Game Reviews

Destiny 2: Beyond Light Review: Ice is Nice

Story Highlights
  • “Beyond Light's weak story leaves a lot to be desired, but new stasis abilities help make the game feel fresh again.”
Destiny 2 Beyond Light
  • Versatile stasis powers
  • Lots to find on Europa
  • Faster load events

CONS

  • Dull advertising and marketing marketing campaign
  • Classes actually really feel imbalanced

No matter how good it actually is, it’s on a regular basis tempting to actually really feel a glimmer of hope anytime a Destiny 2 progress as vital as Beyond Light drops. Any excuse to hop once more into top-of-the-line shooters for the time being out is welcome at this stage, however, it’s turning into further important to keep up one’s long-term expectations in analyzing.

Just over a yr prior to now, we reviewed the game’s closing giant progress, Shadowkeep. At the time, we said the development was “brimming with potential” and hoped it might flip the game spherical after a tricky yr that lacked thrilling content material materials.

If that looks like déjà vu for followers, that’s because of it’s the exact same situation Beyond Light finds itself in now. Shadowkeep lastly didn’t ship on its intriguing setup, leaving avid gamers to hope that Beyond Light would put the ship once more heading in the right direction. After years of reliving this similar cycle, it’s time to lastly accept these expansions for what they are surely and stop using them as a symbolic Rorschach check out for the game’s future.

Taken at face price, Destiny 2: Beyond Light is a splendidly applicable content material materials drop for followers who merely want further Destiny. The new Europa location and stasis means give avid gamers a great amount to toy round with, though the model new story advertising and marketing marketing campaign is among the many many franchise’s weakest however. It’s not a revelatory change for the looter shooter; it’s solely a great trigger to log once more in… and that’s okay.

Welcome to Europa

Beyond Light supplies one in every of Destiny 2’s most self-contained tales however. Rather than zipping from planet to planet, merely regarding the entirety of the five-hour advertising and marketing marketing campaign is spent on the game’s new location, Europa. The giant hazard this time spherical is a Fallen captain named Aramis, who has empowered her army with the game’s new ingredient, stasis. Guardians are pressured to battle fire with fire (or ice with ice, on this case) by wielding the power of the darkness in opposition to her.

Nothing regarding the story is notably memorable. Aramis ends up amounting to little larger than one different anticlimactic villain, with the true giant hazard presumably being saved for the game’s upcoming raid. There’s not so much to get obsessed with throughout the specific particular person missions each, as a result of the advertising and marketing marketing campaign is roughly the similar sequence of targets repeated 3 occasions. It feels a lot much less like a story and further like an elongated tutorial for stasis powers.

Destiny 2 Beyond Light

Despite these shortcomings, there’s some stunning thematic weight to the story. The good guys are left asking whether or not or not or not it’s morally correct to utilize the devices of evil to battle evil, which feels intentionally pointed in our current political native climate. That question turns into a lot much less compelling each time characters parrot the similar existential debate, however, it’s on a regular basis welcome to take heed to vital, real-world questions posed all through the game’s infinitely obscure story about light and darkish.

Europa itself is a blended success within the case of areas. On events, the snow-covered planet seems exactly identical to the moon with grey craters palette-swapped for white hills. The lack of helpful landing zones signifies that avid gamers would possibly wish to make the similar prolonged treks every time they have a model new aim. The advertising and marketing marketing campaign and its subsequent post-quests will ship avid gamers by means of the similar handful of areas repeatedly, which can get outdated shortly.

The best parts of the planet are the areas hiding underneath the snow. High-tech laboratories current a stark distinction to Europa’s desolate ground, together with some environmental thriller to the combo. Europa’s misplaced sectors significantly stand out, providing a number of of the expansion’s most spectacular ideas. In one hidden house, I freed a platoon of Braytech robots, who grew to turn out to be my personal army as I took down an infinite hydra.

The story feels a lot much less like a story and further like an elongated tutorial for stasis powers.

Even with these vibrant spots, the model new story content material materials and web site underwhelm as compared with earlier expansions. There’s nonetheless hundreds to benefit from, significantly after the advertising and marketing marketing campaign ends, nonetheless Beyond Light feels a lot much less identical to the gold regular Taken King progress and further identical to the comparatively a lot much less daring Rise of Iron.

Ice to fulfill you

The advertising and marketing marketing campaign’s obsession with stasis is lastly warranted. For the first time ever, Beyond Light supplies a completely new ingredient for avid gamers to equip, full with new supers and abilities. Stasis presents Guardians ice powers, letting them stop enemies chillily, shatter frozen foes, and erect giant ice partitions like Overwatch’s Mei.

Stasis is basically probably the most thrilling attribute to hit Destiny in years.

Stasis really modifications how the game is carried out and followers are already taking full advantage of it. The sport’s Crucible PVP mode is for the time being in a state of nice chaos as Guardians use their expertise to do points certainly not sooner than potential in Destiny. Some assemble ice partitions to dam off entrances to handle components, letting them securely finish capturing them. Others throw the pliability at their ft, taking photos of the handfuls of ft into the air.

The Destiny assortment has hardly had that sort of experimentation, even when together with new subclasses and supers. It was on a regular basis clear what its three damage varieties did, no matter how they’ve been wrapped up. Stasis feels completely worldwide, together with pleasure once more into actions avid gamers have floor out for years.

Destiny 2 Beyond Light

The strategy the stasis subclass works totally differs from the outdated trio. Players can improve each means with fragments that totally change one of the best ways it operates. When the ice wall grenade wasn’t clicking with my playstyle, I transformed to 1 that shot out a creeping row of icicles that might chain to enemies. There’s plenty of depth to one of the best ways avid gamers can customise the subclass, which makes it genuinely rewarding to go looking out further selections.

It does actually really feel like Bungie has some tweaking to do, however. Stasis is absurdly extremely efficient in an strategy that feels unsustainable in the long run. Not solely does ice freeze enemies (it might presumably even shut down supers), it harms them as quickly as they get away too. That’s a blast in PVE actions the place avid gamers can shatter an entire mob of dregs, however, it feels out of whack in aggressive modes. Getting frozen appears to be like like a lack of life sentence, it would not matter what the circumstance is, making stasis actually really feel like an imbalanced selection in its current state.

Even if there’s work to be accomplished, stasis is basically probably the most thrilling attribute to hit Destiny in years. It opens the door for model spanking new playstyles and makes outdated experiences actually really feel new as soon as extra. It’s exactly the kind of refresh the game has lengthy struggled to comprehend.

Less is fantastic

The giant story with Beyond Light is a lot much less about what it supplies and further about what it removes. The alternative slims Destiny 2 down significantly, eradicating complete planets and their corresponding actions. Places like Mercury are gone, ridding followers of tedious content material materials identical to the Infinite Forest.

Destiny 2 Beyond Light

What’s stunning is that none of it feels missed up to now. I haven’t felt bummed out about not being able to patrol on Titan or missing out on a run of Escalation Protocol. The mass expulsion highlights merely how gluttonous Destiny 2 had became in years as a result of it amassed filler content material materials that didn’t add one thing.

Not so much is added of their place, nonetheless, that has its benefits. Destiny 2’s file measurement has virtually been lowering in half, making for an additional compact sport that already feels want it runs so much smoother. Load events are sooner and I’ve run into far a lot fewer loading zone hiccups all through strikes.

Beyond Light is about stripping the game once more proper right down to its bare requirements so Bungie and avid gamers alike can work out what’s actually gratifying regarding the sport.

The added stability appears to be like like good commerce, though the long-term affect is unclear. With plenty of Beyond Light’s content material materials contained to Europa, I’m undecided how small points will actually really feel as quickly as I’ve cleared out my quests. Many of those questions have to be answered throughout the upcoming Season of the Hunt, nonetheless, perpetually skeptical followers wouldn’t be flawed to brace for yet one more sluggish yr.

That’s why it’s so essential to recalibrate expectations this time round. Beyond Light isn’t about starting a vibrant chapter for the gathering. It’s about stripping the game once more proper right down to its bare requirements so Bungie and avid gamers alike can work out what’s actually gratifying regarding the sport. It’s completely potential that Beyond Light solely holds avid gamers’ curiosity for only a few weeks, nonetheless presumably it’s time to easily settle for that Destiny 2 could also be a lot much less environment friendly as a long-tailed service sport and further nice as a rock-solid shooter that’s value revisiting only a few events a yr.

Our thought

Destiny 2: Beyond Light is a slimmer offering than followers would possibly want hoping for because of its disappointing advertising and marketing marketing campaign, nonetheless, there’s nonetheless ample intrigue beneath Europa’s ground to warrant a return to orbit. The new stasis subclasses clear up years-old experiences and make parts of the game actually really feel new as soon as extra, even when the honeymoon feeling melts away in only a few weeks.

Is there a larger distinction?

The reply is nonetheless no, though rivals are getting fiercer. Warframe is significantly creeping up on the throne, nonetheless, Destiny 2’s taking photos is nonetheless unmatched.

How prolonged will it closing?

The advertising and marketing marketing campaign itself solely takes round 5 hours, nonetheless, there are a lot of quests and actions to complete even sooner than the model new season begins.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re already supplied on Destiny 2, there’s no trigger to not proceed with the journey. The switch to next-gen is an added trigger to leap once more in for model spanking new console householders.

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