Destiny 2 has gotten itself back into a good place, at least in my books. Rolling off the last season into the current one I was prepped for a couple things: redoing the powerful grind for a few weeks, working through the seasonal story and generally enjoying tooling about in a game where I could feel like I got somewhere in an hour of playtime (all the time I get most of these days). For the most part things played out as I expected however as I slowly made my way through the pinnacle grind it became clear that the end game I was playing in before wasn’t the end game I was playing in now. This experience brings with it a mix of pros and cons that I wasn’t expecting and some of them say more about me as a player than they do about the game.
SPOILERS FOR THE PAST SEASONS BELOW
You have been deceived Guardian. Ever since Sagira fell the Osiris you have known has not been the real one, instead it was Savathûn, The Witch Queen, one of the Hive Gods and sister to Oryx The Taken King. It is she who’s been responsible for all the torment that has been laid upon you and now, her plans thwarted, she has become the captive of Mara Sov in order to strike a bargain. She wishes to have her Worm, the very thing that grants the Hive their power, removed so she can at last be free from their will. Mara Sov gladly accepts, knowing full well the betrayal that Savathûn will unleash. It is up to you now guardian to assist Mara Sov rescue her lost Techeuns, restoring the ley lines so they can find their way back home.
As you’d expect this new season brings with it a new activity, challenges and the usual seasonal activities that we’ve come to know and love. The Astral Alignment (group) and Shattered Realm (solo) activities are both great improvements on the previous season’s offerings, finding the right balance between challenge, fun and mechanics to make it approachable for basically anyone. The seasonal storytelling has become so good that it’s now set the bar for other similar games to follow with many other reviewers singing its praises. Couple this with the stuff that was already pretty good in the game and you’ve got a tried and true recipe for some good gaming.
Of course there are 2 elephants in the room at the moment: the recently announced Witch Queen expansion and, because of that, the double length season. Now for players like myself a longer season isn’t too much of an issue but I do have to say that only a couple weeks after the seasonal story ran out I definitely started to lose interest in coming back week after week. This would be right around the time when a new season was gearing up to drop so the quarterly cadence seems about right. So that’s led a few people to start looking towards taking a break from the game until the next expansion lands and, honestly, I don’t see much wrong with that. To be sure I’ve still got a few pinnacle power levels to grind out but, given I can’t really find the 2 to 3 hours to do VoG, it’s really more a number than anything else.
The expansions announcement kinda ruins part of the main story, given you know what’s going to happen after the end of the season (even if the how is still up for discussion). To be fair to Bungie though there was really no way to walk the tightrope on that one: either they’d have to keep the entire thing under wraps (which would honestly send the community into all sorts of crazed behaviour) or keep the main draw point a secret, leading to a lot less hype about the product. Damned either way really but hopefully, given all the buildup that’s happened to that next expansion over the past few seasons, it’ll be worth it.
With less seasonal content to chew on my gaze started to veer towards the other activities in Destiny and this is probably where I started to lose interest. The random little seasonal activities (like Festival of the Lost) are fun if you like to grind out god rolls or gear that you might’ve missed but, for me, it was just yet another activity on the pile that I wasn’t interested in grinding. Iron Banner is about the same as it always was, although the first time around it was a little less sucky since I wasn’t so severely behind everyone in terms of power level that I could actually feel semi-competitive for once.
Trials of Osiris on the other hand is something I should definitely not be playing. Whilst I get the core concept, this is supposed to be the sweatiest of sweaty PVP engagements, actually playing it as a single player is a fucking nightmare. Not only will you likely be matched against a team (although there is that freelance option now) it’s also has power level enabled which means if you haven’t been grinding your goddamn heart out you’ll likely be a noticeable amount below everyone else. What this means is that you’re food for those players who want to go flawless and, honestly, it’s not enjoyable at all.
So for a player like me? Trials of Osiris can go fuck itself. The grind required to be competitive is just not worth it and the game mode just isn’t fun for the vast majority of players. I was just hoping to get 2 pinnacles and then drop out of it but even that experience was fucking trash. All the complaints from the flawless players just seem like more bellyaching that they can’t simply mow down round after round of noobs to their hearts content as any change done to make the system truly fair, I.E. give you a 50/50 shot at actually winning, was instantly met with derision by the community. So the mode can go fuck itself and die again, I won’t be playing it.
To close out on a nicer thought I have thoroughly enjoyed building out my character with some top tier gear and mods. Whilst the grind is a bit more RNG than I’d like (especially as someone who wasn’t around to get all the top tier mods when they came out) it doesn’t take much to get a pretty good build that makes you noticeably more effective. The costs are a bit steep for my liking, especially when it comes to masterworking gear. To be sure, I understand that this is supposed to be the cream for those who invest the countless hours to get there, but I feel like that balancing it a bit more towards the casual player base wouldn’t really hurt anything. Build diversity is a good thing and anything Bungie can do to increase the availability of other builds to new players is a net positive in my books.
Here were are again, the end of another Destiny 2 review, and things are back in a good spot again. If you haven’t gotten into this season yet you’ve still got plenty of time and if the upcoming expansion piqued your interest then I wholeheartedly recommend that you do sometime soon. Are there things to improve? Absolutely, but the core game and seasonal content is in a pretty good sport for now. The expansion will likely upset everything so I wouldn’t focus too much on getting the perfect gun or build for now, just enjoy what’s there and forget about the other stuff that’s been built for the community’s more dedicated player base. Do that and you’ll have a blast.
Destiny 2: Season of the Lost is available on all current platforms for 1000 in game silver (approx AUD$15). Total playtime in this season was approximately 30 hours with a total of 264 hours playtime (additional 30 hours spent in the current season).