So this review is a smidgen late, I jumped back into Destiny 2 in September and started over fresh to an extent.
I had never tried Titan or Warlock, and in pursuit of my Platinum trophy, I decided to give them both a shot and it also gave me a chance to go over the story again, something I had not done since Destiny 2 came out in 2017.
It also gave me a chance to see it all again in glorious HDR.
I recent did a full theater re-calibration, which took a good 10-12 hours to get the projector right. Something I had been slacking on for over a year.
The difference in visuals from HDR to SD was huge. Shadow detail was much better, fine little details that would be missed now subtly pop in the dark corners of a room. The increased color pallet is apparent from planet to planet. From the reds of Mars, the greens of EDZ to the glow in the Tower.
It is all richer and more visually impressive with HDR on.
The game itself in my eyes really stood up to the last year.
With major tweaks made by Bungie, many of which I honestly could not tell you, the game and the grind felt not insurmountable.
I played through casually on Warlock to the conclusion of the story, and then again with Titan until you get your 3rd super, that is all that is needed for the progression trophy.
And then I moved back to my true love. My Hunter.
It became immediately apparent that I had no clue how to play hunter any more.
I used to be a gunslinger and now I could not even remember what abilities I would load out.
So I took her for a spin through the 2 expansions (Warmind and Curse of Osiris) to get my Hunter legs back before jumping into Forsaken.
Both DLC were solid. I know a lot of people panned them at the time, but coming in fresh, a year later, they felt like really decent additions.
I decided to forgo the boost that you get with the purchase of Forsaken, and instead grind my way to max level and light level.
Which honestly did not take long at all.
Being so under leveled it was not an issue in the least to rocket up with gear 2 – 3 times my light level on every drop.
So, after all that behind me, I could finally jump into Forsaken.
Bungie has made it no secret that our beloved Cadye-6 was going to die in the game, and withing the first 30 mins, sadly he does.
But there is much more to it than that.
Bungie pulled a total dick move in my eyes. Nathan Fillion has been the voice of Cayde-6 since day one of Destiny.
And for some idiotic reason, they decided to case Troy Baker for his 30 mins of dialog in Forsaken.
Now the two of them sound a lot alike, yet there was this whole creepy imposter feeling to all of it. Like it was not actually Cayde dying, but some cheap doppelganger.
Why Bungie went this way I cannot say, I imagine it had more to do with money than anything else.
But it felt like a colossal slap in the face of Destiny fans everywhere.
Shell out the few extra grand to Nathan, and be done with it. It is not like he had hundreds of lines to drop, it was maybe 2 pages at best (and that includes the narratives he spoke for the Ace of Spades quest)
Beyond that though, the game was really solid. The one act of killing Cadye made you HATE the antagonist beyond reason, so they succeeded in their aim. Piss off the player and make them WANT to kill the big bad.
With the addition of Forsaken, the light level took a heft jump to 600.
Playing through the campaign will land you in the early 500’s (if you do it like I did, when I left in 2017 I was LL 300, max at the time)
This is when you hit the grind wall HARD. Those 2 – 3 LL gear jumps are now a thing aof the past, and you typically get gear 1 LL above you, and the majority of the time, not at all.
How the game shifts at this point though is through all your weekly bounties, and there are plenty.
Everything from Nightfalls, Strike playlist, Crucible, Hawthhorn and Gambit, all of thich net you 1 piece of “Powerful Gear” this is a guaranteed piece of gear a couple levels higher than your max light level.
And there is at least 8 – 10 of these that reset every Tuesday.
So the post game grind, while tedious, is never boring. For me it would take me from Tuesday til Saturday just to get all my bounties done. Then leave me the weekend to play another game, or tackle some of the endgame exotic quests (Like the amazing Wish Ender or Whisper of the Worm)
The endgame also has the new raid, of which I sadly did not get a chance to get into. Time restraints have stopped me from diving into that one for now.
Additionally a vast amount of endgame time will be spend in the new Dreaming City zone. This is where all the high level stuff takes place.
You will also find yourself likely enjoying the incredible Gambit PVP + PVE mode.
A first in the FPS genre, Bungie added a new mode that pits you 4 v 4 against waves of enemies in a pseudo hoard mode, collecting dropped motes of light and depositing them into a tank. When you dunk them, it sends taken to the other side and locks the opposing teams tank.
Deposit enough motes, and you summon a Primeval boss, kill it first to win.
But there is a catch.
A portal to your match will open to the opposing team, and they will be trying to kill you as well. And every kill they get on you, heals the boss.
So it is a constant cat and mouse game, balance and struggle. Do you focus all 4 on the boss to burn him fast, do you send a poison pill to the other team and stop them from summoning their boss.
All in all it is one of the most enjoyable PVP modes I have played in nearly a decade. And truth be told I am not a PVP gamer at all anymore.
Forsaken has done a good thing for Destiny 2. It has breathed new life into the game, and at the same time made it mush more hardcore appealing.
When I left Destiny 2 in 2017, it was pretty sad at how much it catered to the casual.
This Destiny no longer feels like that.
You can still be a casual and play, but now you have to earn your gear, it is not just gifted to you like a participation trophy.
That may be distasteful to some, but in my eye, why are you even playing the game if you are just sitting around waiting to be handed all the good loot.
Anyway, I digress.
If you are a FPS fan, even a solo story kind like myself, there is a ton of value in Forsaken and Destiny 2 as a whole for you.
Last thing I will touch on is the sound presentation.
This is a mixed bag, and always has been.
Out in the wilds of the galaxy, the sound is outstanding. The winds of mars, the energy of Venus, you can hear and feel it all around you in simulated Atmos.
Where it falls flat though is in the Tower, they have never fixed the positional audio of Tess and the Eververse for one. When you are even remotely close to her, she is shouting in your ear. You can even be in the hangar and in the right place still hear her. Same for Zavalah and the gang. It is bloody annoying.
I find I have to turn my audio down about 10db in the Tower and still it is a pain.
Fingers crossed this gets fixed at some point, but I feel like that ship has sadly sailed now.
A very solid 9/10, and with hundreds of hours of content, for a low price, it is a no brainer for a FPS fan.