The Division 2’s latest manhunt is coming to an end. Players who have taken down this season’s previous four targets now have access to the final quarry, with a mission to take her out. This raid, while exciting and climatic, caps off another grind of a season that leaves the future of the game, and the series, in a strange place.
Following are spoilers for The Division 2 and its expansion, Warlords of New York. I’ll also be talking about the new, final manhunt target mission and how it wraps up. You have been warned, agent.
So, all the way back in 2016’s The Division we met an agent named Faye Lau who was the organization’s leader in New York. She was trying to save the city, help locals, and take out the bad guys. Your agent in that first game worked with her closely. Fast forward to Division 2’s DLC, released in March 2020, and Faye Lau is back and helping your Division 2 agent in NYC. However, the end of that DLC reveals she’s actually been working with Black Tusk, aka the bad guys. Since then, we’ve only gotten small details about Lau’s ties to Black Tusk and what she’s been doing since turning rogue. But with this latest season, End of Watch, her story, and another loose thread, come to a close.
Once you’ve unlocked her final mission, set in Camp White Oak, you race into the area and fight your way to the cabin where Faye Lau and the President of the United States are meeting. (If you didn’t know, during the events of The Division 2 the President also turns on the Division and joins forces with Black Tusk, betraying the people who risked their lives to help him and his allies.) Once you get to the cabin you discover that Lau has killed the President. She leaves the cabin and tries to escape White Oak via helicopter. Her plan is to pin the death of the President on the Division and use it to help take the whole organization down. But before she can escape, you wreck her heli and kill her in what is, all things considered, a fairly boring boss fight.
Audio logs found after her death deliver some nice story tidbits explaining that Lau joined the bad guys specifically to kill the President, but I think that was just one of a few reasons she betrayed her allies and friends. She also lost a sister during the events of The Division, and we know that when talking to rogue agents in the past, she didn’t seem to completely disagree with their motives or beliefs. Now we know why.
As with previous manhunts, to reach this final mission you’ll have to do a lot of busywork, completing a long checklist of missions, activities, and bounties. None of it’s hard, but it will take a good chunk of time, and is not much fun. All of the content that makes up this and previous manhunts are just repurposed missions and events that already existed. Narratively it doesn’t make a lot of sense, and actually grinding through these seasonal manhunts has been a snooze-inducing slog. The main reason I’ve kept playing is because I just love the combat and action of The Division 2 so much.
While I’ve appreciated that these latest manhunts contain a bit of narrative, it always feels like breadcrumbs are all we get after working for hours. Given that context, the Faye Lau mission finale feels like the most substantive, plot-advancing event that has appeared in a manhunt since they began back with the launch of Warlords of New York.
It makes sense that this was planned to be the end of The Division 2. But now, with news that Ubisoft and Massive have changed plans and will be making more content for the game, it leaves everything in a strange place. Will we just get more dull manhunts that don’t move the narrative forward in a big way? Will new characters be introduced in a game that not long ago the developers had planned to stop updating? It feels like, after this End of Watch ending, that the logical next step for the series would be a big sequel set in a new city where we can learn more about Black Tusk, their leader, and the fallout from the deaths of Faye Lau and the President. Instead, it seems like The Division 2 will just spin its wheels for another year or so. And after a year of the game basically doing that already, I’m not excited for more Division 2 content.
I want to be wrong! Perhaps Massive has some big, fresh ideas for future Division 2 seasons and manhunts. I hope so. The alternative isn’t great.