Destiny 2’s first major expansion – Forsaken – has been revealed and is set to release on September 4. This DLC has players traveling back to The Reef with Vanguard’s very own Cayde-6 to stop a prison escape. Boasting a new campaign, locations, characters, and loot this is undoubtedly the biggest piece of content for Destiny 2.
Then Bungie dropped a big surprise on the community via an E3 trailer that showcased Cayde-6 getting gunned down by the Awoken Prince, Uldren. We got a chance to speak with Forsaken’s project lead Scott Taylor and Bungie’s game director Christopher Barrett about the story and post-game content.
Heavy: Killing off Cayde-6 was certainly a surprise, but another one was who actually pulled the trigger. Why did you decide to make Prince Uldren the main villain for Forsaken?
Barrett: So without spoiling the story, because I think there’s going to be a lot of interesting stuff to discover for players about what is Uldren’s motive and why did that happen. The thing we’re really excited about is having a villain who is relatable in some way.
Who isn’t necessarily a big monster, but is someone who has motives that potentially is someone who can speak to you and tell you what he’s thinking. Having that kind of character as a nemesis or an antagonist in the game I think is going to be really cool and I think that will play out as players play through the experience.
I think also, Uldren is a character that we’ve seen before so it’s not just a new character that players haven’t seen. Players already have some feeling about Uldren from Destiny and maybe people had some differing opinions about Uldren.
He was not necessarily a super helpful, friendly character in Destiny either, so I think some of that is potentially in his character a little bit. You weren’t sure whether he was on your side or not even in Destiny so I think the character kinda worked perfectly that way.
Heavy: So is it safe to assume Uldren is responsible for the Fallen Barons escaping?
Taylor: Early on in the campaign you learn that, yes, they are working together. What appears to be at first a prison riot is a prison break. They have larger goals than just killing Cayde – Uldren especially is looking to achieve something.
Heavy: Is there a specific House these Fallen reside under or are they from different factions?
Taylor: These are part of what we’re calling the Scorn. They are reanimated. They’ve died many times and have been resurrected. They were Fallen at one point, but they have changed into something else. I don’t believe they are affiliated with any house. Is that right?
Barrett: Yep, they are a new faction, a new group called the Scorn. They have been resurrected. Think of them as Fallen zombies, Fallen undead – that kind of thing. So they’re going to be pretty terrifying. They have a lot of new abilities and gameplay that we haven’t seen from the Fallen.
Heavy: Can you tell us about any of these new abilities or what we can expect from them in-game?
Barrett: So we want players to discover that stuff and also we will be revealing more information as the summer goes on. But one of the characters I’m most excited about is The Ravager. That is a character that pulls a chained censer or mace that’s filled with magical flame. As the character is running at you they are spinning this censer that is on fire.
One of the cool things is that’s actually the weak spot for killing that character. So if you get a precision shot and shoot the flaming censer it will explode in a big ball of fire and ignite the other characters around. It’s pretty terrifying the first time you experience a bunch of those guys charging at you down a hallway. That’s just one little glimpse. All of the characters in the Scorn are all new and have new abilities and new weapons.
Heavy: Should we expect to see Petra, Variks, and Mara Sov return?
Taylor: Well I’ll tell you a couple things. As you can see with the setting of The Reef and Prince Uldren, we do want to revisit this world that we’ve established before. Petra is absolutely part of the action. She’s actually a pretty integral part of the story. You’re going to learn about what Variks is up to, but that’s going to come in a form you might not expect.
As far as the queen goes, I don’t like to get involved in that family’s affairs. The last person I know who did that I saw recently was shot. So I think I’m staying out of anything having to do with the Sov family and gossip.
Heavy: Both Curse of Osiris and Warmind had fairly short campaigns; how long can we expect the story to take players in Forsaken?
Taylor: We’re doing a lot of things with how you progress – we have some non-linear sections. We’ve been not thinking in exactly those terms, but we can say it’s the largest expansion we’ve ever delivered in Destiny. Comparing that to The Taken King should give you a sense for how big it is. It’s two destinations worth of stuff. We have a bunch of activities that aren’t technically apart of the campaign but are missions that you do. So it’s hard to answer that, but I can say it’s significantly larger than those (previous expansions).
Barrett: We also don’t want an experience that players can just playthrough really quickly, play a bunch of story missions and then be done. We’re really trying to reestablish the hobby of the game – really think about the endgame experiences. We have two brand new destinations. We want to think about this (The Dreaming City) like maybe a comparison to almost the Dreadnaught from The Taken King.
This is an area that has things to discover for days, weeks, potentially longer and mysteries to uncover. So we’re really excited about bringing more of that back into the game. We’ve seen some of that in Warmind, but we’re doubling down in Forsaken. We really want to add some of those experiences back into the game.
Heavy: How many Strikes will be in Forsaken?
Taylor: All the Strikes are new. There are three Strikes available to all players and we have one Sony exclusive Strike.
Heavy: Finally, can we expect any post-game activities like Escalation Protocol or has Gambit replaced this content?
Taylor: So, Gambit is a whole new game mode – it has four maps and is something we expect players to dive into. It has its own weapons, armor, and has an exotic associated with it. The thing we’re doing for the endgame – the main thing we’re doing outside of just generally trying to distribute the content in a way that it can go over time is based on The Dreaming City which is our first ever, totally endgame destination.
There’s a raid at the center of it. It’s a full destination that every player can go to. There’s a lot of secrets there and all sorts of new stuff there that you’re not gonna necessarily going to be expecting. But we’re going to talk about all that stuff later.
Barrett: An even shorter answer to your questions is Gambit is not meant to replace something like Escalation Protocol. Gambit is a whole new thing that we’re really excited to add to Destiny as an additive element. The kind of experiences like Escalation Protocol we’re going to continue to invest in those kinds of endgame experiences that are more focused on cooperative endgame PvE.