Destiny 2 Lightfall

Destiny 2: Lightfall review

Destiny 2: Lightfall review

need to know

what is it? The fifth expansion pack for Destiny 2. This one is very purple.
release date February 28, 2023
expect to pay $50/£40
developer bungee jumping
publisher bungee jumping
Reviewed on Ryzen 7 3700X, 32GB memory, RTX 3080Ti
steam deck not support
associate Official Website(opens in a new tab)

The release of the expansion packs is a big moment for Destiny 2, and not just because each one brings new campaigns, destinations, and raids. Expansion is also a statement of intent – to make dramatic, sweeping sandbox changes that change the entire feel of the game. Last year, with the launch of The Witch Queen, Bungie set out to redesign the game’s original subgenre, and the results have been potent, to say the least. Guardians come with a new, more flexible set of tools, creating some of the most powerful structures in game history.

In contrast, Lightfall has an unenviable mission: to get players excited about their cool new abilities, while return Eliminate power creep.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Abilities take longer to recharge, enemies are hit harder and do more damage, and it’s no longer possible to override certain activities. We’ve spent a whole year eating ice cream, and now Lightfall is here to remind us, no, we also have to eat broccoli. In this analogy, broccoli is the machine gun.

That’s always a hard sell. I love challenging encounters that force me to choose the right tool for the job, but it’s hard to deny the vertiginous thrill of clearing an entire room of enemies with absurdly powerful spatial magic. destiny 2 Feel It’s different now – less approachable and more punishing for mistakes. While arguably many of the changes were necessary, I’m not surprised players aren’t hyped about the game.

An incredible campaign to at least distract the playerbase as Bungie ushers in this new era of disempowerment fantasy. Unfortunately, as you know, if you got a whiff of community backlash right after it was released, that’s not what happened. Lightfall’s campaign was a mess.

As far as the story goes, Bungie has once again returned to the exasperating storytelling technique of having characters talk about the importance of nouns without ever doing the job of explaining why you should be into it. We follow Osiris to Neptune – discovering the hidden city of Neomuna, and encounter two cybernetically enhanced Cloudstriders Nimbus and Rohan as we land. We immediately allied with them and began working to prevent the Witnesses from retrieving the Veil.

Former Cabal Emperor Calus and his new Shadow Legion lead the charge on behalf of the Witnesses. In the third mission, we’re asked to board his ship in order to destroy the “Radial Mast” before he connects it to the “Veil.”

“Wait,” Osiris said. “A source of extra-causal energy? It could be Radial Mast.”

“The Legion of Shadows has sealed off the corridors,” said our ghost. “Even if we can fight through, they will have enough time to take the Radial Mast.”

“There must be more than one path to Radial Mast,” Rohan said.

These are not quotes that I picked out from the entire assignment. They play one by one. A lot has been said about the tone of the expansion – especially the silly jokes from Nimbus, who have never been in a situation where they can’t deliver a punchline – but there’s more to it than that.What yes Radial mast? What would happen if Calus hooked it up to Veil?What yes veil? Throughout, Lightfall did a terrible job of setting the stakes of our missions and making them feel like they didn’t matter. Outside of the first and last cutscenes, everything here feels like a one-off side quest.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Lightfall rushes through plot beats and character arcs, never giving people enough time to germinate into something interesting or coherent. Instead of showing Osiris mourning the loss of his ghost, his character frantically and inexplicably moves from one mission to the next. Instead of fleshing out the really tense and engaging cutscenes between Calus and the Witnesses, we reverse-engineer the Witnesses’ plan to possibly use the former Emperor as a one-time bait for the Guardians. Instead of learning that Neomuna is a living, well-functioning civilization, we discover that its citizens are fleeing an invasion from a Neptuneian version of a fictional world, leaving the city feeling desolate – just another barren destination biome, this time It’s neon.

long live the queen

We’ve been here before. Both Shadowkeep and Beyond Light show good story pacing, but struggle to make them work within the confines of Destiny 2’s story delivery mechanics. But The Witch Queen feels like the studio has run its course — and it’s a satisfying story that’s perfect for the game it belongs to. It’s a step backwards.

We’ve spent a whole year eating ice cream, and now Lightfall is here to remind us, no, we also have to eat broccoli.

With all of this in mind, I actually don’t mind that the tone of the campaign leans toward an ’80s action parody.I like The training montage–at least before they send us off to defend another MacGuffin–is a moment to really spend time with the game’s characters. Towards the end, we have a big set piece fight with Caitl and her army. That’s great — the hard work put in as an ally has paid off satisfyingly over the past two years of seasonal storylines.

(Image credit: Bungie)

In fact, most of the encounter designs throughout the campaign missions are strong–at least the ones that give you enough freedom to choose your own approach. A third mission to destroy the Radial Mast? Story frustrations aside, it’s an engrossing ride on Calus’ ship — based largely on the familiar pyramid ship aesthetic, but infused with his own flashy flair. The arena size and enemy density work well together throughout, making missions varied and satisfying.

Bungie also gained some experience from the new Tormentors–mini-bosses that appear in a handful of quests. The trick with them is that they can’t take damage until you remove the weak spot on their shoulders–similar to the Rhulk fight in last year’s Disciple Pledge raid. They’re effective enough to use in a handful of missions, usually in smaller arenas, and their habit of charging at you results in frantic, panicked kites. Overall, though, their additions feel less impactful than The Witch Queen’s Lucent Hive, which is more varied and interesting in terms of the threats they pose.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Unfortunately, some of the campaign missions are held back by the way Lightfall’s new subclass, Strand, is incorporated into it. The entire second act of the campaign is dedicated to the Strand–your mastery of it is a story beat that feels like it actually has time to breathe. In an eight-mission campaign, it feels like a waste to spend that much time focusing on efficiently giving your new power-up a tutorial. I’d much rather have the tutorials stay the way they are – treated separately from the campaign itself, giving the missions more room to actually tell the story.

It gets worse on legendary difficulty, which is how I play it. In The Witch Queen, the version of the campaign that feels harder is designed to reward me for my time in the game so far—the guns I’ve won, the building knowledge I’ve accumulated.same with most The same goes for Lightfall, at least until the Strand came along. In missions that double as tutorials, you’re forced to play with a stripped-down skeleton version of the subclass, then eventually unlock the full content once the campaign is complete.

Beyond Light did something similar with Stasis, but that was before Bungie redefined the expansion campaign with The Witch Queen. The new model doesn’t harmonize with the old one – so it reduces Lightfall.

stranded and delivered

Even in missions where the Strand is optional, its presence is keenly felt. The final boss fight is brutal–a series of platforms ranging from massive drops to instant death, and packed with enemies who are knocked back from attack. Apparently, it’s built with strandings in mind, and will be able to get you back on a safe path. But accepting it means losing access to more cohesive, fully customizable build options that will make battles more survivable.

(Also, I’m just venting here, if the purpose of the encounter is to use the grapple ability as a traversal tool to survive knockback, then don’t also include suppress You use their knockback, thereby negating your grapple ability. I am very angry about this fight. )

The annoyance here is that if we got the fully formed subclass sooner, I would absolutely bring it into the campaign mission. With the full suite of shards and other building crafting options, I’ve had a lot of fun with Strand as a middle ground between the crowd control that Stasis provides and the more offensively focused Light subclass.

On the Warlock — the only character I’ve done the campaign so far — I’ve ditched the Grab Grenades in favor of two main builds. One uses Necrotic Grips to boost the disabling damage effect with free tick damage, while the other goes all-in on Threadlings – flowing green minions that seek out and leap at enemies. They’re usually pretty inconsistent, but I can’t help but giggle every time I consume a grenade and cast a rift to send eight of them charging towards a group of enemies.

threading army”

In terms of balance, Strand is in a decent spot, though some of that could be down to the extra passive gain provided by this season’s Artifact perks. If anything, it might use some selection buffs in the future. The Grapple’s uptime in particular feels skimpy, especially compared to the fast-charging version you get during the campaign. For now, it’s fine on novelty alone, but once that wears off, it feels like grenades are a better option.

A lot has been said about the tone of this expansion – especially the silly jokes from Nimbus, who have never been in a situation where they couldn’t deliver a punchline.

Still, with new aspects planned for future seasons, I’m pretty happy with the way it’s releasing. Crucially, Beyond Light didn’t destroy PvP the way Stasis did in the months after its release. For Stasis, being frozen was a death sentence. With Strand, being suspended still gives you the chance to fight back, which I’m grateful for every time I’ve survived being hit by an shackle grenade.

For all my criticism of Lightfall’s campaign, it’s also the part of the game I’ll spend the least amount of time playing next year. After all, the Witch Queen was widely praised, but that didn’t matter a few months later in the season of looting, when players rebelled against the drudgery of Bungie’s seasonal templates. As a showcase for the new expansion, the campaign is certainly important, but it has little to do with the broader question of whether Destiny 2 is really good right now.

Of course, things will improve after the event. The missions unlocked later go some way towards correcting some of the big mistakes in the campaign story. Light Wheel had time to contemplate and acknowledge their loss. The characters finally don’t bother to ask the question what the veil is–instead of us getting an answer. We even got to talk to some members of the city’s virtual citizens. It’s limited—a hallmark of the radio drama format—but it’s at least something.

(Image credit: Bungie)

I’m also happy with the ritual events in Neomuna, especially Terminal Override – an open world event with daily rotating rewards and locations. It works a lot like last year’s Nightmare Containment seasonal event, a drop-in battle that spans the map and ends with a boss fight. I’ve invested a lot in the past two weeks because I…

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.