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It’s just never enough. A new zone, multiple missions and some tantalising new story should have been more than adequate justification for slapping a few extra dollars into Bungie’s hands and grabbing the latest Destiny 2 expansion, Warmind. On the surface, there’s a lot to like about the latest chapter in Destiny 2’s story. A lot that has improved since Curse of Osiris launched to dismal reviews and plenty of well-deserved flack from the community of Guardians who still find themselves invested in Bungie’s space-based sandbox.

There’s also a lot to dislike because while Warmind is leagues better than Curse of Osiris, it still can’t shake off some of the most fundamental problems that Destiny 2 suffers from. What Warmind is, isn’t just an expansion but also a fresh coat of tar on the road ahead for Destiny 2 and while the journey ahead is smoother, some road bumps remain in play.

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a sense of discovery lurking beneath the ice caps of Mars

Roadbumps that include a laughably short campaign, a pair of new strikes that are repurposed missions alongside the sole original one that is exclusive to PlayStation for now and a grind that will tax the patience of even the most diehard Destiny 2 supporters. Yet…I like the foundation of Warmind. I like its ideas, and after having been starved of actual proper new Destiny 2 content for so long, I couldn’t help but devour it.

Warmind’s story of the battle between humanity’s omniscient Golden Age AI system Rasputin and the Hive god Xol may be typically light on actual narrative, but at least it’s a tale that can be aced multiple times with your trio of Guardians. Warmind’s may not have much to do on the surface, but there’s certainly a sense of discovery lurking beneath the ice caps of Mars.

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Warmind 2 is…not bad. If you’re patient that is.

The primary highlight here is the new patrol zone itself. While Curse of Osiris introduced a small arena with the occasional public event popping up every few minutes, Warmind’s new Hellas Basin location is much better in terms of scope and exploration. The red sands of Mars are littered with a new Hive threat, Rasputin’s bunkers are a marvel of over-engineered Golden Age glory and the famed AI itself is finally revealed in all of its Octahedron glory.

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There’s a sense of mystery here, something that Destiny 2 has been lacking in spades lately. Continued long after the end credits have rolled, Warmind’s grind is designed to keep players logging in for a chance to uncover mysterious scraps of story and earn new loot. It’s just that the usual grind of Destiny 2 has been completely turned upside down, and not for the better.

Take upping your character level for instance. Warmind now delivers a deliberately slower path to power, one that can be improved upon by partaking in the new Escalation Protocol horde mode. It’s you, several other Guardians and a race against the clock to take down powerful swarms of Hive troopers before time is up. Proceed far enough up the ladder, and you’ll get the loot you need to to get mass light gains, brah.

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uneven in its execution

Only problem? This mode is so uneven in its execution, that you’d have better luck running the Raid instead. Instead of enjoying a new activity, you’re cursing it and finding better rewards from older activities. It’s a confusing carrot on a stick, which gets even more bizarre when higher level challenges reward you with lower level gear on your progression path. Blood, sweat and tears on a 370 gear Raid that rewards you with weapons that are a good number below your current power threshold? That’s not how it works Bungie and Vicarious Visions. That’s not how any of this works.

Meanwhile, the Spire of Stars raid lair is a step up at least, one that uses more teamwork within the frame of Destiny to add the right amount of challenge, provided that your team is ready to tackle a bastard of a new boss. That being said, I’m already chomping at the bit to leave the ship of Emperor Callus behind and tackle a new danger somewhere else in our solar system.

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The Crucible is pretty much exactly as you left it

As for the Crucible, it’s still very much the same old same old. Sure, two new maps in the shape of Meltdown and Solitude offer brave new vistas within which to hone your skills, with private matches allowing further customisation. But if you were seeking a faster Crucible with new moments of glory to sit alongside the Valour and Glory rankings, then you’re out of luck.

The Crucible is pretty much exactly as you left it, although I’m one of the few players around who likes the current incarnation of that multiplayer suite just the way it is.

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I’m torn. I’m split down the middle with Warmind, because it’s not a bad slice of DLC, just merely lacklustre in its execution. Returning to Mars has revealed a fantastic new region to explore, but one that’ll run out of tricks within a week. Its story is fascinating, but over before you know it. Its new Escalation Protocol is a solid attempt at public event fun, but incredibly unbalanced. For every improvement that Warmind does offer, it seems as if a new hole has erupted in this dam and there aren’t enough fingers to go around to plug it.

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Fundamentally, Destiny 2 is better than ever thanks to recent extensive patches and an eye towards making the game feel unique again instead of being a Jack of all trades entry for the mainstream market.

Last Updated: May 14, 2018

Destiny 2 does have an identity once again, a solid bedrock upon which to build its future. But whatever Bungie has planned, it’s going to need to be far sturdier than its latest collection of recycled content, uneven new events and a meagre amount of PVP content.
was reviewed on PlayStation 4
63 / 100

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