Much like The Taken King, Forsaken DLC tries to rebuild the meta of Destiny 2. Making it more approachable and easier. While offering a way more personal story along the way. By Bungie’s own admission, the inspiration for Forsaken was ‘Tumbleweed In Space’. But does this Wild West meets Soap Opera revenge story works? Or is Destiny 2 a ded game (It’s not a spelling mistake, I am trying to get with the times)? And what about the much-touted Gambit mode. Does it reinvent multiplayer as we know it? Let’s find out.
The Forsaken is the third official DLC for Destiny 2. Released on the 4th of September 2018. The DLC was released on the PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch (Lol! not on the Switch). The DLC and the game have been developed by Bungie and published by Activision.
(P.S. Some screenshots maybe from the Warmind and Osiris DLC, since I was playing them in prepration for the Forsaken DLC)
DESTINY 2 FORSAKEN
Story & Narrative
Ever since The Taken King released. Destiny had been my go-to game. You know come back every day after a hard day of work, log into Destiny, pick a character, do some daily challenges (play a strike, get your ass handed in Crucible), decrypt some engrams, log off, kiss your wife and kid goodnight and go to sleep. I never actually cared about the story, and for the most part, the game didn’t either. So even after 100 of hours into the game, I had a rough idea of who the bad guys were. And the trend continued in Destiny 2 as well.
Until Forsaken. Maybe its the death of Cayde-6. Or maybe its the fact that this is how FPS quests should be structured. Or maybe its the law of averages. But I care a lot more about what is happening in Destiny 2 right now than I ever did. There is finally a hit list to go through before I can get to the main man. There is finally a way more personal reason to pursue that list, apart from oh we are afraid of the dark, let’s get some light in there (rolls his eyes). And there is finally time to explain what they don’t have time to explain.
Yes, Destiny 2 Forsaken makes the tracking of milestones, triumphs, badges and lore in an accessible collection tab right next to your character. It’s still not immersive as the books that you find in Witcher 3, but its way more approachable than those browser accessible Grimoire cards. Who would have thought adding an accessible progress and lore tracker would make the game better. Crazy right? Now only if someone could explain to me why Cayde-6 is sounding like Nolan North instead of Nathan Fillion that would be great.
Even though the story is great, the single player content is still broken down into a very familiar structure. You start off with a Quest, leading into Patrols, which taper into multiple adventures, followed by some more quests and rounded off with a Strike. Anyone who has played any amount of Destiny before would immediately feel at home with what he/she is doing. Anyone jumping in new, well there is a generous light-level limit on the Forsaken story content, so by the time you get to that, you would be well accustomed to both the dynamics of the game and Nathan Fillion as Cayde-6.
Gambit, however, is another story completely. Bungie redefined multiplayer shooter for the consoles with Halo 2. And they are pretty close to doing it again. With Gambit, in my very humble opinion, they might have solved the age-old problem of players being good at PVE but sucking at PVP. Let’s see how.
Gambit pits 2 teams of 4 guardians each against waves of enemies. You kill enemies and collect motes from their (disintegrated, burnt, beheaded) dead bodies and deposit them into a central bank location. You can collect up to 15 motes, but if you die you lose all of them. Deposit enough and you will summon a strong Taken enemy (dubbed the Prime-Evil). Kill it before the opposing team, and you win the round. Best of 3 rounds wins the entire game.
Sounds easy enough, but this sounds more co-op play than competitive multiplayer. And you would be right, but for the next part. Every time you deposit 5, 10 or 15 motes at the bank you block the bank for your opposing team, and summon enemies which they have to kill before they can use their bank again. Indirect but still not competitive you say. Well, how about after every 25 motes, a portal opens up, and one of your team members can go over into the opposition’s arena, and kill them, making them drop their motes. Even better, every kill made while the opponent’s Prime-Evil is summoned will heal the Prime-Evil by a considerable amount, giving you that much more time to kill your own.
It’s a nice little twist, it encourages teamwork and yet doesn’t depend entirely on multiplayer skills. Not everyone on your team needs to be equipped with MIDA multi-tool and Uriel’s Gift. It produces a very intangible tug of war with a lot of interference, and you always feel you are in with a chance even when your team is behind. And you can get good at it really quickly. Plus all the Gambit maps have a familiar mid and side lanes structure, so you don’t have to learn individual maps, making it even more accessible from Day 1.
The only problem I had with it, is that it can take too long. Each individual Gambit round can last up to 15 minutes, so if a game goes into the tiebreaker 3rd round, you are looking at around 30-45 minutes for a single round. Having said that, you feel grateful for the methodical pace when you are behind on the mote count. With Gambit the way it is, it’s not a question of whether you have played it, but more like when are you playing it.
Gameplay, Mechanics & Sound
I have been reviewing Bungie games since I was a kid. And boy is this section the easiest to write. Great gunplay, awesome sound, and excellent balance. Done let’s talk about Master Chief errrr Zavala.
With the advent of Forsaken, Destiny 2 is going back to the standard Primary, Secondary and Power weapon hierarchy which had worked so well in the original game (I am so relieved, that power/energy thing had me confused) making its way simpler to classify weapons. This also means that some of your equipped/ favorite weapons maybe changing slots, so keep that in mind, the next time you feel ready to fell some Vex.
The masterworks and infusing have also changed, but I am still finding my feet in that swamp, so I will keep you posted as we go along, but rest assured that part is still as confusing as last time, so remember there is no shame in using a guide. There is obviously new loot to get with Destiny 2 Forsaken kickstarting the Season 4 and resetting any Valor, Crucible, or Clan levels that you had earned so far.
There is also a new weapon type to try out namely, THE BOW. While I didn’t have much hope from at first, but its no reload mechanic is kind of interesting and if used properly can be very effective in PvE but until I am killed in the Crucible with it like a million times, its rate of fire for me in multiplayer. And just wait until you see your hand animation when you pull the bow. Of course, monitoring all the crazy loot that you have gathered has become easier with the aforementioned Collections tab, which now records every gun, every armor and every vehicle that you have ever owned in your time as a guardian.
Of course, the core loop to get that loot remains the same. Log in every day after long hours of work, play the daily challenges: Heroic Adventure, Heroic Mission, Strike, Crucible, Gambit (personal preference may vary) in that order, log off kiss your wife and kid goodnight and go to sleep.
Destiny has always had a great soundtrack. They have a way of making everything feel epic, whether its the guitar riff or the trumpets or in the case of Forsaken, the slow pianos and violins. Of course, you only hear it in pieces, because most of the time its drowned out by Taken/Vex/Cabal/Fallen/Hive gibberish and the awesome sound effects of your gun going off. A hand-cannon feels like a hand-cannon and an auto-rifle ohhh it just feels so nice (goosebumps).
Much like Destiny, Destiny 2 seems to have become a completely different beast after Forsaken. Its much more immersive, way simpler and loads more fun. The Forsaken DLC improves Destiny 2 in every possible way (and I am very concerned that this sounds so much like my Taken King review), plus it introduces Gambit, which has been my ffavoritemode ever since the release, and I have picked it over Shenmue (not a big deal) and Spiderman (big deal) over the weekend. With Forsaken Bungie has proved yet again that they still got it. So go ahead, pick it up and join the #QuestForAceOfSpades.