Curse of Osiris is the first expansion to Destiny 2 and introduces the planet Mercury and the legendary Guardian Osiris. Writing a Curse of Osiris review was tough. It's always a struggle to quantify just how hard you should be on an expansion since their goal is to add further value to a base game's experience. Destiny 2 is a game that's received criticism from players since release, so does adding more stuff to a game many consider broken make it better?
I wrote some very lengthy guides when Destiny 2 first came out that required me to comb almost every square inch of the game world. I'm uncomfortably familiar with every region in the game, how large it is, what enemies inhabit it, how many Lost Sectors and Region Chests it has, where Majors spawn, and which Public Events are available.
Since I had already beat the base game to death, I was looking forward to Destiny 2 Curse of Osiris to bring some fresh ground to quest in. I figured a whole new planet would be teeming with cool new nooks and crannies to explore, and that at least the Vex would have some new enemy types and encounters. Boy, was I disappointed.
Destiny 2's endgame is a mess. For weeks the only thing to do once you've reached the max power level is to log in whenever something special is going on, grind for tokens, and log off until Bungie puts some other little event up. A lot of players, myself included, thought Curse of Osiris might bring something more meaningful to do once you've completed the bulk of the main content. Barring that it was hoped that at least the campaign would be compelling.
Well, Curse of Osiris doesn't really address any issues people have with the end game. Instead, Bungie is releasing a patch that deals with some of those on December 12 to everyone regardless of whether you own the expansion or not.
Once Again You're the Only Competent Guardian
Destiny 2's campaign wasn't the best I've ever played through, but it at least held my attention. The characters were familiar, and it continued to introduce you to new enemies and territory as it progressed. There was also a feeling of urgency since the majority of the Guardians had lost their light and could die for good without it.
I also cared about what was happening with The Tower and The Last City, and whether or not the Traveler was going to be okay. The big bad, Dominus Ghaul of the Cabal Red Legion, was somewhat generic, but his relationship with the Speaker throughout the game was interesting. All in all the 12-15 hours of the campaign were reasonably satisfying in the base game.
Curse of Osiris, on the other hand, had a lame campaign. You head to Mercury because someone brought Ikora Osiris's Ghost, Sagira. Osiris has been on Mercury for an incredibly long time investigating a Vex machine called the Infinite Forest which can simulate a massive amount of probability variations. The Vex are using it to attempt to figure out the sequence of events that will result in them conquering the universe and converting it to a form that can't sustain other forms of life.
Osiris's introduction is anti-climatic. We've heard about how powerful and impressive he is in the Destiny lore before, and it seemed like he'd actually play a big part in the expansion since it's named after him. Like all the other big-shot Guardians though, he's just there to be a deus ex machina when you need one. Also, once again our voiceless Guardian is somehow more powerful, and resourceful than the strongest beings our Solar System has ever known, and Osiris looks utterly ineffectual by the end of the campaign.
Unlike Ghaul, Vex Axis Mind Panoptes, Infinite Mind, the main antagonist of Curse of Osiris, doesn't even speak to you at all. It just shows up a few times through the campaign to be menacing. Also, no one was ever actively in danger of being killed by the Vex. The Vex had figured out the probabilities that would have to occur to conquer the universe, but no one ever said how far in the future it would happen. The future events that you're trying to prevent might happen millions of years from the time you're in. You could likely go chill for a thousand years or more and then come back and see what's up.
Nothing New to See
The campaign also commits the sin of reusing a ridiculous amount of assets. Seeing a lot of familiar assets is to be expected in an expansion, but in Curse of Osiris, it just seems lazy. Out of the eight missions that make up the campaign, three of them take you back to areas you've already explored in the base game. If it made any sense, I would buy it, but there's no reason for a Cult of Osiris secret temple to suddenly be just off Maevic Square in the EDZ other than Bungie didn't feel like making new areas.
Mercury is a joke. If you were expecting a world that was even the size of Titan or Io, then you're going to be bummed out. Mercury is about the size of a Battlefield 1 map. I haven't sat down and mapped it out, but it's likely the larger regions of the EDZ and Nessus are more expansive than all of the new area introduced in Curse of Osiris. Once you beat the campaign and any current challenges, the only reason to come back to Mercury is to do a few side quests and grind for Mercury Tokens.
Mercury also happens to be the least aesthetically pleasing planet in Destiny 2. It's just a bunch of sand colored stone buildings and dirt. The Infinite Forest, where the other five missions take place, looks interesting but is boring in execution. Each of these five missions involves jumping from moss-covered stone platform to moss-covered stone platform and killing enemies so you can make it to a portal that you can go through so you can do it again.
There aren't even any new enemy types outside of the few bosses introduced for the Vex. Also, since the Infinite Forest can generate simulations of realities, it gave Bungie the excuse to just spawn random Cabal and Fallen in addition to Vex enemies. There's an in-game explanation for this, but it's thin. It seems like a way to get more variety in hordes without actually having to make any new enemies.
You Have to Buy it Anyway
There's not a plethora of content waiting for you after you finish the campaign, unfortunately. There's one new Strike that's a copy of a Curse of Osiris campaign mission, one Lost Sector, three short Adventures, and one Public Event. There's a new "raid lair" which is just a chunk of the existing raid with a new boss and is said to be shorter than a typical raid. A few exotic and legendary pieces of gear have been added, and a few new Crucible maps, but all in all Curse of Osiris feels more like a piece of free DLC than an expansion you should have to pay for. The power level and character level caps raise from 305 to 335 and 20 to 25 respectively. However, since there are no new abilities, increasing your character level is kinda pointless.
I know Curse of Osiris adds a similar amount of content to Destiny 2 that The Dark Below and House of Wolves did to the original game. However, don't get it twisted that I think those expansions were great either. They at least felt like they were leading into something more significant though. Curse of Osiris doesn't feel like it pushes the overall narrative of Destiny forward.
If this expansion were $10 or so, I wouldn't be so rough on it. However, when you're looking at paying $19.99 ($17.50 with the Expansion Pass) for Curse of Osiris when it offers so little new content, it seems a bit ridiculous. The worst thing of all is that if you want to keep playing Destiny 2 and keep getting new and relevant gear, then you have to buy it. This expansion is now required to get the full enjoyment out of even the base game, so even if you think it's not a good value you're trapped.
If you want to keep playing Destiny 2, you're eventually going to have to buy this expansion. If you're on the fence about whether you want to continue or not, I don't suggest purchasing Curse of Osiris at full price if you can help it. Destiny 2 Curse of Osiris was wholly underwhelming, and I hope very much that Bungie steps their game up for the second expansion.