A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Destiny 2: Forsaken is a paid expansion to Destiny 2, which can be played on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs, and the basic game is required to play. This is a first-person sci-fi shooter focused on gun, melee, and magical combat against a range of alien, robotic, and -- in competitive modes -- human enemies. The expansion's story is focused on carrying out vengeance for the death of a close friend and ally, with little discussion about whether or not eye-for-an-eye justice is the moral or proper response. Fights are accompanied by screeches of pain, spurts of black blood/energy from aliens and robots, and splashes of red blood that appear on the screen when a player-controlled character is injured. But the depiction of violence stops well short of showing more graphic content. Multiplayer modes demand cooperation and reward teamwork while fostering a welcoming atmosphere of friendly competitive play. Keep in mind that this is primarily a multiplayer game, and that kids will need to play with others to access some content and have a real chance of success in certain modes, potentially exposing them to inappropriate content through chat.
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What's it about?
DESTINY 2: FORSAKEN, a paid expansion to Destiny 2, continues to grow the story of the player's customizable character, a futuristic Guardian sworn to protect the remnants of humanity from all galactic evils. This chapter in his/her story begins with the death of one of the series' most beloved protagonists at the hands of a group of bad guys being led by Uldren, the pasty-skinned prince of an area of the solar system known as the Reef. Fueled by rage and sadness, our hero turns his/her back on the duties of being a Guardian to embark on a quest to kill everyone responsible. This story adds a brand-new destination -- the Awoken homeland -- to the selection of large, free-to-explore realms already available to Destiny players, as well as a dozen or so new missions and adventures. It also adds a pair of new co-operative strike missions, a new raid for larger groups of friends to tackle together, an almost endless array of new weapons and gear pieces (including several that require quest steps to earn), plus three new superpowers for each character class. Also new is Gambit, a cooperative/competitive mode that involves taking on waves of enemies as a team, collecting orbs they drop, banking them without getting killed, and then sending a teammate through a portal to the opposing team's map to invade and wreak havoc. Players should note that accessing much of this content requires a character that's been properly leveled up playing the base game and previous expansions.
Is it any good?
If you were to rank the many pricey expansions Destiny and its sequel have had over the years, this one would be near the top. Destiny 2: Forsaken provides a wealth of content that gives players good reason to play for a couple more weeks or months to reach the newly raised level and power caps, now 50 and 600, respectively. The new missions and adventures lead players on hunts to take down a series of nine new memorable bosses, each with its own special abilities and tactics. One particularly gleeful mission even involves driving a Halo-style tank through hordes of swarming enemies toward the final target. Earning new gear -- like the surprisingly quick and extremely powerful Legendary bow -- and superpower abilities that can knock off a third of a boss's health in one blow are satisfying rewards for the time players put in. Forsaken plays it pretty safe for the most part -- there are no revolutionary changes to game systems or narrative direction -- but successfully delivers more of the frenetic, habit-forming action that series fans enjoy and expect.
A bigger change can be found in Gambit, a new multiplayer mode -- with its own collection of objectives, bounties, and rewards -- that combines elements of several popular genres of competitive modes ranging from MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arenas) to Gears of War's Horde-style play. Players experience the camaraderie of working as a team to take down waves of enemies as well as the competitive thrill of sending AI foes -- and sometimes even one of their own players -- to another team's map to sow destruction. It's fast-paced and a bit confusing to start, but once you get a sense of the teamwork and strategy required, it becomes deeply compelling. It's one of Destiny 2's best multiplayer modes to date. Taken alone, Gambit probably isn't enough to justify investing in Destiny 2: Forsaken, but add in the new campaign, gear, superpowers, and cooperative strikes, and you have a very worthwhile expansion that ought to satisfy most series veterans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in the media. Is the impact of the violence in Destiny 2: Forsaken affected by the unrealistic robot and alien opponents that you defeat? Would the impact of the violence be intensified if the visuals were more graphic?
Some modes in Destiny 2: Forsaken require players to cooperate and demonstrate teamwork with other players. Do you feel stronger and more capable when working with a reliable team?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.