The Division 2’s post-launch expansion content has officially kicked off with D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions. Advertised as the first third of the Year 1 post-launch story content, the DLC has new weapons, new story missions, and a new game mode. You’ll visit a zoo to bring down the leader of the Outcasts, chase after a traitorous President, and explore a college to investigate the loss of a JTF convoy. Technically speaking, it also releases alongside some balance tweaks that make Skills more viable. If you care about such things, there are some new cosmetics as well. Since the Raid update, you can add a minigun specialization to your ever-increasing arsenal. Perfect for those who think that a six-shot grenade launcher is not enough raw firepower.
Traditionally, DLC can be rather divisive for a game’s community. On the one hand, it’s new content that usually offers something different from the base game. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon for DLC to come from a smaller team, resulting in “lower” quality. It’s impossible to say if D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions was treated as a side project by Massive, but it certainly feels like it. It adds a grand total of two new missions to The Division 2. You can finish both missions within an hour or two, and that’s being generous. Sure, the new areas look nice, but the story barely advances. One of the main missions is so comically predictable that it’s almost insulting. You can literally give an accurate recap of the new story missions in a single sentence. You can forget about encountering new enemies.
The Division 2 D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions | Returning to Washington
It seems like a rather harsh assessment, but there’s no dancing around the fact that D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions is not worth the time it takes to download. The two new weapons even have clipping issues with weapon mods. The new assault rifle has completely misaligned muzzle attachments. The light machine gun breaks every scope that you mount on it when you reload. For a game that revolves around finding cool guns and customizing them, this is unacceptable.
The guns feel rather mundane too. They’re not garbage tier, but they’re also not offering anything new. Considering how you only get one copy of each for completing both missions after which they’re thrown into the blender that is The Division 2’s loot pool, it’s not worth the effort to farm the weapons. The weapon models themselves look nice though, so there’s that.
Fortunately, there is a new game mode. The concept behind Expeditions is great. It’s basically supposed to be a more open-ended mission where you explore an area to complete an overarching objective. As an example, to find out the cause of a convoy’s demise, you have to explore a nearby college. As you go through the three wings of a certain building, you’ll uncover clues. Some of these clues hide behind simple puzzles. Others tie into defending an area, and some just sit out in the open.
The Division 2 D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions | Final Thoughts
Collect enough clues, and you’ll finish one part of the Expedition as a whole. You are then free to start the next stage of the Expedition, but there’s one tiny problem- it’s time-gated. The entire Expedition is treated as some kind of world event, and you’ll have to wait for what appears to be a week for a new section of the Expedition to enter the playable rotation.
To put it bluntly, if the rest of The Division 2’s major post-release content is of the same quality as D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions, then the game is doomed in my eyes. The Raid failed to keep people interested, the new story content is practically nonexistent, and the game’s balancing is in a constant state of flux. It’s not like The Division 2 has some amazing replayability factor that will keep people hooked until the next DLC.
That Massive thought that it was a good idea to have time-gated content be the highlight of the DLC is mind-boggling. It’s not the first piece of time-gated content either (looking at you, Nemesis sniper rifle), but it’s certainly the most significant. Massive really needs to go back to the drawing board after this and reexamine what they want the game to look like in the next year because as it stands, there’s no reason for players to remain invested.