Five months after Osiris turned Mercury’s steppe upside down, we return to the orbit of Destiny 2 with its second expansion of content: The Strategist. An old threat will awaken to end the core of Rasputin, one of the brightest intelligent machines of the Golden Age. New missions, assaults, and areas await us on the red planet.
Destiny 2 is in a delicate situation regarding the rethinking that the community expected from Bungie. Last December we received with open arms the first of the two expansions planned in its season pass, The Curse of Osiris , which introduced us on a trip with the most famous sorcerer in the universe to reveal the secrets of the forest infinite. As we told you in his day , the content he added was very poor and far from what his users deserved.
Except for Leviatán’s den (the only aspect that really was salvageable), its user base was disappointed with the post-launch offer that Bellevue was drawing. Contrary to what we thought at first, the study has followed, in broad strokes, a path similar to that taken in the original: two capsules of mild content that serve as an advance for the great expansion. Certainly not the best decision possible if we take into account the division that makes between those who possess the content and those who do not. However, here we are facing The Strategist, the second additional content planned for Destiny 2.
Rasputin awakens on Mars
Just open our star chart, we will see the presence of a new planet among the selectable. On this occasion, the chosen one has been Mars, who already had a leading role in the original delivery and who returns to let us explore an unpublished piece of its confines. Apparently, the Cabal forces that have survived the battle in front of the Tower, are collecting satellites fallen in the steppe of the red planet after the defeat of Ghaul. This event does not go unnoticed by our guardian, who goes swiftly and speedily to end enemy interests. Meanwhile, a distress signal assaults the intercom: an unknown guardian asks for help to put an end to the hordes that assail her. We will come to your rescue.
The first bars of The Strategist serves as a presentation of what is to come. The Guardian, named Ana Bray , will be responsible for carrying the greatest narrative load of the story arc. Although at first, we will not know their motivations, little by little we will discover that it is part of a lineage of great scientists responsible for the creation of Rasputin. The intelligent machine has been covered in mystery all these years. We have always had the certainty that it was simply one of the most powerful weapons of mankind, but here we will have the opportunity to know to what extent it can get to wake up.
Ana not only seeks to know the ins and outs of her family tree; he longs to understand the complexity that Rasputin enjoys, and for that reason, he is usually defined as “his guardian”. For the first time in the franchise, we will be spectators of the central core of the machine, located in the facilities of Clavis Bray, the “cradle of invention” during the Golden Age. However, the hive that lives in the deep caverns of Mars is attracted by the great flow of energy that surrounds the plant, awakening, thus, a great threat that will put in check the Vanguard and Rasputin himself.
This is how The Strategist begins. During the nearly two hours the story arc lasts, we will witness first hand the emergence of a new variant of the Hive. In the playable, add some variations to the same old archetypes. For example, the basic knights will carry a hand shield that can be destroyed if we insufflate enough damage to it. Or the Adheridos, acolytes who prefer to keep distant distances before the use of their sniper rifles. Without forgetting in the bet by new armament in the form of crossbows, rifles of pulses, et cetera. Although roughly combat in the same way, we appreciate the bet for this little touch of novelty.
The succession of events in narrative terms remains a real chaos. We have the feeling that the company wants to count too many things in such a short space of time. The interventions of Ana Bray, especially being a character involved in a multitude of questions, bring shades of the interesting sea to their own background and that of Rasputin. At first, he points out ways everything related to his family’s facilities. At the end of the day we are in one of the main scientific epicenters during the Golden Age, something must be there where we can scratch. Big mistake, and that is that as we go deeper in the adventure, everything is diluted until reaching an end, at least, anticlimactic.
The structure of levels follows the same design to which they have accustomed us in previous works. Start, knot with enemies putty and final section without being able to regenerate, in which you have to face a small minigame or special enemy. By surprise, some of those final bouts have put us on the ropes. Although the goal is as simple as ending someone, the control and behavior of the weapon are so measured that it is difficult to resist enjoying it. Including the appearances of the Valkyrie, a special javelin of great capacity of destruction that Rasputin will give us in some delicate moments.
Once we conclude our foray into the history of The Strategist, we will have a small assortment of content focused mainly on the endgame. The main missions do not abuse the recycling of environments except a visit, again, to the Earth. The odious repetition of content already lived will be found in this aspect, and is that the two assaults included are extracted from the trip that we just finished. As happened in The Curse of Osiris, the assaults suffer tiny variations in the disposition of the level to pass as “new additions”.
From this point, we must bear in mind that, first of all, this section that follows is intended for those players who want to spend a large number of hours in it. The grinding increases a lot compared to other stages of Destiny 2. While these five extra levels will be achieved during natural progress (up to 30), the maximum light will go to 385, leaving a very wide margin between the “easy” content and those that are designed primarily for hardcore users of the game.
At least, there are still some aspects that that mass of players can enjoy. Mars is similar in size to Io in practice, with the underground sectors having more presence with respect to the surface. Throughout the map, we will have some secondary activities that will increase the useful life of the expansion. This is the case of the Climbing Protocols, a column of energy that, when activated, will start an event where we must end several waves of the Hive. His forces will reach practically the highest peaks of light, so facing them will not be easy. Completing them will bring us, in addition to engrams, Mars cards, exchangeable in Ana Bray for obtaining new thematic equipment.
One of the most interesting facets comes to the new cube of Leviatán. The Emperor will leave us his gift so that we can pick him up in one of the outer fields of his floating palace. After finishing a puzzle that seems more simple to us, an epic battle between Val Ca’Uor, a giant Cabal protected by a shield, and us, the guardians will begin. Basically, the confrontation consists in repeating the same mechanics as at the beginning but with small variations among our partners. The truth is that it is below the rest of the experiences within the raid. At the end of the day, we will find ourselves in an (almost) enclosed space, trying to survive against legions of sponge enemies. In just twenty minutes we can finish it without complications.
Destiny 2: The Strategist brings sensations similar to those experienced in December, although with obvious differences that avoid the collapse. The new planet, Mars, offers a scale similar to that offered by Io, being far from the circumference offered by Mercury. In it, we will know a new variant of the native beehive of the area, which has remained hibernating for many centuries in its underground galleries. Although they are fought in a similar way to the classics, the inclusion of some new archetypes among their ranks is appreciated, as is the case of the “Adherents”, acolyte snipers who keep long distances to finish us off with a powerful shot.
The story arc will revolve around Rasputin, the great machine of the Golden Age of which we have heard so much. As an introducer of these researchers, there is Ana Bray, a still unknown guardian who has a close relationship with her creators. His presence brings really interesting nuances to the background of the installations and the machine itself but again suffers from a chaotic narrative. It is impossible to develop a plot of these conditions in just under two hours. Old ghosts torment us again. Bungie still does not take advantage of the tremendous potential of the universe that they themselves have created.
Once finished, we will go to everything that the endgame content will offer us. The Strategist increases in five levels of character, leaving the maximum light in 385. At the controls, you notice an increase in the grind needed to progress in the last stages of the character. Players less connected to Destiny 2 will not find their place in front of those staunch supporters who do not hesitate to put their time in it. It is not that this section of the title has much quality in terms of additions. Two assaults are recycled from the main adventure, and the new Leviathan’s den is less elaborate than the rest of the raid’s experiences.
In general, The Strategist improves the sensations of the general calculation of the season pass of Destiny 2. It still does not provide the quality that Bungie can achieve from having enough freedom in his expansion plans, but it gives the feeling that we are one step away from something bigger that turns everything received up to now. Nor is there any gameplay on the table that can be exploited in the future, as has already happened with La Casa de Los Lobos. No doubt it will alleviate in one way or another the desire to renew those who live the game with greater passion. Unfortunately, it hardly means anything to those who are already disenchanted with him.