Destiny 2’s Beyond Light expansion has finally arrived and embarks on the next chapter of your Guardian’s story. The Darkness has been approaching for some time now and Bungie has finally shed some light on it. Destiny has always pitted light against dark, good versus evil. Now we begin to walk that grey line in between.
A lot of people expect a lot from Bungie when it comes to new content. Myself included. Some wanted a Forsaken level expansion, some just purely wanted something more. Season of Arrivals had burnt a lot of us out with the delay. There was also the prospect of big changes coming to the game such as sunsetting, mod adjustments and some weapons changes.
Bungie has delivered in some aspects and missed the mark in others. But overall the Beyond Light expansion is proving to be some of the best story-telling so far. If you have yet to play Destiny 2 some if this may not make sense. Stay with me as I have good news for anyone considering starting their Destiny journey.
Destiny 2 Beyond Light Review
This review will only cover the content from the DLC Beyond Light. I will cover the new season content once I’ve had a chance to play through it.
Beyond Light sees The Darkness take several planets and restrict our reach across our solar system; shrinking the flame of humanity even further. During the last expansion of Destiny 2, Shadowkeep, our Guardians had mastered The Light and had finally come before The Darkness. Beyond Light brings us even closer to The Darkness’ power as we begin to utilise and embrace it.
The main arching story of Destiny has spanned over two games and several expansions. But every expansion has had its main story focus within, Beyond Light is no exception. Our Guardian has been invited by The Darkness to Europa, a Galilean moon of Jupiter. Upon arriving you will bump into an old friend, a friend that quickly requires your help. The space pirates are at it again, as Eramis, a Fallen Kell has managed to unite a large portion of the species to her cause. It is made aware that Eramis is dabbling with the power and gifts of The Darkness. This is troubling as it poses a great threat to what remains of humanity. Our Guardians must embrace these Darkness powers themselves and defeat the threat before it grows too powerful.
Although the expansion doesn’t provide as large a story campaign as Forsaken, it does tell a fantastic story. Bungie’s writers are really starting to embrace old lore and delve into the story head-on. Which is only a good thing for fans of the game.
The content follows the standard Destiny trope, Speak to quest givers go and do the thing. This time though there is the Exo Stranger and Variks. Both will task you to chase up things on Europa. Variks has you focus on stopping Eramis and the Exo Stranger has you tracking down Darkness fragments. What I enjoyed most was the story continues well after the main story missions are completed. Plenty of content to keep you playing and it’s done well.
In addition to the new story arc and location are the new features. There are now legendary versions of Europa’s lost sectors, making them much tougher and rewarding. They are all well designed and have a sense of mystery to them. I spent plenty of time just looking around while travelling through looking for little secrets. There are also some new public events to clear with other Guardians roaming the area. The rewards for public events also felt like they had work to the rewards, they just feel worth actually completing when one pops up now.
The big new change is the addition of the Darkness subclasses for each Guardian class. Better known as Stasis as you uncover more about it. These are all attainable through completing the main story quests. The Titan class is called Behemoth and man is it aptly named. It’s similar to the Striker subclass in the sense you pound the ground like a juggernaut. The results, however, are somewhat different, instead of bursting electricity, you spread a mass of ice out in different directions. Once your enemies are frozen you can use the charge ability to slam through the ice and shatter it and your enemies. It really does feel appropriate for a Titan, you just feel bigger than you are when using it.
Next up is the Warlock’s Shadebinder. This one has already been nerfed. Even as a Hunter main I think the changes have been a little harsh, but they will all likely see tuning as the season goes on. The Shadebinder has the same great thing going on where it really suits the class. When you pop the super you wield an icy wand that cast projectiles at enemies. When the projectiles make contact it flash freezes enemies locking them in place. Then if you move in and use the alternate attack it sends out a force wave that makes the ice explode. The subclass also gets another long range melee for the Warlock, similar it casts a projectile and freezes enemies.
The final subclass to be addressed is the Hunter’s Revenant. When casting your super you throw icicles and on contact freeze a target. If hitting the ground or a target however they then explode into a whirlwind of ice. The interesting thing is the whirlwind does not stay stationary, it will start to move around the battlefield freezing and damaging all in its path. The melee is super fun and makes you feel like a damned ninja. The Hunter throws ice shurikens that bounce off enemies and allows you to hit multiple targets. In the process, it slows enemies and freezes weaker ones.
All the new subclasses are very well designed, they make each class really feel powerful. It also seems the subclasses are designed to work together well. You have a Hunter throw out a super and get that area of effect damage while the Warlock locks everything in place and smashes. All the while the big boy can ram through shredding anything in the path. They are all super strong and will likely all see changes come in soon. It is nice to have a sense of devastating power for now though.
With the subclasses also comes some new grenade abilities. The glacier grenade creates a wall of ice that freezes your enemy. It can also be used as temporary cover if needed. The duskfield grenade creates a dome of stasis that slows enemies and pulls them towards the center. Then there is the coldsnap grenade which will freeze an enemy and then seek out another lock in place. They create some interesting gameplay and gives a fresh take on each class.
As for the other content, there have been some additions in the way of the Cosmodrome. This is an earth location brought back to Destiny 2. It felt to me some of it may still be being worked on or waiting for a time-gated event. The location has been reworked to fit Destiny 2’s narrative and feel like it’s been given some new life. The best part to come out of it is the revamp of the new light arc. This is the first little bit of the game when you start a new character. I restarted my Titan to try and get the full experience and I’m pleased to say it’s fantastic.
It now sees you being awoken and wandering off into the Cosmodrome to find your way. Eventually, you will cross paths with Shaw Han, a fellow guardian who is patrolling the area. This leads to you doing a few things to help him out and in return, he will assist you with getting to the last city. The missions and the narrative give you great exposure to the mechanics of the game. As well as the different features of the game such as lost sectors, patrols and strikes. It is hands down the best the new player experience has ever been since the original Destiny launch.
Overall I have had a great experience playing Beyond Light. The content is great considering most of this expansion was created during a pandemic that affected the world. It couldn’t have been easy to produce something like this outside of that studio environment. I commend Bungie for doing such a great job. There are some little niggly things like no new voice lines for certain characters.
I did recently find out that they had issues getting that work completed due to the pandemic and access to certain voice actors, completely understandable. The game itself has had some big changes which I feel has made the current state of the game change for the worse. However, that does not take away from the Beyond Light experience as it relates to more end game content.
Well done Bungie you really are continuing to build Destiny 2 into a one of a kind game.
Destiny 2 Beyond Light was reviewed on PS4 using digital code purchased by the reviewer.