Normally when I revisit a game it’s a good excuse to update my impressions of the core experience. It’s hard to separate these concepts when new and changed content directly impacts these experiences. Given the controversy, datamined information, plus some questionable changes this article will focus strictly on the dungeon. An updated impression of Destiny 2: Lightfall will come next season to see how Bungie addresses feedback for this season. So with all that being said, let’s actually talk about Ghosts of the Deep.
Similar to Duality, Ghosts of the Deep offers an interesting look at one of the franchises antagonists. All the collectibles further explore the remaining Hive god, Xivu Arath, and her coming to grips with Oryx’s death. It’s a poignant experience given King’s Fall, which happened during Destiny’s first major expansion The Taken King, was reprised in Destiny 2 a couple months ago. Even if these events are not required to understand Xivu Arath, it’s something fans of the lore will appreciate in the same way Duality explored Calus.
Fans of harder content will appreciate Ghosts of the Deep is a bit more involved than Spire of the Watcher and Root of Nightmares. Players need to interact with various mechanics by memorizing Hive symbols. Even if you hated Vow of the Disciple’s wide array of them, Ghosts of the Deep keeps it simple by using a small handful that everyone can see, memorize, and help each other out with.
These are especially fun during boss encounters since the mechanics can make things feel unrelenting. During the first boss fight there are symbols in the water that you must find while avoiding the boss. This continues in the second encounter where you need to avoid various attacks while activating points to form your own ritual.
Both encounters feel very different from previous events, though the first is a poor man’s version of King’s Fall’s starting encounter, which helps elevate the core experience. This is furthered by the unique aesthetic.
While Hive structures are nothing new, various set pieces really stand out. I personally like the located pictured above, which is used to unlock the exotic catalyst, though even beyond that it’s nice to see the underwater mechanics will live on in this dungeon. Right now people might get sick of the experience, but a year from now when Season of the Deep is vaulted it will really stand out.
Despite doing a lot of things right, there are some low points in this dungeon as well. The jumping puzzle found between the first and second encounters is quite long. Not only is a sizable amount of runs spent on it, there are multiple points where assets are reused. I swear you fall down the same pillar three different times. It just feels excessive to the point where 20 to 30 percent could be removed without it feeling any different.
One of the big points of discussion with this dungeon is boss health. Similar to Spire of the Watcher, each boss has a rather massive health pool. It isn’t a problem for a coordinated team, it’s actually possible to one phase the first boss, but it makes solo runs a slog. How important that is will vary based off the person, just keep in mind a lot of players will do five or six rotations before ultimately killing them.
Regardless of where you fall on the mechanics, Bungie did a fantastic job with loot for this dungeon. For starters, giving players a Lucent Hive set of armor is a massive win. Every class looks fantastic, a marked improvement from Duality and to a lesser extent Spire of the Watcher.
Weapons are a big reason why I took my time with this article. When weapons were first leaked players were excited to see what these weapons would be like. If nothing else, the first wave frame primary grenade launcher was exciting enough to carry the dungeon. Now that people have farmed it a bit, obtained various rolls, and tested things a lot of the offerings are pretty good.
Cool Looking Armor
The solar SMG No Survivors checks a lot of boxes. Not only is it a great option if you missed out on Calus Mini-Tool, it can also be used instead of The Immortal. This is major since you won’t need to grind Trials if you don’t want to. Cold Comfort, with the right roll and a good understanding of how it the origin trait works, is among the best damage options currently in the game. Players have already praised it for having up to four rockets that can be used without reloading. Even if it doesn’t become the meta rocket option, it’s a lot of fun to play with.
The grenade launcher, New Pacific Epitaph, is good but not great. It simply can’t beat Forbearance due to its weak perk offerings, but given its unique status it offers several new build options. Honestly, the only weak offering is Greasy Luck. This glaive doesn’t seem to stand out in any large way, though it does have some nice perk rolls.
It’s an Orca
Last week I was fortunate enough to have the dungeon exclusive exotic drop. Being a big fan of Divinity, and this season adding a Warlock helmet that works extremely well with trace rifles, I had hopes this new support weapon would be a must have for certain situations. Unfortunately, while I love the design and function, the utility leaves something to be desired. I hope once GrandMaster Nightfalls release it will see more play, but for now it’s a neat gun that is more fun to use than anything else.
It’s impossible to say if the dungeon pass will be worth it without playing both experiences, but I can say based off Ghosts of the Deep it’s well worth getting if you’re on the fence. It isn’t perfect, though it gets the important things right. Not only is the loot solid, the experience is a good balance in difficulty that a lot of people will likely enjoy.