Having started with a bang, Season 1 of Destiny 2 ended with more of a whimper. Finding itself caught up in a controversy all of its own making, Season 2 begins with a bit of a shadow hanging over it – is Curse of Osiris enough to chase the gloom away and encourage Guardians to return to the fray?
Bungie certainly hopes so.
Now in my original review for Destiny 2, I waxed lyrical about how I felt that this one had more to do outside the main campaign and that it would probably keep my attention for longer than the first one did. Now hindsight is a lovely thing, and if I’m totally honest it did keep me engaged a bit longer, but I still found my attention waning and my trigger finger itching for something that didn’t have Multi-Tool in its title. When I found myself booting up Destiny 2 to play Curse of Osiris I would be lying if I said I was excited in the way I have been for Destiny DLC’s in the past.
Having downloaded the required updates, starting Destiny 2 for the first time in a good while I am met with a few pages of text informing me what’s new in Season 2 – a new player vs player in Trials of the Nine, and of course the Curse of Osiris DLC which includes a new story campaign, level increase, a new raid lair, and more loot. For the purpose of my review (and the fact that most of my Fireteam, like me, have deserted Destiny 2 in droves over the last few weeks) I will focus on the campaign elements as this is something I can do all on my lonesome.
First things first – the campaign. Setting off for Mercury, a returning location from Destiny, an intriguing little cinematic introduces us to Osiris, a Guardian who looks like he’s on his way to a comic con cosplaying as Tutankhamen. Turns out, this Guardian is the “most powerful Guardian ever”, who taught Ikora everything she knows. Having been excelled, he’s a bit of a person non-grata among the Guardians on the Tower now, with followers of his own in what appears to be Destiny’s take on a cult. Osiris has stirred up a bit of a hornets nest and it’s up to you (me) to set off and investigate. To Mercury!
If you’ve played the first game you know that Mercury is sort of the base for Vex, and it is true here with the Vex serving as the main antagonist throughout the campaign. Upon your arrival you are welcomed by Brother Vance, a gushing follower of Osiris who serves as Mercury’s NPC contact/merchant in the same way Devrim Kay and Asher Mir, dishing out advice and tidbits of trivia that help push the story along. Turns out, Vex from different timelines are converging on Mercury, and if that doesn’t sound sci-fi enough for you, then you should probably stop reading now.
Having set up the premise, from here on it’s the standard Destiny fare – go here, activate this, kill them, speak to them, go here, carry on, with the stop offs at the Tower (that’s no longer a spoiler is it?) to have your engrams decrypted in the hope of powering up your Guardian that bit more.
To be honest, I did find myself enjoying it more than I thought, a bit like them Christmas parties that you’re not that bothered about going to, but then you rock up and find that you have more fun than you expected you would have done. Seasonal analogy aside, Curse of Osiris does its job – it breathes life into a game that has just passed its 4 month anniversary. Yes it’s the same old Destiny, but for me the main reason I left was that I had hit saturation point – I was fed up with doing the same things for little or no reward. By raising the Power level and introducing new loot I felt again like I was at least earning something, when before I had lost count of the amount of weapons and armor I had trashed because they were weaker than my current set up. Although this has been remedied to some point, many other problems still remain.
With the new area of Mercury to explore introducing new chests and a lair to find, the Infinite Forest as it is called feels anything but, with the social space feeling like the smallest of any seen in Destiny 2 so far. Another criticism thrown at the Curse of Osiris is the length of the campaign missions added. All in all it took me roughly 2.5 hours to plough through the main campaign alone, ignoring many of the side activities in order to come back to them once I had levelled up a bit, so take from that what you will.
The argument to balance this out is the fact that Destiny is mainly a game about playing with others, and it is here where the replay value lies – for me I was pretty unimpressed all in all with the story. A few Strikes flesh out the DLC, but that alone is not enough to bring me back full throttle into the world that Bungie are trying to create. Yes I will make the odd foray into the Raid, attempt a few of the Strikes (Fireteam depending) but as a stand alone purchase I am left feeling a little underwhelmed. Having bought the season pass I feel like it’s a case of leave the audience wanting more, which is all well and good providing you come away satisfied, which is something that I didn’t feel based on the story alone.
Updates are still incoming, but at present that doesn’t do this review any good. If, like me, you bought the game with the season pass you would be silly to miss out on The Curse of Osiris, but if you’re toying with the idea my advice would be to hang fire and wait for the second DLC to drop to see what that might bring (as no doubt by that point the season pass will be a fairly decent price).
I did manage a brief hour exploring the new Lair Raid with my Fireteam during which we managed to solve the first platform puzzle before all going our separate ways after abandoning our attempt at the second challenge, which involved placing Vex canons in the appropriately powered triangle to charge them up accordingly, before shooting mines off a giant floating cube hanging in the Centre of the room, all the while being pummelled by Vex that spawn at each of the three locations. If that all sounds a bit convoluted you’d be right, but half of the appeal is trying to figure out what’s going on and working as part of a team to do so, and from what I’ve seen so far Curse of Osiris does manage to get this bang on, and it is something I hope to attempt again at some point.
Is that enough to save Osiris though? During the Raid I did ask my Fireteam what they each thought the latest DLC offered and how it improved on the base game and answers were indifferent to say the least, which isn’t what one would call a glowing endorsement (and it has to be said some members of my Fireteam are mad about Destiny, regularly putting in the hours while I generally flit about playing other things). How many of them will keep playing it? Most agreed they would hit the level and power cap, get a bit more loot by completing the Raid and that would be them done until the next DLC drops or unless it receives any major updates in the interim – a poor comparison to some of the DLC Destiny received as that kept them occupied for months – I should know as I often arrived weeks after they each launched but still able to find a full Fireteam happy to guide me through the Raids and Strikes.
Having completed the story Curse of Osiris offers I can see my time left with Destiny 2 measured in hours as opposed to weeks or even months that maybe some people would have been hoping for from a significant update – maybe future patches might flesh out the DLC a little, but at present, Curse of Osiris doesn’t quite satisfy that itch.
Destiny 2 - Curse of Osiris PS4 Review
Overall - Good - 6.5/10
Returning to Destiny 2 is bitter sweet – the addictive hunt for loot still remains, and playing with friends is as fun as ever, but a disappointing campaign and a few other gripes let the Curse of Osiris down when compare to what has come before it.
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Stuart has had a long and lengthy love affair with video games, since he first woke up to find Santa had left him a Sega Master System complete with Alex the Kidd built in no less. Since then, his thumbs have become calloused and he has missed many a nights sleep in the pursuit of those elusive “5 more minutes…” but his love has never wavered.