Destiny has made a massive impact on my life since it came out in 2014. Initially I had no interest in the game but gave in and bought it to play with a couple friends. Little did I know it would grip me like it did. I put over 1000 hours into the original, purchased every expansion, completed the raids and achieved glory in the Iron Banner on many occasions. Then Destiny 2 came out.
I was at a different place in my life and it didn’t grip me like the original. I truly believe this is because of where I was in life though and not because I was disappointed like many original Destiny hard cores. I honestly thoroughly enjoyed the vanilla Destiny 2 even giving it a a 4 out of 5 Cushions when it launched. The 4 v 4 Crucible was a welcome change to the franchise, the story was far better than much of the first 3 years of the franchise and there were some great changes that resonated with fans. After a couple of months I fell off and never really got back into it until Warmind came out in May, since which I have been playing regularly.
Since the announcement of Forsaken, I have anxiously awaited the expansion but I found myself less hyped than I was for Taken King or even the original Destiny 2. I am a major fan of story and Bungie wasn’t giving too many details about the story pre-launch. Sure, they announced that Cayde 6 was dying but that was a preamble to the campaign and didn’t spoil anything since the campaign was essentially a revenge plot. Taking about 6 hours to complete, this was one of the better Destiny campaigns to date. Ranking them all I would be the Taken King at the top, Destiny 2 at second and Forsaken at a close third. Being an expansion it didn’t have the depth that a full release would and wasn’t as exciting and intriguing as The Taken King was. Even still, the quest for revenge against Uldren was full of fun, great cut scenes, and amazing voice acting (yes, even the Cayde impersonation was good even if not as good as Nathan Fillion).
The missions were varied and the addition of 6 adventures into the main story was a great idea. I enjoyed the post campaign adventures in Destiny 2 and it’s first to content drops Curse of Osiris and Warmind but I didn’t pay much attention as the major conflict had already resolved. Adding these adventures into the main quest helped me to care about the story and engage with the characters. It was a delight to hunt down each Baron, The Trickster being one of my favorites of all. Bungie gave some great new tools to do so including a new weapon type of a bow as well as revamping the entire weapon system to allow secondary snipers, shotguns and fusion rifles. It even allows snipers and shotguns in the primary slot which adds a brand new element to the game.
The campaign also leads us to two new locations in The Tangled Shore and The Dreaming City. The Tangled Shore is where we hunt down Uldren and his Barons while fighting the new enemy The Scorn. This location is large, interesting and a lot of fun however it pales in comparison to The Dreaming City. An end game location that only opens after completing the base campaign, this new location is fraught with mystery, high level enemies and gear and much much more. I spent nearly and entire day just in the Dreaming City and still had more to do. The patrols are fun, public events have unique mechanics, the Blind Well a cool horde type new cooperative activity and lore all over. I have only scratched the surface and look forward to spending more time here especially since I am still under-powered for some of the content.
Gambit and Crucible
Gambit is the new mode in Forsaken which meshes pvp and pve into one. The objective is the kill enemies, collect the “motes” they drop and then place them into a bank in the center of the map. The teams need to “bank” 75 motes to then summon a boss called a Primeval. The first team to kill their Primeval wins. What adds a wrench into this is a portal that occasionally allows players to invade the opposing team’s space and kill them. Killing an opposing player while they have a Primeval active, heals that Primeval thus giving your team a chance to kill your boss faster.
The mode is fast paced and offers a chance for players of both sides (pvp and pve) something to do together. If you prefer shooting aliens in the face, Gambit is for you. If you like to mess with other guardians, Gambit is for you. The mode is extremely fun and brings a much needed new mode to the game. It gives players a chance to engage in a team mode with the opportunity to compete against others in a way you prefer.
Crucible is massively changed as well mostly due to the new weapon system and the fact that quick play is 6v6 instead of 4v4. I love 4v4 which is great as the competitive mode has it as well as Control and Clash modes added to that playlist. I never played competitive but now I love to be in there to get my arena style play in the game modes I love. Having a fusion rifle or shotgun in my hands again is a thrill. I forgot how fun it is to use these weapons and I rarely did in Destiny 2 year 1 since I needed to grab Power ammo in order to do so. Bungie realized their mistake in changing the weapon system and I have seen that players are loving the new system.
With Iron Banner in full swing this week, I have had the opportunity to utilize the new system in Crucible and it makes for some sweet moments that I hadn’t had since Destiny 1. The new supers also aid in the excitement. A new Titan super for the Arc class allows you to hurdle into the air and come crashing down on enemies with a massive arc explosion as if you were a missile. This super gives that power fantasy that many fans have missed in the last year.
Bungie has made some updates to other areas of the game, many of which are available to all players with or without Forsaken. Some of those changes are great and others feel half baked. For instance, Bungie has added in game lore which is a great new addition. When completing a triumph or attaining new gear, players can read lore about that in the game. They also added the ability to track a bounty by getting out your ghost. This is wonderful however The Taken King from 2015 had this feature and it could be done on several bounties or quests at once where Forsaken only allows for one quest or bounty to be tracked at once. This feels like a major step backwards considering it’s been three years since the better UI system of The Taken King.
Destiny is back plain and simple. I may complain about the bounty tracking but, overall, this expansion is incredible! The Dreaming City is beautiful, Tangled Shore a desolate yet beautiful location and the campaign exceptionally good. The story, cuty scenes, voice acting and music are on par with what I expect from Bungie and the gameplay is better than ever. The new weapon system is a joy in Crucible. Shooting fellow guardians in the face with a shotgun is too much fun and ruining someone’s day by killing them and healing their Primeval feels divine. With loads of loot still yet to earn and more adventures to come, I think my time is better served playing the game rather than writing about it. If you enjoy 1st person shooters at all, pick up Destiny 2 with Forsaken. It is worth every minute!
4 out of 5 Couch Cushions and a Throw Pillow!!!