Destiny 2 has sprung into the limelight again with its newest DLC, “Beyond Light”. First released in the fall of 2017, Destiny 2 is a science fiction, action role-playing, first-person shooter developed by Bungie. “Beyond Light” is the fifth expansion for Destiny 2, and similar to the previous DLC, it brings with it a new moon to explore along with a new campaign, new quests, and new PvE activities.
On Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter, a new power is born from the ancient Pyramid Ship looming above the frozen frontier. With a new power up for grabs, the Eliksni aren’t far behind, sprouting a new House that seeks to bring all Eliksni under one rule. With indignation and pride, the House of Salvation seeks to see the Fallen rise again and move against the Guardians of the Last City. The only way to fight against this rising empire is to wield the very power that created it: the Darkness.
With the infection of the Darkness, Guardians will take on a new subclass called Stasis. Like the other subclasses, Stasis comes with a novel super, grenade, and melee for each class (Titan, Warlock, and Hunter). Unlike the other subclasses, Stasis focuses on-ice abilities. For example, the grenade produces icicles wherever it lands, potentially freezing enemies.
Stasis is undoubtedly fun for its novelty. Although some of the supers seem a bit underpowered, I expect some typical Guardian shenanigans to unfold, especially given that the grenade ability can be used, whether intended or not, as a jump boost, a barrier, or a platform to jump from. In fact, from the bit of crucible I’ve played, plenty of players are getting inventive with this new subclass. Stasis has breathed some life back into Destiny 2 players and it’s exciting to see.
“Beyond Light” heralds the removal of a lot of content, specifically multiple planets like Titan and Io. The absence of these worlds also leads to the removal of a lot of quests and campaign content. But in opposition to this removal, there are two new areas to added: Europa and the Cosmodrome.
Europa is an icy moon that players have never experienced before. The map is huge and intricate with a plethora of derelict structures to explore. The ever-changing weather adds an extra dose of challenge, with the roaming blizzards decreasing visibility and pushing your character around, whether riding on a sparrow or jumping. Add in the pretty graphics and Europa is both aesthetically attractive and provides plenty of fun activities.
Although a lot of the public events on the map are familiar, there is a new one that is decently challenging and features a new class of enemy: a large Fallen mech. With this expansive map to explore, there are a variety of hidden treasures to find, like a random but cute penguin figurine, and puzzles to work out. And, of course, everyone’s favorite side activity is back—golden chests!
The Cosmodrome isn’t a new map, but it’s been a while since Guardians have visited this part of Earth. A bit like the return of Earth’s moon in the “Shadowkeep” DLC, the return of the Cosmodrome is exciting for the simple fact that it brings back some great memories. The map is very similar to its original iteration in Destiny and offers many of its past activities.
The main campaign mainly occurs on Europa with a couple of missions trickling over to the Cosmodrome. Whereas “Shadowkeep”’s campaign was interesting but extremely short, “Beyond Light” definitely has stepped it up a notch and given us more length to its story. The campaign features characters that we haven’t seen in awhile, like Variks and the Exo Stranger. Although the dialogue can get a bit cheesy in some areas, a lot of it is fun and humorous despite the dire situation; the usual Destiny fare.
As is typical, after completion of the main campaign, there are a plethora of quests available that have the chance to drop powerful guns and armor. These quests also continue the story that the main campaign began, adding more lore and information to the Destiny world.
In general, there are a handful of changes here and there that may not be immediately noticeable. We have some updates to the menus that make them more aesthetically pleasing but also a little easier to use. The load times also feel quicker. One of the more interesting changes I saw was in reference to character creation. Instead of picking a female or male character, you instead pick a feminine or masculine body type. This change probably isn’t something grandeur for most, but for someone who often thinks about the function of gender in society, it’s a positive, if small, change.
Ultimately, the question is, do these additions make up for the amount of content removed? Personally, I would say no. At least not yet. Not only have a handful of worlds been removed from the game, but much of the armor and guns Guardians could have collected before “Shadowkeep” have been rendered useless.
With the removal of certain content, a large number of exotic weapon quests can no longer be completed. Bungie’s solution to this is to allow players to just buy these weapons instead. That’s all well and good, except that some quests required a lot of time, skill, and even a bit of luck to complete. So when it comes to some of the notoriously hard quests, this decision has nullified all that hard work. Unlike “Shadowkeep,” this newest DLC hasn’t added any new Crucible maps and only a couple of new strikes.
Overall, this DLC seems just a bit better than the last. With a lengthier campaign and more questlines, “Beyond Light” offers plenty of new PvE activities and Stasis shakes up Guardians’ play styles in both PvP and PvE. Europa itself is a beautiful and elaborate map and it’s great to be able to explore the Cosmodrome again. However, the removal of a lot of the base content and the lack of new PvP content is upsetting. Although we still have some content that’s planned to be released in the future, like a new Raid and more Darkness subclasses, Bungie still has a lot to make up for.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light is available now on Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, and PC.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light
With a lengthier campaign and more questlines, “Beyond Light” offers plenty of new PvE activities and Stasis shakes up Guardians’ play styles in both PvP and PvE. Europa itself is a beautiful and elaborate map and it’s great to be able to explore the Cosmodrome again. However, the removal of a lot of the base content and the lack of new PvP content is upsetting. Although we still have some content that’s planned to be released in the future, like a new Raid, Bungie still has a lot to make up for.