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(Pocket-lint) - Cayde-6 was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. We mean, really, really dead. Deader than a dead squirrel with a dead leg found in the dead of night under a flashing neon sign blinking "DEAD!". It's not a trick. Cayde-6 is no more. He has ceased to be. He is an ex-Vanguard.

I think that's a given now and franchise fans are starting to get to grips with it, even before the massive Forsaken DLC is out.

It's sad, but perhaps the saddest part is how much attention it is taking away from the new features and game modes also coming with Forsaken.

We played two new elements coming with the major bolt-on - at both E3 and, more recently, Gamescom. Gambit is a new team mode than combines PVP and PVE play in cunning ways, while the beginning of the all-new campaign feels fresh and typically epic. Here is what we thought of them so far.

Destiny 2 Forsaken: Gambit

We'll start with Gambit, as that is one of the most interesting new additions to the Destiny series for many a year.

Played on the E3 show floor on PS4 Pro, then at Gamescom on a slightly later build, the mode pits two teams of four Guardians against each other, but also against in-game enemies.

Each team is transported to a different location and rarely meet, although they are racing against each other in trying to complete set tasks before the other. The main aim is for a team to collect Motes dropped by computer enemies when defeated and deposit them in a central column. Only when deposited do they add to the tally and if a player is killed beforehand, they are lost.

Collect enough Motes and you can block your rival team from accessing their central column, while sending over a particularly vicious nasty for them to dispatch before they can continue. Even more Motes mean even harder enemies are sent to the other side until, when a set total of Motes have been collected, an end-level boss appears on your side.

If you beat that boss, you win that round. Play then switches to another location each until one team wins the best of three rounds.

One other element during play that introduces PvP action is the occasional opening of a portal, in which one team member can head to the other location to cause havoc. He or she is also more powerful, with a shield, to give a greater chance of disrupting the other team's flow.

In practice, it is great fun, with a genuine sport-like feel to the tactics and play.

We're not the greatest Crucible players, given that our lifespans are consistently short during PvP play. However, different players can adopt different roles in Gambit - we stayed collecting Motes more often than not, for example - and that made for a much more rewarding game for us.

Considering we barely knew anyone on our team, nor spoke to them in-game, yet still naturally assumed different roles shows how well crafted this new mode is. We cannot wait to put in some hours when the final version hits.

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Destiny 2 Forsaken: Story

We also played between 30 minutes to an hour of the beginning of the new story during E3, which ended with footage of Cayde-6 buying it. Unfortunately though, it's hard to tell you exactly how it plays as the demo was on PC and we're more used to playing Destiny 2 on PS4.

That meant we spent almost as much time looking at our hands for the right buttons than the screen. And often, we resorted to mashing most of the buttons on the bottom row of the keyboard just to engage our Supercharge power.

Nonetheless, we saw enough to see the darker tone - especially as it was set in a prison during a breakout - and the gorgeous graphical presentation.

Bungie / ActivisionDestiny 2 character screens image 2

The expansion will raise the character level to a maximum of 50, with a power level cap of 600 - a mighty leap over Curse of Osiris and Warmind - and, if you haven't got a character at maximum level in time, with start you off at level 40 with power level 400 weapons.

As we haven't yet completed Curse yet, this was quite a leap for us and the Warlock we played as was suitably impressive.

Indeed, we had no trouble zipping through the prison corridors, blatting escapees out of the way on our travels. You get a real mix of foes along the way, all of which are instantly recognisable. Bungie also told us that the difficulty levels are still to be adjusted, so expect it to present a tougher challenge than we faced (apart from the keyboard concerto, of course).

It's worth the jaunt if only to see Cayde-6 still breathing (well, as much as a robot can) for the first part. And it certainly whetted our appetite for the revenge missions that will follow.

First Impressions

We have always found Destiny 2 to be more accessible to newcomers than the original and Forsaken promises to continue that trend. It will also present all-new challenges for hardcore Destiny fans too, who will undoubtedly want to find out how and why Cayde-6 gets snuffed out.

Then there will be the new Raid and other new features and challenges, including the new bow weapon, new Supers, new locations and more.

Forsaken is no small DLC, it's almost an all-new game and, we hope, will do for Destiny 2 what The Taken King did for Destiny.

Destiny 2: Forsaken will be coming for PS4, Xbox One and PC as both DLC and standalone release on 4 September.

You can pre-order the PS4 download code from Amazon.co.uk here.

Writing by Rik Henderson.