Lovely union of competitive and co-op, Destiny 2: Forsaken’s Gambit hands-on at E3 2018

First-person shooters have always had a clear barrier between Player vs Player (PvP) and Player vs Environment (PvE). Often, these games will have a single mode for fighting against monsters or computer-controlled enemies, and a separate mode for a PvP setting, such as the Halo series. Destiny 2, however, has a unique infrastructure that allows it to have both PvP and PvE simultaneously, and it takes advantage of that in the new mode for the Forsaken expansion called “Gambit.” At E3 2018, I had the chance to play a match of Gambit.

Gambit will be available at the start completely separate from the rest of Destiny 2 when Forsaken is purchased. In this mode, two teams of four are in their own respective realm and are tasked with taking out enemies to collect motes and to ultimately take out their own Primeval enemy first to win.

Sounds simple, but there is plenty of depth to this mode. The goal is to bank 75 motes into the center structure to summon the Primeval, but there is a benefit to waiting to deposit them at once. If five are deposited at once, a tough enemy called a blocker appears on the other map to stall your opponents. For 10 or 15 motes deposited at once, multiple blockers appear. However, holding onto these motes proved to be a risk, because dying means you lose all of the motes you had on-hand.

That’s the basic gist of the game. Kill enemies, grab motes, deposit motes, summon blockers to slow down the other team. But sometimes, these blockers aren’t doing their job right. Sometimes, you have to take matters into your own hands. Every 25 motes, a portal to the other team’s map will open up, and this is the chance to cause some disruption directly.

When the portal opens up, anyone on your team can walk through it. Through my few times of getting to jump through the portal, the transition to the next map was so quick I wasn’t entirely sure if I really was in the other map. Of course, reality hit when the other team turned their weapons on me to get rid of their latest invader. While I wasn’t personally able to wipe out the team, anytime an invader takes out four players, dies, or runs out of time, they’ll be sent back to their own map.

The match was definitely more exciting knowing that someone could invade at any time. There was also the added stress of the announcer telling us what was going on in the other map, such as the pressure rising when they summoned their Primeval. Fortunately, this gave us more chances to invade their map to slow them down.

Gambit was the perfect mix of PvP and PvE, as someone that hasn’t gotten a chance to delve into Destiny 2 as much as I’d like, I’d love to get my hands on the Forsaken expansion just to play this mode again, as it definitely has potential to show how this model of competitive and co-op intertwined can truly succeed. Gambit will be available in Destiny 2: Forsaken, which will be released on September 4th, 2018. For more hands-on previews out of E3 2018, stay tuned to Gaming Trend.


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