Destiny 2’s brand-new Crucible mode, Breakthrough, launched today. After the huge success and improvements that Forsaken brought to Destiny 2, I had high hopes for Breakthrough.
On paper, the idea sounds perfect for Destiny 2. Breakthrough sees two teams of four fight over a central control point, before the winner moves onto attacking the opposing team’s vault; a secondary control point.
If the attacking team manages to capture the vault, they score a point. If the defenders are successful, they score a point. First to three points wins.
Sounds great right? It has that classic Destiny PvP flavour that’s part objective and part firefight based and requires lots of teamwork to be successful. Unfortunately, out in the wild, Destiny 2’s Breakthrough mode is no good. In fact, it’s downright bad.
Destiny 2 Breakthrough
It’s hard to pin down exactly what about Breakthrough doesn’t work, but on the whole the mode just fails to be exciting. Worse still, Breakthrough is often a frustrating, painfully unfair and dare I say it, broken mode.
In Breakthrough, both teams spawn at opposite ends of the map and have to rush to capture the central point. Once you get to the point, you’ll need to stay put for quite a while to win it. Should you or any member of your team die, it becomes exponentially more difficult to stay alive.
Compounding this issue is the length of time it takes to respawn, coupled with the spawn points. It seems to take an eternity to respawn in Breakthrough and when you do, it’s always in one of only a handful of locations. All of which are in the vicinity of where you began the game.
This gives your opponents (and you) a great opportunity to spawn camp, which invariably happens. Once one team has the upper hand, it’s almost impossible to fight back in Breakthrough. Much like in Overwatch, if your team is staggered, you’re going to lose the point very, very quickly.
However, unlike Overwatch, your spawn point is close enough to enable spawn camping, but far enough that returning to the central point as a group means wasting far too much time waiting for your team to respawn.
Once you win or lose the first control point, the problems are exacerbated. The defending team spawns quite close to the vault, again, in only a handful of the same locations that are easily exploitable.
The attacking team spawns around the central control point, which given it’s proximity to the vault, means that the defending team also has the ability to spawn camp. Nearly every game I played saw members of both teams, camping spawn points with Shotguns.
This brings me to another enormous problem with Breakthrough. The changes to the way weapons work in Destiny 2, with the release of Forsaken, now make a mode like Breakthrough far to hard to balance.
Thanks to the reintroduction of shotgun players and snipers, modes like Breakthrough are simply broken. Breakthrough itself is such a tight, close quarters mode that it becomes a clusterfuck of shotguns, rockets and grenades.
Destiny 1 players may be loving the return of the old Crucible, but people like me, who had gotten used to the new style, are going to be easily and quickly turned off. Especially if Breakthrough is any guage for the future of PvP.
Finally, the matchmaking in Breakthrough is utterly atrocious. I understand that it’s supposed to be a team-based mode, but players who solo queue shouldn’t be unecessarily punished. Nealry every Breakthrough match I played while solo queing, put me in a team of three other random players and matched us up with a three or four stack.
It seems like those playing with friends, in a fireteam, should be matched up with other players in similar groups. While solo queue players should match with others like themselves. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the case with Breakthrough which simply makes all of the other issues with it far, far worse.
In the past, Destiny 2’s Crucible modes have all been winners. Control is a staple and Supremacy was an excellent addition. The new Gambit mode is one of, if not the best, new addition to Destiny that Bungie has ever released and is an example of an exciting, tense and fast-paced mode that plays to Destiny’s strenghts.
Breakthrough is the exact opposite. It’s a mode that caters to a very small, select group of Destiny players and caters to the worst aspects of the game’s PvP. Hopefully it can be improved over time, but for now, it’s a hard pass for me.