Destiny 2 was wrong to completely abandon Gambit for four years



While there’s an ongoing debate about Crucible in Destiny 2 and Bungie’s neglect for years shows the PvP side of the game, Gambit is where we make the meme of the kid splashing in the water with a skeleton on the bottom of that skeleton.

Bungie has at least made gestures to bolster PvP in recent years. A small handful of cards. New modes. New Iron Banner and looting. A new competition ladder. It’s not great, but it’s not nothing.

And they didn’t do that to Gambit. Gambit is the only mode in the game that not only didn’t get any real support, but actually had things taken away from it as two of its paltry six cards were vaulted and never returned. Ideas like Gambit Prime scrolls turning into armor mods never materialized. The best we got from Gambit are some balance passes and seasonal playlist weapons.

Season of the Drifter, the last time something was actively added to Gambit (Gambit Prime, the Prime reels, new maps) was in March 2019. The last really big change to Gambit was the merging of the base version and Prime with Beyond Light in 2020 (even when we lost the two cards).

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While Gambit has now become the quintessential community meme, have you… actually been playing Gambit lately? It’s in a really surprisingly good place, and it makes me deeply saddened that the mode has been essentially 100% abandoned by Bungie for years. why is it good

Matches are short – With Crucible matches typically lasting 8-10 minutes and the new Vanguard Ops philosophy running 10-15 minute strikes and battlegrounds, 5-6 minute gambit matches are common and feel breezy.

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Enemies Feel Balanced – I remember a time when Gambit enemies felt strangely hard compared to everything else and felt way too clunky. But now that time is over as the difficulty ramps up elsewhere, and clearing Gambit enemies feels like a little breather from how powerful the enemies have become throughout the rest of the game.

Wild Subclasses – The 3.0 subclasses have been really fun with Gambit, whether you’re clearing entire pages with arc jolts, fleeting void rounds, or solar blasts. But I have to say I’m having a blast with Strand and his new grapple, which allows you to swing around the Gambit map like never before and use entanglements like Warmind Cells to atomize and suspend enemy clusters. It feels good.


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Invasion Toned – While it’s always annoying to be killed by an invader, the mode has finally reached an optimal timing spot where invasions don’t feel overly oppressive, as they have for most of the game’s lifespan.

Primeval Burning – The Primeval health gates that have been built into the Primeval world mean the burning isn’t as insane as it used to be, although you can certainly take down the boss quickly once you get through the gates.

Not a Uniquely Annoying Weapon – I remember a time when Gambit was essentially ruined by a single weapon at once, first Queensbreaker, then Sleeper Simulant. For both invading and killing primeval, I don’t think there’s just one thing that ruins the mode. Of all, Xenophage is probably most annoying for its one-shot invasion kills, but with the overall invasion being mitigated by timing and the elimination of wallhacks, it’s not as bad as it used to be.

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Gambit is often… pretty funny now. And compared to longer, extremely grueling playlist activities, it’s a cinch for farming reps, materials, battlements, transmog bounties, whatever. Give it a try if you’ve given up completely. As if Bungie had given up. Which I think is a big mistake.

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I’ve been writing about video games, television, and film for Forbes for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all types of console and PC games, but when it comes to looting or shooting I’m definitely up for it. When I look at something, it’s usually sci-fi, horror, or superheroes. I’m also a regular on IGN’s Fireteam Chat podcast and have published five sci-fi novels.

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