When it comes to Destiny 2, I extremely do not like the Infinite Forest. I’m not a big fan of the planet Mercury in general, whether I’m playing Crucible, strikes, or the weekly Flashpoint. My gripe stems from the overall design of the area and its seeming determination to keep players from progressing smoothly through it. As of now, there are two exceptions, both temporary: the seasonal variations on the Infinite Forest, the Haunted Forest and the Verdant Forest.
Part of the reason I’m not a super-fan of the Infinite Forest is that in the context of the majority of Destiny 2, it’s a glorified loading screen. When it was introduced leading up to the Curse of Osiris expansion, the Forest was billed as a state-of-the-art, procedurally-generated section that players could freely traverse if they wanted to go to simulated versions of the past, present and future. Mercury itself was simply the staging area for players to check out the planet in any version of reality they wanted.
Needless to say, this wasn’t how things played out. The Forest as we currently know it is essentially a straight line of procgen platforms that spawn in a random assortment of the game’s enemies, only accessible if you’re doing daily heroic adventures or strikes. Not that you would want to access it otherwise; running through the normal Forest more than a handful of times has repeatedly driven me to tears of boredom and frustration.
So what makes the Haunted Forest and its springtime counterpart, the Verdant Forest, any different?
Introduced during Festival of the Lost 2018 and brought back for the current Revelry event, these seasonal Forest variations are no mere loading screens, no mere means to an end. When you jump in, you can choose to matchmake with some random guardians or go in with your own fireteam, and you are tasked with simply progressing as far into the Forest as you can manage before time runs out. Along the way, you’ll defeat masses of enemies randomly spawned in, and the challenge ramps up the harder you push.
When the timer inevitably runs out, you get teleported to a boss room where you have to defeat as many giant Vex, Cabal and Hive before the simulation finally crashes and you’re rewarded with a lot of guns, armor, and the seasonal currency.
This roguelike quality coupled with a tangible goal — see how deep you can travel into the Forest, how quickly, and how many bosses you can defeat in one run — does something remarkable to this normally misused area: it makes me want to play it. My only wish is that Bungie simply leave the mode in the game. It’s a much more enjoyable gameplay loop than a lot of the other new features they’ve added since the Season Pass launched.
So… Is Revelry Worth Playing?
The short answer: yes. The long answer? Yes, but with some caveats: the Revelry event comes at a time when the Season of the Drifter is starting to wane. These short events (including things like Arc Week) serve to bring players back to the game, but once they’re done, Destiny 2 continues to suffer from a weak, repetitive endgame. Whether Bungie can fix this with the Season of Opulence, or whether they’re simply biding their time for the fall (Destiny 3? D2 year 3?) remains to be seen. Either way, it’s eyes-up and guns out in the Verdant Forest, at least until the April 30 reset.