Destiny 2: Beyond Light

Destiny 2: Beyond Light Review

We head back to the icy glaciers of Europa, for our final review of the Destiny 2: Beyond Light expansion.

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Before I do anything, let's address the elephant in the room, as you're probably thinking, "isn't this a little bit late for a Destiny 2: Beyond Light review?" Well, yes. But, there's a reason for that, and it revolves around the core design of this game, something that dedicated fans of which I have always considered myself to be, usually don't think twice about.

You see, this year my life has twisted and turned, from having very little to do, to quite a lot, and that change in lifestyle really shows the true colours of a game like Destiny. Now, the issue I'm dancing around is power levelling. There is a whole bunch of great content being added in Beyond Light (I've previously gone over bits of this in my review-in-progress), but as someone with a limited amount of time to be able to play this game today, having to go back and engage in the same content I have been playing for years just to be able to access the newer stuff, makes me less interested to play.

I still love Destiny 2, but playing The Corrupted strike for the 200th time, or completing a bounty grind just to be able to get to the right level to play new content is not exactly my idea of a good time anymore, and I don't believe it's great game design either for a title invested in longevity. With that off my chest, what about the new content, the stuff you actually buy Beyond Light for. Well, in general that's pretty great.

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Starting with the new subclass Stasis, Guardians can look forward to a new set of abilities that promote area control. In my review-in-progress, I said that this class doesn't feel all that lethal, and I still stand by that after a longer playtime. Stasis has so many incredible uses that make it a desirable class to work with, but it won't blow up a boss' health bar. The part of Stasis though that really elevates it above the other subclasses is how you can develop it. Unlike Arc, Solar or Void, Stasis can be upgraded and manipulated to suit how you play, meaning you can add freezing effects to your class abilities, or even increase the damage done to frozen targets through the Aspects you can earn.

The brilliance about Stasis is how each class's version feels great to use. Whether you rock the Revenant, the Behemoth or the Shadebinder, you can expect to use a deep and unique set of abilities, completely different to anything else in the game. Personally, being a long-time Hunter user, I'd recommend the Revenant class, but I might be slightly biased in that regard.

I won't dive too far into Europa here, as I did quite a deep look in my review-in-progress, but what I will add is that this location has the sort of depth the Tangled Shore and the Dreaming City offer. Wherever you go, there is something hidden to search for, or a quest to complete, which really makes exploring Europa with its dynamic weather a joy to behold.

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We all know the driving force of a Guardian is the search for new powerful weapons and armour, and Beyond Light definitely offers a plentiful selection to hunt down. The new Exotics, The Lament, Eyes of Tomorrow, No Time To Explain, and all the other weapons and armour are what you'd expect: powerful weapons and gear that makes regular items look subpar. Some of the newer Exotics can be difficult to get hold of, locked behind Empire Hunt drops or Solo/Master Lost Sector completions, but there is still plenty of great legendary gear to find from pretty much every source - you will still need to luck-out on a decent roll for these though.

As for new activities and Strikes, Beyond Light brings some great challenges to chew through. From a list of new Public Events to Exo Challenges, or the Exotic quest lines and even the new Strike, there's a lot to be excited for here but, the cream of the crop is absolutely the new raid, Deep Stone Crypt. This activity has been built with such a great design that it almost generated 60 times the amount of day-one clears to Garden of Salvation (the last raid). The record breaking engagement for this event is no coincidence either, as it's a raid packed with lore and ingenious mechanics, with the best of those being a vendor chest at the end that allows you to have a degree of selection on what you will be rewarded. No more getting a scout rifle on back-to-back raid clears. Yay.

Also being available right now is Season of the Hunt, which technically is a separate entity to Beyond Light, but at the same time, both are very much crucial to the state of the Destiny 2: Beyond Light experience today. This of course, being a new season offers a Season Pass (Battle Pass) worth of content, as well as seeing the return of a familiar face, Uldren Sov, now recognised as The Crow. Season of the Hunt sees the Tangled Shore under assault from Wrathborn, which are enemies that have been consumed by a strange essence, and you, working with The Crow will hunt these foes down to earn rewards.

Wrathborn Hunts are admittedly a little dull and can usually be knocked out in a few minutes, but it does give you a reason to leave Europa, other than just playing Strikes, Crucible or Gambit on rotation.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light
The Lament Exotic sword in all of its glory.
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The other big addition coming to Destiny 2 during this season, is the next-generation version available on Xbox Series and PS5, as a free upgrade between similar families of consoles. For Xbox Series X and PS5, this means 4K at 60fps for everywhere except the Crucible (that offers 120fps at a slightly lower resolution). For Xbox Series S, you can expect 1080p at 60fps everywhere, even Crucible, and that's due to the lower power hardware. The other big additions coming with this next-gen upgrade is of course faster loading times (for Xbox Series X that means getting into the game in 56 seconds, instead of the eternity it takes on Xbox One X), as well as a field of view slider and cross-generational play between Xbox families of consoles and PlayStation families of consoles - cross-play is also set to come next year.

Looking at the state of Destiny 2: Beyond Light as a whole, I think I can safely say that this is the best possible time to get into the expansive world of Destiny. There are a few issues that still remain with how fresh some of its content feels or is adapted, but with the addition of Beyond Light, the future is absolutely looking brighter than ever for the series. As a long-time Destiny fan, Beyond Light provides me an incentive to keep investing time into this live-service game, but if you're expecting a completely new version of the Destiny 2 experience, I'm afraid you won't find it here.

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08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
Stasis is great. Europa is exciting at every turn. The new activities give Guardians something to look forward to. Exotics are as interesting as you would hope.
Suffers from the same issues plaguing Destiny, in that we are still expected to play content from 2-3 years ago to be able to level high enough to play newer content.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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REVIEW. Written by Ben Lyons

We head back to the icy glaciers of Europa, for our final review of the Destiny 2: Beyond Light expansion.

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