Not exactly what we were hoping for.
Today, Bungie formally revealed their new approach toward strikes in their most recent live stream for Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris. The Curse of Osiris team opted for direct integration of their strikes as part of the story, as a way to expose more players to the strike content.
We had the opportunity to go hands-on with the new strikes ourselves, and ultimately, were left feeling disappointed.
It’s an idea that sounds fine on paper, and maybe some of the less hardcore players will appreciate the effort. However, for players who are thirsty for totally new experiences and rewards, especially when it comes to the currently very underwhelming strike playlist, just turning story missions into strikes is an approach that is bound to come off as uninspired to at least some people.
Strikes have historically been juiced up story-like missions designed for three players instead of just one. They sometimes share a connection to the larger picture, and other times are self-contained tales. There wasn’t really anything wrong with this approach. Strikes in Destiny 1 were one of best parts of the game, and as of Rise of Iron, among the most rewarding for your time.
However, Destiny 2, for all of its successes, took some steps back on strike content, and Curse of Osiris is making matters worse. There’s something that feels off about strikes in Destiny 2. Maybe it’s that the rewards don’t feel that great after how important they were to gearing up in Rise of Iron. Especially true when you compare it to more time-efficient content such as Heroic Public Events. And personally, I just don’t find even the best strikes in Destiny 2 to be as fun as even some of the average ones from the original Destiny, but that might just be me. The Heroic Strike Playlist may solve problem number one (we’re not sure yet on that though), but this new “part of the story” approach makes these two strikes coming by way of Curse of Osiris as dull as ever.
What was formally a way to experience something separate from the story, is now effectively the same as just replaying a mission from the story, but just beefed up and designed for a fireteam. Both of the new strikes, which we can’t describe in detail just yet, play out almost like the story version of what you’re doing, but with some changed up dialogue to give you some context as to why exactly you’re doing something you already did all over again.
The argument that this makes the strikes more accessible to players somehow is confusing. It makes the story mission that preceded the strike certainly more accessible since you’ll have the pleasure of playing it over and over again if you want, but it doesn’t do anything to solve the core problems with strikes in Destiny 2. They aren’t rewarding enough. That’s why, if anything, people are avoiding playing strikes. It’s not that they aren’t connected to the story enough or whatever the argument is that I still don’t fully understand. Plus, again, if you’re like me and didn’t find them that interesting in comparison to Destiny 1, then glorified story missions repackaged as strikes probably isn’t doing anything to change your mind on that. If anything it’s just going to make you even more frustrated about the state of strikes in Destiny 2.
For what it’s worth, what they chose from the story to break out into the strikes are two of the coolest parts from the campaign, but I still found it incredibly underwhelming once I started piecing it together and realized: “Oh wait, I literally just played this 20 minutes ago. This is the new Strike?” I guess it’s technically is new, since everything in Curse of Osiris is “new”, but once you complete the story, just mentally prepare yourself for replaying two of those missions again when you go to give the strikes a go.