It has been a week and a half since Destiny 2: Forsaken launched, and players have had ample opportunity to explore the new regions, test new weapons, and take up arms in a revenge mission against a fully-grown adult with an emo sweep.
Considering the base-game disappointed the lovers of the original Destiny, and the Curse of Osiris and Warmind expansions served up further frustration, the fanbase has drastically diminished from the days of The Taken King. A heavy expectation lay on Forsaken’s shoulders, to rescue this game and bring back the fans that deserted the cause.
For starters, the half-sized new campaign isn’t too long, but is an exciting and emotionally charged rampage. You, the guardian, and Cayde are called to action by Petra Venj to help quell a riot in the previous visited Prison of Elders. After you witness the end of Cayde by the hands of a Uldren Sov - who sports the same haircut as Harry Osborn from Amazing Spider-Man 2, you're tasked with hunting down the Barons who act as Uldren’s honoured guard. They are the de facto leaders of the newly introduced enemy type, the Scorn, who are quite innovative in their design and cause some real issues when you don’t approach your fight with the correct strategy.
One of those big thumbs up we can give Forsaken is that some of the missions grant you allies in the form of Servitors, with an incredible number of spikes sticking out from their back that remind you oddly of the baby-faced machine god from Matrix Revolutions. Sorry to bring that memory back up for you. They are the Fallen underlings of the Spider, a crime boss in the Tangled Shore, who alongside Petra Venj, acts as your new vendors.
The Spider has worthwhile gear to grab, now that the overhaul of the infuse section has led to a shift in the way we see patrols. With infusing now requiring a masterwork core and a lot of plant-specific material, you will now have to visit older planets and complete patrols, lost sectors, and public events more frequently to gather up enough materials to increase the power rank of your favoured weapons. This change takes us back to days of the original Destiny in its third year, a mad rush to hit the maximum light level has returned.
Fresh new armour and weapons drop along your travels, and whilst they are all well-crafted visually and carry a big whack, amongst the new exotics introduced, a fair amount of them originate from the first game. You’ll enjoy this if you’re feeling sentimental, or on the other hand, you’ll find it lazy. Another takeaway from the expansion is the introduction of yet another multi-guardian requiring public event in the Dreaming City, which echoes the past mistakes of the escalation protocol in Warmind.
The introduction of random roles to Destiny 2 will make a world of difference to all those players who felt the sequel divulged too far from the originals immersive experience. Getting a zen moment or explosive head on a bow is just top notch, and it makes you feel as if your weapons are your own unique collection.
Now we come to gambit, the piece de resistance. For those of you who struggle to get enjoyment out of being destroyed by the graviton lance, the Crucible can be a hellish place. Gambit gives you opportunity to play a mode which blends Player versus Environment and Player versus Player masterfully. It’s a healthy addition, and one we hope to pushed further in the future.
So far then, it sounds like this expansion has been a knockout. That’s because it is. We know any Destiny game will look and play well, it’s Bungie for heavens sake, but the small and necessary changes to make this game feel like its predecessor will do much to win back its once devoted fan base. The Destiny universe feels alive again and the grind of the original has found its way back into the series.
Sure, it took us back to the Prison of Elders and an off-shoot of the Reef, the Tangled Shore, but it somehow escapes being a lazy copy and instead feels overwhelmingly familiar and downright fun. It’s just what we’ve been waiting for.