Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York — Cinematic Trailer

Information elements and project structure

Return to New York — Eight months after the start of the pandemic, Division agents continue to fight on the streets of New York in an urban guerrilla scenario. The primary target is the capture of Aaron Keener, a former Divisional agent now head of a terrorist group intent on conquering the entire nation with a new lethal bacteriological weapon.

This document examines in brief Warlords of New York — World Premiere Cinematic Trailer (2:23; Blur, 2020) promotional video of Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 (Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft, 2019). The research considers the product and its materials by studying the creative choices, the informative properties, the modalities of visual representation and promotion.

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1. Analysis

Warlords of New York it is a complementary story to Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2. Engaged with Division agents in Washington, the protagonist is called back to New York to investigate the terrorist activity of Aaron Keener, a government agent guilty of treason and conspiracy.

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“We thought our world will last forever
until a single virus destroyed society in a few days.”

1.1. Narrative summary:
The narrative includes 9 main moments:

  1. Location
    In Manhattan, you can recognize the Wall Street building, home to the Stock Exchange, now deserted and in ruins.[1]
  2. Character + action
    An agent carefully scans the street stopping in front of the building, which became a barter place after the pandemic, and decides to enter.
  3. Investigation
    Inside the dark and desolate building, the artificial intelligence system of the agent’s multifunction clock begins to scan the environment, reconstructing an augmented reality audiovisual signal.[2]
  4. Past event information
    The holographic projection[3] reproduces a scene recorded in a previous time interval with: the hall is an exchange market, where people
    they meet to trade food and other resources.
  5. Unknown enemy
    The agent’s attention shifts to the figure of a soldier with a mask, portrayed on the side of the crowd. The recording shows the man while operating a detonator.
  6. Chemical weapon
    An explosion and the consequent diffusion in the air of a chemical agent that kills the people present is represented. Registration ends.
    The explosion of the pathogen is confirmed by the halo and the red dust visible on the floor.
  7. Imminent danger
    A sudden noise attracts the attention of the agent, who hides himself so as not to be detected.
  8. Declared enemy
    In front of him, the profile of a hooded man emerges from the other side of the room. The device of the agents is recognizable with the red light, a symbol of hostility of the deserters. The man is then joined by four other armed accomplices[4], who divide themselves to search the hall.
    The agent in the center remains in observation.
  9. Final fight
    The Division agent decides to activate a fragmentation remote-controlled grenade with multiple charges. The enemy agent perceives the noise of the weapon and moves quickly. Out of the closet, the Division agent begins the gunfight by shooting at the target.

”You can try to stop me, hunt me down, kill me.
But this is bigger than any of us.
So you’re going to have to ask yourself:
is this a fight you think you can win?”

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1.2. Primary information elements:

  • New York
    Eight months after the pandemic, the presence of an agent on exploration in Manhattan underscores the continuing urban guerrilla scenario.
  • The city community
    The survivors established places of exchange and commerce to encourage the distribution of food and resources among the population.
  • The bacteriological attack
    The attack on the market against the civilian population testifies to the presence of hostile subjects, willing to carry out acts of terrorism to conquer power in the new world order.
  • Internal war
    The enemy is the symbol of an internal crisis in the institutions, where fanaticism, humiliation and deviated patriotism have created betrayals and conspiracies.
  • A universal threat
    The presence of a new pathogen in possession of a terrorist group redefines the priority danger for the nation and for all humanity.
  • The salvation of humanity
    In a dualistic balance, the fight against the enemy (agents vs terrorists) is the only hope of saving the world from a devastating new fate of violence and war.

1.3. Dialogue transcription
Aaron Keener’s voice reads:

— We thought our world will last forever
until a single virus destroyed society in a few days.

But here we are, eight months later, and you haven’t learned anything.
Somehow you can’t see that you are making the same mistakes
that brought it down in the first place.

Your job, agent, is to protect this delusion.
And I have sworn to destroy it.

You can try to stop me, hunt me down, kill me.
But this is bigger than any of us.
So you’re going to have to ask yourself:
is this a fight you think you can win? —

1.2. Synthesis of visual development

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Narrative synthesis: exploration, arrival at destination (Wall Street); building entrance; holographic recording display (past event); bioterrorist attack (deadly pathogenic release); imminent danger (enemy presence and accomplices); final confrontation (hero-enemy assault).
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The agent explores the ruins of Manhattan arriving at the famous Wall Street headquarters.
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After the pandemic, the building was converted into an exchange market for bartering food and resources among survivors. Before entering the building, the man inserts a bullet into the weapon.
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Inside, in the abandoned lounge, the agent’s multifunction clock performs an augmented reality environmental scan by processing a holographic display of the information.
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The effects of an explosion are visible, characterized by combustion residues and red dust.
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The holographic system shows a projection of the daily activity of the survivors within the market.
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The agent notes the scene of an attack on a man who fell to the ground and threatened with a club.
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Remote and protected by a mask, Aaron Keener operates a detonator.
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The final sequence of the recorded message shows the explosion and spread of a deadly pathogen.
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While the Division agent is hiding, the figure of Aaron Keener emerges from the shadow of the living room, characterized by the bright red device, indicating his status as a hostile agent.
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Keener is joined by his accomplices: on the left, Javier Kajika (with a machete), Theo Parnell (with his face covered), James Dragov (with protective helmet) and Vivian Conley, the only woman.
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The agent activates a remote-controlled grenade with multiple explosive charges and exposes himself from the front, starting the attack on Keener.
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Aaron Keener’s allied terrorist lieutenants represented in Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2.
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The animated short film Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York Animated Short, released as a complementary promotional intervention, summarizes Keener’s convincing actions towards his future terrorist accomplices and reveals some personal biographical elements of the characters. Ubisoft’s official description describes Keener’s accomplices as “lieutenants”. In summary: Dragov conquers the Wall Street headquarters by defeating government forces and establishing the new Rikers refuge (biographical element: reference to the loss of his family); Motivated by revenge for the death of his father allegedly caused by government agents, Theo Parnell provides IT support to Dragov with an armed drone helping him in conquering the NY stock exchange; Kajinka takes Keener by surprise, perhaps with the intention of attacking him, but decides to follow him to take revenge for the violence suffered by the government; Conley decides to partner with Keener to continue the Cleaners’ criminal mission by burning the entire city. In the final scene, a few seconds before a SHD agents raid (the female agent is also present in Warlords of New York), Keener managed to escape with a briefcase containing a pathogen. Agent Lau (radio link) declares his intention to call for reinforcements from Washington, motivating the player’s “transfer” from the capital to New York.
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Notes

[1] The following are visible: a police car (NYPD), the sign indicating Wall St., and the black protection panels of the buildings with the bacteriological danger symbol and the word “quaratena” (intuitive).
Among the objects on the street are also recognizable a Christmas tree and a Christmas decoration depicting Santa Claus, thus recalling the origin and the temporal interval of the generative catastrophe: the pandemic caused by the spread of contaminated money during Black Friday.

[2] The character is Aaron Keener, a government agent mutinied in Tom Clancy’s: The Division, responsible for stealing the original pathogen from Gordon Amherst, originally engineered to cause the pandemic on Black Friday. Guilty of treason, Keener now has a new deadly virus used to carry out attacks in New York with the aim of destabilizing government action and gaining total control.

[3] The holographic recording and reproduction mode is characteristic of The Division and allows you to scan an environment to retrieve visual and audio information. On several occasions, Keener specifically records the messages revealing his hostile intentions. See the E3 2014 Demo, and Keener’s final confession in The Division.

[4] Keener’s accomplices are disclosed in the Tom Clancy’s video game: The Division 2: 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”).

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.

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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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