Destiny 2 – Expansion II: Warmind is now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. In the latest content patch, players will get to once more explore the surface of mars along with Ana Bray as she seeks to make contact with the Warmind named Rasputin.
[Editor’s Note: Before reading, we do want to warn you that this review does contain minor spoilers. Continuing on will be at your own discretion. If you have not completed the DLC and wish to avoid story-based spoilers, we suggest you return to our home page and check out other great content on our site.]
Since the launch of Destiny 2, Bungie has been fighting an uphill battle, one that is evidently leaning out of their favor. But the cause of this uphill battle is a difficult one to understand for some. There are some adamant that Destiny 2 continues to improve, that Bungie has begun to take an approach to fix the problems with the game, and their roadmap needs to be given a chance when it comes to completion later this year.
But the issue isn’t a standard one. Destiny 2 has continually lacked meaningful content, features from the first game that turned to ashes with the snap of their fingers, and this severed tie to their first game is exactly what hurts Destiny 2 the most. However, time and time again, Bungie has continually assured their fanbases that they knew better, that they have vowed to up their communication game regarding the future of Destiny 2, but unfortunately, not much has actually improved despite their efforts.
Destiny 2 – Expansion I: Curse of Osiris was disappointing enough that David and I even agreed to pass on its review, gritting our teeth in frustration at how short and meaningless the content actually was. Not at the fault of actors Oded Fehr (Osiris) and Morena Baccarin (Sagira, Osiris’ Ghost), but rather lousy writing, poor design choices, and ultimately recycled content.
Unfortunately, things haven’t improved with the launch of Destiny 2 – Expansion II: Warmind, which sends off the signal for our season passes coming to an end, and Bungie preparing for their first massive content drop for their second entry. An issue Destiny had with season pass owners the first time around. Apparently, some things never change and Bungie is well aware of how badly screwed their fanbase actually is after dumping $34.99 USD into an extra bit of content that isn’t even worth the money spent.
To get the ball rolling, Warmind is driven by Ana Bray, the famed gunslinger and off-screen mysterious entity we’ve come to know since the launch of Destiny. Just like Osiris, compared to Sagera, Ana Bray isn’t on screen as much as you’d hope. She serves as your new mission leader, one that drives the rather short narrative, one served out like a drink from a vending machine, or rather, a cookie cutter story, which has little to no meaning (once again).
[Editor’s Note: Below the following image, spoilers do begin. This is your final chance to return back to our home page.]
Through the course of the expansion, you’ll be driven back to Mars, once again, but nothing near the size of the Mars we knew before. This new area is short, icy covered, and brimming with Red Legion stragglers and the Hive, who once again is threatening to end all of humanity with a new and more devious plan under their metaphorical sleeves.
I’d almost bet you a pair of brass balls you can hit level 30 within a matter of hours and even access the new power cap of 380 in a week or so (heck, I’m already 345 in less than a week and that’s having only poured about 15 hours into the DLC, strikes, and dailies included), and there’s a new set of missions to do it in too.
Given how badly Curse of Osiris failed to deliver any meaningful advancement of the story before it, it seems the most relevant. Sadly, the approach to the Hive hasn’t changed, even several DLCs and a second game later. They’re still menacing, but not near the challenge of their predecessors from Destiny: The Taken King expansion.
As you hoof it through the icy regions of Mars and random architecture, you’ll take on re-skinned Hive that shatters into piles of ice when killed, or simply explode depending on your weapons. Let’s just put it this way. Sub-Zero called and he does not approve. Another discouraging tidbit is the overreliance on the Hive minibosses known as Ogres. They play a minor role in this one, and to put it into perspective, the first boss you fight is an ogre, the last of minibosses you fight… Is well… Also an ogre.
Sadly, the story is forgettable, often left off to paint Commander Zavala, the Vanguard leader, as some jarhead soldier with little thought about how to win a war. As the story does get underway and comes to completion, there are design choices that don’t quite make sense. First up is the fact the Hive are back, no surprise here, but the larger problem is we know that they have summoned a Worm, a creature that the Hive sees as god-like beings. Their power is a supposed to be a darkness fueled power, one where the Traveler’s Light can’t reach, and a place where even the most prepared of Guardians will not be ready for what awaits them.
Within the final moments of the main campaign for the Warmind DLC, we get to take on a Worm harnessing the power of Rasputin’s arsenal, an energy like spear called the Valkyrie, one powered by Rasputin himself. Throughout the DLC, you aren’t alone with these weapons, Ana Bray, a child of the Bray lineage and family of scientists, will help you fight back the threat that seeks to destroy the facility, which includes, this giant freaking Wurm you dispose of like a joke. No, literally, you get to kill a Hive Worm God known as Xul and his summoner Nokris.
Sadly, the writing, the direction of the story feels uninspired, as if Bungie was grabbing at the last resorts of creative thinking their writers actually have. Not to say I don’t admire what they did with the lore in Destiny, but Destiny 2 is a major step backward, a major step pushing their game back to the possible point of no return. But then again, Bungie has never been known for offering us solid stories, their gameplay, their gunplay, and even gameplay mechanics are what they are known for, that has always been the case, even when they were overseeing the Halo franchise.
Much like in Destiny, we get to see Mars once again, one that looks and feels like it was designed to match our previous game. Landscapes are adorned with Clovis Bray buildings, ones with dust blown about them, icicles on and inside of them, Valkyrie weapon deposits floating about, allowing players to have some respite while running through missions that feel all-too-familiar.
After beating the main Warmind story, players will see missions sprawled across Mars come to life as players explore Hellas Basin. They can take on Patrol Missions while roaming about, Public Events, and a new feature called “Progressive Event” known as Escalation (this resembles the Coury of Oryx), which can only be activated by those who – once again – beat the story. By the time you get to this point, you can easily hit the new level cap Bungie has put before us. Instead of 25, you’ll be racing to level 30, which you will certainly hit as you progress through the Warmind DLC.
While the Mars Basin that you’ll patrol is quite a bit more impressive than that of Mercury from Curse of Osiris, it overall doesn’t feel inspired, and the patrols you’ll be given the choice of accepting, do very little to separate themselves from the others. You’ll get to take on rotating weekly bosses, an homage to that of the Court of Oryx, and you’ll even get to work on unlocking new gear and equipment that Destiny 2 – Expansion II: Warmind has to offer. Even then, don’t expect much, it gets old after about the umpteenth time.
In short, Destiny 2 doesn’t feel inspired, it doesn’t feel that Bungie has actually listened. They still supply meaningless DLC that offers little to expand upon the massive realm of possibilities Destiny has to offer as a franchise, but still, it’s uninspired, it feels as if they are just pawing at content to release. Even the raid itself, another Spire of the Stars related piece, has just lost, but this means that the ENTIRETY of Spire of Stars has just been released. Not three complete and separate raids, but rather, a single raid, one that should have been completed before the launch of the Curse of Osiris and now Warmind DLCs.
While it does seem obvious these two expansions we’ve received in less than a year were developed before Bungie began their recovery mode of Destiny 2 and against their favor, it just doesn’t work, and really gives off the idea they need to head back to the drawing board before heading back to a The Taken King size content launch.
Our review is based on a retail version that was provided to us by the game’s publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 5 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.