Destiny 2: curse of osiris
Ancient Egyptian laser beams
Bungie drops its first big content hit for Destiny 2 – but is it a blessing or a… well, you know.
“nothing in this expansion changes how the game plays in any significant way”
When Destiny 2 dropped on consoles back in September (and then on PC in October) it was very well received, and with good reason. Featuring incredibly fluid and satisfying gunplay, and a somewhat incomprehensible but visually spectacular story, it was a compelling experience indeed… for a while, anyway. Many players, some of us here at GamesMaster included, eventually drifted away from the game due to a pretty shallow endgame. For the lapsed among us, a new expansion has the potential to bring us back into that wonderfully addictive loot loop. So does this first DLC right the wrongs of the base game? Curse Of Osiris adds a new planet, Mercury, for our intrepid Guardians to explore, as well as new story missions, strikes, PvP arenas, loot, and a Raid lair – a sort of remixed addition to the existing Leviathan Raid. Mercury consists of two notable areas: the Fields Of Glass and the Infinite Forest. The former serves as the planet’s open-world section, and it’s here you’ll find public events, patrols, and adventures. The latter is a semiprocedurally generated area which is accessed via adventures and missions.
The Fields Of Glass is an incredibly small area, maybe a sixth (if that) of the size of the EDZ and half the size of Titan. It’s also not that interesting – a drab circular desert area with a couple of landmarks. The skybox is as beautiful as ever, but if you survey the traversable land itself it’s not much to crow about. There’s only one public event here as well, which makes Mercury flashpoints quite tedious.
The Infinite Forest is interesting in concept: a semi-random sequence of areas that appear floating in the void, offering different enemies and layouts every time you enter, which ought to ensure a fresh experience. The area is only accessible when you’re on a mission, though, and it feels like it exists just to artificially lengthen each mission and adventure, as without the extended Infinite Forest section at the start of every one they’d feel quite short. If this area were part of the Mercury open world and hosted its own public events and adventures it would go a long way to making Curse Of Osiris feel more substantial. Sadly it isn’t, and the expansion feels quite small and boxy.
Acute loot pursuit
The two-to-three hour story has many of the same pros and cons as other Destiny narratives: it’s backed up with solid and interesting lore, and the visuals are spectacular, but the dialogue is terrible and characters shallow. This is par for the course for Destiny at this stage, but the lack of improvement on the base game is unfortunate. The story missions themselves are fun but uninspiring. It’s as enjoyable as it ever was to gun down hordes of hapless aliens, but the formula of ‘gorgeous skybox with a linear corridor
full of enemies’ wears out its welcome pretty quickly.
There are a couple of fun boss encounters, but for the most part you should be prepared to kill a lot of random mooks in a lot of beautiful skyboxes. Curse Of Osiris adds no new enemies, so not only will you be gunning down mooks, but you’ll be gunning down the same mooks that you were in the base game (albeit with a few reskins here and there mostly recycled from previous Destiny expansions). The whole thing feels like it was rushed out of the door to meet a tight deadline, what with all the reused assets (from both Destiny 2 and the original Destiny), balance issues, and scarce new content.
The new ‘Raid lair’, (which seems to be Bungie’s fancy name for a small Raid tangentially linked to a bigger one) is an offshoot of the Leviathan from the base game. It’s a short, three-encounter affair in which the Guardians explore the seedy underbelly of the colossal ship to take down a new threat. The encounters are well designed, particularly the final sections, but once again the whole thing feels far too short. A group of averagely skilled players shouldn’t take more than an evening or two to clear it completely, less if you’re using a guide and not just working it out as you go. The two new strikes are scaled-up versions of story missions but with new dialogue. By itself this would be forgivable, but when you consider everything else that’s repetitive and recycled in the expansion, it’s difficult to let it pass.
There’s new gear to be earned, though it should be noted that some of it is returning loot from the original Destiny. The new stuff looks pretty slick, however, including some lovely gilded Egyptian-style kit. For completionists, grabbing all the new Exotics will be a nice divergence. At the time of writing the new additions haven’t shaken up the PvP scene, so don’t expect any change from facing dozens of opponents using Better Devils and Uriel’s Gift – for now, at least. Speaking of PvP, there are two new Crucible arenas. They’re as pretty and well-laid-out as you would expect from Bungie, but it would have been nice to have a new Crucible game mode.
Disappointingly, there is nothing in this expansion that changes how the game plays in any significant way. No new race, no new enemies from existing races, no new weapon types, no new types of group activity. The only new endgame addition of any great interest is the Raid lair, and if you’re a solo player or you struggle to get your clan organised to tackle Raids regularly (which given Destiny 2’s poor social toolset would be understandable), there’s nothing much for you beyond the short story campaign.
Nothing in Curse Of Osiris is outright terrible by itself. The problem arises when you remember that this is supposed to be a full expansion, and that it costs just under £17. That may not seem like much to some people, but when you consider how many excellent full games you can buy for that amount (or much less), paying that much for what would probably be a free update in most other MMOs is a difficult pill to swallow. There’s not enough content, and the content that’s there is recycled, repetitive, and limited. It’s still Destiny 2, so if you’re hooked on the base game and you want more, then this will serve you well enough. The shooting is still fun, the graphics and music are still great – however if you are looking for reasons to jump back into the game, or you were hoping for good value for money, you should skip this one.
Format PS4, XO, PC (reviewed) Publisher Activision Developer Bungie ETA Out now Players MMO If you’re worried about getting bored of shooting Vex, don’t worry! Our favourite giant rhino things, the Cabal, are present and correct too.
The story missions feature some beefy Vex, including Panoptes here, who likes to be called “Infinite Mind”.
Shooting aliens in the face because we are good and they are bad is fun. All hail the Light!