Despite some bellyaching about gear sunsetting and some genuinely terrible bugs (RIP Trials and Witherhoard) Beyond Light is off to an incredibly strong start. Destiny 2 has the best new player experience it has ever had, the new patrol zones Europa and The Cosmodrome are fantastic, and in just one day we’ll get to finally meet Crow and start working on the season content. There are many awesome things about Beyond Light, but I think my favorite thing to come out of this new expansion has got to be the new and improved Gambit.
Until last week there were two competing versions of Gambit: OG Gambit and Gambit Prime. Gambit Prime was introduced midway through the Year 2 expansion Forsaken and included a second activity, The Reckoning, which was used to farm specific gear that could be used in Gambit Prime. In the new game mode, each player took on a specific role and built up their armor with stats and perks that helped them perform in that role. Gambit Prime was a fantastic seasonal activity, but for anyone that came into it late (like me) the time and energy you’d need to put into building a strong Gambit Prime loadout just wasn’t worth it. The game moved on from Gambit Prime after Season of the Drifter, and while it was still a great activity, it just felt kind of bad to play if you didn’t have the right gear.
Meanwhile, the original Gambit remained the core Gambit activity, but without all the great enhancements and new mechanics that Gambit Prime introduced. It felt weird knowing there was a superior Gambit activity out there that no one was really playing. With Beyond Light, Bungie has morphed the two Gambit modes together into a new game that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts.
The new Gambit is more-or-less a tuned-up version of Gambit Prime that doesn’t require all of the unique armor to play. Gone is the best-of-three structure that made Gambit matches such a chore to grind. Instead, Gambit matches are just one round — the first team to kill the boss wins. What’s more, the mote-draining blockers from Gambit Prime has been brought into this new version. If two or more players send a blocker simultaneously, the opposing team’s motes will start draining from their side into yours. This mechanic adds a new layer of strategy that benefits teams with strong communication who can coordinate their deposits.
The boss phase feels a lot different too. While the boss has more health than before, the Primeval Slayer buff the team gets from killing both envoys has been increased as well. It seems like the Envoys are much easier to kill now but they respond more often, forcing you to split your attention from the boss more frequently in order to maximize your damage output.
You have to play smarter in the new Gambit. These changes add just enough complexity to breathe new life into Gambit, and somehow, the best game mode is even better. To top it all off, the Dredgen title is still obtainable. The Gambit title is one of the most common titles you’ll see on Guardians, not because it’s easy, but because it’s so satisfying to earn.
In Beyond Light, you can earn powerful rewards by grinding any playlist activity. If you’re a PvP player you can play Crucible exclusively if you want and you’ll keep earning powerful rewards. I tend to collect all my powerfuls from every source, but once I finish for the week, I’m going to have a great time grinding Gambit for powerfuls this year.
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Eric Switzer is the Livestream News Editor for TheGamer as well as the lead for VR and Tech. He has written about comics and film for Bloody Disgusting and VFXwire. He is a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia and Vancouver Film School. Eric loves board games, fan conventions, new technology, and his sweet sweet kitties Bruce and Babs. Favorite games include Destiny 2, Kingdom Hearts, Super Metroid, and Prey…but mostly Prey. His favorite Pokémon is Umbreon.
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