Curse of Osiris feels like a missed opportunity for Bungie and Destiny 2. What looked to be an expansion geared towards closing the loop on story threads that were left hanging from the original game, has ultimately proven to be an extraordinarily small piece of content that only slightly broadens the scope of the universe.
The crux of the expansion is a really interesting premise. Osiris is a legendary Warlock that’s uncovered a Vex plot in which they look to dominate the present by altering the timelines of reality. The faction is amassing on Mercury where the Vex have created a reality simulation known as the Infinite Forest. It serves as the central location for the expansion’s story, and takes players through some different settings. From Mercury’s past to its horrific potential future should the Vex succeed — the player is ultimately on a quest to find and destroy Panoptes. This massive Vex Hydra oversees the simulation of the Infinite Forest. The premise in itself is thought provoking, one where the Vex are running numerous simulations that have you encountering different combat scenarios in-game, but Bungie never really expands on the interesting concepts or characters that they introduce here. While it does introduce a brand new Egyptian aesthetic, incredible visuals, and score to boot, it’s over before you know it.
The story does open up a new Lighthouse social space and planet to explore on Mercury. The Lighthouse itself contains a faction vendor, Brother Vance, who’ll be your point of contact in the Mercury region for Adventures and Crafting Missions. I think this is the most disappointing part of the “Expansion.” Mercury is inexplicably small. This circular area is a fraction of the size of other planets in Destiny 2, it features a single Public Event, a lone Lost Sector, three Patrol missions, and a group of dynamic activities that repeat themselves. Once the story is over, the grind is back on. Brother Vance offers multiple crafting missions for unique gear that require you to slowly earn materials that are used to forge these new items. It’s a slow and boring process of repeating the same activities over and over, especially if you stay on Mercury.
Brother Vance does offer up adventures (Heroic & Normal) to go on after the main story line is complete, and here players get to go back into the Infinite Forest. By far the most interesting thing in Curse of Osiris, this Vex simulation is touted as a place where you’ll find an ever-changing landscape of battles to encounter. This is where it feels like Bungie missed a big opportunity. You’ll encounter all types of enemies in the Infinite Forest, and if it were truly infinite, it could’ve offered a lot more than it actually does. While they do a good job of mixing up the combinations of scenarios that you’ll encounter when you head back in for different adventures, you’ll ultimately be replaying content in hopes to earn the crafting materials necessary for Brother Vance’s gear. The Heroic variants of these adventures offered the toughest and most rewarding challenges from a gameplay perspective in Curse of Osiris outside of the Raid Lair.
Fortunately, these Heroic Adventures happen to be one of the ways that you earn crafting materials, but you’ll also need to participate in Public Events and open chests, running in circles on Mercury. In all honesty, if you just wanted to see what’s new in Curse of Osiris it could be done pretty quickly. The new lost sector is pretty easy to find and complete. The new public event is of a larger scale than previous ones, but once you’ve completed these two objectives on the planet your time here can get pretty repetitive. If Mercury were a bit larger, offering more public events and variety in the encounters with High Value Targets it might not feel like so much of a grind.
Curse of Osiris also offers new Strike missions. These Strikes, however, are missions from the Curse of Osiris campaign. While there is some change up on the dialogue between the characters, they are essentially carbon copies from a gameplay perspective offering slightly more challenging boss battles than you’ll find in the story versions. Here is where you start to look at the Curse of Osiris expansion and wonder about the decisions made here.
There’s a sheer lack of content in the expansion when it comes to these three aspects of the game. This is what the casual Destiny 2 player is going to play through in the Curse of Osiris, and it’s not a lot. For the price, you’re certainly going to get your monies worth, but there will be a ton of repetition along the way. We took a low level character into the expansion, and within a day of playing we’d leveled them to about where they needed to be in terms of level for the Leviathan Raid. In some ways that’s great. Having access to Curse of Osiris definitely made it easier to power level our Guardian in a short amount of time.
On the competitive front, the Crucible has been bolstered once again with new maps introduced in the DLC. Unfortunately, a broken PvP weapon is currently running rampant in this mode. At this point, the state of the game is “if you can’t beat them, join them.” The broken Prometheus Lens Exotic Trace Rifle is being used by nearly every player in the game due to Xur selling the item during this week’s visit. Once that’s fixed, the new maps are certainly welcome additions for Crucible players, and it’s hard to levy any complaints about their aesthetic or design. For the high-level Destiny 2 player, the content listed above was just a warm-up for the new Raid Lair.
While the disappointment surrounding the reveal that there would not be an entirely new Raid for players to complete is completely understandable, the Raid Lair IS new content, it’s just not entirely new stuff like we saw in previous Destiny expansions. It’s not quite as long as original Leviathan, but offers plenty of new challenge and reward for high-level players. While personally I would’ve liked to have seen the Raid thematically tie in to Osiris in some way, the different puzzles and encounters that are found within are fun for a fireteam to explore and figure out. Eater of Worlds features a combination of some of the most visually astounding content in Destiny 2 and most puzzling. In a world with YouTube walkthroughs a lot of the mystery will be solved pretty quickly in Eater of Worlds, but taking that out of the equation it’s some of the best content that we’ve seen in the series and furthers the case for Bungie’s Destiny Raids as some of the very best cooperative multiplayer gaming you can find anywhere.
Curse of Osiris continues to shine in both gameplay and presentation with its new Raid Lair content being some of the best we’ve seen. However, a short campaign, and Mercury being so small with a sheer lack of activities to do, make completing the quests for new weapons and gear a bit repetitive.
Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris
- Available On: Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Published By: Activision
- Developed By: Bungie
- Genre: Shooter
- US Release Date: December 5th, 2017
- Reviewed On: Xbox One
- Quote: "Curse of Osiris continues to shine in both gameplay and presentation with its new Raid Lair content being some of the best we've seen. However, a short campaign, and Mercury being so small with a sheer lack of activities to do, make completing the quests for new weapons and gear a bit repetitive."