The Destiny franchise by Bungie has had its ups and downs over the last few years. Former ExpertZone GameMaster and seasoned pro on all things Destiny, Thomas Wilkins (a.k.a Flamingpieman), gives us his expert review on Destiny 2: Forsaken.
The launch of Destiny 2 threw the fan base off course a little bit with a lack of endgame content and a short and quick story line (still a definite improvement over the vanilla Destiny release however). DLC1: Curse of Osiris didn’t add a lot to the game and was more of a small content filler. DLC2: Warmind (and updates leading up to release) improved quality of life, provided some much needed endgame grind and extra story.
Destiny 2: Forsaken has amped everything up to 11.
The core story of the game has you chasing after the big villain called Uldren and his 8 Barons of the Scorn after they kill Cayde-6, undoubtedly one of the best NPC’s of the entire game. The campaign structure starts very linear by completing small tasks for a variety of friendly characters, including the new NPC named “Spider” who is a Fallen well versed in the black-market trade of the Tangled Shore (1 of the 2 very large and new locations), to unveil clues as to the whereabouts of the Barons.
Once progressed to a certain point you can now begin your hunt for 6 of the 8 Barons in any order that you wish, they do have gradually fixed increase in difficulty ratings, with each fight being themed around each Baron. The “easiest” rated fight sees you battling it out against The Rider on floating bikes named “pikes”. Whereas another fight will see you having to dodge a cascade of bombs being thrown at you whilst having to dismantle floating mines all the while having the new explosive “Screebs” chase after you wanting nothing more to blow you up! Each fight is refreshing and changes the pace of how previous Destiny adventures and story missions have been handed to us.
After the great Baron Roundup has been completed in the campaign and revenge brought upon Uldren, a new area called “The Dreaming City” is unlocked. So far at this point the expansion had been much of the same with small areas to explore, new enemy types and some nifty interactions around the Tangled Shore. The Dreaming City goes beyond the norm and throws so much content, secrets, interactions and events at you that its difficult to stay up to date with all the things happening, which is great.
Each week the Dreaming City has a new “Rotation” (as its been dubbed) where different enemies hangout in different areas, secret “Ascendant” realm challenges move to a new zone with different goals, new bosses with new mechanics appear in the Blind Well and different story quests previously not available will pop up for players to finish to unveil new lore and content to keep up with. For a few weeks before the release of the raid, “The Last Wish”, the rotations were just small changes and mainly just allowed players to level up and explore before getting into anything too crazy.
Once the raid was completed however the Dreaming City had been cursed by the raid end boss named “Riven of a Thousand Voices”, the Last Ahamkara (an ancient Dragon-esq monster that could grant wishes, but usually twisted them to get her way instead of yours), and now the city is going through visual changes of black Taken goop being thrown at all the buildings. The curse is on a 3 week cycle meaning that if you miss a secret lore item, a hidden chest or a particular event you will be able to pick it up in a couple weeks time anyway. There is far too much lore as to why this curse was applied to us but currently its being strongly hinted to that a big bad boss, Savathun, that was the sister of an old Destiny 1 boss, Oryx, is coming to wipe humanity out, destroy the Traveller and claim immortality for herself. I look forward to her trying.
In terms of new events that came out in the new expansion, we have a few different options for PvP and PvE players. Hell even one that does both! First is the PvE mode, “Blind Well” as mentioned earlier. Blind well is the same concept of Escalation Protocol (D2: Warmind) or Archons Forge (D1: Rise of Iron) where anybody can just walk on into the area and join in on the fun, to a maximum of 9 players overall.
There are 3 “tiers” of difficulty where you must defeat enemies in a horde-wave style engagement to “charge” the well full of light. Once the well has been full charged a boss will be summoned in which will have a unique mechanic to be able to damage it. If you complete a tier 3 then you can unlock a special “heroic” version which adds another unique boss that you can defeat for bonus rewards.
The biggest addition is the new PvE/PvP hybrid game type called “Gambit” where you and 3 additional allies are pitted against an opposing team of 4. The goal is to defeat normal enemies, which can be either the Vex, Scorn, Cabal or Fallen, on your side of the map and collect the “Mote of Light” that they drop. Once your team has collected enough they can deposit and eventually summon a “Primeval” aka Big Bad Taken Boss. The team to defeat their Primeval first wins.
Whilst both teams are shooting AI-controlled enemies there will be a portal in which one player from each side can choose to invade the other teams map in an effort to defeat the enemy players which in turn means the defeated player will lose all the motes they are carrying, this will hinder their progress and allow for the invaders team to have an advantage. But be careful, if you die whilst invading you will have a lengthy time before you can respawn and assist your team again!
The new PvP mode added recently as well is the game type “Breakthrough” where there are 3 capture zones called vault A, B and C. Each team will already have their side of the maps capture zone taken and the goal will be to first take zone B, once secure this will “break” the seal on the opposite capture zone allowing you to move in and take it for the win. Currently this mode is unbalanced and seems to have teams snowballing and then farming players for kills. Hopefully Bungie sees the instant negative feedback on this mode and make some quick adjustments on it because this is also sitting in the competitive PvP category and making some of the grind for the high-level gear pretty painful.
As an avid Destiny player since launch day of Destiny 1, I can comfortably say that this expansion is the best that Bungie has brought to the table. The amount of constant content to do daily is huge and always great. I never have nothing to do, always something I want to try out. There’s nothing blocking me from just enjoying the grind towards max Light level.
The 9 (YES NINE) new supers all feel different and fun, I can either turn into a lightning missile, Goku from Dragon Ball Z with a Kamehameha or even an assassin able to vanish and appear behind you with special blades forged of void light! Bungie has even added a new type of endgame content called a Dungeon which is extremely difficult in the smaller fireteam of 3 but so exciting and satisfying to be able to work on with your friends figuring out all the secrets and tricks to complete the encounter. I cannot talk highly enough about everything that you are able to explore, fight, uncover and wield in the game.
The expansion has also seen some negative things come to the surface. The new “infusion” system that allows you to bring all your old gear up to new levels so you can use it at endgame levels is currently extremely market breaking. It requires use of “Masterwork Cores” on almost everything which are extremely hard to find in the wild, with the exception of being able to purchase them from Spider in the Tangled Shore.
This sees players using the infusion system less of a “allowing the players to use what they want when they want” but more of a “do I really need this? What if I get something better and then I can’t afford to bring it up to light?” investment system. Bungie have acknowledged this and are working towards adjusting this slightly, pending details.
All in all, Forsaken has added great content, story and endgame grind. You are never left feeling like the game is empty and with nothing to work towards. If there was any time to jump back into or start fresh with Destiny – now is the time.
Thomas can be regularly seen streaming Destiny 2 on Mixer and is part of our Attack On Geek stream team. Check out his streams here and be sure to give him a follow!