At first glance, the Curse of Osiris doesn’t seem to add much to the game, but what it lacks in breadth it delivers in depth.
The Curse of Osiris had a cursed start, with controversy coming both before and after its launch. First, fans were outraged by the hidden XP system and the state of the game, to the point where Bungie canceled a Curse of Osiris stream to address the concerns. Then when the expansion was launched, fans were again outraged because Prestige modes had been made inaccessible to anyone who didn’t buy the DLC. A move which Bungie admitted was a mistake. But now that all the drama is settled, the question remains: how is Curse of Osiris?
The Package is Small, But it Brings a Lot of Depth
The story is short, which is to be expected when you take a look at Destiny expansions in the past. But that doesn’t mean the story doesn’t get things done. In a remarkable show of efficiency, the writers deepened the player’s friendship with Ikora, shed light on the history of the Vanguard, and formally introduced us to Osiris and Brother Vance, the latter of whom we met briefly in the Reef. In my opinion, they did a great job of pulling a variety of strings together, weaving the next patch in the Destiny universe.
That’s not to say that the story isn’t without its flaws. In fact, the short length of the story hobbles the end fight quite a bit. The first couple times you meet the final boss, Panoptes, it is a bit terrifying. But then the story runs out of time and about-faces, sending the player to fight the boss they running away from just moments before with little justification for the transition. But hey, not to give away spoilers or anything, but the final fight was still really neat.
And while we’re on the note of disappointments, Mercury was appallingly small. It is simply one area with one public event, and one lost sector. To put this in perspective, the starting map, the EDZ, has roughly seven areas and thirteen lost sectors, while the smallest map pre-expansion, Titan, had roughly two main areas and three lost sectors. Promising players a new world and then giving us only a blip of what we were expecting was a major disappointment.
That being said, the developers at Bungie didn’t completely slack with Mercury. The public event is elaborate and far more tricky to pull off than previous events. There are also mini-events with local high-value targets that are hard to pull off without the right guns and perhaps some help. Not to mention, the area’s regional chests are strategically hidden in a way that invites the player to look at the space a bit differently than they might have otherwise. I mean, you have to rove through Brother Vance’s library to gain access to the chest in his tower. That may not sound like fun to everyone, but I found it to be a cool way to interact with an environment I would have otherwise blown past.
So yeah, the initial story and map are small, but it is clear that a lot of thought went into them. I find that refreshing in a landscape where developers often sacrifice such quality to pump up the image of quantity, much like pumping air into a bag of Wal-Mart potato chips. I may be paying a little more for my smaller bag of Kettle chips, but hey, the quality is worth it.
The Grind D1 Players Were Looking For Has Arrived
Many hardcore D1 players have been lamenting the days when they could grind for hours to unlock unique, and perhaps more powerful guns. There was a sense of achievement in it. A sense of excitement as one made progress toward completing their collection. But alas, D2 had no such grind, instead leaving armor sets to the whims of the RNG gods with no real sense of purpose.
But all of that has changed. For one, The Curse of Osiris introduced gun crafting. After the main story is complete, players can get a Lost Prophecy tablet from Brother Vance and then proceed to grind out the materials needed to unlock that tablet. After many hours of grinding strikes and public events, much like grinding for Ascendant materials in D1, the player returns to Brother Vance’s Lighthouse. Once there, they can take the tablet to a workbench in the corner and voila! Crafted gun.
I really like the idea of crafting my own guns. There is a sense of achievement and bonding in such a process; even if in reality I’m just turning in materials for a gun like any other gun quest. But hey, I like it.
The guns themselves range from mediocre to fantastic, so if you aren’t planning on completing the set it is worth investigating which guns will be a good fit for you. For me, I’m curious to see how those new hand cannons play out. They’re good on paper, but I’ve learned not to trust any paper prophecies until the gun is actually in my hands.
As an added update for all Destiny 2 players, Bungie has also introduced new ornaments that can be earned from various faction leaders, as well as Master Crafting which allows players to bring their favorite legendaries to the next level. With all these changes, I feel like D2 finally has the endgame grind players have been craving. If anything, I feel like these new systems are a fun improvement over the grind systems of D1.
The Infinite Forest is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
Speaking of grinds, here’s one thing all Destiny players are familiar with: running the same map a hundred times over to farm that precious currency of choice. Obviously, this can get a bit tedious, and Bungie has already begun playing with that tedium in D2 by introducing a variety of voice lines in which characters acknowledge that sense of, “Here we go again.” It’s fun, and it shows that Bungie knows their game.
To further ease the drone of the grind, Bungie gave players the Infinite Forest, a brand new area on Mercury in which the map is randomly generated every time, giving players a fresh new experience. Never travel the same road twice! It’s a whole new world!
The structures used to make up this area are very dull and repetitive, even if they aren’t combined in exactly the same way every time. By the third mission, I felt like I had been here a dozens time before. It didn’t feel fresh. It didn’t feel exciting. It felt exactly like every other map I have run through a hundred times, except with one fatal flaw: I can’t memorize it for speedrunning.
In traditional Destiny strikes, players can typically memorize the paths and shortcuts for the mission. So while it is the same map for the hundredth time, we can get through it a bit faster with each pass and run through it in a comfortably lazy breeze. But the Infinite Forest took this one thing that made repetitive maps bearable and threw it out the window. Good luck speeding through this run when the path will take you up instead of right, and left instead of straight. I was genuinely disappointed.
Overall, despite the small maps and the disappointing Infinite Forest, I think Curse of Osiris delivered where it really mattered: it expanded the universe and gave the game a plethora of endgame goodies to grind. As a veteran D1 player, D2 finally feels well-rounded and firing on all cylinders. While I still feel hungry for more story and world-building, I feel like Curse of Osiris did a good job of establishing a new area of the world for future expansions to build on. In fact, players are already finding easter eggs hinting at future missions.
You can learn more about Destiny 2 by checking out these other articles.