Game: Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris
Consoles: Xbox One, PC, PS4 (reviewed)
A digital review copy was supplied by the publisher.
(Author’s Note: This is a review in progress. We are holding off on a final score until we can experience the new Raid content next week.)
The weight of the world can be felt on the shoulders of Destiny 2’s first expansion Curse of Osiris. Despite an extremely successful launch, Destiny 2 suffered to deliver a sense of longevity to both casual and hardcore players. Now, just a few months into its lifespan, developer Bungie has decided to release its first DLC entry into the Destiny 2 universe. Thankfully, despite some noticeable flaws, Curse of Osiris delivers an intriguing story, memorable characters, awesome new loot, and some much-needed quality of life changes.
Curse of Osiris’ story focuses on a legendary Warlock known as Osiris that has been attempting to deal with the Vex infestation on Mercury. Osiris eventually goes missing and his personal Ghost, Sagira, is cast away in an attempt to save her. It’s now up to the Guardians to not only uncover the Vex’s plans on Mercury but discover the fate of Osiris. However, things get far more complex when the introduction of multiple timelines and realities are introduced. It turns out that Osiris and the Vex have been using an area called The Infinite Forest to traverse through ever branching universes.
It’s a bit more complex than most of Destiny 2’s stories tend to go, but this is a welcomed change. Being able to explore the past, present, and future versions of Mercury helps keep the story from growing stale. Curse of Osiris’ plot moves at a brisk pace, with the main campaign only taking around 3 hours to fully complete. Where this expansion stumbles is in how it balances the use of the past and future variations of Mercury. These are absolutely the standout moments of the DLC, yet they are almost never used. Instead of letting players venture out into the nightmarish future the Vex want, we are forced to go complete missions on previously explored planets like Nessus and Earth. There is a lot of wasted potential in Curse of Osiris’ story, which is a shame given the gorgeous level design and art direction.
The Infinite Forest is perhaps one of the coolest locations to ever appear in a Destiny game. This entire area consists of floating metal and stone platforms hovering in an endless, yet gorgeous void. All of the architecture comes off as manic. It’s as if someone was hastily slapping different sized blocks together. It’s gorgeous and foreboding, with every new section acting as a mini-puzzle for players to try and solve. While The Infinite Forest shines, Mercury fails to deliver anything truly unique outside of some unique art direction. Mercury’s entire Patrol area feels incredibly small, robbing any sense of exploration a player might have when venturing out into its dusty ruins.
Of course, the main draw for players will be what new weapons and armor they can obtain with this expansion. While Curse of Osiris introduces a number of new and old Exotics for players to collect, the real standout items are Forge weapons. Available after the main campaign, these 11 unique weapons have to be manually created by obtaining rare materials rewarded at the end of specific activities. With players only being able to obtain one Forge weapon a week, this adds a nice amount of longevity for those looking to collecting everything in this expansion.
Once the main campaign is over players can partake in the newly returned Heroic Strikes, a new Public Event on Mercury, and a handful of additional Adventures. Both the core level cap and Light level have been increased to 25 and 330 (335 with mods) respectively. There have also been some noticeable balance and quality of life changes to all of the subclasses and various pieces of gear. This has greatly helped iron out a few issues on the PvP side of Destiny 2, especially with specific Exotic pieces that used to underperform. Additionally, having the ability to directly purchase mods from the Gunsmith has cut down on some of the frustration and randomization that plagued the end game.
There are also new items you can obtain at the Eververse store including shaders, emotes, Sparrows, spaceships, and even special Exotic Ghost Shells. The problem is all of these items are still regulated through special engrams that can only be earned by leveling up or via real money purchases. This is disappointing since items like the Exotic Ghost Shells cannot be earned through grinding or simply playing the game. What’s more concerning is they offer some potent passive abilities like a flat 10% XP increase or increased loot from Public Events. They’re clearly very useful, especially for PvE players, so it’s a shame they are regulated to the microtransaction portion of Destiny 2.
As it stands, Curse of Osiris is a fun experience that is marred by some noticeable flaws. Despite offering a compelling story, it never reaches its full potential. Even with some strong post-game content, the real deciding factor on this expansion’s longevity rests with the new raid lair. We will see how this component fairs next week, but for now Curse of Osiris is a solid, confined experience.
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