Bungie Has Not Forsaken Hardcore Players With Its New Expansion
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Bungie Has Not Forsaken Hardcore Players With Its New Expansion

"Destiny 2: Forsaken" launched on Sept. 4 and has re-ignited the fire in hardcore players hearts.

Forsaken Cover Art

Warning: this will contain spoilers for "Destiny 2: Forsaken"

Many gamers have a love-hate relationship with the Destiny series since it launched back in 2014.

Some see it as a fantastic looter-shooter with some of their best memories while others see it as a money-whore for Activision's greedy fingers (looking at you Warframe community).

No matter what side you're on, however, one can not undermine the success the franchise has had despite its up and downs.
As of Sept. 12, 2018 the game sits towards the top of the Twitch totem poll and many partnered streamers have come back to the game with the new expansion "Destiny 2: Forsaken."

The expansion significantly raised the level and light cap, added two whole new open-world areas, a new revenge-driven story with an outlaw theme, a new raid for hardcore players to run through and a PvE/PvP game mode known as Gambit.

I've been playing this series now for over four years and have experienced both the highs and lows. After playing through the first week of the expansion here are my initial thoughts on the state of the game.

Starting with the story, while it's relatively short, it fills the revenge theme perfectly. Prince Uldren of the Reef is back and kills off the Hunter Vanguard and most beloved character of the Destiny franchise in Cayde-6. With the help of the scorn, a new enemy type in the Destiny universe, Uldren escapes from the Prison of Elders.

After a short hunt you head to one of the new areas: the Tangled Shore, a lawless frontier in the outer reaches of the solar system to hunt the Barons of the Scorn with the help of a Fallen "mob boss" called The Spider.

Each hunt has an interesting boss fight with their own mechanics and felt challenging to complete solo, especially when under-leveled like most player characters were in the first week.

After that, you finally hunt down Uldren, who was found to be corrupted by the taken presence in the homeland of the Awoken: The Dreaming City. After putting Uldren down in the aftermath of a surprising boss fight, the player then unlocks the key to the Dreaming City, which is a vast area of new content to do in preparation for the raid.

Unlocking the city's playable area reminded me a lot of "Red Dead Redemption," which unlocked all of Mexico to explore after "beating" what you thought was the last campaign mission.

The city contains vast amounts of secrets and open world to explore that's honestly too much for this article to cover and reminds me a lot of "The Taken King" expansion in the original game.

While the story is great, the real question on people's mind is how is the loot? Destiny 2 at launch had a problem with loot acquiring too rapidly, and with the slashing of random rolls in the vanilla game, people were disappointed.

With "Forsaken" the old loot grind is back in business. The expansion raised the level cap from 30 to 50, and jumped from 405 max power level to 600 max power level, with soft caps sitting at 500 and 540 power.

After one week of grinding, I managed to get to around 515 power level after starting the expansion at 393, which while not too bad, is still below the recommended level for most Dreaming City activities. Exotic drops are also far less common than they were in the vanilla game, and through around 50 hours of playtime, I have still not found a new RNG-based exotic.

Finally, there is the new PvE/PvP game mode: Gambit. The premise is simple: kill waves of enemies and collect little things they drop called motes. Deposit them in the bank and at 75 you summon a big boss. Kill the boss and you win the round. Games are best two out of three.

However, at 25 and 50 motes deposited a portal opens up for an invasion to the other side. You can stop the enemy from depositing their motes if you can take them down in a 30-second window. On top of this, if you invade while their boss is alive, any takedowns you get on an enemy player will heal their boss.

The mode is brilliant and blends together PvE and PvP players seamlessly. While the Sleeper Simulant exotic fusion rifle currently rains supreme because of one-shot potential, the game is still more fun than many things I've played recently. If it was not for the light level chase, I would be playing much more of the game mode.

After 50 hours of grinding and fun with friends, I can say the "Destiny" franchise is back in business with their new expansion. A great raid experience after it launches on the 14th will only seal this expansion with "The Taken King" as one of the best. Overall, I would give "Destiny 2: Forsaken" an 8/10 and well worth the 40 dollar price point.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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