With Destiny 2’s Season 13 less than 15 days away, I figured it would be a good time to look at the highs and lows of Season of the Hunt. There were a lot of changes made in Beyond Light for better or worse, which put Season 12 in a precarious position. With many beloved weapons and armor pieces sunset and expansion content slowly rolling out, it was up to Season of the Hunt to keep players engaged every week. Despite succeeding in some areas, this was one of the most unappealing seasons in the game’s history.
Here are some of the best and worst aspects of Destiny 2 Season 12.
A Crow, Guardian, & Ghost Walked Into a Bar…
When it comes to narrative content, Season 12 is arguably one of the best standalone stories. After two years of waiting, we finally got the next chapter in Uldren Sov’s (now called Crow) story. Resurrected by his new Ghost, Glint, Crow’s transformation from murderer to Guardian is certainly a compelling one. Now in service of The Spider, we get to see our Guardian struggle with trusting the man who murdered our mentor. It’s a unique position Bungie has put us in, but one that pays off in the larger context of the story. Sure, it’s a bit weird for Crow to just hangout in Spider’s lair after freeing him, but I honestly cannot wait to see how the rest of the Tower reacts to his return. Plus, Glint and Crow have such a terrific dynamic which is on full display throughout the various story and Hawkmoon-focused quests.
(Screeching Hawk Noises)
Speaking of which, Hawkmoon’s back! Regardless of your opinions of the original version, Hawkmoon’s return came with the surprise of being able to acquire it with different perks. The first exotic of it’s kind to offer different rolls, there’s definitely more incentive to complete the Harbinger mission every week. That being said, I doubt we will see this appear for any other exotics, as this unique concept seems to be an homage to the original’s embrace of randomness. It’s a solid weapon for both PVE and PVP, as the Paracausal Shot can deal ludicrous amounts of damage when fully charged.
I also really enjoyed the two quests tied to acquiring this gun. Hunting for feathers via cryptic clues was an entertaining experience and the final mission for the catalyst served as a welcomed difficult challenge. It may not hold a candle to The Whisper of the Worm of Outbreak Perfected’s environments, but its return definitely appeared more monumental. I’d love to see future exotics, new and old, get this same treatment. Having our quest feel more like a hard-fought journey than a checklist of things to do is something Destiny 2 could always use more of. We also got Duality via the Season Pass and it’s a serviceable weapon that has a great look and sound. That being said, it’s not really viable for endgame content and certainly not the best slug shotgun in the game.
Style Over Substance
Finally, a special mention goes to the Season Pass armor. For years Destiny 2 fans, myself included, have wanted more thematic armor that feels as if it’s telling a story. Bungie rectified this by letting players wear Hive bones and a damn Thrall skull. It’s great to see gear that looks as if we ripped it from the bodies of our enemies, tying in wonderfully with the Monster Hunter-esque seasonal activity.
Monster Hunter for Babies
As for the Seasonal Activity, it’s just okay. Look, for the first few times I was really enjoying myself and the idea of hunting down foes possessed by Xivu Arath’s magic. Planting the lure, following the blood trail, and killing them created a nice loop for farming the very small collection of new weapons available. But I found myself quickly losing interest since endlessly farming comically easy-to-kill bosses just isn’t engaging content. I seriously doubt we will ever get a seasonal content like the Menagerie, but the group activities are always more entertaining. Just gathering Lure Charges is a chore since it’s tied to core activities which got seriously limited thanks to sunsetting. Yes, it’s not repeating the same Public Activity a million times, but it’s only marginally better than that.
It doesn’t help that only two of the five new weapons are actually worth farming for. Normally, this wouldn’t be as big of an issue, but with a massive majority of firearms essentially obsolete you easily feel let down by the lack of items to grind for. There are a few standouts, specifically the Deafening Whisper which has swiftly become one of my favorite Energy weapons for dealing with trash mobs. Yet, I cannot help but wonder who is willingly using subpar guns like Royal Chase and Corsair’s Wrath?
There were also no new mods or mechanics tied to the various guns. This feels like a missed opportunity since the theming of this season is hunting enemies of the Darkness. With Warmind Cells destined to fall out of rotation in Season 14, players need more ways to build and customize their Guardian. Just giving us mostly mediocre weapons to farm for only enhances the dull, repetitive nature of the Wrathborn Hunt activity.
Hold B to Tilt
I know Trials of Osiris isn’t technically tied to Season of the Hunt, but it feels like a crime to outright ignore it. Look, I am not the biggest Destiny 2 PVP player (and hardly the best,) but I do like to throw down in the Crucible and Trials from time to time. There’s a unique quality to Destiny 2’s multiplayer, as the mix of abilities, builds, and gear can really craft some exhilarating moments. While this still exists, it’s currently buried under ten layers of ice thanks to the new Stasis subclass.
Don’t get me wrong, Stasis is an absolute blast to use and a step in the right direction for the game’s PVE endgame. However, it’s equal parts oppressive, frustrating, and utterly disheartening. Getting frozen almost guarantees your death — especially in competitive content like Trials of Osiris or even Iron Banner. There’s a lack of gameplay interactivity when it comes to dealing with it. No subclass acts as a solid counter outside of maybe top tree Dawnblade thanks to the high mobility options.
Taking it one step further are Aspects and Fragments which are designed to augment your subclass. These allow you to customize certain properties of Stasis, proving new playstyle and builds. Again, this is terrific for PVE where builds are finally starting to emerge, but it’s absolutely overwhelming in PVP. Have you ever faced a team of Shatterdiving Hunters in Trials of Osiris? Let me tell you it’s the exact opposite of whatever a treat is. I get that Stasis is the big selling point of Beyond Light, but there’s no way it should have been this powerful inside the Crucible.
Season of the Hunt is the definition of “Okay.” Even though there are some legitimately great aspects of this season, it’s hampered by the drip-feed model of content and myriad of issues. Some of this will hopefully be alleviated in the next season, but with another wave of guns about to sent into the horizon I have my doubts going into Season 13. I desperately want to love Destiny 2 again, but right now it feels as if Bungie has no idea who to make this game for.