After all the online controversy over the current state of Destiny 2, it’s easy to forget how captivating its core gameplay can actually be. As the glare of the sun illuminates Mercury’s majestic yellow structures and a hauntingly melancholic Egyptian melody fades into the foreground, Curse of Osiris’ opening mission reminds me exactly what made the franchise so enticing in the first place.
At its best, Destiny 2 is a game where stonkingly-high production values and fluid-feeling gameplay come together like few others. It’s a grin-inducing co-op experience where eye-rolling intergalactic melodrama, satisfying shooting and addictive loot-loops collide to keep you in a constant state of bliss.
Now, after two months off, I’m ready to fill that engram-shaped hole in my heart once again. Yet, unfortunately, only mere moments after being wowed by Curse of Osiris, the depressing reality of Destiny 2 hits me like a Red Legion battleship.
For every beautifully designed mission in this new expansion, there’s another that’s a carbon copy of one from the base game. For every tantalising new weapon and armour set, there’s a baffling mess of conflicting progression systems.
In short, Curse of Osiris isn’t the fixer-upper many fans hoped for — in fact, it arguably feels even more disjointed than the main game.
A Loot Drop Worth Holding out For?
It’s a shame because there are some genuinely brilliant moments littered across this fleeting campaign. Artistically, the new setting of Mercury and the Infinite Forest provide some of the most aesthetically memorable experiences you’ll find in the franchise to date.
With the eponymous Osiris having gone missing while fleeing the Vex, it’s your job to delve into the robot race’s time-bending playground and bring him back. After battling your way across the sand-splashed steps of Mercury, a sea of brightly coloured swirling vortexes suddenly usher you into this robot-controlled simulation – The Infinite Forest.
With this Vex world functioning as a reality-bending simulation, each visit to The Infinite Forest gives players a randomly generated environment. Unsurprisingly, this makes visits there brilliantly unpredictable. Yet, despite the ever-changing environments keeping players on their toes, the campaign’s pitiful difficulty level certainly doesn’t.
Yet, it’s not just the easy cannon fodder that quickly turns Curse of Osiris’ story missions into a tedious exercise. Just as I began to enjoy navigating the stunning locales on Mercury, it seemed as though the team began to panic about overusing their interesting new setting. This means that players are instead forced to do a few incredibly familiar-feeling missions on planets they’ve already been to.
To make matters worse, the story is incredibly bare bones here. With Osiris only showing up at the start and the end of the campaign (and Bungie only bothering to animate two proper cutscenes) the whole thing just feels incredibly half-baked. The much-touted new ghost, Sagira, is disappointing too, with her grating quips making her feel like a Clayde-6-lite — all sass and no actual personality.
It all feels like the symptom of a larger problem that plagues Destiny 2 – an over-reliance on the same few ideas.
Less of an Expansion, More of an Iteration
You may remember that at launch, we were fairly fond of Destiny 2. Thanks to the sequel’s grander storytelling ambitions, stunning visuals and more open environments, the game’s first 20 hours felt exactly like the sci-fi spectacle we hoped for. Unfortunately though, it’s what came after that disappointed.
Once the main campaign was done, players were left with a solid but uninspiring Crucible component, a slow-crawl to level up, or with simplying farming the same strikes and public events over and over. The addition of the Leviathan raid improved this slightly, but for many, the repetitive slog of the end-game saw them leave Destiny 2 in droves.
Ultimately, those hoping that Curse of Osiris will have enough substantial new additions or well-considered fixes to bring them back to the engram-loving horde are going to be bitterly disappointed. Like with the first few expansions for Destiny 1, this early DLC feels very much like a stop-gap release.
There are also a few baffling decisions showcased here. While the power level cap has been raised from 20 to 25, increasing your power level is largely irrelevant. With missions, raids and strikes still locked behind a player’s light level, guardians will still be lusting after loot to level them up. So why bother giving players another unnecessary bar to fill up?
It’s no secret that Bungie has spent the last few months desperately working on fixes to appease players, but despite this DLC ushering in some welcome changes to Destiny 2‘s systems, there’s simply not enough here to make Curse of Osiris worth the cash.
Is Curse of Osiris Any Good?
This is an expansion that’s a mix of the brilliant and the lazy, the ill-thought out and the majestic. In other words, it’s not bad, but it should have been so much more. And sadly that’s exactly what many fans have come to expect from Destiny. Destiny 2 may well be worth playing again in the future, but as it stands, you’re better off waiting for the inevitable Taken King–style year two refresh.