I usually don’t end up getting to Destiny 2 dungeons or raids until a little while after launch, but I did manage to sneak in a Duality run by the end of this weekend, and figured I’d try something new here. A review of the dungeon itself. No, I’m not giving it a Metascore, but I did want to go through what works and what doesn’t about Duality, Destiny’s sold-separately dungeon that is indeed tied to the theme and events of this season all the same.
the story – Easily one of the best parts of the dungeon, and probably the most engaging story we’ve ever gotten in at dungeons. Or probably even a raid for that matter, as these types of missions are more focused on combat than dialogue, but we got a batch of information about Calus, his history and his current goals, thanks to narration and a dozen different hidden memories with voicework attached to them. My heart actually broke a little bit when Calus talks about how he named Caiatl after the brightest star in their system, and then she’s revealed as the final boss in the encounter “Calus’ greatest shame” (his daughter would later literally overthrow him and they became mortal enemies). Just brilliant storytelling woven through the actual mechanics here.
The Mechanic – Most dungeons and raids have a central mechanic that evolves over time, and Duality is no different. Here, however, I was deeply impressed with whatever technical wizardry was employed to do this instant switching between normal and “nightmare” maps, something that reminds me of The Medium or that one famous mission in Titanfall 2’s campaign. Besides this, however, I will say there are some annoyances with the bell mechanic, namely that any kind of damage ticks, explosions, dropping a well, a zillion accidental things, can accidentally trigger one and wipe an entire encounter. There are also some weird decisions like later on when you literally are forbidden from killing some Psion snipers lest you screw up your nightmare realm timer, so you just have to let them shoot you indefinitely. Not ideal.
The Difficulty – I said this was on the “easier side” yesterday and everyone jumped down my throat. I get what people are saying, as the enemy density in here is truly wild in some segments, but I also believe we now have more damage mitigation tools than ever before, so it didn’t bother me that much and I really never, ever died to anything but encounter wipes or being booped off the edge. To me, that’s great, because I love mob density without it feeling overwhelming or impossible. This really toes the line of difficulty in a way most dungeons haven’t at launch, and I think they did a fantastic job balancing it. I am less thrilled about running it on master with champions, which just make everything worse, always.
The Loot – Huge split here, because this is definitely the worst dungeon armor set we’ve gotten, albeit it has a few cool pieces here and there. But you’re more disappointed than ever to get armor because most of the weapons here are just so good. The new “corrupted” Calus weapons are incredible, pushing new ground with chill clip grenade launchers and headstone pulse rifles and most importantly, this bonkers three burst linear fusion that seems like it’s testing an entirely new type of weapon. Even the repossessed Opulent weapons can be good, like an Incandescent or Killing Tally Fixed Odds machine gun. I don’t know many people that have gotten the exotic sword, but I hear it’s good, and I really like the idea of completing triumphs to increase your potential drop rate. It’s also a great call that the dungeon can be farmed essentially infinitely, even above and beyond Grasp of Avarice, as you can keep getting new loot.
It’s a great dungeon. Overall, it might be my second favorite after Prophecy, thanks in part to the central mechanic, enemy density, story and weapon loot pool. For me, it’s certainly worth $10 by itself, even if I keep questioning the idea of a sold-separately dungeon pack in the first place, given how confusing it already is to “stay current” with Destiny. But that’s a debate for another day.
Now, to run this forty more times for the drops I want…
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