Destiny 2 is a game where it has a fair share of mixed reactions from those who played the original Destiny, and being a little but hit-or-miss for people who are jumping into Destiny 2 as their first forage into the Destiny universe. However, if you could get a group of friends for a session and go through every single mission and grind your way to the endgame, then you are in for an enjoyable gaming experience that very few PvE games can manage to do. And that is one of the reasons why I love (and still play) Warframe with my friends from time to time.
While I still do regular raid sessions with my friends up until today, I can’t help but have a stale experience every time I boot the game up and desperate for something that is fun to do. The same problem that I have encountered in Warframe in recent years. However, in the already-aging Bungie title for the better part of 5 years at this point, Destiny 2 has released a monster-sized expansion that gives Destiny 2 the refresh that it desperately needs and fixing some of the core player problems through new game mechanics, as well as an introduction to new weapons and enemy types that forces players to constantly rethink their strategies to tackle them head on.
The campaign story and missions featured in the new The Witch Queen expansion is by far the best campaign experience I have ever had in Destiny 2. The story of The Witch Queen expansion takes some of the positive points from other story campaigns from the Taken King and Forsaken expansions, and then just turns them up to 11 and beyond.
The story continues on in Destiny 2 and we get to see some of our favorite figures from the past expansions, Savathûn, the Taken King Oryx, and the long-waited appearance of the Hive God of War Xivu Arath. Savathûn is the main star of the show and has somehow claimed the power of the Light for herself and started using it to create an army that is superpowered by the Light and even having their own Ghosts to revive them from the dead unless you destroy them as well. And rather than the usual one-sided ‘Haha evil villain bad,’ story that we are all used to in the Destiny series at this point, it’s now ‘Evil villain bad, but for a good reason,’. We get to learn Savathûn’s reasons of doing so and her motivation for doing it and augmented by other plot-twists and turns that make this whole rollercoaster ride of a story even more enjoyable. Giving us a ligetimate reason of why we need to end her plans and confront her face-on.
The campaign experience is one that a casual player may take a day or so to complete in one sitting, and those who are new to the series don’t necessarily need to have a deep understanding of the complex lore and worldbuilding of the Destiny universe to also fully enjoy the ride. And while it isn’t as long as the previous expansions before it, it definitely is one of the most unique and inventive experiences that Destiny desperately needs for a full refresh.
The campaign is also chock-full of gameplay moments that are almost exclusively locked behind raids in previous expansions or endgame content. Rather than the usual standard-operating-procedures of all of the boss fights in Destiny 2, which includes, but not limited to, scan artifact, shoot boss, kill boss, get loot, and repeat. There’s actually some semblance of a strategy you need to implement before you can take on bosses and other grunts head on. You may need to have an arsenal of weapons created specifically to combat those enemy types, memorizing a set of symbols and fighting your way through a hallway, or maybe even searching for a vaguely-specific doors with the matching sets before you could make a dent in the enemy’s HP bar.
Granted, having played this game for 3 years at this point, none of these features are new to me and I quickly breezed through them with a group of friends in a split second. But these mechanics pulled out from raid missions are great introductions to newer players who are looking forward to playing through the game for the first time.
Another addition that the expansion as introduced is dedicated to the new weapons in the game, of which I will present to you in parts. The first is a new weapon class, the Glaive. A staff/spear-like weapon that also acts as a hard-hitting melee weapon when you’re in a pinch or planning to go full on space warrior monk, and also doubles as a equally hard-hitting hand cannon that deals an ungodly amount of damage to the new enemy types depending on how you craft it out to be.
Which conveniently segues into the next part of the weapons system in the expansion, weapon crafting! Say, you ever farmed for a particular weapon for a half-decent roll that increases your damage output by at least 4%? Well worry no more, this crafting system introduced in The Witch Queen expansion takes away that pain from your countless hours of farming and lets you spec it out exactly the way you want your weapons to work (albeit with a little more extra farming)!
I always had a habit of readjusting myself back into my old self whenever I come back to playing a game that I haven’t touched in a long while. But in this instance, everything felt brand new to me when I started this campaign while solo and with my friends.
I genuinely loved every minute of playing through the entirety of the legend campaign missions with my trusted Warlock build and I thought for a second that Bungie has buffed the Warlock class throughout my entire playthrough. One moment in time when I was facing off some new enemy types and took them down with moderate challenge, what I didn’t know is that I wasn’t paying that much attention to some minor parts of the story and realized that the new enemies had light and came back to life again to make life harder for me, only to kill them again and then making sure to destroy their ghosts to finish them for good.
The new The Witch Queen expansion is definitely a much-needed breath of fresh air for Bungie to revive all excitement for the now-aging Destiny 2 and giving it a new pair of shoes to attract newer players to get into the game and bringing back veterans of the franchise to experience newer endgame content to conquer. The fantastic story is one that absolutely matches the quality of the likes of The Taken King and Forsaken, and I hope we get to see more future content to continue to raise the bar for the future of this game!