Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York—Animated Short

Information elements and project structure

The document briefly describes Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York — Animated Short (3:39; 2020) promotional video di Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2: Warlords of New York (Massive/Ubisoft, 2020). The research considers the product and its materials by studying the creative choices, the informative properties, the modalities of visual representation and promotion.

1. Analysis

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The animated short film summarizes Keener’s convincing actions towards his future terrorist accomplices, and reveals some personal biographical elements of the characters. The time frame shown is parallel to the story of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (set in Washington) and prior to the events of the video game Warlords of New York.

“We were their best Agents. The First Wave. When things turned ugly, they abandoned us. I had to do something. I had to take control.”—Aaron Keener

1.1. Narrative summary
The narrative includes 5 main moments:

  1. Location
    Manhattan, New York. The exterior of the Wall Street building, home to the Stock Exchange[2], where a gunfight between JTF government agents and a group of rebels is taking place, is recognizable.
  2. Characters + action
    A defector agent, Aaron Keener is coordinating the attack on Wall Street with Theo’s IT support, while Dragov, on the street with other armed rebels, conquers the stock exchange by eliminating JTF troops.
  3. Chemical threat
    Dragov gives Keener a case for the transport of bacteriological substances.
  4. Criminal alliance
    After Theo and Dragov, Keener meets Kajika and Vivian to convince them to fight together against the Division.
  5. Manhunt
    Managed to conquer the areas of Wall Street (Dragov) and Two Bridges (Vivian), Keener escapes with the pathogen shortly before the Division agents raid (coordinated by Agent Kelso and Lau).[3]

1.2. Main communicative properties

  • It explores a time interval parallel to Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 (set in Washington) and prior to Warlords of New York, stimulating the user to imagine a hypothetical chronology of interconnected events between the short film, other promotional materials and the video game.
  • It presents the primary psychological profiles of the antagonists by expanding the main narrative through their biographical background[4]: ​​Theo (personal betrayal and death of the father); Dragov (alleged family death); Kajika (treason and / or torture)[5]; Vivian (government irresponsibility during the pandemic) emphasizing the existential mission: stop Keener.
  • It intrigues an extended audience by expanding the stylistic dimension of intellectual property through the experimentation of an unprecedented representation style in animated style.
  • Coordinated with Warlords of New York — Cinematic Trailer (Blur, 2020), it testifies to another example of immersive promotional strategies.
  • It shows Ubisoft’s corporate initiative to experiment with innovative promotional ideas and increase sector competitiveness by interacting with related media products in a transmedia perspective.[6]
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1.3. Dialogue transcription

Keener
We were their best Agents. The First Wave. When things turned ugly, they abandoned us. I had to do something. I had to take control. I know you will help. You will lend me your skills and in return I will give you the answers you seek and deserve. The Division betrayed you, Theo, just like when they had your father killed.

Theo
The system is corrupt to its core, man. If we don’t do anything about it, it will never end. We must take down The Division.

Keener
Don’t worry, we’ll get them. We’ll get the truth out.

Dragov
Keener, we’re in! Stock Exchange is secured! Needs a bit of a clean-up here, but it’s not too shabby. I think my Rikers and I could call this place home.

Keener
I’m sure you’ll make it work. I know family is everything to you, now more than ever. But don’t forget your end of the bargain, Dragov.

Dragov
Dude, we’ll get you what you need, and we’ll keep Theo safe.

Keener
Good. I knew you and I would get along.

Theo
Hey, where you going?

Keener
Finish what you’ve started, I need to catch a shadow.

Kajika
Give me one reason not to kill you.

Keener
You don’t wanna kill me. We’re the same, Kajika, we were both betrayed by The Division, left to die, like dogs. Except we don’t die easily, do we?

Kajika
What do you want, Keener?

Keener
I know who you’re looking for. I will bring you everyone who betrayed you, and you can do what you want to them.

Conley
Are you serious, Keener?
This was never going to be solved by The Division. They didn’t have the guts to do what was necessary, and we were the ones who paid the price. The Cleaners though? They had the right idea all along.

Keener
You’re right Vivian, and with you leading them, they are more powerful than ever.

Conley
I will do what needs to be done. And I will see this to the very end.

Division agent
Agent Lau, we’re closing in on Keener. Ready to breach.
Flash out! Go, go!

Agent Lau
Agents, did you get him?

Division agent
No, he’s gone Faye.

Agent Lau
We need backup. Command, patch me through D.C.

1.4. Visual development

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Narrative summary: 1) New York: JTF government forces and rebels clash in the street outside the Wall Street headquarters. 2) Convinced by Keener, Theo deactivates an armed drone of the Division by supporting the rebels 3) Terrorist Dragov counterattacks the JTF troops and conquers the stock exchange headquarters, delivering a pathogen to Keener. 3) Keener convinces Kajika to fight with him to take revenge on the government’s betrayal; 4) Conley decides to collaborate with Keener by conquering the Two Bridges area. 5) SHD agents raid a building, but Keener manages to escape with the pathogen. 6) Agent Lau (via radio link) declares his intention to call for reinforcements from Washington (motivating the “transfer” of the player from the capital to New York).
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Aaron Keener’s allied terrorist lieutenants pictured in Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2: Warlords of New York in a pre-mission presentation: Javier Kajika (tactical operations expert); Theo Parnell (computer security expert, drone control, conspiracy theorist); James Dragov (heavy weapon expert, chief of the “Rikers”); Vivian Conley (explosives expert, head of the “Cleaners”).
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Aaron Keener and his lieutenants: on the left, Javier Kajika (with a machete), Theo Parnell (with his face covered), James Dragov (with protective helmet) and Vivian Conley, (only woman) as recognizable in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York — Cinematic Trailer (Blur, 2020). See complete analysis.

Notes

[2] In Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York — Cinematic Trailer (Blur, 2020), an agent from the Division explores the Wall Street location to investigate a bioterrorist attack, clashing with Keener and his accomplices.

[3] Agents Faye Lau and Kelso are featured in the video game.

[4] The scenes of violence imagined by Kajika represent the punishments foreseen for his traitors. Perhaps, the first scene depicting a man tied to a chair with obvious signs of violence on his face may represent the violence suffered by Kajika.

[5] The revealed visual information allows the recognition of the criminals. Keener’s accomplices are disclosed in the Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York video game. Javier Kajika (tactical operations expert); Theo Parnell (security expert, computer scientist, drone control, conspiracy theorist); James Dragov (heavy weapon expert, chief of the “Rikers”); Vivian Conley (explosives expert, head of the “Cleaners”).

[6] In collaboration with Dark Comics, Ubisoft and Massive have created Tom Clancy’s The Division: Extremis Malis, a series of comics dedicated to the world of The Division.

Study method and sources
This document is the result of a compilation process created with scientific and accessibility requirements. Special care has therefore been devoted to coherently structuring the texts and analysis sections, to selecting functional visual devices, and to providing verified information by correctly citing sources of documentation, with the final objective of sharing useful material for the purposes of study, criticism and information.

Legal notice
The iconographic material, the trademarks (registered or unregistered) and all the information reported as being in any case protected belong to the respective owners. The internal use of protected material responds exclusively to a scientific and cultural intent.

The author releases the document through the license:

  • Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0.
    This allows third parties to share the published material indicating the origin, respecting the same type of original license and prohibiting the use for commercial purposes.

Contacts
Humenhoid is a creative research unit specialized in immersive entertainment and transmedia storytelling, with focus on cinema, tv series, and video games.

For information, communications or proposals for collaboration write to
Enrico Granzotto | e@humenhoid.com | Humenhoid.com

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    A comprehensive case study on information management and narrative design in the Alien (R. Scott, 1979) and Prometheus (R. Scott, 2012) interconnected franchises; (120 pp, available upon request).

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I’m a creative research unit specialized in immersive entertainment and transmedia storytelling with focus on cinema, tv series, and videogames | humenhoid.com

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