I, like many other hardcore Destiny players, have been lapsed for the past year but returned to the game yesterday for the launch of Forsaken. It’s a weird, wild, and comforting feeling, like slipping into a familiar pair of shoes. Or, more accurately, like getting on a familiar treadmill.
Some background: Between September 2014 and August 2017, I played roughly 600 hours of Destiny. Then came Destiny 2, which I initially loved but then bounced off for a few reasons: My friends had all moved from PS4 to PC, the raid wasn’t quite as fun to repeat as Oryx or Wrath of the Machine, and I couldn’t find many reasons to keep playing. I blazed through Curse of Osiris and barely even touched Warmind before uninstalling the game from my PS4, wondering if this game was no longer for me.
Destiny had been a regular habit in my life for three years. I had farmed Relic Iron, grinded the Crucible, and knew the layout of Venus just about as well as I know my apartment. And then it was just over.
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Over the past few months, however, I’ve started to feel the tug again. After Bungie committed to making Destiny 2 more palatable to hardcore players—by adding activities, overhauling the weapon system, and revamping microtransactions, among other things—the buzz started to grow. Whispers and group texts from my Destiny pals suggested that the developers were getting things right. They’d even added secrets to the game again.
So with the release of Forsaken yesterday and the launch of Destiny 2's Year Two, I’ve come back, using a level booster to jumpstart a brand new character on PC. I’m rusty, and whatever semblance of PvP skill I ever had has atrophied, but slipping back into Destiny mode has felt surprisingly comforting.
It will take at least a couple of weeks before we all really understand Forsaken and get a feel for Destiny 2's second year, but what I’ve played so far has been great. The premise is that there’s a breakout at the Prison of Elders, a high-security jail near Destiny’s purple Reef, led by the Awoken Prince Uldren. (If that’s all gobbledegook to you, don’t worry. It makes sense when you play.) Uldren, alongside eight Fallen Barons, kills your buddy Cayde-6, and you’re tasked with going out and getting revenge, whether or not you actually care about Cayde-6.
So far I’ve hunted down six of those Barons, all of whom were fantastic boss fights, with their own mechanical twists and fun encounters. There’s the Rifleman, a master sniper who conjures clones of himself all over the map. And the Mad Bomber, who drops mines for you to defuse mid-combat. And quite a few other creative fights, often involving vehicles or other gimmicks. There are also tons of new bounties to collect, along with an endgame zone called the Dreaming City that I haven’t even unlocked yet.
There’s a lot to do. I’m loving the new hybrid PVE-PVP Gambit activity, and I’m really enjoying the increased speed of Crucible play in general. I’m digging Forsaken’s story, and have had a good time with all of the new missions. It’ll be a while before I can really evaluate this game, and we’ll have plenty more coverage in the coming days, as we play more, but so far, I’m satisfied.
I’m also having fun trying to wrap my head around yet another convoluted leveling and resource system, as I gradually gain power and try to figure out what all these new currencies do. It’s never easy with Destiny—just this morning I discovered that old blue items have different power caps than new ones—but that’s just part of the fun, isn’t it? It’s so good to have Destiny back.