Season of the Lost is coming to a close after nearly 6 long months. Witch Queen is tomorrow and Season of the Lost has been slightly protracted. The end of Season of the Lost is also the end of Beyond Light, which marked a huge improvement in storytelling, but left room for improvement when it came to PVP.
Season of the Lost was long, too long really. This couldn’t really be avoided because Witch Queen was delayed due to Covid and many other factors, which meant Season of the Lost ran from August until February, which I believe makes Season of the Lost the longest season in Destiny 2’s history. Also, it was coming off the back of a strong season with Season of the Splicer in the bag, and Bungie no doubt wanted to finish up the calendar year strong going into the Witch Queen expansion. Overall, I’m happy with Season of the Lost. It was strong from a narrative point of view, we got loads of sandbox updates, general playlist improvements, plus some great weapons.
Let’s have a look back at Season of the Lost.
Season of the Lost was the long-awaited return of Mara Sov, given her absence since Forsaken. She was back and instantly made an impact by imprisoning Savathun inside a crystal. Savathun had tricked us all and had been wandering around the Last City in Osiris’ form. Mara managed to contain Savathun is her crystal form pretty much for the whole season, which culminated in the exorcism of Savathun’s worm during the seasonal finale.
Mara returning was one strand on the season. We also had some interesting side stories with the Cabal wanting to rain down missiles on The Dreaming City due to Savathun being there. Given Mara had returned, we got to know Crow a little better this season through the lore, quests, and missions, primarily the Ager’s Scepter quest. Crow has been one of the central characters this year, and he was begging for an audience with Savathun throughout the season. He finally got what he wanted, and Savathun showed him everything from his past as Uldren Sov… even how he died. This led Crow to flee, and we’ve since only heard snippets of what Crow has been up to, but it looks like we’re going to see more of Crow next season.
Overall, the narrative of the season was good. Mara came back, she’s weird. There’s definitely something up with Mara. We got to know Savathun a little more through our weekly audiences with the Witch Queen.
There was one element for me that felt flat, and it’s hard to get around. On the release of the Season of the Lost, we also got the Witch Queen to reveal trailer. In that we see Savathun wielding the Light, raising Hive Guardians and all that, getting us hyped for Witch Queen. Therefore we knew where the season was going to go before it even started, which slightly dampened my enthusiasm for the story. It’s a tricky dilemma for Bungie because they have to hype things up for the next annual expansion, but at the same time they are damaging their current season. Let me know what you thought of the narrative in the comments, and how they could do things differently in the future.
Season of the Lost was rich in activities. We had a couple of main activities – Astral Alignment and Shattered Realms. Astral Alignment was our 6 person activity for the season, which started out in the Blind Well, teleported us to new spaces in the Dreaming City and then back to the Blind Well for the boss fight. There were some nice variations in the encounters and the boss battles, plus some light mechanics in the fights too. As far as matchmade activities go, I give this one a thumbs up.
The Shattered Realm’s on the other hand really blew me away this season. In the first few weeks I wasn’t really into them, until I found all the secrets. You had to search all the nooks and crannies to get the triumph for the Realmwalker Title, and this led me to appreciate the size and scale of the Shattered Realms. There was even some really good lore in here too, with The Scorn. They appear to be evolving as they were holding ritual battles inside shielded areas. I am sure we’ll hear much more from the Scorn in Witch Queen, but this was an interesting development.
The loot and rewards in Season of the Lost were pretty good. The seasonal weapons were OK, although nothing really stands out except the Fractethyste Shotgun. The big addition to the season was the stasis legendary weapons, and we got a good few of those including The Peacebond Sidearm from Iron Banner. Trials of the Nine weapons were brought back and put into the Prophecy Dungeon, which definitely makes a lot of thematic sense, plus they are better weapons than what we had before from Prophecy.
We got a couple of new exotics too with Lorentz Driver, which was the seasonal Exotic Linear Fusion Rifle from the Season Pass. That went on to become a pain in PVP for some people, but it’s a unique gun, plus had some decent balancing throughout the season. The other Exotic was Ager’s Scepter, which had an excellent quest, where we had to travel all over the Dreaming City to find the Atlas Skews, plus getting some excellent lore on the relationship between Mara and Uldren Sov. Ager’s Scepter is a Kinetic Stasis Trace Rifle and is great for Stasis builds. Both Exotics had unique designs, so I think the Weapon design team did really well this past season.
We got a pretty major Sandbox Update with the launch of the season, then another mid-season to help alleviate some pressure in the Crucible. Originally this balance patch was intended for Witch Queen, but the Sandbox team wanted to expedite the changes and bring them in a little earlier. This was a major shift in the balance in the game, toning down abilities in the Crucible, and behind the scenes giving Bungie a whole load more control over Super Cooldowns and tiers of abilities, grenades, and melees. This led to PVP probably being in the best state we’ve had in Beyond Light. This is a good thing given the state of PVP at the start of the year with the release of Beyond Light, where many players left the game and moved on to other things. Respect to Bungie though, for all the balancing work they have done this year, although PVP still needs a lot of work, we’re working towards a better place in PVP.
Given the length of Season of the Lost, we had a bunch of seasonal events including Festival of the Lost and The Dawning. Festival of the Lost switched things up a little bit and Glint was the star of the show here. The Infinite Forest was gone, and instead, we had a remix version of Lost Sectors, which I think worked much better than the infinite Forest. The Dino armor was a massive hit, and the other loot wasn’t bad either. The Dawning was back too, it didn’t switch things up as much as Festival of the Lost but we got to deliver our cookies to all the vendors once again.
Just when we were hitting a major lull point in the season, along came the 30th anniversary. There was a free element and paid element to this. The free element included Dares of Eternity and plenty of loot from Bungie’s history, including the Magnum Pistol, Battle Rifle, and Energy Sword from Halo. Dares of Eternity came in the form of a gameshow with Xur and Starhorse as hosts, and from a pretty crazy-sounding concept on paper, it worked pretty well. For the paid element we had a dungeon set in the original loot cave called The Grasp of Avarice. This is a pirate-themed dungeon with some nice Destiny 1 loot including the Matador, 1000 Yard Star and Eyasluna as rewards. Plus the dungeon is easily farmable, which made the loot very easy to acquire. The dungeon was great, not hitting the heights of Prophecy, but still lofty heights. Finally, we had the return of the King, Gjallarhorn was back and even more powerful than before.
Season of the Lost will go down as the season when Bungie experimented with Trials of Osiris. Bungie went from not really touching Trials to running experiments every few weeks. Trials relaunched at the start of the season with an improved rewards structure. Gone was rewards at 3, 5 and 7 wins and was replaced with ranking up at Saint-14 for Trials engrams, which could either be turned into Rahool for random loot, or focused through Saint-14. This meant no more jumping off the map for that 3 win reward, which is good meaning you have to play to get the rewards.
Trials Labs was introduced where different variants of Trials. Bungie also tweaked the flawless pool and experimented with a freelance playlist. There were ups and downs across the whole season with Trials, and I don’t think we ever got back to that initial few weeks where the playlist was absolutely jumping. It was good to see Bungie experimenting with Trials, but personally, I still don’t think it’s there yet. The rewards are very generous, which makes it very accessible, but do you want your pinnacle PVP activity to be as accessible as Bungie made it? I’m not so sure. Let me know what you think in the comments.
The season finale was supposed to be the bridge between Season of the Lost, and Beyond Light as a whole to Witch Queen. Unfortunately, we had to wait a long time for the final mission, somewhere in the region of two months. That’s just the unfortunate nature of live service games and dealing with delays. First, the good. The mission itself was fun, we matchmade with 5 other Guardians, crossed the bridge in the Dreaming City and fought off hordes of enemies while Saint-14 protected Mara and her Techeuns performing the Exorcism of Savathun’s worm. The encounter mechanics were very good, and the mission had a grand scale. However, there were two main issues for me. There were bugs preventing players from completing the mission, even after playing it over and over again.
Also, by the time the mission rolled around, I felt very disconnected from the story. I think if it had gone off without a hitch, I probably would forgive the feeling of disconnect. But, both of those things together left me feeling quite flat for the end of the season. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think it matters too much as I am sure we’re going to get a quick catch-up when we log into The Witch Queen. Compared to the end of Shadowkeep going into Beyond Light, this didn’t hit the heights of that moment, and what the end of Beyond Light deserved.
All-in-all I give Season of the Lost an eight out of ten. The narrative and gameplay moments were fantastic, the loot was great with the new exotics, plus we had some great events – particularly Festival of the Lost with the creativity of the armor and revamped activity. The 30th anniversary was much better than I anticipated and came at just the right time. The overall length of the season and the finale let the whole thing down, but that happens sometimes and I don’t think it’ll live too long in the memory. Overall, a solid season and I’m looking forward to Witch Queen tomorrow.
Let me know what you thought of Season of the Lost, and where it ranks for you among Destiny 2 Seasons.
That’s it for this Season of the Lost review in Destiny 2. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out This Week In Video Games on YouTube and subscribe today.