After a rocky, patchy first year, Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion is getting the game back on track. It aims to answer many of the mysteries surrounding Destiny’s lore and follows the story of Uldren Sov who’s turned bad, freeing the most notorious Barons from the Prison of Elders and murdering our beloved mechanical buddy Cayde-6 in the process. His motive? Well, he’s under the impression that he can bring back his sister, the former Queen of the Reef, back from the dead.
While we’re not quite there with a full review just yet – the all important raid isn’t officially out until the end of this week – we’ve enjoyed exploring a lot of what this new expansion offers. Following that fateful introduction, our real journey begins with the remaining Vanguard discussing how they can avenge Cayde, but when none of the solutions seem fitting or justified, our Guardian vows to make Uldren pay for his crimes by themselves.
Not only does this intro make it clear that our character cares about Cayde’s demise, but it also gives them back their voice after three years of being mute. That’s how much it means, even if it’s just two or three short words at a time. It makes the whole situation feel personal for both you and the still exquisitely named Petra Venj and so the goal right off the bat is to kill Uldren and his extended fire team of Barons, rather than doing a bunch of generic missions to track them.
This leads players to the new public space in the Reef called the Tangled Shore, where all of Uldren’s barons wreak havoc. It’s a major new space and gives players many extended lost sectors to discover, with other secrets to find along the way. A Fallen ally of convenience called Spider resides here and gives you leads on where to find the barons, so that Spider can reclaim his land. He gives you bounties that the player must complete to unlock the seven new Adventures in the game that serve as missions to hunt most of the Barons. These Baron Hunt missions are different from the standard bullet sponge boss fights and instead offer various engaging to come out on top.
Spider’s bounties are just the start, and you soon realise that every vendor and character now sets daily and weekly bounties to complete, which help players earn materials and gear in order to level up. The game’s light level cap is now 600 Light and the first mission of this expansion begins at 330, so there is a fair bit of levelling to do, even if it accelerates your early progress. This is more than welcome as there’s lots to find and do in the two new patrol areas in the expansion. It makes the game pretty rewarding too, and the recent weapons reshuffle in both slots and randomized rolls for weapons helps when you start digging into how to customise your end game loadout.
With the Forsaken update, the Tower welcomes a new shady character called The Drifter who explains a new mixed PvE and PvP competitive mode called Gambit. Two teams of four to compete against each other by trying to bank motes of light collected from enemies. Once 75 motes have been collected by a team they can summon a primeval boss with the general idea being to kill the boss before the other team to win the round. What’s interesting about this game mode is that a player from your team can jump through a portal to invade and sabotage the team you’re competing with. It’s a lot of fun with a competent team, and it’s certainly something worth doing, especially when considering the generous rewards and easy bounties.
By the time you’ve earned some gear from the story, played new modes like Gambit and have killed the game’s Barons, you’ll understand that there’s something particularly unstable about Uldren and the visions he has of his sister. I won’t spoil the ending, but it leads us into Destiny’s newest public area, The Dreaming City.
The Dreaming City is a post-game area full of even more secrets for plays to discover as they travel between different realms, as well as alluding to a new threat that we’ll certainly face in the future through the characters you can talk to there and finding hidden pages. It really feels like a post-game area with a higher difficulty than you’ll find elsewhere thanks enemies that are still overpowered at this point. It makes sense that this area will be home to Destiny’s newest raid when it releases on Friday.
In how it presents its new story and content, Destiny 2: Forsaken definitely feels like more of a sequel to the original game than the base release of Destiny 2 did last year, and that’s largely due to returning characters and themes. The way that weapon mechanics have been lifted and tweaked from the original Destiny to offer players more unique rewards, is a big part of this, making the grind much better than it used to be, but there’s also just a significant amount of new content to get through, especially if you have more than one character. If you’re looking for an action-packed multiplayer co-op game with great rewards, then Forsaken have the answers for you that Destiny 2 didn’t.