Review for the Witch Queen
Art direction: 9/10
Colours are vibrant and contrast exceedingly well with each other to create a canvas that constantly makes you turn your head to a new set piece or another location within the castle section of the Throne World. The castle’s colour palette consists of light blue-greens that are most prevalent in the architecture of the caste. The plants are in the same light blue-green colour but the leaves are in a dark shade of red adding a wonderful contrast. The miasma and quagmire section of Savathûn’s Throne World are covered in dark greens, different tones of grey, several browns and blues to go with the Scorn’s new home. They did an excellent job when it comes differentiating Savathûn’s hive from Crota’s or Oryx’s in D1 as well as D2. They have a more ammonite look to them rather than these armored insect look that they’ve had for the last eight years. However, they have made sure that the Lucent Hive enemy types be as different as possible from the other hive enemies you encounter in the throne world. Where the typical hive have the ammonite look, the Lucent brood has a more guardian look to them, with sharp edges when it comes to the witches who emulate the warlock and their arc oriented fashion, the slim yet nimble hunter hive who’s blade barrage super looks amazing, and the spiky yet thick titan hive who’s bouncing shields tend to catch me and my teammates off guard. As such, the art direction of the game is amazing as always.
Level design: 8/10
Level design for witch queen is as expected. There’s jumping sections, puzzles, arena, etc. Everything we’ve come to expect from Bungie is here and more. There were several sections where the combination of puzzles and platform sections added a real sense the Hive God of Cunning and Trickery would have puzzles and plat forming sections in their throne world to annoy the Guardian. This blended well with what was presented in the trailer for the new DLC. Were there sections that felt like a video game? Yes. Did this ruin the immersion? No. Yes, it’s 2022. A level should not look like a puzzle, but in this instance, the puzzle was part of the architecture and the challenge. It felt natural, despite knowing it looked like a video game puzzle. However, there were many sections where the puzzles blended excellently with the level and would become a puzzle only when the deep sight was activated. This further exacerbated the fact that level design and art direction go hand in hand. Without the art direction, the level design would create a discrepancy between what we’re looking and what we’re playing. As such, the levels were extensively built with the art and puzzle design incorporated seamlessly.
Campaign difficulty (Legendary) + Story: 10/10
I believe this is the optimal way to enjoy the game if you’re an experienced player who’s played at least Shadowkeep. The difficult of the campaign lended a sense of real consequences and fear that me or my fellow guardians haven’t felt since Forsaken. However, new lights or Beyond Light new light players should play the campaign in normal mode - this is not to deter them, instead - for them to fully enjoy and immerse themselves in the game. However, Bungie has made it clear that the campaign will be replayable. So there’s no Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) when it comes to the campaign.
The campaign itself was just impressive from beginning to end. A lot of care went into creating this character of Savathûn after gaining the light. Who was Savathûn and is she the same entity as she was when obtaining the light? Many details about who she was before Savathûn were exposed as well as all she did to achieve what she has now. The Witch Queen herself as a character is compelling, cunning, eye-catching, and, undoubtedly, intelligent to be ahead of the vanguard and the guardians for many years now. As previously stated, legendary mode makes you feel as though the campaign you’re playing is truly how it’s supposed to play. Every death, every victory, every mystery uncovered feels earned as well as potentially game ending. From personal experience, every time my fireteam and myself would reset or die felt as though the enemy is truly that powerful and could be way stronger than us. Of course, one is meant to beat these enemies eventually, but it meant that the enemies never felt like pushovers. As such, the campaign kept getting more and more difficult, but more and more compelling. Every secret uncovered led to another and more questions, which is what the DLC is about - uncovering secrets and asking questions.
Weapon and Armor Variety: 7/10
Weapon and Armor variety is standard, not much has changed. Blue variety armor and weapons are pretty much the same as before. There’s one new blue armor set: Gumshoe Gumption suit. A simple armor set but with an incredible amount of color application that hunters (which I primarily run) can use to fashion and make new sets. When it comes to the weapon variety, blue is the same weapons. No new additions where added, which is a shame considering that in the Season of the Chosen a new blue weapon was added, which is pretty impressive for a season pass in Destiny 2.
When it comes to legendary weapons, there’s new guns worth gunsmithing and several new stasis weapons. There’s three different weapons you can get from Witch Queen + Season of the Risen: the Throne World set weapons, the Hidden (Ikora’s undercover team) weapon set, and the Season of the Risen weapons. Some of them are to be mastered to then use as blueprints for a gunsmith version of the weapon, which should keep them relevant as the next two seasons come out throughout the year.
Furthermore, we were introduced a new weapon type, the glaive. A hybrid melee, close distance weapon that is the introduction to weapon smithing in the expansion. The glaive I will be using for this section of the review is The Enigma. The melee is fun to use against yellow bar enemies or large red hp enemies, but enemies like the dregs or acolytes, it will take only one hit. . The shooting aspect of the glaive has significant range, but there is a damage drop-off. It’s not a sniper. But the damage is greatly enhanced by this season’s (Season of the Risen) artifact mod “Suppressing Glaive.” The exotic glaives have yet to be released, but it will be released after the Raid Vow of the Disciple is completed.
As for legendary armor - as of this review - the raid has yet to drop, so this will be a review of the Season of the Risen armor, playlist armor, and witch queen armor. Season of the risen armor set is heavily influenced by Cabal fashion and is noticed in the tusks and symbols and embellishment that the set has. Whereas the Witch Queen set is directly influenced by Ikora’s hidden. It utilizes neutral tones to blend in, as if the guardian is most definitely hiding from the world around them. The playlist armor set is based on the Gumshoe Gumption design with a bit of more elegance and details, however each one is slightly different than the other and have differing names so as to distinguish them from other playlist activities.
The music in the new DLC fits perfectly into the D2 universe. There is a scale of grandeur and trickery when certain set pieces demand it, however there were sections with no music whatsoever. This added to the fear that several of my friends commented when running the campaign. Michael Salvatori’s initial score hints at the potential battles the guardian will encounter throughout the campaign. This is done through the main theme that is shown whenever the player loads in to Destiny 2, but there are also moments where the music picks up as you walk through the campaign. There is a degree of mystery and eeriness when the tone of the campaign demands it, such as when you’re exploring the Pyramid and when exploring the castle’s inner hallways. There is a sense that the darkness still lingers in this newly reformed throne world of the light, as hinted by several sections of the castle only accessible through deep sight. The score in these areas begin to hint at darker activities being made, but the light shinning makes it difficult to stand out.
Void 3.0: 10/10
Void 3.0 for all three classes has shaken everything the classes understood about the void subclasses and their roles. Void hunter was always understood to be a PVP powerhouse when it comes to Spectral Blades in Forsaken, but in PVE Deadfall was the premier support super ability. Each one has been slightly made stronger or weaker, but the different fragments and aspects make each one stronger for sure. Of course, there are some which excel more than others, but all of them operate within viability. Mobius Quiver now throws two volleys of three arrows that tether, weaken and suppresses enemies. Deadfall stayed relatively the same, but now has a pull effect when it lands.
When it comes to the titans, their supers were reduced to just two subclasses, but each one functions differently. The Ward of Dawn has been separated from the Shield, which now functions as both Shield Throwing and Banner shield. However, with the fragments and aspects provide each one viability in PvP and PVE. Additionally, their shield class ability has been reworked slightly to provide over shield and is quite tall when using the Bastion aspect. Their melee’s were changed slightly and now you may throw your shield as a class melee ability.
Warlocks keep the same supers but their roles as damage dealers only has been changed slightly. It now is capable of dealing with crowd control and provides much needed support the class lacked. The void soul is the shining aspect of this class. Choose the Child of the Old Gods aspect and gain a buddy who can do damage, weaken enemies, give melee and grenade energy or heal you and your teammates. This aspect is the poster child of the void subclass and now adds much needed utility and damage that the class needed.
All in all, Void 3.0 surprised me and has made a subclass which was not popular in my experience between players fun and challenges stasis for variety.
Overall, the DLC went above and beyond to provide an experience so the player base would be satisfied and given an experience that will stay in the minds of players for years to come. The DLC The Witch Queen is a must-buy for old time fans of Destiny 2, and for newer players or returning players I recommend playing the first mission, see if you like it and want to see what the story provides then buy it. As of this review, the DLC is currently at $40.00.