Season of the Chosen - Destiny 2's best season yet?
Updated: May 4, 2021
Let me start with an apology. OK, maybe not an apology; more of an explanation. In the past, I've been pretty good about updating this site. The cadence has generally been about once a week. Sometimes more often, occasionally slipping to fortnightly - but it all evens out to about once a week. As I write this, I haven't published anything in well over a month. There are reasons for this. I suffered a couple of bereavements earlier in the year (two on the same day, in fact) that kinda knocked me sideways. I've spent some time getting my head together, and evaluating my place in this world - which I guess is only natural when your life changes dramatically. For a while there, I didn't feel like I had anything to say. Not that needed to be said here, anyway.
Through all this, gaming has taken a bit of a backseat for me. I played more of Super Mario Odyssey in a haze, and flirted with Nier Automata and Call of the Sea, but ultimately ended up just looking for comfort games. I didn't want anything difficult, or that required effort particularly - and a lot of things I tried either didn't distract me enough or required too much concentration from me. It was a weird period, where my mind would wander off untethered. Losing track of time became common. In short, I was a mess. The games I ended up retreating into? F1 2020, and Destiny 2. My old perennial favourites. I have words to say on F1 2020 - those will take the form of a separate post here. Today? I want to talk about Destiny 2 - for the first time in a while.
My dive back into Destiny has coincided with Season of the Chosen - and I consider this to be the best possible season so far for me to have been sucked back in. Simply put, this season has delivered a lot of what I hoped the seasonal model for Destiny would become - and I've enjoyed it immensely. Yes, there are still some issues - but the steps taken in this season give a certain amount of reassurance for the state of the game moving forward. Let's start off with the storytelling.
This season has introduced something to Destiny that I've been hoping to see since the first game - and that's a narrative that unfolds in a meaningful way over the course of a season. At the beginning of the season, at least, each weekly reset brought with it a new twist and turn in the tale of the Vanguard's confrontation with the Cabal. With the new Cabal boss Cai'atl, Destiny has another interesting character. Like the Spider, she's clearly duplicitous - and I suspect we won't find out whether or not she is someone whose word can be trusted until the end of the season. Telling the story in this way, through in-game cutscenes and short (but beautiful) weekly animations, the universe the game has woven over the last 7 years has never felt more alive than it does right now. I very much hope we'll see this continue into the future.
The weekly activity this season has been the Battlegrounds - and it's safe to say they're probably the most chaotic PvE content the game has ever offered up. The sheer number of enemies coming at you is absolutely insane (the fact my Series X never so much as drops a frame, so far as I can tell, is testament to just what an awesome piece of kit it is) - with things to shoot at in every direction. Weekly bounties have given a solid excuse to mix up loadouts while running through these, giving them a slightly different spin on subsequent runthroughs. As ever, if you can get a team of 3 together and go through them together, they're even more fun.
We can't discuss Season of the Chosen without mentioning the new Presage exotic mission, either. A couple of weeks into the season, it began innocuously enough. Eagle eyed players noticed a new door opening near the start of the Arms Dealer strike. A brief exploration led to the discovery of a radio signal. A quick conversation with Commander Zavala later, and we found ourselves on our way to what is, hands down, one of the single best pieces of content ever added to the game. The Presage mission takes place on an (apparently) abandoned Cabal ship named The Glykon. What awaits us there is a mission that consists of a lot of the best bits of previous raids. The ship itself is a labyrinth, swarming with Scorn. Just navigating it was challenging (at first), and the combat involved was close-range and brutal. Surviving to the end would net you an exotic scout rifle - Dead Man's Tale. It's become pretty much my favourite weapon in the game, and the fact that you can re-run the quest weekly for different rolls of the gun has given it longevity that a lot of exotic quests lack. Little grind, but more sweat - we've had a lot of fun with this one.
PvP... still has its problems. The stasis 'nerf' that came in was, let's face it, nowhere near sufficient - and that subclass continues to utterly dominate the Crucible. The news of incoming nerfs for the Felwinter's Lie and Astral Horizon shotguns is also welcome - as the hand cannon/shotgun meta that the competitive side of the game has settled into is starting to feel stale. Interestingly though, this season marks the first time that I've wandered into the Trials of Osiris mode in Destiny 2 - with the realisation that it's possible to obtain Trials weapons from a bounty or after 3 wins, more people have been attracted to it than ever. I've mostly been cannon-fodder for the god-tier players that spend their lives in that mode, it's true - but nonetheless I've managed to find fun in a mode that always left me utterly disinterested before.
If it hadn't been for the botched announcement of how the upcoming transmogrification system will work in the next season, we'd be moving on from Season of the Chosen with a (largely) happy community. However, it appears that Hell hasn't frozen over just yet. This guardian, though, is more invested in Destiny now than he has been for a long, long time.
What are your thoughts? Have you enjoyed Season of the Chosen, or have you sat this one out? Hit me up on Twitter to let me know what you think. Until then, see you starside.