Releasing its second expansion, Destiny 2: Warmind is a bit more of the same but proves a fantastic introduction to something Destiny 2 has been missing since launch: the space magic. For anyone who didn’t pursue the adventure of the original Destiny, Warmind might be the first time that a tonal shift can be recognized in Destiny 2 that has nothing to do with fancy galactic emperors or power-hungry war mongers, and while both major baddies fit in to Destiny 2’s lore, they don’t provide the crux of weirdness that was carried in the heart of Destiny. Warmind changes all of that and is more an aperitif of things to come than the actual feast Destiny 2 fans can hope for in fall of 2018. It’s a great one that pairs with the meal excellently, it’s just too bad it didn’t arrive sooner.
The story of Warmind brings back a few key players in Destiny 2’s lore, one of whom is a new introduction that’s familiar in name, Ana Brey, and unforgettable friend Rasputin. Playing a major roll in the events that conspired in Destiny, Rasputin is an A.I. from the Golden Age created to protect all of humanity as it spread among the stars, but unfortunately Rasputin had other plans, not malicious but not helpful either. Enter Ana from the Brey family sending a distress call from Mars, which hasn’t been visited since the first game; the name of the facilities on Mars? Clovis Brey Facilities.
Ana sets off a chain of events that by the end of the two-hour campaign that is Warmind will leave players in fear or awe — I was the latter of things to come. The main enemies occupying Clovis Brey and Rasputin’s facilities are the Cabal regrouping under new leadership after the fall of Gal and the Hive looking to summon Worm God Xul (this is the space magic.) Destiny 2 has needed more than ever to embrace that weirdness; this injection is most possibly in large part to Vicarious Visions working as the first outside team on Destiny 2. It never hurts to bring in fresh eyes, especially when staring at the same thing for so long.
The best part about Warmind is Bungie didn’t show their hand while gearing up for roll out, and while I was of the camp that saw this is as maybe not the best way to pull players in, at least Warmind is good. Being completely taken aback by the events that transpire in Warmind, however brief, was satisfying none the less. What truly set the bar was during one of the mid missions of Warmind when tasked with taking down a Necromancer Hive Wizard who is trying to raise that ancient Worm God. This is the first time any sort of actual magic has been mentioned in Destiny 2 and it took almost too long to get here. Not only is this Necromancer up to nefarious plans (aren’t they always), but it’s they first time players hear of something heretical to the Hive and goes into what the Hive have been up to since the fall of their Taken King. It felt good to be treading familiar ground and picking up a mystery that had been dangling since the Taken King from Destiny and at the same time it raised new questions that had me hungry for answers.
The space magic of Destiny 2’s lore is brimming with giant space-dragons now extinct and an entire people turned Awoken due to a massive battle that ensued, their Queen and people still missing. Destiny has always had space magic and it’s one of the best parts of the game; here’s hoping they keep moving forward with the narrative to bring out what makes Destiny shine. It’s always been there woven into Destiny’s fabric, but due to Destiny 2 fumbling the ball hard leading up to this point, it’s going to take some work to get Guardians back in the game. This pallet cleanser of a story feels like a real beginning with the fall of the Tower and events leading up to Warmind reflecting Destiny 2’s actuality of grandeur.
With Ana Brey and Rasputin, the Warmind brings new beginnings to Destiny 2, an age of wonder for Guardians as to the possibilities that lay before them. Not only has Warmind brought a fun story worth a Guardian’s time (the campaign is a fine length), but improved drastically on many things dragging Destiny 2 down. As Guardians look towards the horizon, we can stand proud knowing Destiny 2 is headed in the right direction; keep patrolling those stars, Guardian.