Destiny 2: Warmind is More of the Same
Stay on target
Though not as big (or important) as before, Destiny 2 is still very much a thing. It retains a dedicated fan base which Bungie continues serving with regular updates. I missed out on the first expansion, Curse of Osiris, when it originally came out, but decided to try out the latest expansion: Warmind. Why? For a time, I actually liked Destiny. I wanted to see if this latest DLC would change my current apathetic view of the franchise. Unfortunately, what I found in the latest expansion and all of the new content I missed out on is more of the same. I can’t exactly say this surprises me.
Warmind has players returning to Mars. This time, users get to explore the red planet’s frozen regions. There, they’ll discover secrets buried for hundreds of years. The game suggests a power level of 310. If you’ve played through the campaign, the Osiris expansion, and finished a decent amount of quests, you’ll likely already be at this level. If you’re like me and dropped Destiny 2 immediately after completing the story, you’re going to find the first mission nearly impossible to complete. In order to survive. You’re going to have to level grind.
Since I had not played Curse of Osiris, I used it to level my character up. This was a perfect way to gain levels without repeating the same missions over and over again. Still, a grind is a grind. Grinding is a crucial aspect of progression-based games, and is certainly integral to Destiny’s core “carrot on a stick” gameplay loop. It’s also the game’s most frustrating aspect. Though I had unique content to play through, the fact the new DLC is effectively closed off to anyone who isn’t a Destiny devotee is somewhat disappointing. Its clear Warmind is only for the hardest of the hardcore Destiny player.
Warmind’s story is roughly 90 minutes to 2 hours in length. As mentioned above, you get to travel to Mars where you ally yourself with a new character named Ana Bray. You also even meet Rasputin, which is an A.I. mentioned in the first game. Like all story-related content in the franchise, Warmind features giant shooting gallery set pieces loosely held together by a thin plot. You’re given just the barest thread of a reason for why you’re fighting against ever-increasing waves of enemy mobs. It’s a lot of mindless shooting, but given Destiny’s excellent combat system (i.e. its best feature), it’s also a good load of fun. For good or ill, I didn’t much care why I had to kill off all these aliens. I just liked shooting stuff and unleashing my crazy space-magic powers.
On top of the new story quest, Mars also has additional activities. These include Adventures, Lost Sectors, and Escalation Protocol. The latter is yet another piece of content that’ll make you have to grind if you’re under-leveled. Even with allies, this horde-like mode is nearly impossible to finish for underpowered players. The grind wall also applies to the expansion’s raid which, like Escalation Protocol, requires players to have a power level of 370. Getting players together for a raid is hard enough, but having to level grind to even try it is a bit much.
Mars is one of my favorite destinations in Destiny, so I enjoyed revisiting its futuristic ruins. After completing the first two missions, you’re free to explore Mars at your leisure. There are a ton of different things to find. These include data nodes, patrols, strikes, secrets, and more. Visually, the environment is magnificent in an eerie way. The contrast between the red-brown skies and the frozen landscape evoke a sense of otherworldly wonder. Granted, all of this (like most of the game) is surface level at best. There isn’t much depth to anything, but it all looked slick. I’ll give it that.
Though both Warmind and Curse of Osiris offer expertly crafted shooting galleries, the expansions do little to get me excited for Destiny. I’m trying not to be negative here. I know there are many who still enjoy playing the game. I also believe Bungie is genuinely doing their best with the franchise. However, playing Destiny still feels more like work than anything. The shooting is great, but that’s about it. Given the diminished enthusiasm for Destiny 2 from the general gaming community, I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
It is entirely possible Destiny as a franchise will get a new lease on life either with another expansion or with a sequel. Right now, there simply isn’t enough going on for anyone who isn’t an uber-dedicated fan to go crazy over. If you’ve already moved on from Destiny 2, there really isn’t much of a reason to come back. Destiny 2 and its expansions aren’t bad, but I’m personally done with the franchise until I see some actual evolution. Perhaps the massive update due this fall can change my mind? We’ll see what happens.
Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.