Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter Review
Season of the Drifter (AKA Jokers Wild) is a big improvement for Destiny 2’s Annual Pass. While it’s still not overly exciting, this bag of new stuff does some interesting things that hit a sweet spot. You’ll get some interesting story pieces supplemented by some new twists on wave-based defense modes and Gambit to earn fancy new armor sets and other gear, plus you’ll make an actual decision with actual consequences. Some of the grinding gets to be a slog, but it’s otherwise a strong entry in this year’s Annual Pass rollout.
Reckoning’s arcadey, wave-based challenge is one of my favorite activities this time around. Its long-term replayability will likely wane similarly to how activities like Blind Well and Escalation Protocol have, but it adds one important tool these types of modes have needed for some time now: Matchmaking. While it’s definitely more of a challenge hopping in with random players, I still was able to successfully complete tier 1 and tier 2 of this event with randoms filling out the fireteam.
Tiers will require leveling up a lot and Bungie had an unfortunate new bug at launch that may have caused armor and weapons to drop below your current level. This made hitting the level requirement a frustrating experience, but once you’re in it’s a lot of fun to clear out the Taken and collect your fancy new Gambit Prime armor.
I was able to successfully complete tier 1 and tier 2 of Reckoning with randoms filling out the fireteam.
Gambit Prime’s cool-looking new armor sets evolve the widely loved mode first introduced in Forsaken with pivotal new roles. For example, with the Sentry Armor on you automatically heal when you’re near the bank, while the Invader armor lets you lock down the enemy bank during an invasion and even drain motes for your team if you’re close enough.
I chose the Reaper set, which allows me to drop special ammo for allies, keep motes on the field longer, and lets me mark yellow-bar enemies to make them weaker for my teammates. I hope Bungie continues this trend and opens up armor set bonuses more in the future as they did with the old raid armors. I also wish I could simply upgrade my Tier 1 armor otherwise it’s rather pointless to acquire it at all when Tier 3 has all the perks. Gambit Prime does seem to have a tricky balance issue with the boss phase, though namely, it simply goes on far too long.
After you’ve deposited the motes the envoys will spawn giving you a damage buff for each round cleared. However, it can become a tug of war where you and the other team continuously invade each other resetting your progress over and over again while waiting for your buffs to stack.
Season of the Drifter opens with these two modes at the forefront. Acquiring armor requires playing Gambit Prime to open The Reckoning, and then completing the associated bounties with the mode until you’ve powered up your synthesizer. Once you’ve completed three weekly Gambit Prime bounties you’ll be able to acquire a complete set of this coveted gear.
My gripe with the system is that it feels awkward and unnecessary to convert your synths to a mote, deposit it, and then return to the device to collect your reward. Why not cut out the middleman and just let us put our synths in the device and receive a drop once the activity ends?