E3 2018: Destiny 2 Forsaken DLC – New Gambit Mode Gameplay Overview

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E3 2018: Destiny 2 Forsaken DLC – New Gambit Mode Gameplay Overview

At E3 2018, event-goers got to try out the new PVP mode for the Destiny 2: Forsaken DLC, Gambit. The Destiny 2: Forsaken demo at E3 2018, allowed us to get a couple of rounds in to try Gambit out for ourselves, allowing us to add some observations to how Gambit plays out.

Gambit is a PVE-PVP mesh, combining both game types in a competitive 4v4 race. Each side of four guardians are separated into their own arena where they fight waves of enemies. Killing enemies drops Motes. Those Motes are to be collected by the players for deposit into a bank in the center of their field. A guardian can carry a max of 15 Motes at a time and all Motes are dropped if the guardian is killed before depositing them into the bank.


The goal for each team is to deposit a total of 75 Motes to summon a Taken boss, the Primeval. The first team to defeat their Primeval wins. Along the way, as your team deposits Motes, a variety of hurdles are sent towards the enemy player team. By depositing 5, 10, or 15 Motes at once, your team sends a Blocker to the opposing team’s field. A Blocker is a Taken mini-boss that disables all Mote-depositing on the affected team’s field until it is defeated.

For every 25 and 50 Motes that a team deposits, a portal opens up to allow a player to invade the opponents arena. The invading player is buffed and has a limited amount of time to kill as many of the opposing team’s guardians as possible, disrupting their progress. The invasion can be ended early by killing the invading player, forcing them to sit around to wait for their respawn.

When a team summons a Primeval, a portal will continue to open up over and over again, allowing the opposing team to constantly send an invader to disrupt their battle with the Primeval. The Primeval heals for every guardian that is killed on the arena in which the Primeval was summoned.

The Cabal were the only enemies available during the demo, although the enemy options look as if they will be rotated randomly for each match. Over time, the enemies grow stronger and stronger, which often dissuaded and punished any lone wolves that strayed too far away from the group.

The invasion mechanic is pretty interesting as it acts as a double-edged sword. Sure, sending over an invader may seem like a good idea most of the time. However, you raise the PVE load on the players you leave behind whenever you invade. This of course is worsened if you invade and immediately get killed off by the team you try to invade. When you invade, it is not a secret; The Gambit vendor announces to the other team that an invader is present, which of course puts them on high alert.

The invader is also glowing a bright red, making them easy to spot for any alert player. Buffed or not, concentrated team fire made short work of invaders that ran out into the open, presenting themselves for all to see. When we invaded during our E3 2018 runs, hugging walls and corners as you closed in on enemy guardians with heavy weapons or supers seemed be the way to go. 1v1 encounters will favor the buffed invaders, making targeting solitary guardians one at a time the sensible choice for invaders.

Forsaken brings forth nine new additional supers to use. For the E3 2018 Gambit demo, the playable guardian builds were the Titan Striker with Thundercrash, Warlock Dawnblade with Well of Radiance, and Hunter Stalker with Spectral Blades.

Titan Striker with Thundercrash (Arc) was an interesting reinventing of the Titan Striker, whose shoulder charge was replaced with a toned-down Death From Above attack from the first Destiny game. The super has the Striker flying forward in a Superman-like pose, where you can control the direction of flight for a limited time. Anyone it connects with is decimated.

The Warlock Dawnblade with Well of Radiance (Solar) drops a much larger well than what the Warlocks’ standard side-skill lays out. With this super, this now larger well both buffs attack as well as consistently heals teamed-up guardians.

The Hunter Stalker with Spectral Blades (Void) uses a super that somewhat cloaks the Stalker while placing dual blades in their hands. Think Destiny 1 “Blade Dancer” but with the Void element and cloaked.

So far, having played Gambit with Destiny players that prefer either PVE or PVP exclusively, each player I spoke to feels like Gambit bodes to be a nice marriage of each playstyle, regardless of preference. I am a somewhat avid Destiny PVP’er while Gamergal prefers mainly PVE. We each seemed equally to enjoy what the new mode has to offer so far.

The Destiny 2: Forsaken DLC is mere months away, hitting the Xbox One, PS4 and PC on September 4, 2018. It will be purchasable in the following formats:

  • Destiny 2: Forsaken DLC (stand alone purchase) – $39.99
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken + Annual Pass – $69.99 – featuring additional DLC’s: Black Armory in Winter 2018, Joker’s Wild in Spring 2019, and Penumbra in Summer 2019
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken – Digital Deluxe Edition – $79.99 – featuring Forsaken DLC, Annual Pass and Awoken Legend Set

Follow the Destiny 2: Forsaken DLC’s progress yourself on bungie.net.


†Forsaken DLC gameplay screenshots taken from Activision press kit.