The Division 2 has been around for quite some time now. In fact, as we enter 2023, it officially becomes year 5, and it's fair to say that nobody really expected it. A year after the Warlords of New York expansion and the promised content, most expected it to be quietly put out to pasture.
But the community had other ideas. The game remained so popular that Ubisoft actually extended the life of the game, initially by re-running seasons and then adding completely new content.
Year 4 was pretty good, but the promise of year 5 very much makes this a game to be playing in 2023. Whether a new player or a veteran, we're expecting more new hotness to arrive for the game's fifth year.
New players have so much content to play
If The Division 2 has thus far passed you by, you're in for a real treat if you decide to pick it up this year. For one, you can almost always get a deal on it somewhere, especially if you have an Xbox Series X and can get hold of a physical copy.
The base game has plenty of missions to play through and then play through again and again as you level up your agent and chase the best loot in the game. It's made of two parts, the main campaign and then the endgame campaign that introduces a new faction and an additional storyline. All of this is set within a sprawling Washington D.C., with so many spots to explore.
Well, technically, that's not true. There are offsite missions such as Manning National Zoo, the Explorations at Kenly College, and a pair of missions set on Coney Island that sets up the expansion.
And really, you need the Warlords of New York expansion to get the most from The Division 2. This unlocks a second map, going back to a different part of New York City to the first game, with an entirely new campaign. There's a new level cap, new loot, new missions, new factions, new allies, and the basis of the main endgame activities.
Seasons are only unlocked with the expansion, as is The Summit, the 100-floor skyscraper with its own exotic quest to unlock, and the latest addition, Countdown. This is a timed mission for eight people with matchmaking (or solo on an easier difficulty) set at a power plant and is one of the fastest places in the game to farm for gear.
Each season also comes with a new manhunt that pushes the story further along. This is made up of four initial targets before a more difficult, final boss mission is unlocked.
And all of this doesn't even include the two raids, either. If you can squad up with seven other players, there are two raids with exclusive rewards to tackle if you like a challenge.
In short, there's a lot to do. If you haven't played The Division 2 yet, there are hundreds of hours of gameplay waiting for you.
New content coming in year 5
Exactly what will be coming in year 5 is yet to be revealed, though Ubisoft's latest roadmap indicates we'll know more in the spring sometime. The previous one suffered some delays, and as such 2023's first new content will be the release of season 11 and the Stovepipe manhunt.
Season 11 was also originally planned to debut a new game mode, now known to be called Descent, but this has been pushed back into the year 5 content.
Interestingly year 5 bears reference to season 1 rather than season 12, though this could always just be for clarity. But then again, perhaps further changes are inbound.
In any case, there will be something to do until the spring when (hopefully) the roadmap for year 5 is revealed. For a game that seemed buried not that long ago, though, it's not totally unreasonable to expect waits and delays.
All this is, of course, parallel to the continuing work on the next game in The Division universe, Heartland. This will be a free-to-play title and we've been waiting for what seems like forever to find out when we'll be able to play it. But whether you're new or returning, there's still plenty of reason to play The Division 2 throughout this year.
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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 mstdn.social/@richdevine