Hands-on with Destiny 2: Forsaken’s new Gambit mode

In the weeks leading up to E3, Bungie teased an all-new game mode for its next Destiny 2 expansion, something “never before seen” in the genre. What did we get? It’s a hybrid of monster-slaying and player-killing called Gambit, and ReadySet’s played it.

Spoiler: We got demolished. But I did succeed in killing Destiny 2 community manager David “Deej” Dague during one match.

So what’s Gambit like in action? It’s a mix of PVE and PVP. It takes the waves and horde elements from the Prison of Elders and adds a dash of the Crucible’s PVP by way of Dark Souls. Players compete in a best of three, with two teams of four facing off, and the numbers don’t stop there! You’ll be asked to collect motes from defeated enemies and deposit them to summon a big bad that you have to kill to win the round. There’s a lot more nuance to it than that, however. 

Each match, an enemy species — be they Fallen, Cabal, Hive, or Vex — serves as the primary antagonists. When ReadySet played, We got the Cabal and their Taken counterparts, with Psions taking snipe shots as we danced around the map.  Killing them drops the motes, but if you die you lose any motes you’ve accumulated. While you may want to bank them ASAP as to not lose any, if you manage to snag a sizable amount you can deposit them and lock down your opponent’s bank. This will also send a strong enemy over to harass them that they have to take down to continue depositing their own motes.

Get enough motes and you (or a teammate) can jump over to your opponent’s map and invade, all powered up and somewhat sinister looking. Combine a big blocker and an invader and you’ll be able to pick off the enemy team like flies as the commentator rains down accolades.

At 75 motes, the final enemy appears and a portal for the enemy team opens. If both teams make it to this point, expect total chaos from the invaders and a tug of war, as each death will heal the boss.

Playing Gambit was a lot of fun, with a surprisingly fair amount of strategy about when to bank motes. The 4v4 actually seemed like a good size after playing, whereas a 6v6 might be too much visual chaff. Invading is easily the most exciting phase in the match, because it gives you a license to mess with the opposing team. I can easily see some in-team fighting over who gets to invade, so try to coordinate! 

Along with the new gun loadouts and the amazing new bow weapon, Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion seems to be correcting some of its past moves that haven’t sat well with players, as well showing some rare innovation in the space shooter. Destiny 2: Forsaken is out this September 4th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

For more great E3 coverage all week long, be sure to like and follow us on Facebook!