The Destiny franchise has never truly added a new enemy race before. The Taken King saw the addition of the Taken — remixed versions of old enemies — whereas Rise of Iron and Warmind added slightly tweaked enemies with the SIVA Fallen and the Frozen Hive, respectively. Destiny 2: Forsaken looks to make a more significant change with the Scorn, undead versions of the Fallen. But after a few hours with the game at Bungie’s headquarters, the Scorn don’t feel as different to fight as I would have hoped.
Like most enemy races, the Scorn have several different variations. There are Ravagers, Skreeb, Chieftains and more. But each of these enemies has a parallel from another race. The Skreeb are stranger exploding Thrall, the Mongrels are Ogres and the Lurkers are Phalanx — although all with very slight variations such as smaller shields. This isn’t to say that there is nothing new about the Scorn — the Ravagers are actually quite refreshing to fight — but more that they don’t immediately feel new.
When you’re first being introduced to the Scorn in the Prison Break mission, Bungie sets them up as great reveals. It starts with the Ravagers, a good choice considering they’re the most unique. After you quickly figure out that you must shoot them in the flaming flail instead of the head, you move on to the next new enemy type. Now you’re going after Raiders, who can teleport and snipe at you. Then you get introduced to the Skreeb, and finally the Mongrels.
Each new encounter feels a bit less inspired than the last, with the freshest of the enemies hitting first. My feelings changed from immediately hyped about the Scorn to pretty bummed, over the course of just one mission. It feels somewhat like we got one new enemy and five remixes — which is at the very least better than the Taken felt in the original Destiny.
What’s disappointing about the Scorn is that they sound so interesting on paper; that each new enemy should ask you to fight differently. But from what I’ve played, it feels like fighting a greatest hits of Destiny enemies that look slightly different from the Fallen. From my time at Bungie, the Scorn was the only facet that left me unhappy with Forsaken.
However, all of this is from simply wandering the world and taking on a few story missions. It’s entirely possible that these new enemies will offer some depth as the expansion goes on, or that their differences will be exposed in Forsaken’s more difficult content.
But for now, the Scorn just don’t have the same interesting flavor that other races do. And while I have hope for their future, I’m concerned that I didn’t even feel impacted by their involvement on hour one, let alone hour six. I hoped that the Scorn would push back my desire for a new enemy race for a while longer — helping me forget about the great triangle ships in the sky for just a short while. But instead, I find myself looking to the future still when it comes to Destiny enemies; hoping that we’ll eventually get ones that feel completely fresh, rather than yet another remix.