Competitive PvE with player invasions
Bungie’s showcase of Gambit, the upcoming PvPvE mode for Destiny 2, did what it needed to at E3: it convinced me that I’m still capable of getting back into this game — and this is the mode to pull me in. Not new storylines or loot grinds or proper raids; a team-vs.-team race to clear out AI enemies.
Gambit will show up in Destiny 2: Forsaken this September, and the hybrid mode is such a good backdrop for the game’s amazing gunplay. Two teams of four fight Destiny 2 fodder in their own separate arenas in an attempt to collect and deposit motes, with the ultimate goal being to bank enough of the pick-ups to summon a boss. The first team to dispatch their boss wins. But here’s the twist: you can bank small batches to send blockers — slightly more powerful foes — into the opposing team’s arena to slow them down. Better yet, you can also bank motes to invade their world.
Figuring out which of your teammates should invade and whether invading should even be the priority right now is continuously clawing at the back of your mind while you play and keeps Gambit feeling fast-paced and tense. Maybe you send the guy with the super all ready to go? Or should you hop through the portal with a newly-stocked rocket launcher? Invading players get some buffs (like shields) to stand a better chance, and whenever a player dies, they’ll drop their currently-held motes.
As such, invading — and even just the threat of invading — can have a serious impact on how a match flows. I’ve never played Desitny 2 so paranoid before. Banking 75 motes to summon the boss isn’t as straightforward as it might initially seem. Mechanical play and fundamentals will get you far, sure, but the team that’s quick on its feet and adaptable will be the one to come out on top.
As someone who loves how Destiny 2 gunplay feels but is just plain over standard PvP (to say nothing of Trials of the Nine), this is going to be my new go-to activity. I’m not thrilled about the idea of forking over $40 for Forsaken as part of the game’s redemption tour, but solely in terms of Gambit, things are looking great. I just hope this mode’s raw potential isn’t squandered long-term.