With over a 1,000 hours across both Destiny games, I went into the Forsaken preview with an open mind. As much as I love this franchise, the last two DLCs for Destiny 2 left me wanting more – both from the story and mechanically. Enter Forsaken, the first major expansion for Destiny 2 and Bungie’s second chance at pulling back the player base that left.
After four hours of the campaign, I can confidently say that Forsaken is primed to be the best DLC in the franchise’s history.
(Disclaimer: Last week we visited Bungie to play around 8 hours of the new Forsaken expansion. Activision paid for the flights, transportation, and the hotel room in Seattle.)
Forsaken opens with a prison break that you, Petra, and the lovable Cayde-6 are tasked with stopping. Everything appears to be going according to plan until Cayde-6 is ruthlessly killed by eight Fallen leaders – known as the Barons -and the Awoken Prince, Uldren Sov. While we cannot divulge any story spoilers, our Guardians eventually ends up at the Tangled Shore.
This twisted mess of asteroids and buildings acts as one of the two major destinations that players can visit. With a variety of different zones, the Tangled Shore appears to be slightly smaller than the EDZ but bigger than Mars. There is nothing like the Tangled Shore visually in either of the Destiny games. These abandoned rocks have no life outside of the vicious aliens that want to rip your arms off.
The Tangled Shore has the typical collection of Patrols, Adventures, and Public Events dotting its rugged landscape. While there didn’t appear to be any new Patrols, the Public Event has users trying to kill escaped convicts from the Prison of Elders. It’s fun, but fairly simple when compared to other Public Events. However, having the Public Events tie into the actual prison break is a nice touch.
We had a plethora of different weapons and armor pieces we got to try out during our exploration. A personal favorite was the Chromatic Fire Exotic Warlock Chest and the Malfeasance hand cannon. The former caused elemental explosions every time we killed an enemy with precision damage. This let us cause some flashy moments where one dead enemy managed to wipe out an entire group. It’s an extremely potent PvE Exotic that will certainly compliment precision weapons such as hand cannons or scout rifles.
As for the Malfeasance, the ability to cause an explosion after hitting a target five times is a neat trick. We do wish the actual explosion was a bit bigger, but it’s a great weapon for ripping apart a boss’ health bar. Speaking of hand cannons, the Trust is a fun, fast firing gun with decent handling and accuracy.
However, our favorite weapon was the No Turning Back bow. Equipped with explosive tips, this bow can tear apart basic enemies and wipe out entire groups with only a few arrows. It’s perhaps one of the most satisfying weapons to use in the entire game. While it seems silly to pick up a bow over a gun, an accurate player can absolutely dominate opponents. We foresee this being one of the most popular weapon archetypes in the entire game.
Of course, the big draw for many players will be the new skill trees and they are an absolute blast to use. Bungie is clearly looking to give specific roles to the different classes, which is something Destiny 2 has desperately needed. Having a dedicated support tree in the Dawnbreaker’s arsenal will radically change how some raid teams function. These new abilities make engagements feel fresh thanks to the new synergies between your gear and allies.
However, for those looking to just slaughter their enemies, each of the classes has an extremely devastating Super. Throwing a fan of flaming knives as a Hunter looks awesome and the Stormcaller’s beam of Arc energy does an insane amount of damage. While we didn’t get a chance to try the Titan during our time, watching other Guardians hurl themselves at Scorn like a bullet is a sight to behold.
Yet, all of this new power is worthless if we don’t have anyone to fight. Thankfully, Bungie rectifies this with a brand new faction known as the Scorn. These undead Fallen are extremely aggressive and have unique twists on existing abilities. The Screeb are extremely fast and erratic kamikaze enemies that explode into a pool of Ether. Raiders vanish and reappear around the environment and Lurkers carry a small protective shield in one hand.
Sadly we cannot get into the Barons, but rest assured the Scorn provide an adequate challenge. Their aggressive nature will force players out of positions by either overwhelming numbers or the various AoE (Area of Effect) damage some of them can cause. It’s a nice change of pace from the other races who typically prefer to fight at a medium distance. Having the enemy constantly pushing causes a nice sense of panic that very few enemies can craft.
Even though there are a ton of secrets left to uncover, missions to complete, and enemies to kill, we walked away from this preview excited. Forsaken shows a ton of potential and it’s clear that Bungie is focusing on the right aspects of Destiny 2. If our first four hours are any indication of what’s to come, Forsaken is going to be a hell of a good time.