This title was reviewed on PS4, but is also available on PC and Xbox One.
Destiny 2 has not had the best first year. After release, many noted it as a step down from its predecessor in terms of both content (lacking stuff that had been added in Destiny 1’s expansions) and in terms of slower pace in the Crucible. 2 lukewarm Expansions haven’t helped matters either. Now Bungie have released Forsaken, Destiny 2’s Taken King equivalent. Does it spark new light into the game or is the game continuing its decline? Let’s find out.
Like all expansions, Forsaken brings with it a new story campaign, and honestly, this one surprised me. We all knew Cayde was going to die at the beginning of this expansion, yet the way they did it during the opening mission really tugged on the heart strings and gave the campaign some emotional weight which continues throughout. The campaign’s story is pretty well done because of this, although it heavily falters at the end with a confusing introduction to a new enemy and an attempt to make the player feel guilty for their actions, as well as it just not feeling satisfying. The campaign is of a decent length too, especially when compared to both Destiny base games and their expansions, as it took a good 8 hours to get through in one all-nighter sitting with a friend. The campaign’s length is due to some blatant padding though, with sections like doing bounties for the Spider as well as high level caps during Adventures against the Barons. The campaign was also a bit easy too, as we were a solid 20 light below during all of the Baron missions and yet beat them with little problems.
The campaign takes place in a brand new space: The Tangled Shore, and it’s pretty well done. There’s plenty to do in terms of public events, patrols and lost sectors, and it’s sizeable too. Once you beat the campaign you also get many sidequests, one of which unlocks access to yet another new playerspace: The Dreaming City. This one is a much higher level than the last one, and works well as an endgame area with a bunch of events and quests to do for Petra Venj. This is also where you acquire the new supers, besides the first one, and the ones I’ve played were pretty great, such as the Gunslinger’s blade barrage and the Sunbreaker’s massive hammer.
With any new DLC there comes strikes, and the strikes here are pretty fantastic. The one that stood out for me was one where you outrun and dodge trains to get into the Prison of Elders in order to fight a rampant Servitor who has been implanted with an AI duplicate of Variks. The strike is just sheer fan service for people who played Prison of Elders back in Destiny 1 and I loved it.
The other big inclusion is the new PVE/PVP mode Gambit. Gambit is honestly brilliant, and has you and a team fighting off waves of enemies and collecting motes. You bank these motes until your team earns enough to spawn a Primeval, a massive Taken boss. First team to kill him, wins. You can also invade the opposing team’s area to make their life hell, and if you bank motes in groups of 5, 10, or 15, you spawn a big Taken enemy into the enemy team’s area and prevent them from banking. It’s a load of fun, and there’s plenty of variety due to a good amount of maps and the fact that what race of enemy you fight is randomised each time you play. Just make sure to play with a fireteam, as controllers were thrown due to randoms on our team stealing our hard-earned motes.
Quite a few things have changed since Forsaken came out, from minor to massive.
The biggest change has to have been to the overall weapons and gunplay, although this was in a patch made to set up Forsaken so it’s available to everyone. The time-to-kill has seen a buff, making the game feel far faster paced, especially in the originally lethargic Crucible, and weapon slots have seen major reworkings, with snipers and shotguns going back to secondary weapons among other things. This makes the game feel more like Destiny 1 which really isn’t a bad thing. Although, because this is the Destiny community, I’ve already experienced cheap tactics, with corner-camping shotgunners and the like, so be on the lookout.
The game has also restarted the grind thanks to the level cap being raised to 50, and the light level cap being raised to 600 with a soft cap of 500, meaning there’s plenty to grind for now, alongside plenty of new loot.
There’s also some minor changes, especially in the tower. The music has changed to be more somber, Cayde is missing from the hangar (god rest his soul) and the Drifter now resides, hidden near Ikora. It’s definitely minor, but it’s still a neat touch.
Is it good?:
Yes. Destiny 2: Forsaken is great, and I had a lot of fun with it. The campaign is lengthy, emotional and fun, although it is blatantly padded, quite easy and has a poor ending. The 2 player spaces are big, lengthy and fun with plenty to do. The strikes are phenomenal, especially the Prison of Elders one, and Gambit is a fantastic hybrid mode. With the new level caps and loot to grab, there’s no better time to jump in and grind, and now Crucible will actually be fun due to TTK edits and weapon slot overhauls, just watch out for camping shotgunners, this is the Destiny community after all, they’ll abuse anything.