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Destiny 2: Forsaken review: There's a reason to play Destiny every day again

There are a large number of tactics to pass judgement on a Future 2 growth, however I’ve discovered it’s very best to depend the times I saved taking part in. After Curse of Osiris, I caught round for roughly two weeks. After Warmind, it was once about two days. However Forsaken? It’s been the easier a part of a month now, and I don’t see myself quitting anytime quickly.

I doubted it was once imaginable, however Bungie’s grew to become Future 2 into the hobbyist sport folks sought after. Does that imply you owe it any other shot? Completely now not. However should you’ve been searching for a reason why to revisit the Tower, Forsaken’s a compelling one.

Redemption, finally

I’ve already written at period about Forsaken, and I don’t need to replica that paintings an excessive amount of. Suffice it to mention: The marketing campaign is in point of fact rattling excellent. It by no means elevates above the extent of science fiction pulp, however it’s compelling pulp nonetheless. Your pursuit of Uldren Sov and his 8 Barons, a quest for vengeance (or perhaps justice) for Cayde-6’s homicide, is the tightest tale informed to this point in Future 2Forsaken marries Bungie’s knack for large-scale house opera with a small-scale tale that has actual stakes and first rate emotional weight.

Destiny 2: Forsaken IDG / Hayden Dingman

And as I wrote previous this month, the Barons themselves are the important thing. Villains had been an actual drawback for Future 2 thus far, poorly motivated or poorly defined or simply merely bland. It’s arduous to consider the Barons are a part of the similar sport that gave us Nokris, Bring in of Xol—an enemy who, regardless of his grandiose title, got here and went with none acclaim in any respect.

Positive, Nokris had a wealthy backstory should you went taking a look. Take a look at his access on Destinypedia. Once more, Bungie is nice at world-building. There’s mountains of lore for the devoted few to piece in combination. Future 2’s drawback, in its first yr, has been conveying that data in your reasonable participant as they typhoon in the course of the marketing campaign.

Forsaken’s revenge story is inconspicuous, however the Barons are wealthy with persona. It comes via of their personality designs, by way of the looming Hangman or the spindly Rifleman. It comes via of their monologues, as in terms of The Enthusiast. It comes via within the numerous boss encounters, from The Rider’s vehicle-based phase to The Mindbender’s obsession with the Hive.

Destiny 2: Forsaken IDG / Hayden Dingman

It makes for an enticing time. Each and every undertaking is markedly other from its predecessor, which is a feat for a sport that’s most commonly “Cross right here and shoot the whole thing.” And Forsaken ends on a prime notice too, the tale culminating in some unbelievable cinematics and one of the jaw-dropping locales I’ve observed in any shooter. Like, ever.

I’m detest to even damage it. Why? As a result of that 2d locale, which doubles as Forsaken’s 2d patrol zone, represents what I like maximum about this growth: Secrets and techniques.

It’s now not that you’ll be able to’t in finding this data on-line. After all you’ll be able to. You’ll cross be informed what Forsaken’s 2d patrol zone is at this time, and likewise learn 100 Reddit threads the place folks lay out the whole thing that’s in retailer for you, all of the “proper” steps to take to unravel such-and-such drawback.

However for the primary time in Future 2, there’s a way of marvel. I keep in mind complaining when the sport launched final yr: “There are these kind of hallways off to the facet, however you cross down them and there’s not anything there. There’s by no means anything else to seek out.” Forsaken fixes that. There are mysteries to find! Every now and then it’s small mysteries, like a lore drop to learn via. Different instances it’s a Misplaced Sector that doubles as a Fallen nightclub. Every now and then it’s…a cat.

Destiny 2: Forsaken IDG / Hayden Dingman

This started before Forsaken, of course. For instance, in July players discovered a mission that only triggered during a specific activity on Io, and which rewarded the “Whisper of the Worm” sniper rifle at the end. Cool, right?

Forsaken makes those moments a central focus though, and nowhere is it more evident than that second patrol zone. Even after a week there, I still feel like there’s more to see.

And I’m curious where Bungie goes with it, too. After the first team completed the raid September 14, Bungie updated this second patrol zone—mostly cosmetic changes, but there’s potential for more significant differences as time goes on. That could be fascinating indeed, an entire region that shifts over the course of weeks or months, adds new areas to explore and riddles to solve.

It’s the type of MMO-centric feature Bungie seemed reticent to dabble in at release, and for good reason. A lot of work goes into those sorts of updates, and only a core group of fans will log in enough to even notice. I think Destiny 2’s first year proved Bungie can’t maintain its middle-of-the-road stance though. It either needs to accept it’s not an MMO, and thus also accept that most of the player-base will stop playing after a month. Or alternatively, it is an MMO and has to start updating like one.

Destiny 2: Forsaken IDG / Hayden Dingman

Forsaken seems, at least for now, like an inclination towards that latter road—but we’ll see. Six months should give us a much better idea where Destiny 2 is headed I think, with the tumultuous first year safely behind. Maybe we’ll know as soon as the next expansion hits.

In any case, Forsaken is more than enough to sustain a daily Destiny 2 habit. It helps that there are now actual rewards for logging in daily, “Powerful Gear” being rewarded after (for instance) completing your first Crucible match of the day or a Heroic Adventure. The grind no longer devolves into finishing your tasks each Tuesday and then waiting for the next week’s reset.

Crucible is also a much better multiplayer experience than it was at release. The new weapon loadouts are partially responsible, with shotguns especially prevalent at the moment. It’s a welcome shakeup, though with none of the maps or modes designed for unlimited shotgun usage it can also be a bit frustrating at times. Still, I’m having a much better time than I was at release. 6-versus-6 is a lot more action-packed, and the TTK (or time-to-kill) feels shorter and a lot snappier as a result. Firefights are a lot deadlier.

Destiny 2: Forsaken IDG / Hayden Dingman

I’ve spent most of my time with Gambit though, the hybrid co-op/versus mode Bungie showed off at E3. In Gambit, two teams of six try to kill a certain number of computer-controlled enemies while also fending off invasions from the other team looking to stop them. It’s genius.

For years Bungie was known for the creative modes it packed into the Halo series, and Gambit feels like the first proper continuation of that in Destiny 2. Only here, where the line between co-op and multiplayer is already blurry, could you take the two traditional multiplayer hoppers of Horde Mode and Team Deathmatch and mash them together in a way that makes sense.

And there’s more I admittedly haven’t seen yet, like the entire raid. Sure, it released September 14, but with the first encounter pegged to an equipment level of 560…well, I’m a ways off at around 520. Maybe weeks away, at my current rate. That’s a good thing. Not only is the grind simply longer than it’s ever been in Destiny 2, but there’s still end-game content for me to discover weeks and even months after release. It feels like Bungie paced Forsaken much better than Destiny 2’s previous iterations, even the base game.

Destiny 2: Forsaken IDG / Hayden Dingman

Whether I’ll still want to keep playing once the grind’s finally finished? Hard to say. It’s always hard to say, and I sure do love watching those numbers go up. That said, there’s a lot here—and perhaps even more as time goes on, thanks to that second patrol zone. I see Bungie’s promising to update it every three weeks, so I guess we’ll know soon whether those updates are substantial enough to maintain interest.

Bottom line

Anyway, no, you don’t owe Bungie a second chance. Maybe you’re part of the “Fool me once, go to hell” crowd, in which case fair enough. Or maybe you felt fooled by the first Destiny, and this second iteration repeating the same mistakes was too much for you. Again, fair enough.

Destiny 2: Forsaken is a fantastic effort to salvage a game I thought might be beyond salvage, though. It fixes most of my complaints from year one, both big and small. Forsaken’s writing is better, its multiplayer is better, just about everything is substantially improved over last year. Is there more work to be done? Sure, and work to sustain this momentum. But at least I’m not immediately disappointed, and I’m enjoying uncovering Forsaken‘s secrets as much as the actual shooting.

My biggest complaint: You need to own the Year One expansions (Curse of Osiris and Warmind) in order to play Forsaken. Given the lackluster response to those add-ons…well, let’s just say if I were Bungie I would’ve probably packed those in with every Forsaken purchase,  not just the higher-priced “Collection.” It’s hard enough to convince people to buy a Ferrari without also mandating they spend an extra $20 for the rusted-out trailer you bolted to the bumper.

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