In just a couple of weeks the first of Destiny 2’s DLC additions will be released. Called “the Curse of Osiris”, or, as a friend of mine quipped in an Xbox Live party last night, “The Curse of Miley Cyrus”, this is Bungie’s chance to address the numerous and noisy complaints of the Destiny player base. With complaints about the lack of meaningful end-game content hitting epidemic proportions, have Bungie done enough to keep everyone, or indeed anyone, happy? I’ve watched the stream over and over again looking for clues about what we can expect, and I’m cautiously optimistic.
As I’m sure we are all aware, Osiris is the greatest Warlock who ever lived (apart from my guy, obviously) and he was exiled from the Tower when it became clear that the direction his research was taking him was becoming heretical. Going from from an apprentice Speaker to an exile, he disappeared into a Vex machine, and was never seen again. Until now, that is. Emerging from the Vex time network, on the machine planet of Mercury. Why is he here? And what does his reemergence signify?
The story of Osiris is for now a closely guarded secret, with Bungie giving nothing away regarding the campaign. One thing they did tell us is that two acts of the campaign will be recycled, for want of a better word, into Strikes after the campaign is completed. With tweaks to make it three player rather than a single player, these acts could indeed make very good Strikes, but there are too many unknowns to be more than cautiously happy at this point.
Mercury, the Lighthouse and the Infinite Forest are all confirmed as areas in the new expansion, with the Lighthouse being the new social space, where Brother Vance has been pressed into service as a vendor. He sells Lost Prophecies, which are quests for another new feature this time around; the ability to forge new weapons in the Lighthouse. The Prophecy they demonstrated required you to collect three items, of two different kinds. These were collected from Heroic Strikes, from public events and from the Crucible, and when they are in your hot little hands, they can be used to charge the prophecy, turning it into a tablet.
One word of caution I noticed from the stream – if you use an item that isn’t required by the current Prophecy, it will have no effect, but will still be gone from your inventory, so a bit of double checking is to be advised. Once the prophecy is a tablet, it can be taken to the Forge in the Lighthouse and forged into a new legendary weapon. The one we saw was a hand cannon, personally my least favourite weapon, but it had a cool, antiquey look, with what looked like Vex technology bolted on. According to the guys presenting the stream, the design choices were deliberate, fusing weapons from Osiris’s time with Vex influences and giving each weapon a unique look.
Another area and another amazing looking new public event was shown off. Billed as the biggest public event in Destiny’s history, it takes place in an area of Mercury that was specially designed for this event, and is inaccessible at any other time. It is a multi-stage affair, with Vex to slay, until a Gatekeeper appears – a giant Vex Hydra. As it is defeated, it drops orbs, reminiscent of the Fallen Armoury public events. When you put the Walker down, these orbs, or keys, can be dunked into Vex cannons, enabling access to orbiting islands around the main area. Rinse and repeat, kill more Gatekeepers and dunk more orbs, and eventually a giant Vex Gatelord will spawn, which has to be shown the error of its ways. Even when the boss spawns in it isn’t plain sailing, as he will periodically become invulnerable, at which point more Gatekeepers spawn. Yep, you’ve guessed it – more killing, more dunking and the boss is able to be damaged again. Keep doing this and eventually he will go down, and at the end of the event, two treasure chests are spawned.
Now, the fireteam that demonstrated this public event did change it be heroic, and no, they didn’t show us how to do it, but it wasn’t clear whether the double chest was a heroic specific reward or not. This event looked amazing, with a very good mechanical base, and easily being big enough for multiple fireteams to take part in.
The Infinite Forest also played host to the new adventure that was shown off, called Up and Up. Basically, it was explained that the Infinite Forest is a vast Vex machine, that allows them to play out all the scenarios in the universe, to see where and how the future or the past would play out. The point being that the Vex would have knowledge of all possible outcomes of all possible choices, and they can then plan accordingly. It is into this machine that Osiris disappeared so many years ago (at least, so many years ago in so far as the words apply to time travel), and he was lost in time ever since.
So running through the Strike introduces a couple of new enemies; Vex AI called Demons that have to be defeated to move on, and something called an Ash Wraith, which appeared to be the Vex impersonation of a Hive enemy. We’ve never seen the Vex and the Hive in direct conflict before, so this was interesting in itself. Having made it through the machine, the fireteam arrived in the future, to find the world overrun with Fallen. Are the Fallen our future, or just a possible one? Again context was kept to a minimum to avoid spoilers, but my interest was certainly piqued.
Perhaps most importantly is the fact that the light level has been raised to 25 for this expansion, and the power level will be increased to 330, or 335 with mods equipped. This should go some way to addressing the complaints on the Bungie forums – a wretched hive of scum and villainy if ever there was one! With new power levels, new weapons and a new set of Strikes, there will be things to again look forward to. There are also Raid Lairs to be attempted, which offer new areas to explore and new rewards and encounters set on the Leviathan, the Eater of Worlds. These give you a new boss to fight, and promise to be a steep learning curve, with Bungie expecting us to fail many times as we try to master the new challenges. New guns, armour and cosmetic items are up for grabs for those who manage to complete it, and in addition, another “Raid Layer” (no, I don’t know either) is promised for the next expansion, scheduled for Spring 2018.
So, speaking for myself, I’m excited to see what Bungie bring to the table in a little while. The promise of new campaign levels, new weapons and new events will hopefully give the game the shot in the arm that its fans have been crying out for. I’m cautiously excited, as I said at the top of this piece, but how about you? Will it bring you back to the game, or keep you grinding? Let us know in the comments!