Warmind does little to save the end-game appeal of Destiny 2. The FNGR GNS Review;
Well, this is annoying.
If Warmind has proven anything to me, it’s that the core gameplay of Destiny is still brilliant. I haven’t touched the game since I wrapped up The Curse of Osiris and even though I didn’t find that particularly special, it was fun enough for me to get wrapped back up in the weekly events and partaking in Strikes. Still, eventually it all felt like busy work for no real end purpose (a new Shader? Hooray), and as such, I moved on. Still, the gunplay and the overall lore of Destiny keeps me relatively interested, and Warmind releasing reminded me why I enjoyed playing through the base campaign so much. Destiny 2 is a fun game, really fun. Sadly, Warmind does absolutely nothing to back this up.
The second expansion which came bolted into the Expansion Pass is just as average as its predecessor, if not more so. Bungie are having a rough time with D2 and with what seems like an enormous player drop off and the full game going for £9 brand new(!) in my local supermarkets, you have to wonder if they even believe in it themselves if content like Warmind is what they’re using to drag people back in.
Comparing it to, say, House of Wolves and The Dark Below (the original Destiny’s first two expansions), it’s night and day. House of Wolves in particular was genuinely brilliant and marked a point for me where I could see a future for Destiny where yeah, I would shell out for upcoming expansions because the quality was high and care was taken to ensure that we as players were getting our money’s worth. If you’re a dedicated fan you’re putting Warmind up against House of Wolves and it’s, quite simply, not even close to a comparison. The quality has dipped to such an extent it’s barely recognisable as Bungie product anymore.
Firstly, there’s the plot, which, isn’t really a plot, more of a device to link Warmind’s levels together. It’s vague with about as much depth as a kids paddling pool. There’s little that really ties it back to the overall Destiny narrative, only expanding it unnecessarily to points that’s lacking in hooks. The typical Destiny dialogue (‘these caves have been barren for centuries, only now they have awoke’ etc) links together levels that are decidedly dull. They’re not quite as bland as the terrible repetition of Curse of Osiris but if you’ve seen one Destiny 2 level then you’ve got a fair idea of what they look like. Visually lovely, but lacking in detail and personality.
I get a bit excited when there is new Destiny content for the hope that we’re about to meet a new race of alien species to shoot in the head. Whilst Bungie aren’t particularly well known for mixing it up too much though I was hoping since we were going to a new planet we would come across a new species. Nope. The enemy you’re ‘awakening’ is the Hive, despite the game desperately trying to tell you otherwise. With your Nolat-bot Ghost making is very clear he’s ‘never seen Hive like this before’, the difference is this is the Frozen Hive, and they behave and look and act exactly like the regular Hive, albeit with slightly bigger Knights with shields. That’s it. Can a company rip themselves off? It’s almost worth applauding at times just how little Bungie seem to want to impress anymore.
Despite everything, Warmind does throw up a number of new additions that make the expansion not completely worth avoiding. There’s a sequence early on where you’re gifted with the weapon of Rasputin, a moment that made me go ‘WOAH!’ out loud and allowed me to have some real fun with the game for the first time. It was a lightbulb moment that showcased that Destiny 2 can still provide moments of glee that reminded me of the first time Master Chief wielded an Energy Sword and I screamed so loud my parents came into my room and turned off my Xbox. Ah, memories.
Away from the campaign, the new Strikes are pretty good and keep the co-op playlist worth dipping into. There are new weapons that are entertaining (as they always are in Destiny 2 when you get them for the first time) and my Exotics have been added to exponentially, which feels more like an apology than something I’ve earned. Either way, my Hunter looks badass at this moment in time.
And that’s about it really. Warmind is annoyingly bland. It does just enough to make Destiny 2 fans happy without doing anything else, and adds nothing to the overall experience of the game. Its saving grace might just be a neat horde mode you can trigger whilst you’re on Mars called Escalation, which involves the Hive and can be played with up to six players. It’s a good addition which can get mad and overcrowded, though I do like that kind of thing so it ticked some boxes for me. It just about makes up for the campaign being about as exciting as finding a Wellington Boot in a pond.
So Warmind isn’t better than The Curse of Osiris, and that wasn’t really that good. The issue of course is that Destiny 2 is really good, it is. I will stand by the fact that tearing through it with friends is one of the most fun memories I have of gaming in this generation.
Warmind though, just isn’t fun, and the joy of pummeling alien lifeforms with your mates can’t save it.
Destiny 2 Expansion II Warmind is available now.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a review code from the publishers. For our full review policy, please go here.