Review of Destiny 2: Lightfall

Destiny 2 has undergone significant changes since the last time I played it. when I first discussed my experience with the recent Lightfall expansion, but it’s worth repeating. The game I reviewed back in 2017 is now just a small fraction of what it used to be, and almost every aspect of the game has been overhauled. It feels like an entirely new game compared to my previous experience. Despite the shortcomings of Lightfall’s additions, the game as a whole is arguably better than ever, even with the content that has been vaulted from previous updates by Bungie.

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As a returning player, it took some time for me to understand what was new with Lightfall and what had been added in the years since my last playthrough in the Sol system. One notable change is the rebalancing of the Armor Mod system, although I didn’t have the chance to explore its previous iteration. Most players agree that the new options are streamlined, making it easier to understand and use, but with less granularity for players to dive into.

The new Strand subclass is the most notable addition, with much of the campaign focused on your Guardian learning to wield it. It stands out compared to the other classes in the game, and the unlockable options following the campaign’s conclusion are especially exciting. For example, there are grenades that can suspend enemies and various Fragments that slightly modify how you play the class.

The buildcraft aspect of modern Destiny 2 is one of the most significant changes since I last played, with mods, armor stats, and customization options for specific subclasses. It’s clear how players can spend countless hours tinkering with their loadouts. As someone who has spent a similar amount of time customizing loadouts in Monster Hunter, I understand why the game has such a passionate playerbase.

The new Root of Nightmares raid is also worth mentioning. I’ve always enjoyed Destiny’s raiding experiences, and Lightfall’s addition is no exception. Bungie’s environmental designs have always been impressive, and the raids continue to showcase their creativity. The light and dark mechanics used throughout the raid help players understand and master the mechanics required for the final encounter against Nezarec. It may be an easier raid compared to past ones, but it’s still engaging and served as a perfect refresher after my long absence from the game.

The current seasonal activity, Defiant Battlegrounds, is similarly engaging. It’s difficult to write about considering the possibility that it may be removed when the next Destiny 2 expansion launches. However, the activity offers new Vanguard Ops and worthwhile rewards for engaging with the seasonal storyline. While Lightfall’s main scenario may have fallen short, Season of Defiance seems to have a more positive reception so far.

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There are plenty of other new activities in the game, many of them linked to the Neomuna patrol zone, while others have been added to areas like the European Dead Zone. The Vexcalibur exotic mission incorporates mechanics from previous seasons and offers a mission reminiscent of the quest that unlocked the Whisper of the Worm exotic sniper from Year 1. Terminal Overload reminds me of Escalation Protocol, also from Year 1, and provides a reason for players to continue engaging with Neomuna even after completing Lightfall’s campaign.

All in all, while Lightfall is not perfect, it serves as a capable entry point for new and returning players given the current state of the game. Longtime Destiny 2 players have likely already experienced the expansion, but for those who were undecided, Lightfall offers a solid update to the Destiny universe despite its flaws.

Versions tested: PC

Update at 3:04 - 31/07/2023
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