Destiny 2’s final Season Pass expansion released last week and with it a lot of hope and expectation that Warmind would be able to set things right, as expected from a very dedicated community. So does Warmind set our minds at ease knowing that the future of the game is in good hands? Well, yes and no.
Welcome back to Mars, kinda
The campaign for Warmind sees you go to Mars and save the warmind Rasputin from an ancient frozen Hive. You do with with the help of Anastasia Bray, a Hunter that has some sort of history with Rasputin. The story doesn’t really matter since it is over before it even gets going, which is a bit of an insult. It consists of three missions that won’t take you more than an hour to complete if you have the right level for it. I had to go play a few Crucible matches to get myself levelled enough to continue the campaign, but even with that, it didn’t take me more than a 100 odd minutes to complete.
This is not the end of the world though since we all know the meat and potatoes of the Destiny experience is the end game, and for the most part, Warmind really does bring the gravy for it. The open map of the Hella Basin on Mars is packed with a lot to do, including things like normal public events, patrols and Adventures. It also brings back the idea of collectables, which have been absent from Destiny 2 for now. The place feels a bit like the Dreadnaught from The Taken King, and I think it similar in size. It is a definite step up from what was offered in the Curse of Osiris DLC.
The Hella Basin also includes a public event that you can manually trigger called Escalation Protocol. It is a type of a horde mode, which requires you to kill a certain number of Hive enemies in a wave in a set of time in order to advance to the next stage, with each stage getting progressively harder. It is a damn challenging thing to do, especially at the lower levels, and it can be a lot of fun with a few random people joining in on the action. There are several areas on the map that have an Escalation Protocol switch, so each one is different in some way.
A long and meaningful grind
Destiny has always been about the grind, and earning some of the exotic weapons should be a long and meaningful experience. This was lacking in vanilla Destiny 2, with short and easy quests rewarding everyone with Exotic weapons and gear very early on in the game. This has changed, with some of the coolest and powerful weapons now locked behind a proper grind. It does bring with it some frustration, but for the first time, the game feels a bit like its predecessor.
This has changed, with some of the coolest and powerful weapons now locked behind a proper grind.
We also now finally see some kind of a Ranking system in Crucible, though it is not really ranked matches, rather the system keeping track of your progress and rewarding you for completing certain ranks. It is not much, but it gives you a lot of incentive to keep playing and level up and potentially earn a Crucible exclusive weapon and the end of all of it. The Crucible is also in a much better state than it ever was, which also helps with the grind to improve your Ranking in Crucible.
Not cool Bungie, not cool
Not everything in the DLC is that great though, and there is one thing that really annoys the hell out of me with and I feel obliged to give that opinion. In both the Season Pass expansions, Bungie thought it a good idea to take two of the main missions, and call them “Strikes”. What makes this such a slap in the face is that any kind of story related content is already laughably short, and basically packaging something as two different things is really a lazy and scummy thing to do. Sure, the Strikes are harder and have more enemies, but it really does not make up for meaningful added content that we so sorely want. Warmind does include a third Strike, which CoO didn’t have, but only if you own and play the game on a PlayStation 4. This makes it even worse if you play Destiny 2 on other platforms since you did not receive one original Strike to play for the entire Season Pass. It is really sad that something like this happens, and it puts a sour taste in my mouth.
Looking to the future
Destiny 2 has been out for about nine months now and it is probably in the best state it could’ve been with all things considered. Warmind doesn’t quite live up to what might be expected, but it does give you a lot to do for the time being. Whether it will sustain the player base and keep them interested enough in the next big expansion that’s expected later this year still remains to be seen. The game does need a big overhaul though, and some crappy practices that penalise people because of their choice of platform need to stop. I get that it is business, but it doesn’t mean I need to like it.
Destiny 2 has been out for about nine months now and it is probably in the best state it could’ve been with all things considered.
Destiny 2 has a lot of potential and Warmind sets in the right direction. But let us hope that Bungie can bring the goods later this year and give us the experience that we deserve.