Destiny 2’s Halloween event this year is actually the same Halloween event I briefly played a year before. Turns out, when I started playing again, it had been almost exactly a year since I’d last started. Also turns out that the Halloween event is also pretty much identical. It’s set in a spooky forest full of spooky things and lots and lots of darkness. The haunted forest is also probably the closest thing to Warframe-like gameplay.
The concept is simple: Kill, run, fight boss.
So, this spooky forest isn’t real. It’s actually part of Osiris’s many simulations. You start in a predetermined area which looks like the normal version of Osiris’s simulations, except darker. After activating the button, you have to then rush through randomly generated areas, killing enemies. Once you have killed enough enemies, you are teleported to a small arena to fight a Terror, which is basically just a random boss. Kill the Terror and you are teleported back to the start of the simulation, where you now fight on with harder enemies and additional debuffs.
Each ‘branch’ is different every time, with different enemies and rooms you need to traverse. This works a bit like how tilesets do in Warframe, with a collection of pre-made areas all chained together into a somewhat sprawling path. It’s pretty nice and makes a change from going to the same few larger maps, or doing mostly linear strikes.
The Haunted Forest though is only ‘stable’ for 15 minutes. Once the forest is no longer stable, it all starts to collapse. Respawning is turned off and as soon as you either defeat the boss or die, you’re teleported to the loot area.
You are now presented with what looks like a clear path with chests at the end. But as you run across, bricks disappear below you and you can fall into a pit if you’re unlucky. This pit contains an immortal Unyielding Terror, who WILL kill you if you don’t escape. Luckily, there’s a small door in the side from which you can escape the pit and go and collect your loot. If you die, well, the Postmaster will hold onto your loot and give it back to you at the Tower.
Last year, there was loot. This year, loot requires work.
When I originally did this event in October 2019, I’m pretty sure that, once I got to the end, I was rewarded. There was only one chest but it would spew out tons of loot. Not just the two event currencies, but weapons and armour too. There are two event-related weapons which could also be bought using the event currencies.
This year however, the chest at the end ONLY rewards you with candy and chocolate coins. If you want more loot, you have to do Strikes. Which have a chance to reward up to 2 ciphers, which can be used to open the five chests behind the main chest. These chests are also tied to the items in the event shop. To get all 3 new event items (a ship, a Ghost and a Sparrow), you need to get 45 ciphers to open 45 chests. Which requires doing about 45 Strikes, because there’s both a chance to get 2 ciphers and a chance to get none.
Okay, sure, everyone is doing Strikes and stuff anyway, but why not just make it so you can open chests based on your progress and how far you got through the Haunted Forest? These ciphers are just busy-work. And, due to a bug, many of the items from these chests drop at level 750, meaning you have to waste materials to make them useful as well.
At least the Haunted Forest is actually spooky.
Maybe a little too spooky. There’s weird howling everywhere, there’s little glowing pumpkins everywhere and we definitely have a dark, spooky vibe. The whole “haunted forest” thing is mostly just one tree that spreads out across the whole map, but the weird mix between technology and spooky tree does somewhat work.
Wait, did I say spooky? I meant dark. It’s pitch black pretty much. While there’s lighting in the sky box, most of the time the only real light source is your Guardian’s torch. And the sound effects… well, half the spooky ones are actually sounds you hear at the Tower. Particularly that weird cat screaming effect.
Overall, a mediocre forest.
As far as dark forests go? It’s alright. There’s darkness and pumpkins and trees, but not much else. The real threat is the waves of exploding enemies that you randomly sometimes run into.
Oh, and the Unyielding Terror. That’s pretty scary too, especially when you have the Blackout debuff, which makes melee do HUGE amounts of damage to you. But even the Unyielding Terror isn’t that scary when we all just decide to call him Terry…