Destiny 2: Forsaken | Everything You Need to Know
Destiny 2: Forsaken looks like everything a Destiny expansion should be. Between the incredible new world, the gorgeous art, the expanded gameplay and the new 'Gambit' game mode, this Fall's expansion is, frankly, impressive.
Bungie describes Forsaken as a "revenge western," with The Prison of Elders having been overrun after a massive jailbreak. Cayde 6 has spent the last few years filling it with the worst Fallen criminals, and now they're out in the wild 'like a reverse Magnificent Seven.'
Deej says we'll get to see what the story's about at E3, next week, but we've gotten to see a good bit of the gameplay and world and there's a lot to talk about before we get to the story. The ViDoc and the subsequent interviews were a vertical slice of what Bungie's created, so we'll break it down here.
It looks like we'll be getting brand new supers, and at least a few new subclasses. Solar Hunters will have a "fire knives" super, that has them wielding fistfuls of, you guessed it, fiery knives. Solar Hunters keep their hammers, but are able to swing and smash it -much like the axe relic from Rise of Iron. Arc Warlocks get a laser beam that comes from their palms, as well as teleportation. It's hard not to compare these three supers to Overwatch heroes Genji, Reinhardt or Moira respectively, but I won't, at least not intentionally.
New Weapon System
Bungie promised that, despite Destiny 2 nixing random rolls, getting the same gun again would still feel special. That never quite worked out, so Bungie's rolling that back. We're getting random rolls back.
People weren't happy with Destiny 2's weapon slot system, most notably, because snipers and shotguns were moved to heavy. Rather than revert back to the D1 model of primary-special-heavy, they're opening up all three slots to all weapons. In my opinion, this is superior system. Earlier this year, I advocated a similar system, albeit my idea was a good bit tamer.
I wanted kinetic and energy slots turned into two interchangeable primary slots, with only rockets, linear fusion rifles and swords as "heavy" weapons, and snipers/shotguns/fusions made primaries. Instead, Bungie's gone the extra step and made all three interchangeable. That's awesome, it gives players rooms to experiment and will do wonders for players with the confidence to forge their own loadouts.
Adding to that freedom and depth, LMGs are returning, and Bows are making their debut. Not having seen either in action, that's the extent of my commentary.
With random rolls, and three fully freed slots, there's a near-infinite supply of loadouts to be discovered. That's depth that surpasses even the best Destiny 1 threw at us.
Forsaken takes us to the dreamy world of 'The Reef.' Despite being allegedly overrun by crime, the Awoken homeland is gorgeous. Deej describes it as straight out of a Peter Jackson movie, and it's an accurate description. 'Rivendell in space' is a pitch that you'd expect to go down well at Bungie. It apparently did, because it was on that screen, and I can't wait to be there.
The Prison of Elders heads away from Jackson, and into the
George Miller territory. There's a Mad Max vibe that I dig, and the new Fallen we're fighting look absolutely vicious. I'm pretty sure I saw a Fallen captain with dreads and there were more than a few Fallen swinging fiery lanterns. These are people I want to kill.
'The Dreaming City,' the most Lord of the Ring's-esque of all, will host the end-game, including The Raid. Bungie claims the location will change over time, revealing new areas, secrets and -potentially- encounters.
After Destiny YouTubers and Streamers were invited to Bungie to play 'Warmind,' it was revealed that Bungie was working on a brand new game mode. Well, now we've seen it. It's essentially Halo 5's Warzone, on a much smaller scale, but with some added layers of complication.
Two teams fight waves of enemies, while fighting each other. But instead of fighting for control of bases, paced out by weapon requisitions, as in Warzone, Gambit makes things a bit smaller scale. But rather than putting the two teams directly head-to-head, teams can have players invade the other team, and go in for kills. Alternately, success on their battlefield can be wielded to make the other's team's fight more difficult.
As someone who liked Halo 5's Warzone, but felt it was held back boss fights that weren't particularly good, Gambit is something that excites me. Destiny does boss fights and PvE much better than Halo, and this plays to the game's existing strengths.
Annual Pass is a $30 pass to post-launch content. It appears to be three DLC releases after the release of Forsaken ($40), timed within a single year, from Winter 2018 to Fall 2019. They're respectively titled, 'Black Armory,' 'Joker's Wild,' and 'Penumbra.'
Bungie says not to expect anything like the 'Curse of Osiris' and 'Warmind' DLCs, which tells me they're a bit smaller than Warmind. They should be bigger than Osiris, which was smaller than most shooters' free DLCs. The existence of the Annual Pass is a good idea in theory, but D2's Season Pass was enough of a mess that I'm not entirely convinced Bungie can deliver on its value.
Destiny 2's first year cost players $95. It's second year is $70. It's a steep price for the game that launched with hardly any replay value. Warmind finally gives it a strong endgame, but we got it at the absolute tail end of the Season Pass. Asking for $70 for a followup to a pretty rough Year 1 is going to be a hard sell to many burned by the base game, and scorched by the abysmal first DLC.
Asking players to buy what looks like a season pass to an expansion may not go down well, regardless of how good the future content is. I have no doubt that this is going to be what makes many more casual players drop out of the game. Especially given that the first of these DLC's, 'Black Armory' drops in Winter 2018, players would barely have two months with Forsaken before being asked to shell out their wallets to continue. It's a high upfront investment.
I'm going to hope for the best, and assume that the Annual Pass is the price for Destiny 2's long-term support and makes Eververse obsolete. Warmind was good at launch, and has aged phenomenally since launch thanks to its strong endgame. If they keep that level of quality, this is something worth investing in.
The commitment to regular, long-term content that's easily road-mapped is a great step forward, and I look forward to playing Year 2 of Destiny 2.