Destiny 2: Beyond Light review

Destiny 2: Beyond Light review


Need to know

What is it? The third expansion for Destiny 2 [insect-chattering noises].
Expect to pay $40/£35
Reviewed on
GeForce GTX 1070, 32GB RAM, Ryzen 7 3700X
Official site

In many ways, Beyond Light is a classic Destiny expansion. There’s a new destination to explore, a new campaign to complete and a new raid to overcome. There’s also a new elemental damage type, Stasis, which is a big deal, but not so much that it feels like you’re playing a radically different game. The music when you launch the game has changed. Some of the menus look different. All in all, it’s a bunch more Destiny 2.

But as traditional as Beyond Light itself may be, it arrives alongside a more dramatic shift in how Destiny 2 works. Two new schemes—gear sunsetting and the Destiny Content Vault—work to deprecate much of what came before. The former gives all legendary weapons a power cap, ensuring they can only be infused for a year after their release. The latter removes a number of older destinations, along with their associated activities, raids and quests, in an effort to reduce the game’s size and make new content easier to test and implement.

This isn’t the first time Destiny 2 has undergone a major overhaul, but where Forsaken’s sandbox changes were a successful attempt to bring a maligned sequel closer to its more beloved predecessor, Beyond Light looks forward, towards a sustainable vision of what Destiny can be for the next three years. Given that so much has been removed, though, there’s more pressure than ever for Beyond Light to perform—to satisfy the needs of a playerbase hungry for new, meaningful activities. Does it succeed? To an extent.

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Beyond Light campaign itself is something of a return to form after Shadowkeep’s muddle of vague Hive rituals and tedious armour crafting. Europa is a joy to explore with its wide open surfaces, frequently obscured by heavy snowstorms. The campaign quickly settles into a nice rhythm of open world encounters, story beats and missions—where Guardians explore industrial mazes, Vex constructs and the eerily sterile laboratories of the Clovis Bray facility. While there are only a small number of proper, instanced quests, the campaign at least feels substantial. Some of that is due to the level gating, which usually means playing one of the core activities to gear up ahead of the next quest, but veteran players will nonetheless appreciate the chance to tackle some of the missions underleveled.