I didn’t want to go back. I really, truly had no interest in returning to Destiny 2.
Everybody and their mother has been raving about The Witch Queen, Destiny 2’s most recent expansion. It’s got an 89 on metacritic, and it’s been praised by content creators, reviewers, series veterans, newcomers, and everybody in between.
The last thing I wanted to do in the year of our lord 2022 was go back to Destiny 2.
But I did. And boy oh boy has it ever got it’s hooks in me once again. Shit this content is fresh. Goddamnit its good.
The Witch Queen is Bungie at its absolute best. It’s the best Destiny has ever been, and it’s one of the best narrative experiences Bungie has ever crafted. Yes this counts all of Destiny 1, and yes this counts the pre-343 Halo series. Actually, fuck it. Throw the 343 ones in too.
Destiny 2’s menus have always felt like 20 tons of tangled Christmas lights to me. At it’s worst, it’s a completely bungled mess of activities that feel too important to discard but too overwhelming to even start. At it’s best, it was a fun grind for people who think grinds are fun. I’ve been sucked in to Destiny 2 for a few months at a time here and there, most recently during the Season of Arrivals nearly two years ago. Fast forward to two weeks ago upon my reinstall just before The Witch Queen’s launch, and I was immediately overwhelmed and literally almost unplugged my PC. Why? Because I was unknowingly thrust into an activity with other players that involved a horse made of a constellation and a disembodied voice directing a game show.
No, that is not even remotely close to a fucking joke.
The great news is, that type of stuff is gone now. The game show is still there, but new players aren’t forcefully tossed into it anymore. Old quests and content for legacy weapons have been archived (but are still available if you want to seek them out). Everything feels more clean, more straightforward, and more enticing. For the first time in the history of the franchise – Destiny 2 feels cohesive.
Every single thing you do in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is dripping in story content. Everything you do feels cohesive, feels like it matters, and feels like you’re progressing. Not a single item drop that isn’t interesting to swing around or shoot, not a line of dialogue is mailed in, and not a pixel of The Witch Queen’s breadth of new quests and activities feel like a waste of time.
The original Destiny’s The Taken King expansion is widely considered to be a major turning point for the series’ first entry, and universally acclaimed as the pinnacle of that game’s story and content. Ironically, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen revolves around the main (and titular) villain from The Taken King‘s sister (the Witch Queen is Savathûn – brought to life by the incomparable Debra Wilson).
My point is this: If you’ve ever been curious about hopping into Destiny 2, if you’re just trying to see what the hype is about, or if you’re just an aging MMO veteran (like me) who was woefully missing the sweet sweet loot grind and needs a good fix… The Witch Queen is as good as it gets.