Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris review: Infinite forest with finite fun

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Reviewed on Xbox One. 

Curse of Osiris is the first of Destiny 2’s expansions, which are meant to expand the story, gameplay, crucible and other features. Does this DLC accomplish this? Technically, yes. Does it expand on the fun? Not really.

The campaign is only a couple hours long and it’s bland. Most mission are just fighting through Vex, some with different aesthetics like the fidget spinner Harpies, but with all the regular functions. The two new strikes are integrated into the campaign and are the only exciting missions aside from the final campaign boss. That boss is an interesting fight, as we finally get help from one of the characters, unlike every other world-ending boss in the franchise.

We’re finally introduced to the titular Osiris, who Destiny veterans will remember from the ‘Trials of Osiris’ and various grimoire entries which state how Osiris is a legendary guardian, exiled for his dangerous beliefs. But none of that translates in-game, as he does nothing harmful to us and is absent for most of the campaign. Maybe he’s avoiding us because of all the awkward silences due to our guardians still being a silent protagonist. Seriously, it’s worse than ever.

Do not let your guardian go quietly into the night.

The Infinite Forest is a focal point in the campaign and was marketed as this amazing, randomly-generated Vex simulation of reality; but that reality is boring. Players will visit it mostly during adventures in the Mercury patrol zone and while the random geometry is a cool concept, it’s not used in an interesting way. It’s a path leading to your main objective and feels more tedious than anything else. The third or fourth time I was there I thought, ‘This again…’

Mercury’s patrol space is also the worst one yet. It’s tiny, but as you can’t drive your sparrow within it, getting from one side to the other is agony. Its new public event is the biggest one ever, and one of the more boring ones. The only time Mercury is fun is when it’s the weekly Flashpoint planet, as mini-bosses and other events are constantly occurring. Otherwise the desert seems deserted.

It quickly becomes the Infinite Snore-fest.

The new crucible maps are probably my favourite in the game. Pacifica is a mostly indoor research station on Titan, and Radiant Cliffs is set in the past of Mercury and is my favourite because it looks gorgeous, and has a variety of flanking lanes and elevated platforms to ambush enemies.

I was disappointed that the only new gamemode we’re getting is ‘Mayhem’ during the Dawning event, as PVP is getting stale without a FFA option. While there are rumours floating around of ‘Rumble’ finally coming, Bungie hasn’t said anything yet, so expect nothing for now.

More like radical cliffs.

Curse of Osiris of course adds new gear and new grinding options for hardcore players. The Lost Prophecy weapons, available from a vendor on Mercury, are Vex-styled guns created from materials you earn from completing various activities in the game.

The biggest change are the Masterwork mods, which track your kills, give a small stat boost, and generate light orbs on multi-kills. The orbs are a surprisingly significant change, as it finally allows you to charge your super much faster in PVE, without breaking the PVP balance. The stat boosts are random and re-rollable. If you get a reload boost, you can re-roll for stability instead.

Trials and Raid weapons have a high chance to be Masterworks, while other sources are much lower, meaning it’s a long but rewarding grind for hardcore players who want to improve their favourite weapons. I like this enhanced system, and I look forward to Bungie introducing it to armour.

I’m bringing Vexy back. (Yeah!)

One thing that Bungie absolutely nails is the Raid Lair, Eater of Worlds, in which your fireteam dives into the Leviathan’s belly to deal with some ‘stomach issues’. It’s a mini-raid, with only a few different segments, with each one feeling unique. The jumping puzzle seems simple, but requires strong team organisation that sets it apart from the puzzles in previous raids. There’s even a ‘falling puzzle,’ in which your team is launched from a giant cannon into the final boss encounter. The boss is one of my favourites, as the whole encounter is very dynamic, action packed, and requires a lot of movement, similar to Aksis from the Rise of Iron raid.

Throughout the raid, campaign and crucible, the environments in the expansion all look amazing. I criticised the base game for having too many environments with Vex influences, but this expansion manages to use these designs in a more integral way, particularly within the simulation areas. This still doesn’t make them enjoyable to play through, but I can sit there and enjoy the landscapes and skyboxes. The Simulant Past – which is the gardens of Mercury before the Vex transformed it – was the standout as it was very colourful and tranquil, reminding me of The Witness, and I wish that more content was set there.

The past never looked so bright.

Curse of Osiris is less an expansion, more of a content pack. If you love raids or were simply looking for new excuses to grind, this DLC provides that. But those who were bored of Destiny 2 will burn out Curse of Osiris very quickly. Otherwise, just wait for the inevitable ‘Legendary Edition’ that will come with all the DLC and updates.

Good

  • Beautiful environments
  • New incentives for hardcore players
  • Raid lair unique and fun

Bad

  • Short campaign
  • Disappointing narrative and characters
  • Infinite forest is mind-numbing
  • Tiny patrol zone
  • Not enough Crucible improvements

Summary

Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris is a short, stale and disappointing expansion. A great raid and a few gear improvements are unable to salvage a short campaign and other boring content. This isn’t the worst expansion in the franchise (looking at you, Dark Below), but it’s far from the best. At least everything looks pretty!
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