Destiny 2's first major expansion, Forsaken, is set to launch on Sept. 4, bringing with it a golden Engram's worth of highly anticipated gameplay additions and system tweaks. Since this massive dose of DLC will set the stage for the game's second year of content, we've put together a list of the five things we're most looking forward to checking out once Forsaken finally arrives.
It has been an interesting first year for Destiny 2, oddly mirroring the first game in the series. While fans and critics alike were impressed with the game's initial offerings, it turned out that the new reward loops and a lack of variety (folks were used to two years' worth of content in the original Destiny at this point) meant that the honeymoon period ended within just a couple of months.
It didn't help matters that the first two smaller expansions to Destiny 2 didn't do much to shake things up, with short-lived campaigns, questionable new Strikes pulled directly from those campaigns and few additional modes or activities to keep Guardians coming back for more.
Bungie hopes to flesh things out quite a bit with Forsaken, an expansion so large it almost cost as much as a brand new game.
A lot is being added with the Forsaken update, but here are the five things we're most excited to check out starting Sept. 4.
A Story with Teeth
When it comes to letting players feel like badass space warriors, leaping through the air and unleashing powerful abilities while mowing down countless enemies with a wide array of weaponry, Destiny excels. Telling a compelling story, though, has been a hit or miss process for Bungie. The good news for folks looking forward to Forsaken is that it looks like the writers have pulled out all the stops to tell a powerful story this time around. For starters, they're killing off a major character, something they've been totally open about from the moment the expansion was officially revealed.
The thing about Destiny is that there seldom feels like there are any real stakes on the line. Usually, the story boils down to "there's a new big bad and you're the very special Guardian who has to go and take them out." It wasn't until Destiny 2 launched and the last remaining city on Earth fell that we started to get the idea that our actions in the game bore legitimate consequences. The campaign even toyed with that concept for a brief period, asking players to consider how "heroic" their actions were when they always knew that space magic would fix their problems and even bring them back to life.
The stories offered through DLC since the launch of Destiny 2 have reverted back to "kill the new baddie," though, with little emotional weight to pull the player along.
They're killing off Cayde in the early goings of Forsaken, though, and that alone shows that Bungie wants to give players a legitimate reason to fight until the final bullet is fired.
A Bigger, Badder Arsenal
Players have been begging for more customization options in Destiny 2, and Bungie has decided to respond with a number of big changes to the game's loadout systems.
For starters, and maybe the thing we're most excited about, is the introduction of the new bow weapon class. Yes, every game under the sun seems to have a bow these days, but that's because the things are a hell of a lot of fun to use. Bows in Destiny 2 will be available in short, medium and long ranges, and we figure there will be a couple exotics thrown in the mix offering some sweet additional abilities to take advantage of.
Speaking of abilities, each of the three classes will be granted three new Super abilities, allowing players to further customize their Guardian to either play to their strengths or compensate for their weaknesses. The Titan can turn themselves into a human torpedo, for instance, while the Hunter can now throw deadly daggers at a crowd of enemies or spin an electric staff to block damage.
Finally, the biggest change is to the loadout system itself. Players will no longer be limited as to what types of weapons they can take into battle, meaning you can roll with three shotguns or a hand cannon and two swords if you like. Instead, ammo now applies to weapon type, which is how Bungie is keeping things balanced. So while a more traditional loadout will make it so you pretty much always have ammo of some variety, running with three shotguns means they'll all be drawing on that same ammo reserve. It'll make for an interesting system of cost and rewards and, more importantly, let players use whatever combination of weapons they like.
A Very Punchable Face
The best villains think they're the hero of their own story, but it also helps if they're just begging for a butt-kicking. In Forsaken, players will be introduced to The Scorn, a splinter faction of The Fallen who have been imprisoned for quite some time. They're a nasty lot, and their bosses are even nastier. While it's true that Prince Uldren pulled the trigger on Cayde-6, his plan was carried out by a collection of eight super-powered Fallen that serve as his barons. Your quest in Forsaken will be to hunt down and destroy these barons on your way to Uldren. But your goal isn't to detain them and throw them back into the Prison of Elders. They killed one of your mentors, remember? They've gone out of their way to set players on a quest for righteous vengeance, and we figure those same players will be happy to oblige.
Exotic New Locations
Bungie has gotten pretty good at creating large, intricate maps for players to explore and shoot their way through, and they're throwing two more destinations on the pile once Forsaken launches. As best we can tell, the bulk of the new campaign missions in Forsaken will be set within The Reef on a series of large asteroids that have been tethered together. This is where the Scorn have set up shop, so of course we're going to want to pay them a little visit. The second map is the home of the Awoken race known as The Dreaming City. Similar to the original game's best map, The Dreadnaught, this city looks to be an impressive puzzle box of activities with all sorts of hidden areas, secrets, challenges and the like to tackle.
It's not often we get excited for a new multiplayer game mode, but Bungie looks to have concocted something special with Gambit. This mode is a unique blend of PvE and PVP, combining elements of other great game modes into a single, kind of brilliant package.
In Gambit, two teams begin the match in their own quadrants. As you and your teammates take out waves of increasingly difficult enemies, you'll be able to pick up tokens that you can then bank. Banking tokens can trigger a couple of different events, including the ability to send additional baddies at your opponents to make their life more difficult. Bank enough tokens and one of your players will actually be able to invade the opposing team's zone, causing some real chaos. The end goal is to bank enough tokens to summon your team's boss and then destroy them. It seems like a great mode for folks who don't typically enjoy multiplayer matches and an even better mode for folks who like to play with a group of friends.