Destiny 2’s Season of the Lost launched on Tuesday, and like many longtime followers of the franchise, that’s a second of renewal and pleasure for me that deserves elevated playtime and engagement. The full scope and story of that season stay to be revealed, so it might be unfair to make too many cut-and-dry judgments at this level. But it doesn’t matter what else this season brings to the sport, one factor is obvious; after a number of facet treks and setups all through the previous couple of seasons, the narrative scope has now shifted back to its central thrust. If you’ve been away from the sport for some time, it’s a wonderful time to leap again in and stand up to hurry.
I definitely don’t wish to sound dismissive of current seasons, as I believe gameplay, funding loops, and storytelling have been in stable locations for a while now. The Season of the Hunt arrange some intriguing bowling pins with the return of a reborn Uldren Sov, the Season of the Chosen charted a enjoyable deep-dive into the Cabal energy construction, and the current Season of the Splicer helped additional the story of the Last City, the Fallen, and humanity’s shifting alliances. These seasons additionally supplied enjoyable new actions and a fascinating weekly loop that invited even informal gamers to really feel engaged in a residing story.
With all that mentioned, whether or not you loved these seasons or not, it was laborious to not see the occasions as preamble or asides. For some years now, Destiny 2 has arrange a story onramp to its massive climactic beats. Bungie has been open concerning the expansions coming within the subsequent three years, which ought to conclude the present Light and Darkness Saga that started with the unique recreation’s launch in 2014. If we take into consideration Destiny 2 as a large chess recreation, many current strikes have been about placing pawns, knights, and bishops into play. With Season of the Lost, the gamers are actually shifting two literal queens onto the board. If you’ve been ready for the story to revisit a central thread, that point is now.
The return of the Awoken Queen, Mara Sov, was first meaningfully teased method again in 2018’s Forsaken enlargement, whereas the arrival of the Hive Witch Queen Savathûn may arguably hint to 2015’s The Taken King, although it’s truthful to say that current months have far more aggressively hinted at her presence. Regardless, each characters take heart stage in Season of the Lost. Knowing of her impending big-bad standing within the upcoming 2022 Witch Queen enlargement, it’s amusing to observe the primary beats of this season’s storyline play out. After the reveal of who Savathûn’s been hiding as (I gained’t spoil on the off likelihood you haven’t heard but), gamers are all of a sudden and considerably inexplicably positioned into the doubtful place of serving to her obtain her ends. It’s like watching a automobile crash in slow-motion, or maybe extra precisely, a venus fly entice slowly closing across the fly; select your metaphor, however in both case, our Guardians are those upon whom the catastrophe is crashing down.
The presence of those two godlike queens accelerates the story and ratchets up the stress. Bungie has taken its time establishing the characters and conflicts, and people efforts are actually starting to repay. As a participant, perhaps Saint-14’s gradual turnaround relating to the Fallen House of Light didn’t seize your curiosity. Or maybe you skipped Zavala’s reconciliation to assistance from the person who killed his buddy, Cayde. Even in the event you did, the battle at hand within the Season of the Lost overrides these prior conflicts, or in some instances, leverages them to maneuver the plot towards its climax.
If you’ve been away for a bit, the opposite massive factor you’ll discover is the smooth cadence of gameplay that Bungie has lastly come across. Over the final 12 months, Destiny 2’s seasonal content material rewards weekly engagement however concurrently doesn’t demand dozens of hours to really feel fulfilling. For many weeks firstly of every season, a number of repeatable actions assist to maneuver you thru a significant journey and battle. Revelations, cinematics, and modifications to the sport world usually come together with the expertise. It’s an extremely satisfying option to encourage participant engagement, and greater than any effort within the franchise’s historical past, this seasonal construction supplies the sense of a residing recreation world.
For this season, the repeatable actions echo the construction of current seasons. First, a wildly chaotic and energetic matchmade exercise, adopted by a extra curated mission construction which you can deal with alone or with a few pals. This season, the previous is the pleasing Astral Alignment exercise, which makes use of the visible backdrop of the Dreaming City as a setting to allow you to blast your method via quite a lot of explosive battles. Much like Override or the three-person Battlegrounds, the fights are massive, characteristic a ton of enemies, and supply simply sufficient gentle targets to demand you concentrate. Meanwhile, the brand new Shattered Realm exercise is extra constrained however no much less pleasing. Venturing into the shadowy locale, you and your fireteam align beacons and observe down misplaced Awoken witches. Numerous at present inaccessible areas (unlockable via later upgrades in the course of the season), in addition to different chests and pick-ups, mix to lend a way of discovery and thriller, even whilst you blast away at Taken enemies. It’s time. And even on this first week, finishing these actions begins to peel again the story about Mara Sov, Savathûn, and the upcoming sense of doom they every deliver to the desk.
Beyond story and new actions, there are different causes to be enthusiastic about what Season of the Lost gives, particularly to returning gamers. The greatest is the long-anticipated arrival of cross-play. Over the years, I can’t depend the variety of acquaintances and pals I’ve made in Destiny who ultimately migrated platforms. With one fell swoop, the participant base has been reunited into one huge pool of gamers, so your console (or PC) of selection ought to have little impact on who you face the Darkness beside. Bungie properly selected to keep up separate console and PC participant swimming pools for aggressive matchmade actions, like Crucible and Gambit. But in the event you’ve longed to go on strikes, discover the world, and expertise the story beats together with your buddies, now’s the time.
I additionally wish to name out one other particular quality-of-life change that feels particularly welcome: Primary ammo is now infinite. For weapons like most auto rifles, hand cannons, bows, pulse rifles, sidearms, and all the remainder, now you can go into battle with confidence that you just’ll at all times have what you should hold firing. That’s particularly necessary in difficult solo or small-group actions – like Legend and Master Lost Sectors – nevertheless it’s a useful change throughout the board. Beyond simply making certain you’ve got ammo on your most elementary weapons, it’s a transfer that simplifies the battlefield’s total economic system, eliminating the necessity to run over these little white ammo bricks and placing the main target as an alternative on monitoring down the extra precious inexperienced and purple.
As is widespread within the early days of a brand new content material patch, Destiny 2’s Season of the Lost nonetheless has some kinks to work out. I’ve had run-ending glitches twice within the current Astral Alignment exercise. I’ve handled login issues a few times. And whereas I like the brand new matchmade actions, I’m definitely prepared for an injection of contemporary content material in long-standing actions just like the Strike playlist, Gambit, and Crucible. Even so, these first couple of days are a stable begin for the subsequent a number of months of play, and I’m particularly thrilled that I’m now in a position to benefit from the recreation with gamers exterior my major platform.
If you’ve been a fan of Destiny previously, and also you’ve been ready for an acceptable time to hop again in, I believe it’s a straightforward suggestion proper now. We’ve gotten used to a brand new main enlargement each autumn, and Season of the Lost definitely isn’t that. However, the importance of the story at hand and the fruits of hinted occasions from the final 12 months are wonderful causes to make the leap. And with cross-play enabled, you’ll be able to safely collect your mates again collectively, regardless of in the event that they’ve switched their major gaming platform in recent times. Destiny 2 has had its ups and downs since launch, however there’s little question in my thoughts that Bungie has a transparent imaginative and prescient in thoughts relating to how one can land this narrative. If you’re desperate to see that ultimate story take form, now’s the time to step into the function of a Guardian once more.