Destiny 2: Forsaken is great but still not enough to redeem the franchise

Destiny 2's latest expansion, Forsaken, was a massive hit among players and critics alike. We gave it a four out of five star in our review, and this rating was the overall average among most outlets. Bungie and Activision finally managed to deliver an experience that lined up with their promises. However, we can't forget how long it took to get here — and more importantly, how much it cost consumers.

A slow burn

Ever since the controversial launch of the first Destiny game in 2014, Bungie and Activision have been at odds with the franchise's player base. After the disappointing experience that the base game delivered, fans made what they wanted clear, and bit by bit, it was given to them ... but only in the form of paid expansions.

Whereas titles like The Division or Halo 5: Guardians "made up" for their poor amounts of content by offering updates for free, Destiny charged players every step of the way. When all was said and done, people who stuck with the game since day one ended up paying $170 over two years just to get the same amount of content a $60 game should have at launch. And from a quality perspective, nothing Bungie made was universally liked.

Image credit: @Haruspis

Up until the launch of the acclaimed Forsaken expansion, Destiny 2 was shaping up in the exact same way. The first two expansions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind, set back players $20 each and propped up Destiny 2's underwhelming launch content. Forsaken, for many people, is the first piece of DLC in the franchise that actually feels like DLC.

How did this happen?

Now that we've identified the problems with Destiny's business model, it's also important to figure out how this happened in the first place. There isn't a correct answer to this, since it's not objective in any way, but most likely is that the fan base simply didn't hold Bungie and Activision accountable. While Destiny's followers have undoubtedly been vocal and clear about what they want, they also played right into the developers' hands by paying money when new expansions dripped content into the game.

In other words, because the fans kept buying even when Bungie refused to listen, the developers never had the incentive to fix the issues. This is what makes Forsaken interesting: it's the first time that the developers seem to be putting player concerns first and maximizing profit second. I'm not sure if this is a turning point for the series or not. But we can't repeat the same mistakes of the past and give Bungie and Activision an easy out. Players need to vote with their voices and with their wallets.

Your thoughts

What do you think of Destiny and the way it delivers content? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know.

Destiny 2: Forsaken can be bought in the Destiny 2 Legendary Collection on Xbox One for $59.99, linked below. This will give you Forsaken, as well as the base game and the first two expansions. Alternatively, if you already own the game and its previous DLCs, you can purchase Forsaken standalone within the game client for $39.99.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • I don't play Destiny 2, but I've been following its controversy closely. Between the lies, deception, game throttling, and terrible communication, the fact that Destiny is still alive is amazing. How can people so easily forgive what Bungie has done? It's almost like none of that ever happened.
  • DISCLAIMER: I haven't had my coffee. My reply is a broader response to everything I have been hearing from others as well. I'm not mad. I don't know you and don't take this response personal. I still find it amazing that someone would comment on a game that they haven't played. So many people coming out of the wood works saying that Bungie should never be forgiven, but for that matter then why should any developer be forgiven. Just a ridiculous statement to tell everyone you should just keep your grudge...just because you can't forgive. I've put about 450 hours into Destiny and while it has had some content satisfaction issues in the past. I stuck with the it because the game is fun. It is now a completely different game and I'm glad I didn't just give up and sulk. Fine you don't like it, but don't annoy us with "I haven't played the game but my opinion matters" And one other thing. People want to complain about how much money they had to spend. I've spent more taking the family to the movies. Are people going to start complaining that they have to spend any money at all. Everybody wants everything for free, but expect their employer to pay them.
  • Forsaken was enough for me, it's amazing
  • Destiny is still lacking. For $40.00 I was expecting a 12 or more hours of story all you get is about 4 at best. It is just to damn short. I guess I'm still waiting on that huge massive game that they promised but haven't delivered.
  • I can kinda agree on this but the evolving story of the dreaming city is pretty cool a new mission every week plus a ton to explore makes up for the lack of story time. Yea it's not a huge story like something Bethesda or bioware would put out but the overall amount of content is 100s of hrs of gameplay. I think bungie is still trying to figure out this type of gameplay but I think they did a good job this time around.
  • As I've said before, Bungie is pretty much dead to me. They've used up all their grace coming from me. I can't think of a single thing they've done right since TTK. Some of what they've done is beyond disgusting and when all is said and done, I still don't like the game mechanics since D2 was released. The weapon system sucks, the ammo system sucks, and crucible suffers from a horrible lack of balance. They had such a great thing going at the end of D1 and they just literally pissed all over everything. Now, not only are they expecting gamers to pay for their mistakes...but people actually are and I find that rather sad.
  • you do realize they overhauled the whole weapon system and ammo system with forsaken... so maybe do some research before commenting
  • Yeahhh, some of the stuff either they or Activision did in D2 is disgustingly anti-consumer. Them throttling XP rates in order to clearly try and get people to buy engrams with money instead of earning them by leveling was a terrible practice.
  • Was a terrible practice is the key statement. Why can't people learn to forgive. Seems to be a lacking quality trait from society these days. While I didn't appreciate the XP throttling and micro transactions the whining and complaining did it's job and Bungie has tried hard. They are not perfect, but they're also not a non profit company. People and need to monetize. Yes transparency is a must, but I'm willing to forgive.
  • I learned after Destiny 1 to wait until all the DLC is released before buying anything. It'll be in 1 package and cheaper. This time it paid off because Destiny 2 is free for PS Plus members. We've had episodic games before, so how is the Destiny series any different? If you enjoy the games, great! if not, there are plenty of other amazing games.