Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris Review
Wrap up that public event you’ve been grinding for the last three months and cash in your tokens because you’re headed to Mercury, Guardian. To nobody’s surprise, the Vex are up to no good as they’re rummaging about on the planet closest to the sun. Thankfully, the legendary outcast, Osiris, is on the case. Turns out that the guy who the Vanguard once banished from our beloved Tower is the key to solving the supposed crisis. As usual, we’re being dragged into this mess because we happen to excel at killing things with guns. Or perhaps the Vanguard are too lazy to get shit done on their own. Either way, Destiny 2’s first expansion ‘Curse of Osiris’ is finally upon us. It’s time to dig in!
Courtesy of Activision, I recently visited Bungie to get my hands on the much anticipated first DLC of Destiny 2. Simply stated, it’s good, but certainly not great. If you’re a diehard fan of Destiny 2, you’re bound to have an enjoyable time here. If you’re feeling exhausted by the game’s current structure, it’s probably not up your alley. If I were a bloke who valued lore over gameplay, then I’d proudly say that the expansion’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. Though I greatly appreciate the interesting storyline presented here, gameplay is what keeps me engaged over any narrative. Unfortunately, that’s where the expansion lacks pizzaz. But I’ll begin by sharing my insight on the good: THE LORE.
If you’ve been battling the darkness since Destiny’s inception, you’ve undoubtedly heard the tales of Osiris. Hell, you may have even been one of the few who paid a visit to the sacred Lighthouse by prevailing over his challenging trials. Up until this point, the hype surrounding the mysterious character has risen tremendously. I’m happy to say that it pays off, as Osiris proves on multiple occasions that he’s the most badass Warlock of them all. Throughout the campaign’s eight-story missions you bare witness to his gnarly abilities and wise insight into Vex history and the current threat at hand. His rather conceded personality feels welcome among returning cast members Ikora Rey and Brother Vance. The bulk of my enjoyment in the expansion was found in hearing all he had to say about the Vex and their sinister plans within the Infinite Forest, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
If you’re a terrible Guardian and were incapable of visiting the Lighthouse in Destiny 1, fear not, for Mercury is home to the sacred temple housing the Cult of Osiris. Side note: Osiris is awesome, there’s no denying it. So, I can understand why there’s a church of crazed individuals who follow him. That being said, are these idiots unaware of our monumental accomplishments? Let’s review our track record, shall we? Atheon, massacred, Crota, vanquished, Oryx, exterminated, Archon Prime, very dead, Calus, recently destroyed. Plus we just saved the entire galaxy by laying waste to Dominus Ghaul ON OUR OWN. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of enemies we’ve slain along the way. Where the hell is our cult of kooky followers? Anyway, I digress.
Mercury is significantly smaller than its neighboring planets and moons in the Milky Way. It’s essentially a large, circular arena housing some adventures, a Lost Sector, and an exceptional public event titled ‘Vex Crossroads.’ The Lighthouse serves as the expansion’s social space and actually exists within the open world itself. Aside from cashing in tokens for some useless items from Brother Vance, there isn’t much to do inside of it other than taking in the breathtaking views of Mercury’s distant vistas. However, if you take time to creep on some of Osiris’ followers, you can listen in on some intriguing conversations regarding the legend himself.
The campaign is a fun ride and I completed it in just under three hours. Before you panic over the brief runtime, know that I intentionally ran through multiple combat scenarios in order to finish it within the allotted time I was provided with. The gameplay is as solid as always and the campaign thrives in its world building and encounters. You face off against multiple bosses in order to open gates within the Infinite Forest that result in some enjoyable fights. Additionally, you spend a significant portion of the adventure with Osiris’ Ghost, Sagira, as she possesses your own Ghost. A bit rude, frankly, but her presence is quite welcome due to her boisterous personality. You also get to know more about Ikora based on conversations she shares with Osiris, who once served as her teacher. The story is complemented by gorgeous, cinematic cutscenes and incredible music inspired by ancient Egypt.
In addition to three of the campaign missions, some adventures will have you venture within the Infinite Forest, which is a parallel dimension created by the Vex in order to simulate reality. Throughout the short campaign, I found that I enjoyed exploring the Infinite Forest the most. Within it, you’ll encounter randomly generated groups of enemies. One minute you’ll be duking it out with The Fallen, the next you’ll be throwing down against the Cabal while jumping between multiple timelines and locations. It’s one of the more imaginative areas I’ve explored in all of Destiny. I actually wish that it served as the new open world instead of Mercury itself.
“there’s a fair amount of fun to be had in Curse of Osiris.”
A new Heroic Strike playlist is included in the expansion that provides players with a Nightfall level of difficulty without the modifiers. I’m a Guardian who enjoys a substantial challenge, so, I greatly appreciate the implementation of strikes granting greater rewards at an increased difficulty. However, both of the new heroic strikes in Curse of Osiris are literal campaign missions. To clarify, two of the campaign missions are recycled as two new strikes. The only difference being that there are tougher enemies to bring down. Therefore, you effectively play the same two campaign missions twice. When I began the first strike titled ‘A Garden World’, I wasn’t even sure if I’d accidentally selected to replay part of the campaign or the heroic strike playlist. To add insult to injury, at the start of the strike your ghost asks, “Does anyone else feel like we’ve done this before?” Granted, the two campaign missions are a lot of fun, but I’d prefer for strikes to stand on their own. Ultimately, the strikes are a major disappointment.
On the other hand, the Crucible is blessed with the addition of three new maps. Two of which are featured on Titan titled Wormhaven and Pacifica. Wormhaven, the PlayStation exclusive map, places you within the remains of a research facility overgrown by the Hive. It features narrow, winding corridors, multiple levels, and wide open spaces. It provides a healthy balance of close and long range encounters. Pacifica will challenge your mid-range combat abilities as you compete against opposing guardians in and outside of a Titan laboratory. All three maps are great additions to the rotation. However, none of them provide much in terms of aesthetics. Again, I wish we could see more of the Infinite Forest, like a map featuring multiple portals that take you through various locations. You could run through Mercury for long range gunfights, slip into the caves on Nessus for some up close and personal carnage, or even visit planets from the first game like Mars or Venus. The forest provides INFINITE possibilities for future content and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s featured heavily as we move forward. Also, the Crucible is currently in shambles as players who wield the new exotic, Prometheus Lens, essentially possess the power of God. The weapon deals damage to a hysterical degree. Thankfully, weapon balance can be adjusted quickly, and hopefully sooner rather than later in this case.
Curse of Osiris also provides a plentiful amount of new gear to stimulate your addiction to loot. Regardless of your class, every weapon and piece of armor you equip looks badass, and it all contributes to developing Osiris as a character. As an outcast, Osiris was forced to craft his own weapons and armor. Particularly, some of the weapons remind me of Kylo Ren’s makeshift lightsaber, as they appear to be thrown together with whatever spare parts Osiris could get his hands on. Similar to armor you could acquire through the Trials of Osiris in Destiny 1, much of the armor is inspired by ancient Egyptian art and architecture.
Lastly, new raid content has arrived in the form of a Raid Lair on the Grand Leviathan titled ‘Eater of Worlds’. Within it, you can solve new puzzles, slay a new boss, and earn new rewards. Battling Argos and his Vex minions on elevated platforms is incredibly fun, and dare I say is a far more enjoyable encounter than Calus himself. Frankly, it may, in fact, be one the finest boss fights in the history of Destiny. I only wish it were it bit longer. Even one additional encounter could’ve benefitted the Raid Lair exponentially. However, its brief runtime doesn’t detract from the overall experience. While we’re on the topic of raids, there’s one glaring issue present in Curse of Osiris. As of right now, players who choose to not purchase the expansion are prevented from participating in the prestige raid and prestige nightfall. It’s a rather baffling decision on Bungie’s end as it’s bound to fracture the player base. Hopefully, player outcry will result in the prevention being lifted in the near future.
As you work your way toward the new level cap of 25 and power level of 330-335 (depending on mods), there’s a decent amount of new content to experience. Sure, Mercury’s small, the strikes are a letdown, and many players are cut off from prestige events, but between the world building, new gear, and gameplay features such as new Crucible maps and the Raid Lair, there’s a fair amount of fun to be had in Curse of Osiris. Especially considering its releasing three short months after launch. For more on Destiny 2, you can check out our full review of the main game here.
***Review copy provided by Activision***
- Great world building
- Brief, but interesting storyline
- Awesome new weapons and gear
- Outstanding Raid Lair
- Disappointing strikes
- Mercury features minimal activities
- Players who don’t purchase DLC are prevented from participating in prestige features
- Prometheus Lens is comically OP