Destiny 2’s Season of the Lost launched on Tuesday, and like many longtime followers of the franchise, that’s a second of renewal and pleasure for me that deserves elevated playtime and engagement. The full scope and story of that season stay to be revealed, so it will be unfair to make too many cut-and-dry judgments at this level. But it doesn’t matter what else this season brings to the sport, one factor is obvious; after a number of aspect treks and setups all through the previous couple of seasons, the narrative scope has now shifted again to its central thrust. If you’ve been away from the sport for some time, it’s a superb time to leap again in and stand up to hurry.

I actually don’t need to sound dismissive of current seasons, as I believe gameplay, funding loops, and storytelling have been in stable locations for a while now. The Season of the Hunt arrange some intriguing bowling pins with the return of a reborn Uldren Sov, the Season of the Chosen charted a enjoyable deep-dive into the Cabal energy construction, and the current Season of the Splicer helped additional the story of the Last City, the Fallen, and humanity’s shifting alliances. These seasons additionally provided enjoyable new actions and an interesting weekly loop that invited even informal gamers to really feel engaged in a dwelling story.

With all that stated, whether or not you loved these seasons or not, it was exhausting to not see the occasions as preamble or asides. For some years now, Destiny 2 has arrange a story onramp to its huge climactic beats. Bungie has been open in regards to the expansions coming within the subsequent three years, which ought to conclude the present Light and Darkness Saga that started with the unique sport’s launch in 2014.  If we take into consideration Destiny 2 as a large chess sport, many current strikes have been about placing pawns, knights, and bishops into play. With Season of the Lost, the gamers are actually shifting two literal queens onto the board. If you’ve been ready for the story to revisit a central thread, that point is now.

The return of the Awoken Queen, Mara Sov, was first meaningfully teased manner again in 2018’s Forsaken enlargement, whereas the arrival of the Hive Witch Queen Savathûn might arguably hint to 2015’s The Taken King, although it’s truthful to say that current months have way more aggressively hinted at her presence. Regardless, each characters take middle stage in Season of the Lost. Knowing of her impending big-bad standing within the upcoming 2022 Witch Queen enlargement, it’s amusing to look at the primary beats of this season’s storyline play out. After the reveal of who Savathûn’s been hiding as (I received’t spoil on the off probability you haven’t heard but), gamers are out of the blue and considerably inexplicably positioned into the doubtful place of serving to her obtain her ends. It’s like watching a automobile crash in slow-motion, or maybe extra precisely, a venus fly lure slowly closing across the fly; select your metaphor, however in both case, our Guardians are those upon whom the catastrophe is crashing down.

The presence of those two godlike queens accelerates the story and ratchets up the strain. Bungie has taken its time establishing the characters and conflicts, and people efforts are actually starting to repay. As a participant, perhaps Saint-14’s gradual turnaround concerning the Fallen House of Light didn’t seize your curiosity. Or maybe you skipped Zavala’s reconciliation to the help of the person who killed his pal, Cayde. Even for those who did, the battle at hand within the Season of the Lost overrides these prior conflicts, or in some circumstances, leverages them to maneuver the plot towards its climax. 

If you’ve been away for a bit, the opposite huge factor you’ll discover is the graceful cadence of gameplay that Bungie has lastly come across. Over the final 12 months, Destiny 2’s seasonal content material rewards weekly engagement however concurrently doesn’t demand dozens of hours to really feel fulfilling. For many weeks at the start of every season, a number of repeatable actions assist to maneuver you thru a significant journey and battle. Revelations, cinematics, and modifications to the sport world typically come together with the expertise. It’s an extremely satisfying approach to encourage participant engagement, and greater than any effort within the franchise’s historical past, this seasonal construction gives the sense of a dwelling sport world.

For this season, the repeatable actions echo the construction of current seasons. First, a wildly chaotic and lively matchmade exercise, adopted by a extra curated mission construction that you would be able to sort out alone or with a few associates. This season, the previous is the fulfilling Astral Alignment exercise, which makes use of the visible backdrop of the Dreaming City as a setting to allow you to blast your manner by way of quite a lot of explosive battles. Much like Override or the three-person Battlegrounds, the fights are huge, function a ton of enemies, and supply simply sufficient gentle targets to demand you concentrate. Meanwhile, the brand new Shattered Realm exercise is extra constrained however no much less fulfilling. Venturing into the shadowy locale, you and your fireteam align beacons and observe down misplaced Awoken witches. Numerous at the moment inaccessible areas (unlockable by way of later upgrades throughout the season), in addition to different chests and pick-ups, mix to lend a way of discovery and thriller, even whilst you blast away at Taken enemies. It’s time. And even on this first week, finishing these actions begins to peel again the story about Mara Sov, Savathûn, and the upcoming sense of doom they every deliver to the desk.

Beyond story and new actions, there are different causes to be enthusiastic about what Season of the Lost affords, particularly to returning gamers. The greatest is the long-anticipated arrival of cross-play. Over the years, I can’t rely the variety of acquaintances and associates I’ve made in Destiny who finally migrated platforms. With one fell swoop, the participant base has been reunited into one huge pool of gamers, so your console (or PC) of selection ought to have little impact on who you face the Darkness beside. Bungie correctly selected to keep up separate console and PC participant swimming pools for aggressive matchmade actions, like Crucible and Gambit. But for those who’ve longed to go on strikes, discover the world, and expertise the story beats together with your buddies, now’s the time.

I additionally need to name out one other particular quality-of-life change that feels particularly welcome: Primary ammo is now infinite. For weapons like most auto rifles, hand cannons, bows, pulse rifles, sidearms, and all the remaining, now you can go into battle with confidence that you just’ll all the time have what you might want to hold firing. That’s particularly essential in difficult solo or small-group actions – like Legend and Master Lost Sectors – nevertheless it’s a useful change throughout the board. Beyond simply guaranteeing you may have ammo on your most elementary weapons, it’s a transfer that simplifies the battlefield’s total financial system, eliminating the necessity to run over these little white ammo bricks and placing the main focus as an alternative on monitoring down the extra beneficial inexperienced and purple.

As is widespread within the early days of a brand new content material patch, Destiny 2’s Season of the Lost nonetheless has some kinks to work out. I’ve had run-ending glitches twice within the current Astral Alignment exercise. I’ve handled login issues a few times. And whereas I like the brand new matchmade actions, I’m actually prepared for an injection of recent content material in long-standing actions just like the Strike playlist, Gambit, and Crucible. Even so, these first couple of days are a stable begin for the subsequent a number of months of play, and I’m particularly thrilled that I’m now in a position to benefit from the sport with gamers exterior my main platform.

If you’ve been a fan of Destiny prior to now, and also you’ve been ready for an applicable time to hop again in, I believe it’s a simple advice proper now. We’ve gotten used to a brand new main enlargement each autumn, and Season of the Lost actually isn’t that. However, the importance of the story at hand and the fruits of hinted occasions from the final 12 months are wonderful causes to make the leap. And with cross-play enabled, you may safely collect your pals again collectively, irrespective of in the event that they’ve switched their main gaming platform in recent times. Destiny 2 has had its ups and downs since launch, however there’s little doubt in my thoughts that Bungie has a transparent imaginative and prescient in thoughts concerning learn how to land this narrative. If you’re desperate to see that closing story take form, now’s the time to step into the position of a Guardian once more.