Three months after its release, Destiny 2 finally launches its first expansion: Curse of Osiris. Suffice to say that Bungie had no interest in skipping on expansions with this sequel, especially since hardcore fans of the series were already feeling a lack of challenge for veterans, and Curse of Osiris was the optimal thing to renew the experience and add some new challenges. While I was incredibly excited by the announcement of this expansion being centered on the iconic guardian Osiris, the hype was killed within hours of playing the new content, and I’ll explain why in this review.
Released early September on home consoles, then around the end of October on PC, Destiny 2 was a sure enhancement of the original title from Bungie. Despite a longer campaign, a better written story than the first, more logical leveling mechanics, or even redefined PvP content, the game within several weeks after its launch started to witness the same annoying faults of the original game. Starting with an obvious lack of challenge in the long run, especially for those with little interest in its endgame content like the raid or harder PVP modes. The issue is that despite the many activities offered in Destiny 2, those who returned from the first game in search of exotic weapons and hidden quests found themselves having to farm the same strikes in hope to get some extra loot, which is not very exciting, when we did the same thing more than three years ago in the Vault of Glass.
Curse of Osiris now released on all platforms as a standalone expansion pack (or part of the Destiny 2 Expansion Pass which includes the second upcoming one coming in Q1 of 2018) will take you to planet Mercury, where this new adventure begins. Kicked off by Ikora, the warlock Vanguard, this new story will send you on a mission to the planet after the discovery of Sagira, Osiris’ ghost, found inanimate and the planet now filled with Vex ever since the Traveler woke up. A rather attractive pitch for fans of Destiny, for whom the name of Osiris has a particular resonance, long been surrounded by mystery. For fans of the lore, Osiris is known to those that played the original game as an infamous Warlock guardian, probably the most powerful of all time, which was banished from the City because of his obsession in the Vex. Over the course of time, he had amassed a horde of worshipers and had come into conflict with the Vanguard, and hasn’t been seen since his exile on Mercury. Nevertheless, in the original Destiny, the only true link to this iconic guardian was limited to . the Trial of Osiris, a high-level PvP activity which used to be one hell of a challenge, awarding the best with Egyptian themed guns, armors and loot. Suffice to say that this extension was eagerly awaited by those who were eager to learn more about Osiris, including myself.
Sadly, the Curse of Osiris does not take long to disappoint. Extremely short (count less than three hours to complete the main story mission), this expansion’s campaign is of an appalling banality, chaining levels with uninspired design and uninteresting goals. If the first steps on Mercury are promising, thanks to its amazing artistic direction, you quickly understand that most of the game will take place in the Infinite Forest, which probably will be remembered as Bungie’s most tasteless creation. While the concept of travel through space and time opened up endless possibilities, the Infinite Forest consists mainly of platforms suspended above a void, without ever being able to create this amazed feeling of discovering something truly great. This area seem to be the weakest part of the Destiny lore artistic direction, rather flat and missing true originality, almost as if it was randomly generated with a basic level editor, and extremely repetitive. Some would argue that this is precisely the concept of this Infinite Forest, which is above all a tool of the Vex collective consciousness, but for a millenia of enhancements, I believe that these robots would’ve simulated some better looking possibilities. I mean c’mon, think about all these amazing Vex locations we’ve visited already, like Destiny 2’s Pyramidion or even the original Destiny Vault of Glass which are impressive.
Nevertheless, some of the adventure missions will make you return to some fun part of the European Dead Zone, and other very successful trips back in time which will allow you to visit Mercury before the Vex came. The planet takes on the appearance of an Eden with absolutely splendid orange and pink hues; you’ll also discover the other sad truth of what Mercury would look like if the Vex completely take over the system, plunged into darkness. The settings offered by these two temporal realities are absolutely superb, but unfortunately we spend barely any time in those areas, as the Curse of Osiris expansion keeps on having us venture, again and again, in this boring Infinite Forest that you’ll end up hating after couple of visits. As for the character of Osiris, this was my biggest disappointment, as no time does the adventure do him honor: you will meet him only a few times and the script of the story is such that at no time will the player feel the weight of the threat that scares him. Without real stake, the player is content to eliminate mechanically everything that is in between him and his final objective.
I can’t help but to my discontent on that front, especially after three years of lore pieces put together to understand who Osiris is, for in the end get an expansion pack that doesn’t live the hype of the character is just mean. In truth, the legendary Warlock should’ve deserved an expansion of scale, in the manner of The Taken King or even Rise of Iron, with a proper care of the narration, attention to details, exotic weapon quest, other hidden secrets, and a wide environment to explore… Instead, Bungie gives us this expansion pack that is worst than the original game’s first expansion – The Dark Below – which at least gave us more content including two new strikes, a brand new raid even if it wasn’t that great.
And so when the story missions are over, what’s left for Destiny 2 players? Well not a lot of things as you will quickly realize. Brother Vance, the mysterious disciple of Osiris well known to players that competed in Trials of Osiris the original game, will propose a small series of missions, which will eventually toss you back into the Infinite Forest, and unlock some extra weapons which can be forged in the new social hub known as the Lighthouse. It is thanks to this Forge that player will be able to build Osiris themed weapons, which are mainly a series of grinds to find new collectibles which will be formed into 12 new weapons. For this, you will first recover a relic, by completing one of the Heroic Adventures proposed by Vance (which are three in total), and harvest the various resources needed to build it by farming public events, strikes and PvP games. Those who were looking for a reason to farm the game will be satisfied, but on the long run it will be really boring as the Curse of Osiris adds only one public event (which is rather well done at least) and two Strikes which feel more of recycled missions of the core game.
What remains is the new Raid, on which many veteran players were hoping to get some extra challenge. The good news is that Bungie did not miss this, and while it will also take place on the Leviathan, as the first raid of the game, the “Eater of Worlds” leads the Guardians to another area of the gigantic ship with new challenges. Where in September the players had been able to discover the habitable areas of the Leviathan, this new Raid leads them into the bowels and deepest parts of the ship. Here we find a progression and level-design similar to the raids of the first Destiny, with large open areas, more conducive to exploration. There’s a great pleasure to play several phases mixing platforming and puzzles, in the manner of what I remember from the good old days of the Vault of Glass or King’s Fall raid, except that the players must progress together.
I’m really worried about the future of Destiny 2, especially since after 3 years in development, the team should have known what players wants in term of content and challenge. This expansion marks a sad return to the “dark days” of Destiny, a sloppy way to cut content into more paid content, which I get are critical for the remuneration of the studio and publisher, but are starting to be unfair for the players. Let’s hope the second expansion fixes this.
Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris was reviewed using an Xbox One digital copy of the expansion pack purchased by the writer. The expansion pack is also available on on PlayStation 4 and PC via digital and retail stores. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• The new Raid is short but intense
• The forgeable weapons
• Some great looking areas to visit
• Big fan of the new Crucible maps
• A story that is boring and extremely disappointing for fans of the Destiny's lore
• Mercury is one boring playable area
• The new strikes are pretty rehashed story missions
• Infinite Forest is great on paper but just bland in execution
• A sense that time travelling could've been used better
• Not much added content wise