Spoiler Warning: Spoilers ahead for the campaign in Curse of Osiris and the base game of Destiny 2.
You'll fight nearly all the familiar baddies in Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris, the game's first expansion that released earlier this week. You'll take on the earth-born Hive, the alien Fallen, the big ol' Cabal. The only alien race missing from this makeshift reunion are the Taken, it seems. The Vex, the evil gods of this expansion, seemed to gloss over them in their never-ending simulation on the planet they've ruined and taken hold of.
In Destiny 2's base campaign, you hop across many planets saving your mentors from the first game. You fight the above foes on those worlds, including the ghastly Taken. But mostly, you just fight the Cabal. And in the cutscenes, all you see are mega-evil Cabal too. The campaign's mostly a blur too, aside from its stunning, set piece-heavy final mission. The rest of the enemy factions are just there to populate the worlds you shoot through, with not much other rhyme or reason to it. They're just there because this is Destiny, and Destiny needs the same enemies slightly reskinned (and sometimes retooled) to spice things up from planet to planet.
Even with the quick campaign and side Adventure quests being easily doable within a five-hour timespan (and probably far quicker if you have a full Fireteam at your beck and call), somehow Destiny 2's expansion Curse of Osiris does better to contextualize its foes than the base game. The Vex here on the extremely small and very dull planet of Mercury have ruined it; they've been running "simulations" of encounters with other enemies and venturing into the past and future of Mercury in the process. You're tasked with saving the universe essentially, as one does as an uber-powerful Guardian, and saving your friend Ikora's stubborn mentor Osiris too.
Mere hours later, you've done it. You've wrecked the Vex's bigger plans to devastate more things and you've saved Osiris and his sarcastic Ghost, Sagira. (Sagira feels like an answer to the fan fervor over another sentient AI in Destiny 2's base game, Failsafe.) Despite Osiris' many cult-like followers and former pals framing the wise Warlock as a sort of egotistical asshole, when we meet him at the conclusion, he's surprisingly chill.
And then life goes on. The Vex still inhabit Mercury. They still run simulations of encounters with miscellaneous enemies across the randomly generated (and ultimately bland) islands of the Infinite Forest. They still bounce between the richly-hued vistas of the past and the desolate future of the planet closest to the Sun in the blink of an eye, as you often infiltrate it. By the end of the expansion's incredibly short campaign, nothing seemingly even happens at all. It's a far cry from at least The Tower reopening at the end of the base campaign. The end of Destiny 2 felt more momentous, as dissappointing as its endgame turned out to be. Curse of Osiris just ends without any sort of climax at all.
It's an expansion that feels too sparse, adding to the mountain of problems that have plagued Destiny 2 since launch; even with its increased level caps to level 25 and power levels to 330. The campaign is ultimately forgettable, even with a few cool moments and a boss fight that feels like a pared down version of a Raid equivalent. For most of it, you're jumping back and forth between the newness of Mercury and the old planets you're already familiar with. In fact in one particular sequence, you run through a repurposed Strike setting (The Pyramidion from IO). There's nothing particularly remarkable about the short story, except for the brief moments in old Mercury and the contextual reasons why Mercury feels like a big enemy family reunion.
While I'm still waiting on the Raid Lair to open up tomorrow before I tackle a full review, after just a few days with Curse of Osiris I feel like I've seen most of what there is to see. With the increased level caps and more gear to match (some just brought back from the original Destiny), there's inevitably more to grind out, should I choose to do so (again). The new Mercury-focused Heroic Strikes are just missions from the campaign, newly repurposed. Mercury itself has only a few hidden chests, one loot sector, and a single Public Event. (Two tokens and a blue, baby.) There are two (or three, if you're on PlayStation 4) new maps for the Crucible, which at least for me personally has never been a draw outside of weekly Milestones.
There's just fundamental issues at the root of Destiny 2 to keep players actually playing, where adding more of everything isn't quite the answer to fixing the game's inherent endgame problem. And the problem is that even with this first expansion, "more" doesn't even feel like much of anything in the first place.
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