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Editors’ Choice: Why Destiny 2: Forsaken is One of the Best Games of 2018

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Editors’ Choice: Why Destiny 2: Forsaken is One of the Best Games of 2018

A simple expansion, this ain't. Bungie's biggest-yet update to Destiny 2 is almost impossibly ambitious -- and it nails it.

Destiny has always been about the chase. Whether you’re knocking out a quick 15-minute Strike for a daily powerful gear drop or convincing your raid team to make one more attempt for that ultra-rare Exotic drop, Destiny is at its best when that next thing you want is just within reach.

Destiny 2: Forsaken puts the chase front and center with an engaging storyline, a cornucopia of compelling new loot options and a host of Triumphs (more on those in a bit) to pursue with your friends. Mix all of that with the unparalleled feel of a Bungie shooter and you have a game that has enthralled me for over 500 hours of playtime in 2018.

Forsaken’s premise is straightforward enough: avenge the death of your friend, the wisecracking Cayde-6. It’s an unexpectedly personal — and surprisingly effective — storytelling shift, especially when compared to the more ambiguous space-opera yarns that Destiny has spun in the past. Hunting the eight Barons responsible for Cayde’s murder is a propulsive experience, and each showdown is unique enough that the idea never outstays its welcome.

Once players see that journey to its conclusion, though, the true endgame of Forsaken reveals itself in the most stunning destination Bungie has crafted to date: The Dreaming City. Without spoiling anything, this new locale is home to an epic mystery worth uncovering on your own, involving multi-week narrative threads spanning the reaches of space and time. A host of new activities also begin to open up to players, including a raid-like experience for smaller fireteams, creating an unprecedented anticipation for reset Tuesdays and the new rewards that await.

The randomized weapons and armor perks of Destiny 1 have returned in Forsaken, so players can keep chasing that “God Roll.” This may seem like a minor change, but having the right perks can mean the difference between a weapon feeling like a bucking bronco or a finely tuned headshot machine. As a result, even if you get a piece of loot you already own, it’s still exciting to see if the perks on this version are “the one.”

Random drops are only part of Forsaken’s loot pursuit, though. Sometimes-mysterious, often-intricate quests for Exotic and pinnacle weaponry give players a more defined path to high-powered gear, and can usually be chipped away at while working toward other goals. With the effort it takes to get some of those pieces, they also double up as items to show off the hard work you’ve put into the game (and in some cases, how lucky you are). Few things in gaming feel as fulfilling as knocking out multiple goals simultaneously and seeing those sweet completion toasts.

Forsaken’s launch heralded the arrival of many quality-of-life updates, but perhaps none as game-changing as the new Collections and Triumphs systems, which act as a vast menu of every item and activity that one can obtain and do in Destiny 2. Collectors and Trophy hunters will love the ability to track myriad objectives (like defeating 200 enemies with a magnetic grenade or completing the raid without a single death) and gear across the breadth of game modes, some even awarding unique cosmetic rewards such as ultra-rare player titles (another new addition in Forsaken). At first glance, many of these Triumphs may seem overwhelming, but don’t think too much about those up front — playing the game naturally will usually get you on the right track toward completing at least one Triumph seal. For me, completing most of the weekly content got me close to obtaining a few seals, which in turn kept me motivated to push through and set off after those last few items. There’s that chase again!

Of course, many of Destiny’s trickier challenges are better tackled with friends — if you have a kindred spirit in pursuit of a specific Triumph or piece of gear, all the better! (Editor’s note: We’ll get that Shattered Throne ship some day… -JM)

When Destiny is firing on all cylinders, there’s nothing like it. The expertly tuned goal / reward loop makes the hours just melt away, and Forsaken provides the best the series has to offer in terms of story, progression, and endgame activities to keep that chase going. If you’ve ever liked what Destiny has to offer in terms of FPS loot chasing, cooperative or competitive play, highly coordinated end-game raiding, mysterious lore that always seems to hint at a grander master plan, or all of the above, now is the perfect time to build your legend.


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18 Comments

  • But, why should it be one of the best games of any year at all? We have seen them fail once and again on the terms of their videogame, the output was just garbage, of course you have a lot to do in the game, butbits just booooooring with more clases and more elements this wouldn’t happen, destiny 2 forsaken, is what destiny 2 should have been fron the start. Destiny 2 (original year 1) felt like a destiny 0.5 to me and to all the endgame and hardcore players, to me all activision games are dead, i dont even know why i keep buying them, perhaps just waiting for them to make a good game. But… Thata not happening. Gaming just went south since ps4 came out with micropayments and such things being so easy…. Sad just sad.

    • Not 100% true…sure bungie messed up due to being tied to activision and screwed Destiny playas over and over but nevertheless Destiny 1 is a helluva great game,only those who poured hours and hours into it know what I’m talking about.As for Destiny 2 whoever bought it on release coming from Destiny 1 is the type that dont learn with mistakes…Destiny is a game you wait for the complete version to buy it.

  • Aaah Sony your propaganda of Destiny goes too far.The game is from 2017…damn just because of a DLC that makes the game whole you’ll try to make it look like it’s a 2018 game?…how shameful.

  • Destiny 2 is disqualified due to eververse, it’s still there, shoved in your face whenever it can.

  • Destiny 2 best game. No matter what people say. I started on my ps3 with destiny one. I evolved with the game. And it made other games unimpressive to me. There was always something meaningful to do. Now more than ever, there is always more to do every week from self imposed goals like soloing a raid to speed running one with a team. As a solo player, knowledge is power, and Destiny beautifully captured that for me. Being able to grind for 6 hours or plus on a new raid and the story missions that got even better. Best game 2018. Let’s go for 2019.

    • FearlessMailbox

      But have you played Warframe? Now that’s a game that’s worth the grind.

  • Any news on the upcoming “new forms of monetization” that Activision mentioned when they said that Forsaken didn’t meet sales expectations?

  • The title alone makes my stomach turn, and it’s only the editor’s personal opinion. “One of the best”… not even close. Yes the trailers are good, and the design and art direction are slick. However, at it’s core Destiny is a grindy, looter-shooter designed for the soul purpose of being a cash cow for Activision. That’s painfully clear.

    • Deuces_Apples

      I agree completely. I’ve been with Destiny from the start and anyone that’s stuck with them knows the ups and downs. But this year I called it quits before Forsaken came out. I’ve never felt so disrespected as a gamer and consumer by Bungie. Their only saving grace for me would have been to make Forsaken a free update as an apology for the loyalist. I won’t ever knock another Destiny fan down. But this game is not for me, not anymore.

  • Destiny Forsaken is the best because I love Bungie!!

  • Dr_Awesome81

    They gave this away for free and I still wouldn’t waste the drive space downloading it.

  • @Andy Yen, I feel sorry for all the time you spent to write this article. I understand it’s your job. But destiny is mediocre

  • Microtransactions and repetitive content killed the game. It is already one of the more expensive games to play with entry cost, DLC costs that feel mandatory in order to extend the low level cap, then the publisher/developer decided to riddle the game with microtransactions. There are better ways to spend valuable money and time.

  • How much did they pay you sony to say this?

  • Wow… Sony, how much did you get paid for this?

  • I finally gave Warframe a go. Bye bye Destiny it was fun and expensive.

  • URAGOOFYGOOBER9

    How is it that a game that is a reskin of a reskin of a reskin can win a game of the year. This entire article just says that they went back to what worked in year one for Vanilla. I started to fall off the Destiny train with COO and was hoping that Warmind would kick start me back into Destiny mode. Dropped Destiny 164 days ago. How do I know this? I just hit that reward day in Warframe. Saw Warframe when I got my PS4 back in 2014, didn’t download it due to it being free and thinking free games only last a week or two and then you delete them off your system. If I would have downloaded Warframe then I would have saved probably $400+ on expansions and DLCs. Warframe gives it all for free and they even contribute to the Canadian Red Cross during Tennobaum where players can gift items to each other unlike Destiny where you can’t even trade. How can a game with such limits win a yearly award. Might as well put up the NES Classic for this award since you have more choices of game play with that then you do with Destiny 2.

  • nice very nice artice dear

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