Destiny 2: Forsaken Review
To say that Destiny 2 has been a bit rocky since it’s launch is an understatement. With complaints about it being too grindy, and then not grindy enough, and back again to being grindy and repetitive, Bungie has had their work cut out for them creating additional content to keep players invested in the plight of the guardians. Forsaken promised to shake things up in a big way and I am happy to say it has been a literal game changer while retaining the core of what makes Destiny such a highly addictive experience.
The biggest event in Forsaken is the campaign itself, beginning with the demise of everyone’s favorite Hunter, Cayde-6. Unlike the other tales of saving Earth or the galaxy itself, Forsaken is a cold-blooded tale of vengeance and it teeters dangerously close on leading you to the dark side. Your ghost will ask the big moral questions about why you are on this mission and not just what the mission is about. The campaign itself is a satisfying length, requiring short breaks to up your light level with public events and adventures before jumping back into the fray to take on Uldren’s Barons.
Taking on all the Barons follows a similar format – deplete a section of health bar, take out a wave of enemies, repeat – however, each one is just unique enough to keep them interesting – The Rifleman and The Mad Bomber being my personal favorites. All of these fights – in particular, the final battle – are intense and incredibly fun. They present a level of challenge I hadn’t previously enjoyed in Destiny 2 and while they can be frustrating at the time, it is satisfying to come out on top.
Forsaken also features The Shore as a new locale to visit and it is a blast to explore. Not quite as big as the EDZ, The Shore feels heavily populated, and you are almost always in the midst of a firefight with the Fallen or the Scorn. The landscape has a great aesthetic making it feel like a war zone – something Destiny 2 was missing up to this point, maybe with the exception of Mars.
Beyond the surface stuff, Forsaken brings with it some massive updates to the gameplay. Triumphs and Collections are now available in the menu and show off all of your accomplishments. It’s satisfying to watch your triumph score rack up the more tasks you complete. It also gives you personalized goals to set and it looks like Bungie has taken a serious step to giving people more to do with these kinds of tasks. Key characters like Devrim, Ikora, or even Tess will offer a variety of bounties with everything from killing a certain number of enemies to completing specific tasks. These rotate weekly and offer new minor objectives to complete, often times with decent rewards. It’s a fresh addition that gives players some busy work to do beyond completing patrols or strikes and feels much more significant as if a guardians work is never done.
When it comes to combat, Forsaken really wanted to shake things up and it does so in spades (pun intended) The introduction of the bow as a new weapon class was a feature I didn’t know I needed. While slower to fire, the accuracy and damage behind it is incredibly satisfying. It feels immensely powerful and sniping from across the map is just awesome, here’s hoping they don’t nerf the bows. Bungie also added random buffs to each item and weapon making them even more unique than before, as well as bringing back a ton of armor pieces from the original game. New gear looks sleek and more badass, with literally hundreds of parts to check out.
Also new (although rather loosely explained) are the new Supers for every subclass. Each subclass has a new path to go down, offering a brand new Super and abilities to go along with it. I main as a Hunter, and using my bo staff to reflect projectiles or power sliding into an electric uppercut is a great addition to my arsenal. Each new super feels significant and makes the player feel even more powerful than before.
At no point in my time with Forsaken have I felt like I was slogging through a grind. With so much action on the Shore and so many tasks to do, I have been constantly improving and enjoying everything the game has to offer. My one and only gripe with this DLC is the incredible cost of leveling up your gear. Gone are the days of spending Legendary Shards. Instead, you’ll be spending Legendary Shards, Glimmer, Masterwork Cores, and the collectible resources from each planet. Granted, these are all items you can buy through Spider should you need too but the cost of each purchase goes up and Masterwork Cores are not easy to come by.
It feels like an artificial attempt to get players out of their comfort zone and to check out all the new gear rather than relying on the same stuff, which is unfortunate as the gear should stand on its own merits as opposed to being shoehorned on the player. If you are attached to the gear you had before Forsaken I suggest putting it in storage and waiting till you hit at least level 500 before trying to upgrade it, otherwise, you are wasting masterwork cores.
The final new addition to Forsaken is Gambit, the multiplayer hybrid mode. Matches go incredibly fast, but once you get the hang of it it is a fantastic way to unlock cool gear and level up. I’m not a big multiplayer gamer, but Gambit feels tailor-made for me – I can drop in and power out a quick match when I’m looking for a fun challenge and it’s a mode I look forward to frequenting. The level design is a bit simple, but it has to be considering the frantic rush to go from place to place. If you aren’t a fan of PVP or multiplayer in general, I still highly recommend trying out Gambit.
Destiny 2: Forsaken set out to change the game for the better and what we got was nothing short of a phenomenal upgrade. The new systems, bounties, supers, and gear all add so much to gameplay and give it the fresh coat of paint it should have been at launch. With a strikingly personal narrative arch and some truly intense combat, Forsaken’s only downfall is the high cost of upgrading your gear. If you were a fan of the game before, this is going to be exactly what you wanted Destiny 2 to be from the start. If you haven’t played it yet, now is the perfect time to jump in. There is something here for everyone, and the new bounties and triumphs add plenty to do for the hardened completionist.
**PS4 code provided by the publisher**
- Loads of New Content
- Emotionally-Charged Narrative
- Challenging New Enemies
- Expensive to Level Gear
- A Little Too Familiar