Destiny 2 – The Witch Queen
Editor’s note: Destiny 2 is a live service game, which is constantly changing as such our reviews will also change in line with the newest updates. For the expansion passes we’re only commenting on what they add to the overall experience and if we can recommend them or not. We’re assuming you’ve already played the base game so won’t be covering the basics. For that, read our Destiny 2 review here.
With Destiny 2’s The Witch Queen Expansion, Bungie have brought a massive overhaul to the world of Guardians. The story will be told over the course of the next year, but out of the box there are a number of game changes, improvements and an overarching story that ripples throughout the game’s lore. New weapons have been welcomed into the game, and along with the re-emergence of Mars as a playable map, the gameplay has been tweaked significantly over the last overhaul, though there are some caveats to this expansion which may irk long time players.
At A Glance
|Positives||+ Beefy expansion with large storyline|
+ Fully customisable weapons
+ Hive Guardians are challenging
|Negatives||– The new area is a little too small|
– Relies on sheer numbers of enemies
– Enemy types are limited
|Price (When Reviewed)||£34.99|
In Destiny 2 – The Witch Queen, Savathûn, one of the ancient Gods of the Hive who has been weaving her influence throughout the world since the original Destiny, is finally unveiled. She is sister to The Taken King, and now she’s ready to act out her plans for capturing humanity. Along with the emergence of her Throne World, The Witch Queen has brought her Lucent Hive army, who’ve somehow managed to manipulate The Light to power them up, allowing a brutal assault on our solar system. As the allied generals scrabble to form a plan of defence, it’s up to the Guardian to load up and investigate just what’s going on.
Savathun’s arrival and her use of The Light brings a whole new layer of story to Destiny 2. For years it was accepted that The Light, the gift that was bestowed on humanity, was to be destroyed by the various alien forces. Once the expansion kicked off, it felt that The Witch Queen had finally brought a grey area to the typical Light vs Dark war we’ve seen in the past. This twist works brilliantly as the game became less about defending humanity, turning it into a preemptive full-scale assault against an enemy that is more powerful than ever before. It becomes apparent early on that the human generals will do anything to stop the enemy and this causes the game to pose questions about tactics used in war that could be unethical. It was an unexpected turn – you don’t often expect a game about alien invasions to question the boundaries of war and how far they should be pushed, but it certainly brought an element of humanity to the game.
Leading the charge against the Guardians is the Lucent Hive – enemies using The Light to draw the same powers as players. The serious issue however are the Hive Guardians; enemies acting as the player counterparts with the power to become Super Charged. Along with throwing void shields like Captain America, they also have corrupted ghosts – meaning that if you don’t destroy the ghost, they will respawn. I found that battles become more intense – even the standard fodder enemies have the ability to cause problems, especially if I was on my own, but the biggest trouble I had was that the Lucent Guardians are sparsely utilised. Bungie seemed to rely on using an overwhelming number of disposable grunts rather than the harder enemies and the combat becomes stale after defeating the same enemies wave after wave.
To counter the Hive, there are a new glut of weapons to get your mitts on and these can be found throughout the main story or by undertaking various raids and missions. But to mix things up, there’s a brand new weapon type, the glaive – it’s a power staff that can not only be used as a melee weapon, but shoots projectiles and can even have a shield option. Unlike the various swords and energy weapons we’re accustomed to, this retains the first person perspective and allows for a combination of melee attacks along with the long range blaster. Every time I use this weapon, it makes me feel like Gandalf has arrived in Destiny 2 and it’s such a simple weapon that it makes me wonder why Bungie hadn’t implemented it sooner.
Along with the glaive, the weapon system has also seen an overhaul, as weapons and armour can now be upgraded by heading to Mars. I was able to have fun customising my current loadout, making fast weapons more impactful and giving the slower weapons a quicker reload function. As the seasons progress this will be further expanded upon but it was fun exploring the various loadout options. There is one big problem with upgrading the weapons though, and that’s its location. One third of Mars is carved out as a base of operations, with the rest of the planet making up Savathûn’s Throne World. The new map is smaller than the various planets and moons we can already visit and the lack of space means there is a lot of backtracking and visiting the same locations over and over again. I found that, while I enjoyed the story, the environment was boring and done to death half way through the season.
That being said, I cannot overstate how much I’m looking forward to playing the next three seasons to complete The Witch Queen Expansion. It started off with a bang and the story brings changes to Destiny 2 that were needed. There are a couple of negatives to The Witch Queen, particularly with the smaller map, which is severely limited compared to other areas. I’d have also liked to have seen the Hive Guardians utilised more often, as they only seem to be trotted out sporadically, but these are just minor points on a well put together expansion. If the remainder of the year continues in this vein, it’ll be hard for me to leave The Witch Queen alone long enough to play other games. Even as it stands, The Witch Queen Expansion is a recommended addition to Destiny 2.
In the interest of full disclosure, the publisher provided VGamingNews with a copy of The Witch Queen expansion in order to conduct this review.