Destiny 2 Forsaken is the next big expansion for Bungie's live MMO-FPS. To kick things off Bungie demoed a new PvPvE mode called Gambit that's coming to the game with Forsaken.
The actual mode is fairly ingenious and Bungie is rightly proud of their new multiplayer mode. The setup works like this: Two teams of four begin Gambit in separate areas. The goal is to kill as many enemies as they can and collect the motes they drop. You then take the motes and bank them in a designated area. Bank 75 motes and summon a Primeval, a boss-level creature. Kill this "primeval" before your opponent team does the same and you win.
But be fast because after a certain number of motes are deposited into the bank the two teams can unlock special blockers like powerful enemies or the ability to invade the enemy team's world while buffed. Having played a couple rounds of Gambit with members from Bungie's development team I came away with five big takeaways.
1. Gambit is surprisingly simple, but that's good.
Initially Gambit can sound like keeping track of a lot of different moving parts at once. You need to mind both your team's and your opponent team's motes, and you have to be careful not to let your opponent reach certain milestones and summon different blockers that will keep you from hitting the 75-mote goal. But in the end the only actual goal is to bank 75 motes.
That means that in the end your only goal is to kill everything you see, whether they're enemies that drop motes, or the enemy players you invade. If the kills keep racking up, beating your opponents to 75 motes should be simple enough. After a few rounds I noticed that getting caught up in the weeds of Gambit is what leads your team to fall behind. As a competitive multiplayer mode, the golden rule is still in play: kill your opponents.
2. Gambit is Designed for Hero Moments
The way Gambit is designed allows for big plays that lets you close large mote deficits between you and your opponents if you're skilled enough.
Part of this comes from the weapon slot changes coming to Destiny 2 with Forsaken that lets you equip whatever weapon you want in any of your guardian's three weapon slots. But one killing spree invasion of your enemy's world, or a successful clearing of mobs mean that you can take your team from the brink of defeat to victory.
It's not easy and requires focus and finesse. If you time a rocket just right, or deploy your special when you need to however, then expect a massive payoff that can make a losing game suddenly close.
3. Bows have a learning curve but are worth mastering.
Okay, so bows aren't specific to Gambit but rather a new weapon class coming to Forsaken. But considering this was my first time trying out the bows in Destiny 2 I figured I might as well talk about them for a bit.
Bows in Destiny 2 function like you would expect them to. You can only nock one arrow at a time, and there's a slight delay between when you pull back your arrow and hit a target. But landing a perfect headshot with an arrow will take down enemies in a single shot, and once you get into a rhythm you can be a regular Hawkeye. Landing headshot after headshot with your bow is incredibly satisfying. And of course, legendary bows will have big powers like one bow that chains lightning to nearby enemies if you successfully headshot your enemy.
4. Invasions feel familiar.
Okay I'm going to get some slack for this but hear me out. When you invade your opponents' world you are summoned with a power buff and you're given a menacing red appearance. Almost like a certain black phantom from a series of RPGs by From Software. Yes, I'm saying that invading another world in Destiny is kind of like invading another world in Dark Souls. And you know what? Bungie didn't push back on my observation when I asked them about it.
"Do we play Dark Souls? Yes. Are there are a lot Dark Souls players on the team? Yes," said a Gambit developer. So, is it an intentional Dark Souls homage? Well it's not not a Dark Souls homage.
5. It's fun, but it's not the reason to buy Forsaken
Gambit is ultimately a fun and well thought out mode but it's not going to be the reason to buy Forsaken. While there will be Gambit-specific loot that will get hardcore players to play Gambit regularly, the introduction of Gambit doesn't suddenly turn Destiny 2 up on its head. Instead Gambit was a good showcase for the different quality of life changes Bungie's made to Destiny 2 since the drop of player numbers prompted Bungie to take a hard look at itself. The freed-up weapon slots, powered-up legendary weapons, and sped up Guardians are all mixing together nicely. And Gambit is the best showcase for them all.