frankly entertaining, and we venture there happily, finger on the trigger. An entirely appropriate expense if it is possible to get everything at a sale.
The Division 2 – Warlords of New York
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows, Stadia (tested on Windows / Origin Connect)
Game available in French
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