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Review In Progress

Destiny 2: Forsaken Review In Progress - Update 2

  • First Released Sep 6, 2017
  • Reviewed Sep 17, 2018
  • PS4
  • PC
  • XONE

Our thoughts so far.

Update 2: After hitting a bit of a roadblock the faulty challenge reset, I've worked my way to 530 power, completing the Blind Well and Ascendant Challenge in the Dreaming City (as well as the Nightfall and other weekly challenges). After this week's reset, I should be able to try the Raid. Look for my impressions of the late-game activities in the final review later this week. -- Kallie Plagge, 9/17/18

Update 1: Due to known issues with Forsaken at launch--specifically a faulty weekly challenge reset--my progress in Destiny 2 has been stalled. I still have not had a chance to pursue late game activities. Depending on what the fix is and when it comes, I may not be at a high enough power level for the Raid on Friday, which means the final review may be delayed. The original review in progress is below, covering the story content and other side activities I have had access to. --Kallie Plagge, 9/10/18

A year after Destiny 2's launch, its third expansion, Forsaken, is now live. I've played around 12 hours so far, completing the story missions, trying the new Strikes, and messing around in the new Gambit mode. Like with the base game--and unlike with the previous two expansions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind--there's a lot to sink your teeth into in Forsaken at launch. Stay tuned for updates as we go and the final review once the Raid drops.

If you played the last two expansions, you shouldn't have too much trouble coming back in. I started the Forsaken campaign at 337 power and was able to fight my way up to over 460 by the end of it, helped along by grinding Heroic Strikes and Gambit matches. As usual, the solo grind is the toughest, while Fireteams of two or three can run the story missions cooperatively to speed up the process (even if you're all underleveled). For newcomers, you'll be able to auto-level one character and start the Forsaken campaign right away, though you have to own all the previous content to actually play.

Forsaken isn't necessarily the best entry point for new players, though, mostly because you won't care about the story at all if you don't know who Cayde-6 is. His death is the catalyst for your whole journey, and the goal this time isn't saving the world; it's revenge. But if you do like him at all, it's Destiny 2's most engaging story yet. The crux of the campaign is hunting the eight Barons, powerful boss-like enemies from the new Scorn race, who helped kill Cayde. The Fallen hate the Scorn, too, which puts you in a shady partnership with a mob boss of an alien named Spider who can help you track them down (for a price). The darker motive is refreshing after taking on the objectively, obviously evil Red Legion in the base game, and the boss-focused structure cuts down on the busy work that plagues other Destiny 2 campaigns.

Each of the Barons has their own style and traits, with some being more memorable than others. The Rider is, unsurprisingly, a big vehicle fan, and you spend most of that mission and fight zipping around an open-ish area on a Pike instead of locked in an arena. The Trickster's level is rife with bombs that look like engrams and a lot of creepily playful taunting. A few of the Baron missions follow the more traditional Destiny level structure, with minions to mow down until you reach the boss room. Altogether, it's an interesting and rewarding campaign--it has both variety and an overall sense of cohesion, and each step feels significant in building toward the conclusion.

The new Scorn enemies are a welcome addition, too, and feel distinct from the other enemy types. They generally move quickly and can overwhelm you if you're not careful; one crab-like type scuttles around and explodes upon dying, while another charges you with a flaming mace-like weapon and is very intimidating up close. You don't have to change up your approach too much, but learning to fight them--finding their critical points and figuring out how to maneuver around swarms of them--further sets Forsaken's missions apart.

Though we haven't had too much time to dive into Forsaken's new weapons and gear, the new weapons system, which launched just ahead of the expansion, can force you to try new things. The cost of infusion is higher than before, so if you're trying to go as quickly as possible to get Raid-ready, you'll have to give up your old exotics and legendaries for basic gear that drops at the new, higher power levels. The standout addition is the combat bow; it's surprisingly powerful, versatile, and very fun to use. You can shoot accurately from impressively long distances if you hold down the trigger, and you can do decent rapid-fire damage up close, helping the new weapon type hold its own among flashier space guns.

New Strikes are always welcome for those who are tired of running the same ones, but the Forsaken Strikes (including the PS4 exclusive) aren't terribly different from any other Strike--you kill a bunch of mid-tier enemies and then fight a boss. Like in Destiny 2 as a whole, Strikes become more interesting with Nightfall modifiers that increase the teamwork necessary for success.

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The better side activity is the new Gambit mode. It's largely cooperative PvE with the occasional PvP twist; you're split into two teams in mostly separate maps, racing to collect and bank a certain number of motes from fallen enemies, and if conditions are right, one team member can "invade" the other team's map to screw with their progress. I still have to play it more to see if it can really keep my interest, but it's a creative combination of elements that are usually kept separate in Destiny 2.

After being let down by Curse of Osiris and Warmind, I'm enjoying Destiny 2 again. The biggest question right now is how long that will last, but there's plenty to keep me occupied before the Raid drops.

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The Good
The darker, more personal tone of the story is engaging
Boss-focused mission structure allows for a variety of memorable and exciting fights
New, distinct enemy type helps this expansion stand apart
Gambit mode is a clever combination of seemingly disparate elements
The new combat bow is a surprisingly versatile and fun addition to the arsenal
The Bad
The new Strikes don't stand out from the old ones
Newcomers may have a hard time getting invested in the story
Review In Progress
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Destiny 2

About the Author

Kallie reviewed vanilla Destiny 2 and its first two expansions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind. She completed the story in Forsaken for the review in progress using code provided by the publisher.

Destiny 2 More Info

  • First Released Sep 6, 2017
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    Humanity’s last safe city has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force, led by Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. He has stripped the city’s Guardians of their power, and forced the survivors to flee. You will venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, you must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.
    Average Rating271 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Bungie Software, Activision
    Published by:
    Activision, Sony Interactive Entertainment
    First-Person, Shooter, 3D, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Blood, Language, Violence