I consider myself a Destiny veteran. I’ve been there since Year 1/Day 1 when the first game launched. I’ve cringed at dialogue lines such as “That wizard came from the moon” and “I don’t have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain.” I was there sitting in front of the loot cave waiting for purple engram drops that decrypted into blues. I was stuck for a couple of weeks as a “Forever 29” all because Templar refused to drop those raid boots. Likewise, I’ve chased the Gjallarhorn for months, and the god rolls of Hawksaws, Eyaslunas, and Hopscoth Pilgrims.
I have been through the ups and downs of the Destiny franchise. From Bungie’s lack of communication or questionable decisions to the travesty that was Curse of Osiris. I’ve seen friends come and go, and I’ve seen haters throw mud across the aisle.
Destiny was a game that could have been great but it kept falling short for one reason or another. The sequel, Destiny 2, was mired in controversy and problems for a long time. The Warmind expansion tried to add a few tweaks here and there via secrets like the Whisper of the Worm or the grind for Solstice of Heroes armors. In the minds of many in the player base, Destiny 2 was slowly but surely improving. The Forsaken expansion builds up on that idea and multiplies it tenfold. It is, without a doubt, Bungie’s Moment of Triumph.
Please note that this review will have major spoilers for the campaign.
What’s new in Destiny 2: Forsaken?
A lot. There are too many new additions and features that you’ll have a hard time trying to list them all down, let alone complete them in a day. Some of the changes such as additional vault spaces, weapon slot switches, item perks, and milestones were introduced the week before Forsaken launched. Others such as a plethora of bounties and pursuits, exotics and legendaries, brand new mods and more were part of the expansion. You can also check out a guide I wrote for our sister-site PC Invasion right here.
The most noticeable at first glance are the milestones or challenges which you’ll need to complete. Some are placed in your menu which you’ll then need to redeem from an NPC. Meanwhile, others automatically drop when you’ve completed that activity. Another obvious change is the weapon slot tweaks wherein you can now have shotguns, fusion rifles, and sniper rifles in your Kinetic and Energy slots. This makes for a more dynamic and adaptive experience. You can rush Crucible opponents with three shotguns equipped, but you do so at your own risk.
Gambit is a newly-introduced PvPvE mode in Forsaken where you need to kill enemy mobs and then “bank” the motes they drop. Doing so summons blockers for the opposing team which prevents them from banking on their own turf. As you bank more motes, you eventually get to summon a Primeval — a gigantic boss that you need to kill to win the round. Every now and then, players can invade the opposing team’s turf to deny their motes or heal the Primeval via player kills. It’s a very fun experience all around and best done with a fireteam.
One of the biggest problems the Destiny franchise has had is its storytelling. It ranged from confusion to downright cringe-worthy. The Forsaken expansion for Destiny 2 changes all that with the death of fan-favorite Cayde-6 at the hands of Uldren Sov. Uldren was the Prince of the Awoken race who have been fractured since the events of The Taken King. He’s now allied with the Scorn — a brand new enemy race, essentially corrupted Fallen — to revive his sister, Queen Mara Sov.
With Cayde-6’s death, the Tower and its NPCs are in mourning. But don’t fret because you finally get to hear your character speak: “Uldren is mine!” The accompanying musical score and the somber moment highlight this tonal shift in Destiny 2. It’s darker, grittier, and more engaging than ever before. You get a sense of urgency or that feeling of righteousness in revenge. That the hashtag #ForCayde became trending was just an example of how invested Guardians have become.
Each mission in The Tangled Shore feels unique, and the Baron Hunt adventures which task you to kill the Scorn Barons have their own flavors. Facing “The Rider” has that Twisted Metal or Mad Max: Fury Road vibe. Meanwhile, “The Trickster” will troll you with ammo bricks and exotic engrams that turn into bombs. “The Mindbender” shocks you with his appearance in The Ascendant Realm. There’s also the “Mad Bomber” who reminds you of frantic moments when you faced Skolas in Prison of Elders — much like the new “Warden of Nothing” Strike which echoes Destiny 1: House of Wolves memories. In the end, you finally have Uldren in your sights — right after he got eaten by a tentacle monster. You end up shooting him, execution style, as the screen fades to black. That’s how dark it is.
Collections and Triumphs
Completing activities or scanning certain world items will also give you various lore fragments. These activities and collectibles are part of your Triumphs which can be completed to see how far you’ve progressed. In doing so, you’ll unlock titles such as “Loremaster” which will show up underneath your character’s nameplate. Unfortunately, the Triumphs menu does seem a bit jumbled and messy. Navigating the menu is easy enough, it’s just that there are so many of these that it’s confusing to keep track of all of them.
Unlike the Triumphs menu, the Collections menu is a lot easier to navigate and it’s something you’d definitely be using often. Your old Destiny 2 Vanilla/Year 1 exotics can get picked up once more in exchange for some resources (lots of “7s”). This brings them in line with your current standing which is a lot higher than before since the character level cap is now 50 (up from 30), and the power level cap at 600 (up from 400).
You can safely dismantle all your Year 1 legendary armor, weapons, ships, and sparrows — everything you’ve collected. That’s because you can pick them up later on whenever you’d like. Although it is worth noting that you’ll probably want to keep the ones you’ve put Masterwork cores on if you want to keep the number of enemies they’ve tracked.
Forsaken — The Dreaming City and Secrets
Eventually, you’ll make your way to The Dreaming City which is the second explorable zone. It is gorgeous! Words cannot perfectly describe how beautifully designed the layout is. It seems as if you left Destiny 2 and went straight into The Lord of the Rings or some other fantasy world like Warhammer.
The Dreaming City in Forsaken also has a lot of secrets and activities. You can do The Blind Well which is the expansion’s new Horde Mode. You can also just explore and breathe in the majesty of the place. There are nooks and crannies that have new items or hidden rooms, portals leading to entirely new areas. The community is itching to find out everything that it hides.
The Last Word
Destiny 2: Forsaken is not perfect. There are a few issues here and there such as infusions costing Masterwork cores. Likewise, Clan EXP bounties being tied to Crucible or Gambit matches have caused consternation for smaller clans. The former can be an issue but is remedied with a little resource management. You can also buy them from The Spider NPC each daily reset for a low cost. The latter is more dependent on the number of players you have and their disposition. There are large clans where you could have trouble finding someone to do activities with. Just as well, there are smaller clans that are eager to help out their members. I’m part of the latter which means the bounties are manageable for me.
So yes, there are a few issues here and there with Forsaken. However, even considering these and comparing it to all the changes that have been made and how far Destiny 2 has come, it’s safe to say that this expansion is Bungie’s Moment of Triumph. It is the culmination of learning from past mistakes and hearing from player feedback. An engaging campaign, a myriad of activities, and the dynamic gunplay the franchise has been known for somehow prove that Destiny 2 is shaping up to be the FPS gamer’s World of Warcraft.
With all the secrets and puzzles yet to be solved, and with the raid still coming up, Guardians are no doubt excited for what’s in store. This just proves that Destiny 2 is not Forsaken… it’s just getting started.
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Destiny 2: Forsaken$39.99
- Amazing storytelling
- Rich environments and art design
- Engaging missions
- A plethora of activities - Gambit, bounties, etc.
- So many secrets we still need to discover
- Clan XP can be a problem for smaller clans
- Infusion requires masterwork cores
- Triumphs menu looks a bit jumbled and messy
I’m a contributor for various sites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella: Destructoid, Dailyesports.tv, PlayStation Enthusiast, and Flixist. Games. Movies. Travel. History. Warhammer. Dad jokes. All around nerdy stuff. You name it, I’ll happily chime in.
I don’t have any backed Kickstarter projects to disclose, although I used to be a CM for a local MMO — this was way back in 2006. I also used to be really good in Counter-Strike, and I mean “bunny hop to avoid AK-47 bursts and shotgun AWP you in the face” good. Then I got old.