The seasons are changing. Guardians will soon trade in their masks for snowballs as the Festival of the Lost Concludes. It was sure a lot of fun being spooky.
This year’s festival operated much like the last one, but the added polish and panache really make 2019 stand out. The event had us delve once more into the Haunted Forest, grinding branches of enemies for masks, candy, and chocolate coins. The new armor system meshed perfectly with the masks this year, and, as usual, the community took the fashion and ran with it, spawning some of the best costumes we’ve seen yet. Many new faces were added, making for some strange sightings of Acolytes betraying their brethren, Vex fighting in the Crucible, and the Drifter running around with some new partners.
The new activity was nothing new, but with a darker theme and a few well-placed jack-o-lanterns, the forest truly feels haunted. The Nightmares are now called Terrors, avoiding mix-ups from Shadowkeep terms, and a few new bosses have been added to the mix. One small change is that as players traverse deeper into the forest, debuffs are added. Bungie truly knows what scares Guardians: the Blackout debuff. The lack of a radar and the 1-hit Unyielding Terror Knight roaming around have caused players to have to change their pants more times than they care to admit. The whole event is designed to feel spooky and tricky, especially with the ending of the activity. To receive the final chest, Guardians must cross a deceptively simple bridge. However, take the incorrect path and you’ll be having a close chat with the Unyielding Terror.
The currency this year were known as candy and Chocolate Strange Coins. These Coins are used to buy masks, and the new Braytech Werewolf Auto Rifle. The gun isn’t too sexy, but the 950 light boost is a good way for players to catch up on their power. However, the quest felt a little lengthy. I would have been content to buy the masks separately, but you need to buy all of them to unlock the gun, and that means a lot of grinding in the Forest. What I did like was that candy dropped all over the game; when I wanted a good roll on the Werewolf, after a raid or a session of play I usually had enough candy to buy a couple of rolls. And it was funny to see the little blue drops coat the battlefield. I would have liked the masks to stick around more. They are able to be forged to a higher level, and they require candy to infuse, but the currency is exclusive to only this event. However, the masks are still equippable after the festival.
This year’s Festival of the Lost felt like a step up from 2018. Bungie allowed us to take a break from the serious tone of Shadowkeep to really get spooky.