Destiny 2: Forsaken Review

We all knew Bungie had a lot of making up to do with Destiny 2 to players who were underwhelmed by the experience they encountered in the first year.  Through repetitive missions and lack of emotion inducing story, over time it somewhat fell flat and I for one am a huge Destiny supporter.  With the latest Forsaken DLC now out, new life has been breathed into Destiny 2 but is it enough to really want to bring guardians back?

Forsaken is based around a prison break in the Prison of Elders, a familiar destination to those who played the first game.  Hunter Vanguard Cayde-6 was overseeing the prison and responds with your guardian to help stop the break with the help of Reef loyalist Petra Venj.  Among the prisoners are a new race known as the Scorn.  The Scorn are mutated Fallen from a corrupted ether.  They are led by the Barons, a group of 8 that each bring a neat specific characteristic.  Then there is their leader, the Awoken Prince Uldren Sov, who is seen murdering Cayde-6.  Throughout the campaign and end game you will travel through the Tangled Shores as well as the Dreaming City; two new locations with a ton of new events and missions to do.

The campaign itself is completely based around killing Uldren.  Missions are linear, and the Barons are selectable adventure missions that can ideally be done in any order, but each have an increase in power level which somewhat forces a linear style.  It would have been nice if they just scaled based on your power level somehow to let players do what they want but it doesn’t make it feel bland.  There is a strong emotional pull in the story if you have played enough of Destiny previously.  Without spoilers as well, there is some great story information in the campaign as well.  The Scorn Barons also ridicule you as the real murderer who just kills which creates a mental dilemma that your ghost also speaks on often.  Makes you think about your role in all this.  Are you just killing for your own vengeance or are you really a hero?  There is an interesting twist at the end which is somewhat predictable but of course we won’t give it away.  Campaign last for roughly 4 to 5 hours without trying to speed through it too fast and ticked all the boxes on delivering a good story.  The real fun is after the campaign.

After completing the campaign, you are introduced to a quest to unlock the Dreaming City; a place where the Awoken’s hidden secrets are locked away.  The Dreaming City entirely is a hike in power level with enemies that at first will be tough just on patrol.  Each area also increases as well.  It’s not going to be a problem after gearing up for a week or two, but the initial shock was refreshing.  In the Dreaming City there are public events as normal, bounties, and two specific new events called Ascendant Challenges and the Blind Well.  The Blind Well is something that most will take part in.  Blind well consists of a horde mode where guardians pile up in a safe bubble and defeat enemies.  There are currently 4 difficulties and with team work and can be done with ease but as of right now you will for sure want help from others.  Ascendant Challenges consist of invading the Ascendant Realm to complete a certain task.  Each week it is different and is in a different location.  To get there you must use a Tincture of Queensfoil.  This gives you the Ascendant buff which will allow you to see things others can’t in the Dreaming City.  These challenges can be done solo but best with help and rewards powerful loot.  The dreaming city has a lot to offer and changes each week to keep things fresh in a way no other area has been able to.  It’s a great addition to Destiny 2.

The new Gambit mode pitches PvE and PvP together and is a ton of fun to play.  Two groups of 4 go against hordes of enemies and collect the motes that they drop to put them in a bank to summon a final boss to kill.  First team to kill their boss wins.  Players at time can invade the opposing teams field and kill them to make them lose motes or even replenish a nice chunk of their boss’s health.  There is a decent bit of strategy and team synergy needed however a team of 4 in party chat will destroy a random team.  Gambit has bounties, challenges, as well as powerful gear drops making it a great way to have fun and power up.

The new Triumphs and Collections tabs in the user menu is a great way to allow players to become a pure completionist.  Collections allow you to see gear sets that you haven’t gotten yet, get gear you have already gotten before if it doesn’t drop random rolls, as well as tell you how to how to get gear that you have yet to get.  Triumphs offer a score system for doing things in game.  There are over 800 triumphs to complete and some come naturally and some you will have to go out of your way to complete.  Bungie has said there will be rewards for completing triumphs but either way it’s a great way to give more replay value without being repetitive.

Like any big Destiny DLC, Forsaken comes with it a new raid called Last Wish.  The Awoken have the last known Ahamkara known as Riven.  Riven though has been Taken and needs to be killed by destroying its heart.  Power levels have made this raid as of right now very difficult to complete but unlike most raids, it gives some great story content as well while playing.   Don’t want to spoil anything here of course but overall it is a long experience and is a lot of fun with some unique fights that Bungie has never done before.

It’s still way too early to say Destiny 2 is now perfect and will never get dull.  Destiny 2 at launch suffered from a stigma of being just Destiny 1.5.  Forsaken is finally a true sequel to the original game.  The best way to look at Destiny 2 now is if you backed out early, it’s the perfect time to get back into it.  I would say that this is the Destiny 2 everyone was hoping was going to launch or this is how Destiny was when the Taken King launched for the original game.  Bungie has created a great story and has given players a long endgame grind that is both long but also rewarding through simple progression.  Destiny 2: Forsaken now has put Destiny 2 in the best position it has ever been and looks to stay that way for some time to come.

Destiny 2: Forsaken is available now in the Xbox Store.

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