Destiny 2: Forsaken’s new Tangled Shore patrol zone is both exactly what I expected and much more at the same time. It does what a patrol zone is supposed to do; it gives players a space to do missions, fulfill bounties, go on adventures, find lost sectors and participate in public events. There’s no fundamental difference between The Tangled Shore and a place like Nessus, and yet it still manages to feel like something completely new and different.
A big part of this feeling has to do with the Tangled Shore itself. The place is described as a hodgepodge of asteroids haphazardly lashed together, and it definitely looks the part. It’s the Moon without any of the Moon’s environmental consistency. Each faction aside from the Vex and the Taken have claimed a sector of the Tangled Shore for themselves, and most of them appear to have set theirs up in quite a hurry.
The local Hive’s main base is formed around what looks like a crashed grave ship, while the Cabal’s forces have set up their sad excuse for a base around a series of lava pits. These sections are distinct enough to have their own sense of character, but not so much that they don’t stand out too much from the larger Tangled Shore. The locations of these places aren’t obvious, so it was actually rather surprising when I stumbled across them by accident.
This is perhaps one of the Tangled Shore’s greatest strengths as a patrol zone. It really feels like a place one could spend some time exploring. Its caves aren’t just a few yards deep; they almost develop like real cave and natural passages do, going back quite a long way. Unlike real cave systems though, these are filled with Hive and Cabal. My encounters with these hidden spaces off the beaten path didn’t yield any treasure chests or the like, but it’s entirely likely that the build I was playing just didn’t include them. The Tangled Shore isn’t all that much bigger than Nessus, but its myriad inherent twists and turns make it feel like a much larger and more involved space than the rest. In my time with it, I was not able to find an alternate path that looped back to my spawn point. The shore just kept stretching out before me.
Fallen, Cabal, and Hive aren’t the only enemies present in the Tangled Shore; the Scorn are here too, and they’re a bit different from their Fallen cousins. Scorn aren’t inherently more difficult to fight, they’re just a bit different. I was able to nail headshots on them with the new bow weapon type just as easily I was with every other enemy. It’s just that they behave a bit differently. Their version of the exploding thrall scuttles along the ground rather than running up at the player, punishing those who don’t pay close attention. Their sharpshooters have the ability to phase out of site, and their berserker enemies severely punish players who allow them to get too close. Just like the Taken, they have their own tactics and intricacies, but they’re more like a nice change of pace than a paradigm shift of enemy design.
For those who’d like to see more opportunities for exploration in Destiny 2, the Tangled Shore should provide a lot of fun. It’s neither large nor transformative enough to stand up on its own for weeks on end, but it’s a place to visit and wander around in while gathering materials or doing bounties. It feels quite a bit like the original Destiny’s patrol zones did during its first year or so, but with several more worthwhile things to see and do, and that’s probably about as much as one could want from it.