The Division 2 Episode 3 preview: A blast from the past

Division 2 Episode 3
Division 2 Episode 3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Episode 3 is the final content drop of The Division 2 year one roadmap, and it's closing out with a bang.

Not only does the action once again shift focus away from the streets of Washington D.C., but it also introduces old names back into the mix and sets things up for a wild ride in the future of the game.

Coney Island: The Hunt in many ways goes back to where it all began.

The Division 2 Episode 3 - Coney Island: The Hunt

Division 2 Episode 3

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

I'm not going to sit here and spoil every little detail about the new missions, but there are some key faces that reappear in The Division 2 universe from the first game that will be key to future events.

Both new narrative missions are set on Coney Island, back in New York, better known as the center of the outbreak of the Green Poison that turned America into the place it is. It follows on from Episode 2, where agents pursued the Bioreactor in the DARPA labs.

For the future of The Division 2 we turn to the past

Black Tusk is right in the middle, as usual, this time though they have a very famous face: Virologist Vitaly Tchernenko. Remember him? Tchernenko had ties to the creator of Green Poison, Gordon Amherst, and given his skills could be a pretty handy chap to have in your corner.

So that's where it all starts. You're dropped into Coney Island with the mission brief to essentially fight off an army of Black Tusk, get Tchernenko and extract him so you can all be heroes and start making a cure.

Division 2 Episode 3

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Except, this is The Division 2 and nothing is ever straightforward. So you'll also encounter Cleaners, still fixated on burning all traces of the virus, and a particular rogue agent who never faced justice and has been up to, well, something.

There are a few key points that could well out in the future, too. For one, Black Tusk is operating outside of just D.C., something no other enemy faction has done to this point. There are also mentions of the Last Man Battalion and Rikers factions from the first game. And you're going to want to make sure you collect all the recordings dotted about the two mission areas, they're key in piecing together just what the hell is going on.

Some familiar names are back in the spotlight.

Design-wise, the two new missions look fantastic, with a ton of detail put into the environments as you'd expect from The Division 2. A personal favorite is the haunted house, but they're all done really well. There's also plenty of loot about, with masses of materials to pick up and a few hidden loot boxes with gear drops inside. Though there's one room in the second mission that's locked and seemingly impossible to get into. Or at least, I haven't figured it out yet.

The new missions will be available immediately upon release of the Episode 3 update to all Year One pass holders, with everyone else gaining access a week later. And as always you'll need to be at World Tier 5 to take them on.

New specialization - Firewall

Division 2 Firewall

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

With a new episode comes a new specialization, and if you have the Year One pass it'll be unlocked and ready to go. As with previous new specializations, everyone else can unlock them for free but you have some field research to complete first.

Firewall's signature weapon is a flamethrower, which sounds delightful, but in practice, it's not quite as awesome as you're hoping it will be. For my money, it's the weakest of the signature weapons, but that could also be down to the way I play, you might have a lot more value from it.

The flamethrower is only really useful if you're close to enemies, and I didn't feel like it did much to elites and bosses, especially compared to something like my personal favorite, the grenade launcher. It doesn't feel so much of a god-tier weapon for taking on the toughest enemies in the game.

Firewall also comes with a shield, and the bit I like the most, a cluster grenade. I normally run the cluster Seeker, but with Firewall the new grenade is a sufficient alternative if you'd like to also run something else.

Tasty new weapons

Division 2 Episode 3

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

What update to The Division 2 is complete without new weapons and Episode 3 is coming with four new firearms to kit out your agents with. One of these is an exotic, the Chameleon, which is a Vector-based AR with a fancy DARPA developed paint job. There's also the Honey Badger, the UIC15 MOD2 Rifle and the G28 Marksman Rifle.

The handy gallery below gives you a little look at each of them.

The Chameleon seems like a pretty interesting weapon. Its perks stack various advantages upon completion of a certain number of head, body and leg shots, and its when these activate that it really starts to motor. The 150% reload speed buff is ridiculous, the weapon reloads almost instantly.

I've spent more time with the Honey Badger throughout the preview period, and the stats on the one I had access too were pretty interesting. The biggest bonus was the 2% increased weapon damage for every 5m you are from an enemy. I like to play from cover towards the back of the map and assuming you can aim well it can be a pretty substantial buff.

Two new classified assignments - Tens and Central Detention Center

Division 2 Classified Assignment

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

As with previous new episodes, the Episode 3 update brings two new exclusive classified assignments just for Year One pass holders at level 30. This time around we're going inside the Tens nightclub in pursuit of The Chemist, the Hyena's top Spice maker, and a True Sons detention center.

The formula is familiar but there's still plenty of challenges from these two new missions. More so from finding the collectibles and the backpack charms than dispatching the enemies, but the level designs are excellent.

Division 2 Classified Assignment

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

In both cases, you'll be rewarded for exploring every single little corner of the mission area, as is customary. I particularly like the tease at the beginning of the Detention Center mission because you can see the Backpack Charm at the very beginning, but you can't get it. And at one point I genuinely almost gave up on acquiring it because it seemed impossible.

Along with recordings that tell a little more of the story the pair of Backpack Charms are the rewards for these missions, and if you complete both you'll be rewarded with both a burger and some fries.

Solid end to year one

The Episode 3 launch isn't on the same scale as the previous one in so much as there's no enormous title update underneath as with Episode 2. Nevertheless, it rounds out a solid first year of content, one which broadened the world of the game pretty sizeably by breaking trend with the original and venturing away from the main location.

With the closure of Episode 3, the narrative is set up for a big second year, and I can't wait.

Episode 3 will be available to year one pass holders from February 12, with everyone else getting access a week later.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at