In my review of Destiny 2’s latest DLC, Warmind, I praised Bungie for taking Destiny into what I believed to be the right direction for the series as a whole. There were a handful of additions that brought Destiny 2 closer to its far more revered predecessor, and even more changes were on the horizon through updates and the promised ‘September expansion’. Now that said expansion has been revealed, I can confidently say that Destiny 2 appears to finally be the game that fans expected on launch, one that has updated or refined many of the systems that both Destiny 1 and 2 had put into place. While it may be troublesome to be too optimistic about Destiny 2: Forsaken, if year 2 of the original game is any indication, then fans of Destiny are in for a fantastic ride where Bungie puts out all the stops.
The Forsaken reveal stream opened up with a Video Documentary by Bungie, explaining some of the story tid-bits and a lot of the changes for Forsaken. Right off the bat, there seems to be a much darker and more ominous tone with both the setting of the Reef, as well as the brand new ‘Scorn’ enemy class. Following the reveal of the story, Bungie went all in on what kind of changes they are making to the weapon systems of Destiny 2 — and they look fantastic. Rather than the current, controversial system or completely reverting to the Destiny 1 formula, Forsaken will allow players to have any weapon class in any of the three slots provided. This allows for any sort of customization the player desires, and is a fantastic compromise between the two previous weapon systems (having three shotguns also sounds like the greatest power fantasy in Destiny so far). Weapons shall also have random rolls re-introduced and an expanded mod system (which was not elaborated on), meaning that weapon individuality and customization is also making its triumphant return. A brand new weapon class has also been introduced in the form of bows and arrows, which weren’t showcased much but look extremely cool. If Bungie can properly balance the primary weapons in this brand new system in order to compete with instant-kill shotguns or snipers, then it’s entirely possible that we shall see the greatest weapon system that Destiny has had to offer since House of Wolves.
Along with the reveal of new weapons and nine brand new supers, Bungie also showcased one of the most anticipated modes in the new Forsaken expansion. Gambit is a PvPvE game mode in which two teams of four must kill mobs to collect motes of light, while the other team is actively disrupting their progression and even killing off members in order to collect more motes in the allotted period of time. This mode was being hyped up by the many community leaders at the Bungie Summit a couple of months back, and it looks to be incredibly interesting and unlike anything else Destiny or any other game has to offer. The raid was also touched on briefly, with developers mentioning that there will be more encounters than ever and that encounters will be different depending on the players themselves. The concept of a raid that is different week-to-week is promising as it allows for the raid to become less stale, and it feels like Bungie is utilizing the rotating raid encounters from the first Destiny 2 raid rather than ditching the idea. Both of these modes look to be extremely engaging and interesting, with Gambit in particular looking to be a fantastic combination of Destiny’s two core modes in order to homogenize the player base into one mode that everyone can enjoy.
Speaking With Your Wallet
While there was plenty of hype and excitement to be had throughout the reveal, there are a couple of aspects to Forsaken that should be noted as they can detract from the overall player experience. Along with Forsaken, Bungie also announced the “Annual Pass”, which is a season pass that focuses on three different expansions throughout year two. Rather than being story-based DLC similar to Curse of Osiris or Warmind, the annual pass content includes endgame activities, new weapons and armor, new records to chase in the brand new record books, and more. For fans of the Destiny story and lore, this announcement is rather disappointing as it seems that Bungie has decided to double down on the rest of their content while leaving the plot behind. The annual pass is also priced at $30, which could be rather steep for players who are still cautious around Destiny after the mixed bag that was Destiny 2’s launch. I’m personally going to wait until after the release of Forsaken to hear the reception it receives before I think about investing in the annual pass. Forsaken itself is priced at $40, which is not surprising given the previous year two expansion was the same price. The annual pass may provide more content overall than the previous two DLCs, but it seems like an odd move on Bungie’s behalf to release it after the reception they received on Destiny 2 and the monetization of it.
Despite the minor gripes and questions raised throughout the reveal of Destiny 2: Forsaken, I still feel confident that Destiny is finally going to evolve into a better game than the predecessor rather than live in its shadow and slowly catch up through the year. The Forsaken expansion marks a turning point in Destiny 2, where Bungie can finally move forward with Destiny 2 and create a memorable experience in year two that surpasses Destiny 1. While it is always good to be cautious around releases like this, it feels great to genuinely be excited about something related to Destiny for the first time since the launch of Destiny 2.