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    Destiny 2: Beyond Light review – A step in the right direction

    Verdict
    Beyond Light oozes potential and I can’t wait to see how Bungie develops the narrative it has began. But, by reducing a lot legacy content material out directly and failing to switch it, the endgame feels shallow and quickly turns into repetitive after you’ve got completed the brand new Raid.

    Pros
    Fixes points with the sport’s narrative
    Gunplay is as satisfying as ever
    The new Raid is among the most difficult thus far

    Cons
    Doesn’t add a whole lot of new options
    Cuts a whole lot of content material from the sport

    Key Specifications
    Review Price: £49.99
    Developer: Bungie
    Genre: FPS
    Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Stadia

    Destiny 2: Beyond Light is the most important enlargement, and discount, to Bungie’s dwell service shooter in current reminiscence. It goals to streamline the sport and take its narrative in a daring new path.
    But, in doing so, the brand new chapter takes a hatchet to a lot of the sport’s older content material and loot, leaving some players justifiably questioning whether or not it’s definitely worth the hefty value of the season move.
    Having spent a good period of time finishing the marketing campaign, grinding the publish sport and making an attempt – and failing – to complete the brand new Raid on day one, I can affirm that it’s, in probably the most half, however there are caveats.
    For the newbies to the sequence, Beyond Light is the latest chapter/DLC replace to Bungie’s long-running open-world sci-fi shooter, which reworks reasonably than rethinks the core Destiny expertise.
    You’ll as soon as once more encounter a loot shooter, with an enormous collection of open planets to discover. Upon them you’ll take part in a wide range of commonplace missions, strikes and patrols – both in your lonesome or with a fireteam of different Guardians. In the method, you’ll earn gear for enhancing your character’s total energy and light-weight stage.
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    So far, so acquainted? Generally, I’d agree. But having accomplished the principle marketing campaign, I’m happy to report the replace reveals that Bungie is lastly getting critical about fixing one of many franchise’s largest flaws: its lacklustre and oftentimes nonsensical strategy to narrative.
    Since the primary Destiny rolled out, a typical criticism by the years has been its nonsense story. To assist newbies to the franchise, the Cliffs Notes model of the story thus far is that you just tackle the position of a Guardian, historical warriors who defend the final remnants of humanity after a cataclysmic occasion that just about rendered it extinct.
    Guardians can blast by enemies with an arsenal of futuristic weapons, whereas additionally utilizing particular powers granted to them by a mysterious entity often known as The Traveller. This unusual being sacrificed itself through the nice battle to save lots of what was left of the human race. Beyond this preliminary basis and some standalone tales with every new enlargement, the core narrative of Destiny stays featherlight.
    Narrative highlights have included dropping hints concerning the Guardians not being pretty much as good as first thought, expertly tugging at our heartstrings with one of many sequence most-beloved characters biting the mud in spectacular trend.
    Beyond this, the story has remained enraptured by its personal mythology, sacrificing cohesion as a consequence. Each new enlargement follows the identical drained cycle. A brand new large unhealthy enemy seems and threatens to destroy the galaxy, and it’s your job to take him down earlier than restoring Destiny’s world to the established order.
    What’s stored the sequence going has been its satisfying capturing and looting mechanics, which supply a real incentive to proceed taking part in frequently – and followers have definitely caught round. Beyond Light goals to repair these shortcomings by providing a story that expands on the general lore and has a tangible impression on its world. It appears Destiny is lastly going to start out taking its universe extra significantly.
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    Beyond Light units off after the Season of Arrival’s conclusion. We’ll be mild on spoilers the place potential, but it surely hints on the arrival of a brand new hostile drive often known as The Darkness. Details are nonetheless hazy, but it surely appears to be an evil type of The Traveller, able to imbuing Guardians with powers which are much more sinister than something we’ve seen earlier than.
    The marketing campaign missions see a lot of returning faces take the stage, and revolves round how the Guardians and varied different factions react to the brand new participant on the scene. Specifically, it sees you staff up with Variks, an alien villain from earlier within the story, as he tries to cease Eris from “destroying his people” in her makes an attempt to harness The Darkness. This means nearly all of Beyond Light pans out on Europa, one among Jupiter’s frozen moons.
    Upon first look the story follows the identical format as previous expansions, however all through the missions it looks like there’s extra weight to the proceedings. Each story interplay with the characters provides considerably extra backstory than previous campaigns, and each character is extra rounded, that includes an ethical compass that’s refreshingly ambiguous.
    Even Eris, the principle villain, feels partially justified given the occasions of her previous. This depth implies that, for the primary time since I reviewed the unique Destiny, I felt a tinge of emotional reference to the principle story. Segments with The Darkness, the place the primary sport’s mysterious Exo Stranger, Eris Morn and The Drifter assist educate you the right way to harness its energy are significantly entertaining, particularly as the ultimate skills you unlock are a lot enjoyable to make use of through the marketing campaign.
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    Beyond Light introduces Destiny’s first Darkness subclasses. Specifically, it unlocks new “Stasis” skills. These are new ice-themed particular assaults that concentrate on freezing and breaking enemies. On a Warlock, for instance, it permits you to summon a Stasis workers that shoots orbs of frozen power at enemies after which enacts assaults to crack them, inflicting large harm within the course of. The grenade potential is superior, too, permitting you to throw a snowball to freeze enemies or create wall boundaries.
    The impression of the story isn’t simply mirrored in the principle marketing campaign; it trickles by to the endgame and multiplayer parts, too, with Destiny having reduce entry to a number of earlier places and quests from different seasons. This makes it the primary new chapter to really feel like the beginning of one thing epic, and a brand new basis for Destiny to construct upon.
    Sadly, there are some critical points to deal with within the marketing campaign. The largest is the sheer quantity of content material Bungie has reduce. Numerous raids, strikes, bits of package and missions have all disappeared from the sandbox. Other key hubs and shops are gone, too, together with the Black Armory Forges.
    The culling can be high-quality if there was sufficient new content material to switch them – however, because it stands, this feels very very like a reset that shall be constructed on with the subsequent two content material drops in Beyond Light’s roadmap.
    This makes the grind of the endgame all of the tougher. Gear and weapons on provide have diminished to the purpose that the choice feels extremely restricted. The missions on provide have some cool post-campaign implications concerning the origins of one of many sport’s races, the Exo. However, they comply with the identical format, merely tasking you to repeat earlier places and blast or scan no matter is there.
    The identical is true of public occasions and patrols, which by no means evolve previous “follow this waypoint” after which “shoot this thing” mechanics. Given the funds and inventive powers behind Destiny, I’d hoped for extra selection and progressive mechanics at this level.
    The new Deep Stone Crypt Raid is a welcome exception on this regard, and early on acts as the one actual incentive to grind the publish sport.
    Raids are Destiny’s final challenges. They’re gruelling dungeons stuffed with advanced puzzles, difficult bosses and Deathtrap Dungeon-level surprises that require a fireteam of six high-level Guardians working collectively to finish. The new Raid takes place in a forgotten R&D facility, beforehand occupied and run by a mad scientist.
    To even entry the Raid you want a light-weight stage of 1220 – though, be warned: in the event you go in with a staff at that stage you’re going to die pretty shortly.

    I went in with a fireteam of mates on voice chat with a mean stage of 1230 and was despatched operating with my tail between my legs at warp velocity. I’ve since returned twice and nonetheless haven’t accomplished it. Make no mistake, the Deep Stone Crypt is an superior endgame problem that’s effectively definitely worth the wait.
    Sadly, outdoors of this multiplayer every little thing feels somewhat too acquainted. Crucible has sufficient maps to maintain you entertained, however the brand new Stasis skills really feel overpowered, as do a number of the new exotics and common gear, making it rather a lot much less enjoyable to play.
    An absence of any vital new modes additionally feels somewhat harsh. You’ll be caught with Rumble, Control, Clash and Elimination choices, similar to the final season. Gambit – my earlier favorite mode – has additionally been left untouched, making it really feel like an afterthought. Such modifications makes unlocking “legacy” gear and new modifiers for the Stasis courses, two of a choose few endgame goals value pursuing, really feel like a chore as effectively.
    Legacy exotics from earlier seasons can nonetheless be solid at a terminal within the Tower hub, when you’ve got the mandatory components – which, sadly, should be collected by grinding the few missions and strikes nonetheless on provide repeatedly.
    What’s extra, the outdated weapons have been severely nerfed, with Bungie limiting what number of occasions you’ll be able to improve them in a bid to make the brand new weapons extra related. This is a pleasant contact that makes on the lookout for new loot and altering your loadout really feel like a brand new problem. But once more, because it stands there merely isn’t sufficient new {hardware} to maintain issues thrilling long-term, though this may change pretty shortly if Bungie’s improvement/launch roadmap is something to go by.

    Should I purchase Destiny 2: Beyond Light?
    Destiny 2: Beyond Light is a key launch for Bungie’s dwell service shooter that takes it in an essential new path narratively. It delivers a way more concerned and fascinating story than any earlier Destiny launch and I can’t wait to see how Bungie grows the seeds it has planted right here. The change additionally makes it an excellent time for newbies to the sport to leap on board.
    However, the endgame grind feels far too acquainted, and there haven’t been sufficient modifications to the sport’s core fight, mission and multiplayer mechanics to make it really feel like a real step ahead. This means established gamers will burn by the content material pretty shortly.

    Editor

    Alastair is in control of TechSwitch’ and Recombu’s editorial output. He has over a decade’s expertise as a journalist working in each B2C and B2B press. In his spare time he runs a webcomic.

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