Destiny 2: Forsaken (Xbox One Review)
Since the inception of Destiny 2 we have been constantly reminded that there was a road map. A succinct plan of where we were going and when we would get there. Yet it always felt like we were on the road to nowhere. And then Destiny 2: Forsaken dropped.
In spite of the promotional material giving us a sneak peek into what the future holds for Cayde, Destiny 2: Forsaken starts a couple of hours prior to Cayde’s death as a riot breaks out in the Prison of Elders. We see Cayde flex all of his skills before a beautifully choreographed finale that captures the very essence of Destiny 2. Supers are cancelled by swarming enemies, last ditch shots are fired at anything in sight, and our beloved vanguard makes one last stand. And that’s just the jumping off point.
To avenge Cayde you’ll chase down Prince Uldren and his Barons to the Tangled Shore to find out their true intention. It’s a great chase and the Barons all feel distinctively unique, even if they to take some rather abrupt dirt naps. Outside of that, the story is fantastic with some great upswings, revelations, and Destiny’s trademark mystique. Even after the main questline ends, there is still so much to explore.
From the Tangled Shore to the Dreaming City and everywhere in between, Destiny 2: Forsaken adds a massive amount of free roaming content. The Tangled Shore is a warzone ravaged by Fallen, Cabal, and Forsaken’s new enemy types the Scorn. It’s a delight to explore and the areas are packed with collectibles, new lost sectors, and plenty of golden chests to scavenge. Usually lost sectors come and go without much impact, but there’s on particular lost sector that perfectly captures why you play Destiny. Even in the baron wastes of a war torn location Bungie have managed to add a little fun.
Then there’s the Dreaming City, a large, almost heavenly, zone where the fog rolls thick on the shore and the skies are as clear as day. Similarly to the Tangled Shore, it’s also cluttered with Scorn but there’s also a first for Destiny 2. Instead of the usual markers that you’d find scattered around for patrols, Petra has provided an army of Corsairs to touch base with that will bestow your next mission upon you. It’s not a massive change, but it’s the kind that makes an area feel more memorable. That plus the fact that the Dreaming City is drop dead gorgeous and hosts the Blind Well.
The Blind Well is a new wave based event that can hold upwards of 9 players. In the well you’ll be able to choose from 4 difficulties; Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Unstable. Within each wave you’ll need to defeat enemies while hiding in a designated safe zone until you charge the well to 100%. After a series of these encounters you will then face between one and three boss enemies based on your tier. It’s simple. It’s effective. And it’s a load of fun with a group. Plus it’s one of the ways to earn a Seed of Light to access your new super ability.
Alongside all the new areas to explore in Destiny 2: Forsaken, every Guardian will now have the ability to earn a new super for every class on their character. Nearly every new super feels unique and covers a previously blank spot for the classes. Hunters now have a void super that can outright deal damage alongside a blade barrage and tweaked arc staff super. Titans have a new defensive shield, a massive dive bombing arc attack, and a spinning fiery Beyblade super. While Warlocks can drop a massive healing rift, teleport into a devastating explosion or fire off a massive Kamehameha styled laser beam. On top of this there is a bunch of new perks for each tree associated with the new supers. These are all invigorating changes in some classes that were beginning to feel a little stale. I never thought I’d say this, but I am elated to finally hang up my Orpheus Rigs once and for all.
While PvE might be the testing ground for your new supers and gear, PvP is where it all pulls together. Especially in Gambit, Destiny 2: Forsaken’s new hybrid PvP/PvE mode. In Gambit two teams are tasked with killing waves of enemies while the collect motes that drop from them to deposit in a bank found in the centre of the arena. Gather enough motes and you’ll unlock a Prime Evil, which is basically a big taken monster. Slaying this Prime Evil will win you the round and all matches are fought as a best of three. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it would be if there wasn’t the ability to interfere with the opposing team. When depositing motes, players can different enemies on the enemy side to lock out their bank and open a portal to visit their area to take down their best players. It’s such a fun and hectic hybrid that merges both sides of Destiny perfectly. Matches are tense and the rewards are great. There’s very little I can say beyond that I totally adore Gambit.
On top of all of that there are also new maps for crucible and three new strikes. All of which capture the feel of the Tangled Shore and Dreaming City. The most interesting addition by far was the third strike, The Corrupted, as it was only accessible one the first team had complete the Last Wish raid. It features a corrupted Techyon fleeing our guardians as debris flies through the air. For the eagle eyed among you, you’ll notice that this was the strike used to advertise Destiny 2: Forsaken in its trailers and for good reason. It’s nothing like any other strike.
There’s even a new raid, Last Wish, for everyone to explore. This new raid is the hardest raid in Destiny’s history that demands teamwork and the characteristic puzzle based nature of encounters we’ve come to expect. The raid itself is set in the Dreaming City and looks unbelievable. Starting in the depths of the Blind Well, you’ll ascend upwards and take on a plethora of bosses that are tough as nails. Every moment of stress and heartache is worth it for the new loot and the bragging rights you earn through progression.
Accompanying all of these new additions to Destiny 2, the Year 2 update ties in perfectly with all the new content and wraps it up in a new presentation. Weekly milestones are now plentiful and the directory has had a few tweaks to make it more palatable. There has also been a revision of the way infusion works, mods, and the masterwork system, but all of these pale in comparison to the reintroduction of weapon rolls. Every weapon now has a pool of perks instead of a static build that means players will find new value in grinding out particular weapons and pursue elusive “God Rolls” for the foreseeable future.
Destiny 2 has never felt better. Destiny 2: Forsaken and its accompanying Year 2 changes have once again revolutionised how to play. With things like The Collection, Triumphs and all the additional content, there’s something for everybody. Collectors can look to scratch off all their missing equipment, while those looking for the perfect build can scavenge for materials, infuse their perfectly curated weapons, and utilise the new mods to create their own preferred builds for whatever sub class of guardian they choose to pursue. It looks great, feels great, and adds a longevity to play that was sorely missed in the first year of Destiny 2.