Destiny 2 is gearing up for year 2. Year 1 was troubled, to say the least: a promising start and a much-improved story mode quickly gave way to a lingering discontent surrounding economy, endgame mechanics and basic gameplay elements like movement and weapon loadouts. It’s been a long road for the developers at Bungie since those early days, and they’ve spent 2018 tweaking and changing the game so that it looks both more like the original Destiny and more like a long-term obsession capable of holding its own against the other heavy hitters in the games-as-service world. It comes to a head on Tuesday with the launch of Destiny 2: Forsaken, but we’re getting a sneak peek at one the expansion’s biggest changes this weekend with the new gambit mode.
Gambit mode’s free weekend starts tomorrow, September 1, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time. It requires the base game of Destiny 2 to play, but you can get around that if you’re a PlayStation 4 owner and PS+ subscriber, because Destiny 2 is free for the month of September by some strange coincidence.
When it goes live, everyone will get a chance to play the game’s first blended PvE/PvP mode, where you’ve got to square off not only against the minions of the darkness but your fellow guardians, as well. It’s a score game, essentially: two fireteams of four shoot computer-controlled enemies in an attempt to bank currency called motes: get 75 motes and you can spawn a boss, kill the boss and you win the game. That’s the PvE bit: PvP comes in with the occasional ability to interfere with your opponents’ abilities to bank more motes or even jump over into their arena and start messing with them. It’s a recipe for heartbreak, whether you’re dishing it out or receiving it.
The mode has been playable before, but this will be the first time the public as a whole will get a chance to get their hands on it. Which is an exciting prospect: Crucible saw some unwelcome changes in Destiny 2, but by and large it’s been a similar experience with some new modes and tweaks. Gambit is a whole different ballgame: an opportunity to combine the satisfying action of popping of Fallen heads with the ability to rub it into the faces of real human enemies.
It’s an exciting prospect. I soured on Destiny 2 a while ago in the face of some seriously intriguing competition, but I’ve come back enough to keep caring about my Guardian and his antics/heroics. And so help me, I’m excited about Forsaken. We’ll have more thoughts with Gambit mode soon.
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