Destiny 2: Forsaken Review – The Bungie Shooter Revived

Release Date: September 4, 2018
Platforms: XBO (reviewed), PS4, PC
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Online Shooter

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Editor’s Note: This Destiny 2: Forsaken evaluate would not take all endgame content material or the enlargement’s upcoming raid under consideration. Once we play by all of that content material, we’ll replace this evaluate with a rating. 

Cayde-6 is useless, and also you’re decided to avenge him.

Bungie’s E3 announcement that the subsequent giant enlargement for Destiny 2 would characteristic the demise of a fan favourite character made a stir. It additionally raised expectations for Destiny 2’s model of the primary sport’s landmark The Taken King enlargement. Thankfully, Forsaken delivers, with expansive new maps, a singular and entertaining hybrid PvP problem, and a narrative stuffed with thriller. That stated, Destiny 2 has not reworked right into a character-heavy sport; nor has it discovered an ideal steadiness between grind and levity for gamers of all dedication ranges.

The enlargement consists of two new social areas, the brand new marketing campaign, and new PvP and PvE actions, and raises the extent cap to 600. You also can buy an Annual Pass collectively or individually, for extra content material all year long. I’m not offered on the concept that the Annual Pass will include sufficient new actions to justify paying further, particularly if you’ll get seasonal occasions totally free. That’s is likely to be a narrative for an additional time. (Transparency: Activision supplied me a evaluate copy of Forsaken with the Annual Pass.) 

Buy Destiny 2: Forsaken

Forsaken‘s plot builds momentum properly, particularly towards the tip, however some characters nonetheless really feel under- or inconsistently written. The silence of the participant character is jarring, and Bungie appears to be doing a little adjusting relating to dictating what’s canon for the participant’s Guardian and what roleplaying may be finished inside the sport. Growing pains in that regard do harm the immersion, however general the sport world is properly crafted and provides compelling new challenges to chase. Lore-focused gamers will expertise a special sort of connection to The Taken King, with some hidden quests and surprises. This enlargement comprises what is likely to be my favourite Destiny 2 second ever within the type of some payoff on a long-debated clue within the lore. 

The story’s main weak spot is that it presents a query that it may possibly by no means actually reply. Several characters counsel that the participant may remedy an issue with one thing apart from violence. Regardless, the primary sport mechanic continues to be “shoot issues.” The inevitability of the reply wasn’t a significant distraction for me, but it surely does dredge up some outdated conversations about asking gamers to resolve issues they aren’t truly able to fixing. It’s one other case the place the stress between what you think about your participant character can do and what the sport truly permits them to do clashes.

Related Article: How Destiny 2 Can Still Be a Good Game

For essentially the most half, I used to be comfortable to maneuver on and discover as an alternative of worrying about it. One of Forsaken’s main strengths is the dimensions of its areas. The endgame location, Dreaming City, is a strained-glass heaven, lovely and unusual. Its polar reverse is the Tangled Shore, a grim desert the place practically each line of sight ends in a ridge or a cliff. Enemies are silhouetted towards the sky like gunslingers at excessive midday. 

The Baron enemies jogged my memory of a number of the extra distinctive huge bads from the unique Destiny. Each fights otherwise and their missions are diversified and enjoyable to traverse, if a bit quick. I particularly loved the Machinist, which sends you hurtling by an industrial space in a tank, and the reality-warping Mindbender. 

Also of observe in these sections is the rating by Michael Salvatori, Skye Lewin, Rotem Moav, and Pieter Schlosser. The music in each of the Baron missions and the cutscenes made me instantly need to discover the soundtrack. It’s an enormous, symphonic rating with much less digital sound than Destiny typically employs, and it really works nice. (There’s additionally a musical in-joke stashed on the Tangled Shore.) 

The new enemies, the Scorn, aren’t as huge a sport changer because the Taken however do convey some cool new weapons. They’ve introduced their very own model of the Guardian tether, which might immobilize gamers, and their aesthetic is a creepy zombie look. 

Cutscenes are well-crafted, with a definite Western taste and a narrative that saved me guessing what was occurring and the way the participant would resolve a number of the questions. In true Western style, violence and combating for coin comes at an ethical value. Characters query whether or not their motivations are pure or their revenge justified. 

Also fairly heavy on the Western taste is the brand new hybrid PvP/PvE sport kind, Gambit. In this mode, gamers kill enemies to financial institution factors; when the financial institution is full, a boss seems. Players also can leap from one group to a different to take turns killing Guardians. The numerous mechanics imply the tide can flip in a short time, and it typically takes coordination to win.

A 3- or four-Guardian group with an efficient technique could make an enormous distinction in Gambit. I felt actual concern when an enemy Guardian invaded, and actual victory when my group narrowly gained. The greatest downside with Gambit is the lengthy loading instances — the Gambit announcer is a enjoyable character, however between loading in from orbit and a short foyer in his ship, simply beginning up the perfect two of three matches can take a matter of minutes. 

Gambit is a singular multiplayer mode, and one thing I’ve been hoping to see shooters do for some time—introduce a sport kind for individuals who simply need to dip their toes into PvP however aren’t fairly prepared for or taken with going head-to-head with different people. 

Forsaken additionally provides a PvE occasion referred to as The Blind Well, however I haven’t progressed far sufficient to deal with it but. I’ve had a take a look at a number of the Dreaming City’s Ascendant Challenges and secrets and techniques. It doesn’t actually match the Western theme, and a few main questions on what this place truly means to the Awoken race aren’t actually answered within the dialogue. Nevertheless, it’s a lovely new a part of Destiny 2’s science fantasy aesthetic, and I stay up for spending extra time there. With extra to come back, this is likely to be Forsaken’s model of the Dreadnaught—a brand new public area that at all times presents new issues to do. 

The high quality of life enhancements are principally welcome. Material necessities have grow to be extra stringent, however it’s doable to purchase them from distributors as an alternative of farming them on planets. The menu now consists of Collections, the place you’ll be able to see the gear you’ve picked up and get well gadgets you discarded. At final, lore playing cards can be found on display in their very own tab. 

Of course, all of it comes again round to Cayde. Nolan North changed Nathan Fillion for the roguish robotic’s final mission. His voice doesn’t completely match, however he brings the identical power, and Cayde felt alive sufficient for me to really feel actual emotion at his demise. I’ve spent 4 years with the Vanguard now, and after two Destiny 2 expansions that felt extra like stopgaps than huge story, it is a pleasure to get again into Forsaken. I count on gamers shall be exploring the Dreaming City and firing up Gambit for a very long time to come back, particularly after The Last Wish, the enlargement’s new raid, arrives on Sept. 14.

Megan Crouse writes about Star Wars and popular culture for, Star Wars Insider, and Den of Geek. Read extra of her work right here. Find her on Twitter @blogfullofwords.

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