Last year I gave up on Destiny 2 when the prospect of doing chores was more appealing than grinding out the main campaign for Warmind.
Shortly after finishing the campaign I deleted the game and wrote it off. Fast forward to November of last year and Activision / Blizzard made Destiny 2’s vanilla campaign available for free on PC for a limited time.
Two of my friends picked the game up and after a week of playtime they had finished up the first campaign and had purchased Forsaken. With the December holidays fast approaching I decided to do the same and during the holidays I picked up the annual pass.
Why would I do that for a game I didn’t like? Well, I need to eat my words because Destiny 2 Forsaken/Black Armory is fantastic.
Let me explain. Oh and in case you haven’t played up until the launch of the Niobe Labs forge, minor spoilers follow.
The Man They Called Cayde
One of my main gripes with Warmind is that Bungie wasn’t making it easy for me to understand the story. That was a real pity because looking back, Warmind is a culmination of one of the greatest stories in Destiny that adds so much mystery and room for the lore to grow that I wish it had been presented in a way that newcomers to the series such as me would grasp.
Forsaken did exactly that.
Players are given exposition by way of cutscenes and voice relays that explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. This continues throughout the game as you hunt down Uldren Sov and his Barons of Scorn.
The addition of Triumphs also gives players a way to uncover the lore as they play. Completing certain activities will unlock lore cards that you can access in game. This is exactly what Destiny has always needed and, after pouring over the many cards I have unlocked I understand the story to a degree I hadn’t before.
Some folks will say story doesn’t matter but as I pour more hours into the game the more I find myself being thankful that Bungie is giving me a reason to do what I’m doing. I feel like I have a purpose in this universe now and I eagerly await my next encounter.
But the story doesn’t end at the culmination of Forsaken, not by a long shot. After avenging the death of Cayde-6 players unlock the Dreaming City, the location of The Last Wish raid and many, many more secrets.
My friends and I have spent hours in this location exploring its secrets discovering new ones and piecing together the mystery that is the home of the Awoken.
As was mentioned, the Dreaming City is the location of the raid The Last Wish which adds even more mystery to the lore of Destiny and once you slay the final raid boss you will be screaming for more, trust me.
There is no denying that playing Destiny 2 with other people is a necessity. One can finish a large chunk of the story and game alone but eventually you will need to go looking for a group (or LFG) to complete strikes, Escalation Protocols, Blind Wells and raids.
My first experience playing with folks other than my friends was, well it was terrible.
We had partied with an angry French man who shouted at us for not knowing every mechanic of a raid that none of us had ever done. After four long hours we finally finished the raid but my friends and I were done with raiding for the foreseeable future.
After swearing to never do that again, the next day we met up with a member of a South African clan who invited us to join them to run raids. So we joined and an hour later we had finished a raid only this time we were having fun.
It was at this moment I realised that playing with the right people can make grinding so much more fun. There’s something so satisfying about planning out an encounter and having to improvise on the fly.
There are some really great people in the Destiny 2 community and while there are some toxic people the overwhelming majority of Guardians I’ve encountered have been great.
The end game
With Forsaken’s story drawing to a close we were given a new mission, igniting lost forges owned by three families long ago.
These forges contain their own mysteries that the community is currently trying to unearth and I have no doubt that the launch of Niobe Labs (expected to go live at today’s weekly reset) will shed light on these secrets and perhaps add a few more.
After a less than a great experience in Year One of Destiny 2, I’m happy to see where this game has gone and how it is growing.
There are still two more seasons to come as part of the annual pass and given what Bungie has shown us so far I’m inclined to say that you’ll be spending your money wisely. However, I recommend trying out the vanilla version of Destiny 2 and seeing if it appeals to you before spending your money on content that hasn’t been completely revealed just yet.
Well done Bungie, not only did you lure me back to Destiny 2 but you’ve kept me here and I think that speaks strongly of how much this game has improved in its second year.
There are still some things that could be improved on but the core game that you will spend hours playing is great and Bungie keeps improving on it.
For players that are returning to Destiny 2 I highly recommend checking out the resources I’ve listed below for information about changes to the game and explanations about the various events around the universe.