Destiny 2: Beyond Light: The Kotaku Review

A new year, a new expansion, a new Destiny 2. With Beyond Light, Bungie’s six-year-old loot shooter looks as beautiful and feels as good to play as it ever has, complete with small quality-of-life improvements and a satisfying story that delves into some of the series’ longstanding mysteries and even offers a few, uncharacteristically human answers.

After last year’s disappointing Shadowkeep expansion, Bungie’s first since the studio split with mega-publisher Activision, Beyond Light feels like a return to form and makes for a fulfilling new space adventure if you can set aside some of the game’s ever-encroaching live-service demands. The new stuff ranges from good to great, including: a patrol zone, a subclass, a strike mission, tons of exotic gear, and lots more fascinating lore-based collectibles. Gambit mode has been overhauled and is now, wait for it, fun! The cumbersome mod system is simpler and lets you equip seasonal artifact mods to armor pieces instead of tying up slots on weapons. And you can finally customize your Ghost shells to give them whatever perks you want.

The rest of Destiny 2 is unfortunately a mess at the moment, as Bungie tries to build the game’s future by cutting loose its past. Log onto the game now after being away for a while and you’ll find there’s a lot missing, making Destiny feel smaller than at any time since before 2015’s Taken King expansion. The results on that front so far range from mixed to troubling. Destiny 2’s systems can still be cumbersome and unintuitive, and there’s less reason than ever to bother with any content outside of what’s been added in the new expansion. The start of this new era of Destiny feels less like a clean break with the past than a pilot jettisoning everyone’s carry-ons mid-take-off because the flight was overbooked. Based on this first layover, though, it might end up worth it.

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