Let’s rewind to September 2017, Bungie’s greatest marvel and success coming off the back of Destiny. A new title, brand new worlds, activities, storylines and characters emitting off from Destiny 2. A brand new shooter that looked intense and sharp on paper. So why did it fail to hook players into the game, reviewers unhappy with the game and therefore the price dropping heavily. It was the game’s overall appetite that gamers had lost interest in playing. You had a great 8 hour storyline with a semi-RPG element to level your character up to a certain point to finish the story. Past that point, there wasn’t much for players to look forward to. The game went into a heavy content drought and the player base dropped from 2 million players to a fraction of 200,000 daily players.
So now you’re thinking, you’d be brave and stupid to put your wallet back into the long-earned trust you gave Bungie after playing Destiny. Let’s start by filtering this into two main points before reading this review.
1) The storyline is darker, deeper and more difficult for you to breeze through. You’re not going to just walk through the story without really putting some effort into levelling your character up past the recommended levels.
2) The game is continuously updating every week with new content, missions, activities and changing world environments. It’s overwhelming.
Destiny 2: Forsaken not only makes Destiny: The Taken King look like a starter expansion, it sets the bar high for Bungie in terms of story-telling, lore, activities and re-playability. Destiny 2: Forsaken is a credit to Bungie & High-Moon Studios’ creativity and if you’re planning on picking up a copy, this may serve as a guideline for what to expect in The Reef and the overwhelming Dreaming City.
Destiny 2: Forsaken is an expansion, first and foremost. You will need to know this going forward that this isn’t a new title or a video game that’s going to be hitting the shelves. The only way to play this expansion is from the base-game Destiny 2. So you’ll need a copy of the game and a download code to unlock the expansion. As the overall expansion is available to every single player because of updates/patches, you physically won’t be able to play Destiny 2: Forsaken until your console/PC detects a license key, essentially speaking. Destiny 2: Forsaken builds on Destiny 2 adding new locations and a brand new story dedicated to taking the game deeper into the pits of emotional breakdowns.
Forsaken starts with the death of Bungie’s most loveable character, Cayde-6. The most energetic, humorous and life-of-the-party from Destiny’s universe. And with Cayde-6, the humour dies as well. Bungie and High-Moon Studios recognised the status of Destiny’s humour and cringe that befell the player base in the original Destiny 2 game. With it, a post traumatic eclipse arrived and the response from players has been incredible. As a player, you have no idea what’s going on. You’re still getting around the fact that Cayde-6 died. You’re still getting around to the fact you need to hunt down 8 barons and the enemy. Uldren-Sov killed Cayde-6 with his own Ace of Spades gun. Your personal mission is to hunt down the baron’s involved in the murder of Cayde-6 alongside taking down Uldren Sov. Forsaken takes you to The Reef. The first time playable in Destiny’s universe, whereas The Reef had only been a haven to players in 2015 as a social space. Uldren Sov’s own motive for killing Cayde-6 is unclear at the beginning, but you soon realise what’s happening as the story progresses. The game is split by missions including side-activities you must complete (by killing the Barons one by one) and completing bounties from new NPC characters to progress your story.
The new enemy featured on The Reef is called the Scorn. These enemies are more frustrating and more annoying than your usual enemy from Destiny’s universe. This creates a more balanced but also challenging environment to play in. The Scorn’s AI is adaptive to your move blocking or stopping you from killing them quickly. Instead, Bungie focuses you to think about your strategies when fighting the Scorn. A bold move to adapt and strengthen a new enemy type. All 8 Barons have their own unique way of fighting too. From The Fanatic’s space-magic to The Machinist to The Mad Bomber. Utilising different fighting styles creates a unique fighting playground for you, the Guardian.
The Reef will be your playground for a long-time in Destiny 2 Forsaken while you hunt down Uldron Sov. Patrols and lost sectors also return which give players more activities to do while gaining planetary materials needed to infuse weapons and armour to increase your level. This is partially due to which weapon you’d like to keep as your strongest arsenal. The Reef also introduces three new strikes available on the map as selectable activities once you’ve progressed through the story. Bungie’s original vision was to have rotating strike playlists, however the community disagreed with this and Bungie has included strikes which can be selected on maps as well as a dedicated random-rotating playlist.
Some of the changes reflected by Bungie include weapon-slot changes where you are now able to equip sniper rifles and shotguns in both primary and heavy. In retrospect, you’re able to switch load outs to go triple “shotty” and triple “sniper”. The crucible, Destiny’s PvP feature, has also been tweaked to be more fast-paced and allows people to use a more variety of guns rather than sticking to a few that gave advantages to players. Featuring the “triple-tap” where three shots on the head (which counts as precision shots) will now kill the enemy quicker. New maps for the Crucible have become available as of 25th September and will continuously update for all Destiny 2 players over the next year regardless if you have purchased Forsaken or not.
The way you progress your characters individual “Light” or “Power” level has been heavily tweaked by Bungie to be more grind-worthy. For the player, there are dozens of activities to complete per week which also reset every 4 days as “daily” challenges. In summary, there’s always something for a Destiny 2 player to do every day that they log in. And with it, you’re maximum threshold of “max Light” will be 600. And while Forsaken has been out for about 4 weeks now, only a handful of players have hit the 600 mark. Every week, you can earn powerful gear from Tuesday’s weekly reset allowing you to play a variety of activities from strikes to Crucible to daily missions ect. All taking the average player about a day or two to complete – dependent on time – subsequently, the numbered gear you achieve from this will only go up in 1, 2 or 3+ numbers. This all depends on your average Light.
Bungie and High Moon Studios have also introduced a new hybrid game mode which infuses PvE & PvP together called Gambit: The mode co-exists in a sub-space allowing players to battle AI enemies but also allows them to invade each other’s sub-spaces to kill Guardians. Gambit requires a team of 4v4 to kill enemies for motes. These motes can be banked in the centre to unlock invasion portals, sending blockers to the enemy team stopping them from banking and finally, summoning your ultra-boss, the Primeval. If you bank enough motes, you’ll be able to summon the Primeval and taking it down would earn you a match-point win.
Once you’ve finished the story and have progressed further down the grind, you’ll finally be able to unlock the Dreaming City. One of the best PvE environments Bungie has ever worked on. The home of the new Raid – Last Wish – where the world changes every week depending on player actions. Hidden quests roam the world with hidden challenges. While I won’t go into further detail to explain these, it’s best experienced going blind.
Destiny 2: Forsaken is a right step towards Bungie’s semi-MMORPG which is currently inducing players to keep returning and finding new activities to play. And while we’re only in Forsaken’s second month, the content that has already released is bound to set players into a long-trance of playability and immersion.
Developer: Bungie Publisher: Activision
Release date: 04/19/2018
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Destiny 2: Forsaken is a right step towards Bungie’s semi-MMORPG which is currently inducing players to keep returning and finding new activities to play