Beyond Light marks the end of the first full year of Destiny 2 content since splitting with their prior publisher, Activision. I’m a long time Destiny player, but this marks the first expansion I’ve actually started day one. Beyond Light and its ensuing Season Of The Hunt have set the stage for the future of Destiny 2, but is it a good future? (Note: As of the writing of this review, I have not completed the Stasis fragment legendary quest-line, nor the Deep Stone Crypt raid. As a result, neither of which have been included in the scoring of this review.)
The most well known expansion feature this cycle is the sunsetting of previous content. This controversial move did cause the most backlash for this expansion. Sunsetting is a process in live service games of removing or cycling out content for various reasons. In the case of Destiny 2, the majority of the base game and its first two expansions are no longer available. As a result, players who haven’t purchased one of three expansions can only complete the New Light campaign. This puts a lot of free to play users at greater than usual disadvantage. In addition, the power level, or combat effectiveness of most of the other expansions gear drops at a base 1050. Encouraging players to try out new content is a good thing. Bottlenecking them, while simultaneously removing the amount of content that is viable is not. Still, this is not a review of Bungie’s content practices.
Beyond Light’s key addition to the environment of Destiny 2 is the new element, Stasis. As it currently fits into the meta, Stasis is the subclass to have. It’s icy eruptions allow you to freeze enemies, increasing their damage taken. Stasis can also slow or blind enemies, offering a decently versatile elemental build. While there’s currently not a lot of weapons and armor built around utilizing Stasis, it does offer an exciting new option for the typical play environment. The only way to get it is to complete the entire expansion’s storyline, which means if you want to be competitively viable ASAP, you better speedrun those quests. Despite all that, Stasis powers are easily one of the best additions to Destiny 2.
The story of Beyond Light takes you to the icy moon of Europa, which is easily one of the best sandbox worlds in the series. Europa is covered in small touches that showcase how much love can be put into the game. It also features both the series’ first dynamic weather and a reactive snow system that immerses you its cold landscape. Here, you’re tasked with defeating the Fallen House Salvation, who’ve contacted the mysterious darkness. From there, you engage in the standard destiny fare, kill enemies, rinse and repeat.
The post expansion content at this point in time is decent. While the season is far from over, it does look like Bungie plans on expanding on Beyond Light. However, the current amount of content available, including post launch, is very bare-bones when compared to prior expansions. Because of that, and combined with the very mixed reactions at launch, Beyond Light is an ultimately flawed project. One can only hope that Bungie’s future content slate is able to make up for its awkward origins.
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