I haven’t since determination Launched in 2014, categorically recommend it to everyone. Praise always came with caveats. The cool bits were always buried under an incomprehensible grind. with The Witch Queen I can finally say that unreservedly destiny 2 has a great shooter campaign that deserves everyone’s attention.
For everyone who has been following closely Destiny 2: The Witch Queen‘s launch, this will not come as a surprise. I’m not the only one saying his campaign is great
Southern Gothic swamps give way to French Gothic courtyards. In a moment, you’re navigating an underground cave to find an ancient tomb. Next, climb a tower in search of a botched experiment. There’s platforming, puzzle solving, real storytelling, and lots of shooting. determination has always isolated each of these elements, but never before have they been so potent, balanced, or blended together so naturally.
When it first came out determination was synonymous with hours of shooting into a cave while looking up flavor texts online. witch queen shows how far it has evolved from this formula. For the first time ever, the story is almost as good as the combat. No spoilers here, but suffice it to say that longtime players will be treated to reveals at a level never seen before in the series, while newcomers will finally have a fighting chance to analyze determination
The art direction, always incredible, is better than ever and is finally at the service of varied missions that rarely repeat environments, encounters or mechanics. as just an example, witch queenThe halfway point of takes players briefly back to Europe, the home of 2020s Beyond the Light extension. Rather than delve into old areas with new objectives, venture into the alien pyramid that has been floating in the skybox for over a year, taunting players with its inaccessibility. What would have felt like corridors criss-crossed by larger arenas in old expansions is now a maze with corridors that meander, utilizing verticality and occasionally doubling.
The mission culminates in three major battles. The first is small and presents you with a jamming device that you must disable in order to destroy the boss’s shields. The second takes place in a larger arena with more enemies and more signal jammers. The final encounter ups the ante yet again by removing large chunks of ground so the second you’re pinned down and panicking you’re bound to flip, jump and accidentally fall to your death. It’s intended as a kind of break from Savathûn’s haunted house, but even without a particularly notable boss, it’s become one of my favorite low-key missions of the entire campaign.
The fight is almost more interesting. As someone who’s fired millions of energy beams at hundreds of thousands of space creatures, Destiny doesn’t need to reinvent shooting every few years, but two major additions have freshened things up. The first is Void 3.0, an overhaul of a branch of power that makes them more customizable but also more engaging. Like Stasis powers before it, Void abilities now feel more like real magic and less like grenades and punches disguised as superpowers. The second is the Lucent Hive, a new type of enemy that can use the player’s powers against them and can revive themselves if you take them out but don’t finish them off. They’re far more exciting to fight than the Overload, Barrier, and Unstoppable champions – regular enemies but with damage cheats – that Destiny has been overly relying on lately.
None of this would be possible without one of witch queenCore improvements from : the addition of a Legendary difficulty mode. It doesn’t sound like much, and it might not have been had it been implemented differently, but it takes content otherwise destined to be blown away in the larger pursuit of loot and level-ups, and calibrates it that way that they are tense, thoughtful and entertaining. Legendary forgoes Destiny’s traditional tools to increase difficulty, such as B. forcing to play matching games with enemy shields or sniper target practice. Instead, the mode plays with how enemies come at you, what types, and the damage dial tilts slightly in your favor. The result is that you can still play it solo, but only if you stay focused, stay patient, and play smart.
It’s even better if you team up. The mode scales based on the number of players, but keeps things from getting out of hand by only allowing one revive per checkpoint and requiring you to revive fallen comrades in about 30 seconds or start over. There is bonus loot for playing this way, but the real reason is that it’s more fun, a calculation I’m not sure is average determination
Fans have long lamented the fact that the series’ best content is hidden in raids, effectively depriving most people of it. One way Bungie has tried to counteract this is by injecting more and more Raid Lite elements into more standard content. That is certainly the case with witch queen, which feels like the Raid-y expansion, although the actual one doesn’t come out until March 5th. But I’m glad Bungie didn’t overdo it. Watching aliens’ heads chip off as you shoot them with more and more Byzantine arsenals is and always will be the greatest joy determination. Raids, even at their best, often replace this with esoteric damage puzzles that require very specific solutions. witch queen‘s campaign does not. It’s hardcore, but not abstruse.
I don’t want to give the impression witch queen is perfect. I’ve focused on the campaign here because it’s too early to judge the rest of the expansion. Is it better than 2015? Possessed King or 2018s abandoned? Draw. I’m not even sure that’s a meaningful comparison at this point given how different it is determination, and what it meant to exist with and within the game was then. I will say that to the degree witch queenThe campaign has flaws, most of which have to do with how the rest of the expansion and its RNG-heavy grind constantly gives you homework. As a longtime player I’ve signed up for this and often enjoy it, but it effectively limits how players who are unwilling to sign up long-term can engage in the campaign.
Fortunately, they can still see the best of what witch queen has to offer without signing their lives and it is excellent.