Destiny 2: Forsaken has a lot riding on it. When Destiny 2 launched, it received critical acclaim from many of the mainstream video game outlets. We at Hey Poor Player, erred on the conservative side, scoring the game 3.5/5, with reviewer Nathaniel Terencio noting that Bungie had made significant changes to the loot and shoot formula to reduce the grind and reward players for investing in the game.
What Nathaniel, and other reviewers, didn’t anticipate is what followed once you finished the game. Destiny, and its subsequent expansions The Taken King and The Rise of Iron, had quite the hardcore following, as it earned a reputation for notoriously challenging endgame content as well an infuriating-yet-satisfying RNG mechanic. In the original game, some players poured hundreds of hours of time into the game to get that god-roll Imago Loop, redo the Vault of Glass raid to get a chance of earning Vex Mythoclast, or even using binary to earn Outbreak Prime. Therefore, the more time you put into Destiny the more you got rewarded. But this made it difficult for casual players to earn the elite gear.
Trying To Close The Gap For Casuals
In Destiny 2, Bungie attempted to close the gap between casual and hardcore Destiny players by changing their loot system. All drops came with the same perks, so both hardcore and casual players earned gear on an even playing field. Exotic quests were made shorter and easier to complete, and, for some, it left them with little to do after the initial few of weeks of playing. Coupled with changes in PvP, where time to kill was raised, and the controversial weapon slot change, which was designed to elevate Destiny 2 PvP into the competitive sphere, myself and passionate Destiny 2 players abandoned the game, citing it was no longer fun.
Since then, Bungie have made numerous DLC missteps, and has failed to act on player feedback as quickly as some would like. Message boards and subreddits have been full of very angry, and very shouty, ex-Destiny players and so, when Bungie announced Destiny 2: Forsaken, much of their communications centred around quality of life changes coming to the game. At Gamescom, I was fortunate enough to get a stint with the game, and, as a fan of series, I’m optimistic about what’s to come.
Giving Gambit A Go
Bungie’s stand demoed Gambit, the brand-new game mode, which merges PvE and PvP into one seamless experience. Confused? You should be, but you can check out the video directly from Bungie themselves for more information. In essence, though, two teams of four are thrust into some sort of orbital space station. The teams are separated by some sort of forcefield, where you can taunt the opposing team by leveraging some of the most insulting emotes you own. About 10 seconds later, yourself and your team are transported to an arena where either Fallen, Cabal or Hive enemies spawn. After killing them, motes spawn which should be gobbled up quickly, like a tasty Sunday roast. Once you’ve got your motes, you can deposit them into your bank in the middle of the map.
Gambit rewards collecting tokens in multiples of 5, 10, or 15. Each tier ‘blocks’ your opponent’s bank. It physically sinks into the ground, and a Taken enemy spawns to patrol the area. The more mores you deposit, the more difficult enemy your opponents will have to take down before they can access their bank again. If you bank 75 motes, a powerful enemy called a Primeval spawns, and you have to take it down to win the round.
Sounds simple, right? Well the catch is that portals spawn, allowing one person from the opposing team to invade your map and take you all down. Worse still, if they manage to kill you while the Primeval is active, it gets healed, making taking it down more time-consuming. On the flip side, a single player from your side will be able to invade the opposing world and wreak havoc.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Kudos must be awarded to Bungie for coming up with such a novel way to merge PvE and PvP. While initially I struggled to get to grips with the game mode, by the second time I played Gambit I was properly into it. My squad and I steamrolled our opponents multiple times before finally being kicked off by Bungie reps. The build I played was one from the upcoming version of Destiny 2, complete with weapon slot changes and PvP balancing. Having a shotgun in my secondary slot felt brilliant. I was able to zip in and out of encounters at close-range, while vacuuming up motes to bank. Against invaders the shotgun melted, much like it did in Destiny, so, all in all, I’m delighted to have it back where it belongs.
In addition, I was fortunate enough to try the new exotic bow and arrow. It took a bit of skill, but the Bungie reps were very quick to point out that they spent time shooting the medieval stalwart themselves to get a feel for the weapon. The result is a weapon that rewards skill. Holding down the trigger gives you more range on the weapon, and results in more damage. It’s exactly the sort of high-risk high-reward weapon Destiny needed.
And finally, the new supers. Let’s just say the Titan missile is just as brilliant as you’d think it would be!
Restoring My Faith, Guardian
Overall, I left Gamescom genuinely excited for Destiny 2: Forsaken. Gambit is an excellent addition to the game, and I feel that, from everything that the folks over in Bungie have included in their latest communication, Destiny 2: Forsaken is going to be the return to form the series so desperately needs. And, as a bonus, Bungie have just announced Gambit will be free-to-play for everybody on September 1st. You can find out details here.
Are you excited for Destiny 2: Forsaken? Are you erring on the side of caution? Or are you fed up with everything Bungie have produced and can’t be bothered with it? Let us know what you think in the comments below.