Destiny 2: Forsaken PC Review - Almost Everything We Could Want
key review info
- Game: Destiny 2: Forsaken
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Destiny 2: Forsaken is the game that the original Destiny 2 should have been. It’s not an exaggeration, and anyone who plays it will immediately notice that it’s a vast improvement and much more than just new content.
Bungie seems to work according to a very particular schedule, and anyone who played Destiny 1 or 2 noticed this. They launch the base game, which is interesting but with shortcomings. They then release DLC with new content under the pretense that they are improving the game, only to be met by the community with disdains.
Developers eventually launch a much more comprehensive expansion that fixes most of the problems, adds the content the community was asking and brings more players into the fold. It was true for the first game with the Taken King, and now it’s true for Destiny 2 with Forsaken.
I have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes, but if I were to guess is that it’s a combination of financial reports and lack of time. We know that publishers, and not just Activision, tend to push studios to release the games sooner rather than later and that usually means that some content gets cuts. If we're lucky, that content might arrive as a DLC. Or it never sees the light of day.
It’s difficult to say where Forsaken comes in, and by that, I mean that I don’t know if they planned this from the start, or if it was later developed. In any case, Forsaken is definitely a great addition, and we’ll take a look at why.
One of the problems with Bungie is the fact that they are not good storytellers. They build this almost new universe, with factions, aliens, and God-like figures and antagonists. Everything is woven together quite well, but the presentation is lacking.
For example, I don’t bother all that much to read the Fandom wiki for games because I want to learn everything I can from the game. In the case of Destiny, that's not happening. The developers take the players and drop them in, with the hope that they will catch up.
If you bother to read the online information about the characters and the events, everything will make a lot more sense. When you start Forsaken, you’re on your way to the Prison of Elders to help with a riot. You soon find that it’s actually a prison escape and that Uldren Sov is behind it.
There is not set up and no context is given, and the usual storytelling techniques are ignored. You don’t really know anything about the Prison of Elders, and you don’t know who Uldren Sov is and why he’s essential.
Most of the story is introduced with the help of some beautiful cinematics, and I’m pretty sure that they figured out that it should be enough for most players. Now, if you go through all the trouble to offer that kind of level of details, why not take the extra step.
If we ignore some of the missteps, the story is a solid and interesting one, with players invested right from the start. Bungie took a big leap and had Uldren Sov kill Cayde-6 (played by Nolan North in Forsaken), which is arguably the best and funniest character in Destiny 2.
Killing one of the main characters was a bold move from the developers, but I think it might be too bold. I suspect that Cayde-6 might make a return, but it could also be just me not wanting to let him go.
After Uldren’s escape from the prison, we find out that he’s planning to bring back the Queen of the Reef Mara Sov, which is another major plot point placed in the player’s lap without any proper background.
The player’s avatar is the only one of the Guardians that pledges to kill Uldren Sov and avenge Cayde. This is where the actual gameplay starts.
Gameplay and Graphics
Right from the bat, players will notice that quite a few things have changed. For one, some of the weapons are now available in different slots. For example, the sniper is no longer considered a heavy weapon and was moved upward to the power slot. A few small changes have been implemented as well, but none have the same impact.
There aren’t many new enemies, but there is a lot more content. It’s now possible to pick up various bounties from all of the main characters, and not only for the single players part. All of these activities will take their toll on your playtime, but they don’t feel forced and the rewards are almost always relevant.
With the escape of Uldren Sov from prison, a number of other high-value targets made it out as well. They are protecting Uldren, making them part of the story. Going through them is obligatory and necessary. You need to amass the required power level to attempt advancing through the story, and the best way to do that is to kill the Barrons protecting him.
If you hurry, I think that you can go through the story in about 10 hours, but that time will vary from player to player. I prefer taking my time, so I needed considerably more. Even if at the end I had a power level that should have been more than sufficient, I still died a few times at the last boss fight, which was way more difficult than anything else.
The grinding is still present, but it’s made a little bit easier by The Spider, a character that provides various resources for purchase, so you don’t need to find them in the wild. The prices are quite high, and he’s only to be used if you’re missing small quantities.
The time is consumed by Infusing feature, which allows users to absorb an item with similar power levels to upgrade the current one. Each upgrade takes a lot of resources, so you’ll have to go all over the Solar system to gather what you need.
We don’t have to forget that Destiny 2 is a PvE game, but it’s playable in co-op mode, and I would argue it’s the best way. Even if you’re playing along, when you’re joined in a public event by other people everything is a lot easier.
Of course, The Crucible is still present, and you can try to fight other players as well, but arguably the new Gambit mode is the main attraction. Two teams are competing in different areas, in their own event, but they can choose to send one of their players to mess things up for the other ones. It’s a gamble (get it? gambit) because you’re going to have a tough time with a smaller team against your enemy.
And let’s remember that Strikes and Raids are available as well. In fact, by the time this is published the Last Wish raid was just complete for the first time only 19 hours after launch. New events opened up for everyone, and it’s likely that more will come soon.
As for the graphics, I have to say that Forsaken takes things to whole new levels. The new Tangled Shore looks fantastic, especially since it seems to be floating at all times. Not to mention that it doesn’t seem to have any real impact on the performance. Forsaken, just like the regular Destiny 2, doesn’t have some crazy system requirements even for High Settings.
- The redesign in Destiny 2 is subtle, but it makes all the difference. It’s evident that the team listened to the community, and that they balanced things a lot better than before. Also, splitting the story and the action with side-quests was a great decision. Previously, you could ignore some of the missions, and go for the end, but now you kind of have to play them.
- The only thing that I didn’t like was that it forced me to look the backstories for some of the characters. This should be done with story-telling. I get it that it’s a game to play with or against other people, but they should have paid a little more attention to how they the delivering the information.