we’re about a week later Destiny 2The latest expansion of The Witch Queen, I’ve Fallen In Love Again. I’ve dusted off my fancy warlock robes, re-acquainted with all the volatile void magic, and now I’m flipping through my jade rabbit, ready to pop more hive grubs. Fate is back, baby, and it’s never been better.
I got off at Beyond Light and bit the bullet. Back in November 2020, I was trying to fall in love with all the Stasis games in progress, but it annoyed me – you could freeze in place playing Crucible back then, which was more than I could in almost any other PvP event. Even more annoying. I have experienced it in the game. Aside from the cogwheel system, and some seasonal stuff that I don’t care about, I’ve done some work on Destiny.It’s a shame because I’ve been playing this game since Destiny 1 beta earlier.
So I crawled back with the witch queen. A combination of marketing campaigns and hype trains like this will do it for you. I recently lost touch with some friends and filming some space idiots while chatting is also a great way to reconnect. The stars (or pyramid ships, or whatever) are aligned.
When I logged in, what I didn’t expect was the best FPS experience that had been waiting for me in years. The new Legendary difficulty mode in the campaign has embarrassed recent CoD efforts in terms of quality and fun, and even made last year’s Halo Infinite look like a poor imitator when it comes to intense, quirky sci-fi shoots.
For the uninitiated in the story missions, Legendary Mode is the newest set of content with a higher difficulty, which makes the campaign (something you’d traditionally be able to sleepwalk) feel more like Nightfall or other advanced challenges. The rewards are also the same as those end-game events tasty.
Even if, like me, you’ve been MIA for months, you can jump right into Legendary mode and use the new base-level gear you’ll have to work your way through your enemies. It feels like playing Halo in LASO mode; your enemies have modifiers, you need to think about your positioning, you can’t be greedy, you need to really pay attention to your build.
It boils down all the cute things you get in raids into a simpler, more accessible experience – and close friends tell me it’s the same if you’re hot in the game’s final season as well . Being able to jump right into a well-written story that forces you to swap between your guns, powers, and tactical brains on a whim? It’s single-player-friendly FPS gold dust, a rarity in the age of service gaming.
Better yet, there are text. I’ve never been a huge fan of Destiny’s space opera’s storytelling – it’s well-paced, but the chaff in the middle is usually a cliché. In The Witch Queen, though, there are a few years in the making that pay off that really blow my mind. There are some revelations (followed by cool gaming moments) that are typical fate and make me feel like I’m playing Rise of Steel or something again.
Quests of the Witch Queen have this wonderful three-pronged rhythm, especially in the saga; you’re introduced to some gorgeous new areas, then you get a big mouthful of juicy narrative meat to chew on, and then you get a Bosses (or mini-bosses, depending on the length of the level). This is amazing. This is awesome. This is the most compact non-endgame work Bungie has ever released. Yes, I’ll be back to Halo when I say that. This is the real deal, here.
Even the checkpoints — and the way checkpoints replenish all your ammo and energy slots — are a treat, making these stubborn, dangerous enemies actually feel tough and dangerous. A lot of times, in Destiny, you’ll run into Heften Boom’Anthrall, the notorious raider and planet eater (or something), and kill him with a blast of heavy ammo before moving on. No more; there’s a reason these space bandits are hard assholes, you’ll know, Guardian. OK!
Add a new threat – the Lucent Hive – and you’ve got a campaign with so many tools it’ll never need to exploit the same combination of them twice. Lucent has ghosts like you and can regenerate them. So if you headshot some gnarly hive knight in the crossfire, it will come back to life unless you run in and toss its ghost in your hand like a hard-shelled old cosmic grape. This makes you re-evaluate your shootouts and your plans, and provides plenty of moments for you to dive in desperately so that annoying champions don’t come back to life and knock you out. again.
And this is just the beginning. The seasonal content offered around the story missions is also top-notch. Bringing a three-person fireteam into the mind of a captive hive champion is a selling point (sounds like the setting of some cracked Black Mirror cum psychopath fanfiction), but the end result is a nerve-wracking Dungeon runs, never surpasses its popularity, and allows you to deliver an ever-improving loot carousel to your inventory. Win, win, win!
Seasonal makeup can be pretty ugly, but that’s okay—they can infuse other things and make me look like the brooding space nerd I’ve always wanted to be. At least I can craft my gun(!) to get the perks I want(!!) without wasting time grinding RNG cheese for the best drops(!!!) even if I look like a fool.
I’m excited to return to the strange universe of disappearing and reappearing planets in Destiny 2. The game still has issues – and probably always will – but if content drops like Witch Queen illustrate the new direction Bungie is taking, I’ll happily put up with another 10+ years of crap.