Season of the Chosen has just launched and many players were really excited to be amongst the first to jump in and get their hands on all the new content that this season has to offer, however, fans quickly became confused and left figuring out just what to do.
Right as the season launched, I logged into Destiny and played around 7 hours of Season of the Chosen and I feel I am more than ready to give my first impressions review, so without further ado! Let’s get started.
The season opens up with a cutscene that introduces Caiatl to players, it very briefly explains her involvement in the current story of Destiny, and then throws us into another cutscene which involves Caiatl, Zavala and Osiris. Caiatl proposes an alliance with the commander until Osiris quickly intervenes and informs Zavala that the cabal cannot be trusted as they even turn their backs on each other.
Caiatl objects to Osiris’ accusations and further pushes the idea that if the Cabal and the Guardians were to fight alongside each other that they could push back the Hive and put an end to the Darkness, she then further commands both Zavala and Osiris to bow to her. With no hesitation, Zavala looks Caiatl in her eyes and, with no surprise, replies with a stern “No”.
Laser sights from the surrounding Cabal start to set their targets on both Zavala and Osiris until Caiatl commands her troops to stand down. She further concludes the conversation with that she looks forward to seeing them on the battlefield.
As the cutscene comes to a close, you are thrown into the new Battleground game mode whereby you fight Cabal forces in three stages. In the first stage, you are required to find keys from fallen Cabal captains, three keys are required to continue to the next stage. The second area requires you to thrown bombs at three generators, and just like the first one, you can only continue as soon as all three generators are destroyed. The third and final area is your typical final boss area, kill the boss and you get the chest at the end. What makes this challenging is the huge numbers of Cabal that are going to try and get in your way and with the light level increase, this Battlegrounds activity does get challenging,
After completing your first Battleground, your next objective is to head to the new H.E.L.M location which can be found in your Tower directory and when inside, you’ll be greeted by Osiris and Crow whom both will give you some extra story related dialog. The H.E.L.M is where players can go to look at Battleground objectives and bounties, also, players have access to the Prismatic Recaster whereby umbral engrams can be focussed for loot specific rewards.
The Prismatic Recaster was first introduced back in Season of the Arrivals and Umbral Engrams were introduced then too. It was designed to give players more control over what type of loot they can grind for, keeping players active with specific weapons and armour stat objectives. Due to the power cap being increased, for some reason Bungie did not increase the power cap of the umbral engram rewards making them only useful for the next 3 months. After 3 months, you will no longer be able to infuse weapons into your umbral engram rewards as they still have the Season of Arrivals power cap. No update on whether this is changing as of writing this blog.
Upon being introduced into the H.E.L.M, players are encouraged to go back into the Battlegrounds a second time with the new objective they would have received. Completing the Battleground a second time will complete the players new objective and award them the Hammer of Proving which essentially is design the exact same was as Lure Module in Season of the Hunt. The only thing that separates the Hammer of Proving from the Lure Module is that the Hammer provides an extra chest to smash open at the end of each Battleground. The only way you can increase the charges of your Hammer is from Cabal gold, and Cabal gold can only be obtained from Strikes, Nightfalls, Gambit and Crucible.
Once obtaining the Hammer of Proving, you have completed the introduction quest like to Season of the Chosen – and this is where the problems start. Players will find themselves back in the same position as they were when Beyond Light came out which is just grinding for pinnacles to increase your power level. You instantly forget that there is a storyline because Bungie tell it very poorly, and the only objective in your mind is to level up. This is a huge problem for Destiny as the power cap now gets increased with every season, therefore every three months players will find themselves doing the exact same thing over and over.
Due to the lack of new weapons and armour, Bungie keeps brining back and reissuing old weapons and armour which also means players will find themselves grinding for something that they were originally grinding for three years ago when Forsaken launched. We have already seen this with Season of the Chosen with Bungie bringing back armour from both Forsaken and Shadowkeep.
Other than that, Bungie has brought have three weapons from Destiny 1 and two old strikes from Destiny 1 which have made their return with Season of the Chosen. As much as I love Destiny 1, and as much as I have put 10 years of my life into the Destiny franchise, I want new weapons, new content, new areas, and a story-driven piece of content. I don’t want to spend my time grinding for a hand cannon that I was using 6 years ago.
I was really expecting more from this season, and I know we are at the very start of getting things going, however, going by the road map of what we have to look forward to in the coming weeks, it looks like it’s new map types for the Battleground game mode. I’m not too pleased with this due to how heavy this season is pushing the new game mode making it feel very repetitive very quickly and there is no real incentive into doing the Battlegrounds as it doesn’t effect the storyline.
The reason why I say it doesn’t affect the storyline is because there basically isn’t one. The cutscenes that you get at the start of the season is very ‘said and done’ – this makes you very quickly forget the actual motive and thus returning the player back to a power level grind mindset. You choose to not do the Battlegrounds won’t stop Bungie from continuing whatever narrative they’re taking this season in and again, we have seen this before with previous seasons.
In Season of the Worthy, players didn’t even have to play the game in order for the almighty to get shot down by Rasputin. To put a long story short, bungie introduced a game mode whereby we had to power Rasputin so that he can take out the Almighty which was crash landing towards the last city. The story narrative was that the more we played this game mode, the more Rasputin was coming online, however, in reality this was just another typical public event style game mode that barely any players played. With barely anyone playing this specific activity, Rasputin still game online and still saved the day for us.
I am seeing this patter happen again with Season of the Chosen whereby you don’t even have to play the game in order to progress in terms of a story narrative point of view which, in turn, provides the community with less focus towards story driven content and more focussed on your (as said) power level. This is very, very repetitive and I’m sure players wont want to do this every three months.
There is no new story missions at all with this season which I am honestly shocked by as Bungie claims to be taking this season in a more story driven direction. Going by my first impressions from my first 7 hours of gameplay, and going by the published road map, I don’t see this.
Overall my first impressions is fairly negative. From story driven content, to bad exotics, to pointless weapons, to nothing new for the players to truly get excited about. The only game mode in this season that got any real and proper attention when it comes to good looking armour and actually good weapons is, sadly, Trials of Osiris which barely anyone plays.
The reason why we don’t see many members of the community playing Trials of Osiris is that it is the most competitive PvP game mode in all of Destiny, it also requires you to be in a three-man team, and it is still full of many cheaters and many hackers. As much as Bungie is hammering down on hackers, there are still tons of hackers in the game. I do have a team, and I do have the ‘privilege’ of playing Trials of Osiris, however the last time I played, I got matched with three different hackers, three games in a row. Not fun.
Players know so little about Caiatl unless you are really deep into the lore of Destiny. I love the lore of Destiny and know a lot about Caiatl’s background, however, they don’t mention any of that in this new season leaving new players to still know little to nothing about her.
Near the end of this season, players will get the chance to jump back into Guardian games which is an annual event whereby it’s Titans vs Warlocks vs Hunters. Sounds cool, right? Sadly, this is a community based event meaning that you can again complete this activity without participating. The community percentage will increase the more people play the game and you can literally contribute 0% and still get rewards. Plus, again, Guardian games tends to focus on the Guardians themselves rather than the actual story and yet again taking players away from what really matters which should be Caital and her Cabal army given that’s what this season is about.
I really hope the season does truly improve and I really hope that the Battlegrounds isn’t the only thing we are getting in terms of story-driven content with Caiatl and her new Cabal troops. Having spent 10 years of my life dedicated to the franchise, I want to see Destiny 2 succeed and I really want good things to come of it. We will see in time.
See you in the Battlegrounds, Guardians!