Bungie keeps repeating its mistakes.
It’s no secret that Destiny 2 has been struggling. Balancing decisions that were designed to draw new players in have alienated returning Guardians. The shooter’s first DLC, Curse of Osiris, was canned for being repetitive and shallow. Warmind was meant to be the first large update (with more to come) that acted as a course correction.
So far, it should be considered a failure.
Though the full Warmind experience isn’t available to Guardians yet — the Spire of Stars Raid Lair goes live on 12 May here in Australia — we have access to most of it right now. A small handful of missions introduce players to a new area on Mars called Hellas Basin, and there we encounter a new Guardian named Ana Bray as she researches the Warmind Rasputin. Like with Curse of Osiris, a cool premise isn’t followed through; if anything, the mystery of Rasputin — introduced way back in the original Destiny — is done a major disservice by Bungie, watered down and made bland.
The missions themselves take about an hour and a half to complete, though I needed to stop near the end and grind up from Level 26 to Level 28 to continue. In the same fashion, you’ll have to grind to access Warmind‘s other big-ticket item: Escalation Protocol, the closest thing Destiny 2 has to a Horde mode. Escalation Protocol is recommended for those at 370 Power, a huge gap from the 335 Power I’m currently averaging. Bungie said that Warmind would be a grind… and it looks like the developer wasn’t kidding.
The problem with the grind is that there’s hardly anything new worth doing! Over on Xbox One, we’re treated to a second expansion that borrows old missions to repackage as Strikes. The only new Strike available in Warmind is a PS4-exclusive, which is good to those on the console, but us poor PC and Xbox folk are missing out. Everything about Warmind screams reskin, from weaponry to enemies (icy Hive) to these Strikes. It’s beyond disappointing.
As you grind through old missions, be warned: infusing your existing gear with gear at higher levels you haven’t met yet will basically invalidate that gear. I dropped down to 280 Power because my infused Helmet and Chest pieces didn’t ‘count’. The same thing happened to my Kinetic weapon, meaning I couldn’t actually equip it until I hit Level 26 proper.
There are positives to Warmind — as my Fireteam can attest to, Heroic Strikes are nothing short of nail-biting, equal parts challenging as frustrating (in the best of ways). Similarly, the new Exotic rework system is expertly done, making weaponry feel unique and powerful like in the good ol’ days. While that particular system isn’t actually part of Warmind itself, rather offered through a free update, we’ll let the expansion take credit for it.
The expansion’s new weapon, the Valkyrie? Magnifique! The combination bow-rocket launcher is simply a joy to use, much like Destiny Rise of Iron‘s Axe.
We’ve yet to hit up Crucible or access the Spire of Stars, so we’ll hold off on a final score for now. Right now, though? Warmind is sitting at a 5.5/10.
Destiny 2 is available now on Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4.
|[Score to come]|
Destiny 2 Warmind is being reviewed using a retail code on Xbox One, as purchased by the reviewer. A promotional code was later offered by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.