Thanks to some quick work on Bungie’s end, Destiny 2’s DLC Curse of Osiris launched a bit earlier than planned today, allowing me to get some quality time in for a first impressions piece, with a more detailed look to follow.
I’ve spent just over two and a half hours with the DLC, and that’s been roughly enough time to beat the entire “story campaign” of the expansion, where we trek around Mercury to try to find Osiris and stop the Vex from doing…something.
The story is nonsense, even by Destiny standards. While yes, there are a few cutscenes, even beating all the missions, I barely can even comprehend what the threat I just ended even was. Something about the Vex building a “reality engine” on Mercury, and a big-bad Hydra named Panoptes is using it to…somehow formulate a future where the sun dies and the Vex take over everything. But given that this entire expansion is about infinite realities, I’m not exactly sure why we’re so dead set on this one in particular.
Osiris is a bit of a disappointment, appearing only in intro and concluding cutscenes, more or less, with Ikora guest starring in brief moments. Fortunately, the bulk of the dialogue is carried by Sagira, voiced enjoyably by Firefly’s Morena Baccarin. There’s a moment near the beginning of the game where she absorbs your own Ghost that made me shout for joy at Nolanbot’s demise, but alas, it was only temporary, and by the end you have to give her back.
Mercury is an…interesting location. It’s small, quite small. Essentially just a circle, making it smaller than even Titan as a patrol zone, its size bolstered artificially a bit by the fact that you can’t use your sparrow there. It is very pretty, however, and even prettier now that Destiny 2 is better supporting 4K.
The size and span of Curse of Osiris is likely to be a frequent topic of conversation, but I think it’s important to remember that this is smaller DLC, and for the past two years, players have been used to the game expanding in Rise of Iron/The Taken King leaps. But if we’re comparing this to say, The Dark Below, Mercury’s size aside, there’s probably a lot more here overall.
Mercury expands thanks to the Infinite Forest, a somewhat confusing part of the map, in which I mean I’m still trying to figure out how Bungie designed it. They say it’s not totally random or procedurally generated, and yet it does very much have mixing and matching pieces to make sure your different runs through it aren’t identical. My guess is that Bungie has pre-programmed encounters in these sections (a circular area with six Gladiators rushing you, etc.) then mashes them together in more random ways. A mix of crafted content and chance.
It’s probably too early to form a full impression of the Infinite Forest, but I do worry that even with an attempt to keep things “fresh” by having the maps and encounters be different every time, it does all start to blur together as you run into little bite-size chunks that start to feel similar even after only a few runs. Perhaps it gets deeper as time goes on, but in terms of an engaging “rift-like” activity echoing those modes in Diablo and The Division, I’m not sure if this is more interesting than say, running the strike playlist. Or if it was even meant to be.
What I’m also wondering is whether or not Curse of Osiris has anything to get fans back into the game if they didn’t like Destiny 2 originally. Fundamentally, not all that much seems to have changed. Like Destiny 2 itself, we are in new locations (mostly) but the same classes shooting the same types of weapons at the same enemies. Curse of Osiris mixes things up a bit with reskins of future/past Vex (though they don’t seem to attack differently) and so far the guns I’ve found are reskins of D2 ones (though I know there are some originals in there I haven’t found). It’s too early to fully judge the loot in this expansion, but I will say some of the coolest looking stuff I’ve seen has been in, of course, Bright Engrams, which have awesome new armor sets and cool ghosts and ships you can pull.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around why there is a level cap lifting to 25, because nothing seems to change as you level, you’re just getting Bright Engrams at each new level like you did when you were maxed. Maybe it’s a way to get 5 engrams to players pretty quickly? I’m not sure if it serves any other purpose, from what I can tell, because it’s not like you’re unlocking new skills.
The impression I’m getting from Curse of Osiris is that it’s more substantive than something like The Dark Below, but adding in the Infinite Forest and a new Raid Lair may not be as compelling as say, Prison of Elders in House of Wolves. I just don’t see myself re-running Infinite Forest maps indefinitely unless they get a lot more interesting as time goes on.
There’s obviously still a ton of stuff I have yet to do, and as I noted earlier, many of Destiny 2’s big changes like Masterwork weapons aren’t arriving until next week. One big complaint I have right off the bat is that Bungie still does not have a solution for vault space, either expanding it or bringing back kiosks, which is making collecting new Curse items very irritating indeed.
But yes, much more to do including new Adventures, PvP, hunting down those 12 Vex weapons, doing the new public event and more. I am sufficiently whelmed by what I’ve seen so far, but I’m having fun and I’m going to keep digging and see what else is here.
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