Destiny 2: Forsaken Story Mode Hands-On Preview: Feels for Real
Destiny 2: Forsaken is aiming to give both new and old fans a reason to awaken their Guardians with a brand new campaign that is shaping up to have real in-game consequences for some of the franchise’s most iconic characters. While at E3 2018 I went hands-on with the campaign’s initial mission, which enlists you and Cayde-6 to help quell a prison riot at the Prison of the Elders. The demo was setup on high-end PCs, which by the way showcased some of the purist looking Destiny 2 visuals I’ve ever seen, but I guess you Master Racers already knew that. For a console junkie though, I couldn’t help but be blown away by the visual fidelity present in Forsaken on a capable 4K gaming rig. It truly is stunning to behold.
Anyway, in terms of the campaign mission I played it still felt very Destiny-like. I wouldn’t say anything about the mission felt unique, but it also felt exciting and very refined, so I’m not really complaining that Bungie didn’t try to reinvent the wheel for Destiny 2’s latest narrative. What Bungie is seeming to do with this campaign though is offer up real stakes in terms of the story and the characters that have been present throughout the franchise. This is made very real during the initial mission, because as Bungie has already shown off, Cayde-6 does not make it out alive. In the demo I didn’t get to see everything that leads to his demise, but it did show him badly beaten and broken, albeit still with his charm and wit, as Prince Uldron Sav stands over his tattered body to deliver the final blow. I did get to witness events leading up to this tragic event, but I want to see how Cayde-6 gets reduced to a sparking and broken down quip machine, because when I left him in the campaign he was still intact and full of one liners.
In terms of gameplay there really isn’t anything I’d call new in Forsaken’s campaign, but it did remind me of how tight and balanced the gunplay is in this franchise. It really is one of the best feeling shooters around, and that has carried over to this latest narrative heavy addition to the Destiny 2 package. There are a few new supers to use, so playing as a Titan I got to check out his Thundercrash, which is essentially a take on Superman’s flying ability with a nuclear warhead on the tip of his fingers. Rocketing yourself towards a big bad as if you were the Man of Steel feels pretty damn awesome, especially when you land a precise shot, which can take down legendary level enemies in one shot. I think I still prefer the Titan’s Sunbreaker super with the flaming Thor hammer, but landing a kill strike with Thundercrash definitely feels more epic and satisfying.
Based on the story demo I played from Destiny 2: Forsaken, I’m definitely ready to get back to my own Titan after a near year long hiatus. It has reinvigorated my appreciation for the franchise, and has compelled me to get back to grinding and work through the two season one expansions I’ve yet to play. I’ve got some time before the September 4th launch, so I plan to be ready for all the campaign feels once Forsaken hits retail. I do think for the first time a Destiny campaign will have real stakes, and may even make a few of you emotional, and these days that’s all I really want in a campaign, so I was intrigued by what I got to experience so far and look forward to finishing the fight in honor of Mr. 6.
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