Destiny 2’s latest expansion, Beyond Light, marks the beginning of a new chapter in your journey which takes you to the frozen moon of Europa where you must embrace the darkness by wielding the power of Stasis.
EMBRACE THE DARKNESS
Destiny 2: Beyond Light‘s campaign starts off with your guardian receiving a distress call from Variks who warns us of an eminent danger on Europa. As leader of her kind, Eramis has learnt how to wield the power of Darkness (Stasis) and has passed it down to her Lieutenants in hopes of extracting revenge on the Traveler by destroying it.
In order to stop Eramis, you must also commune the Darkness with the guidance of a familiar character, the Exo Stranger. As you take out Eramis’ Lieutenants one by one, you get to experience Stasis during each fight and eventually equip a new Stasis based subclass towards the end of the campaign. The story was engaging throughout it’s 6 hour journey and it kept me glued to my monitor from start to finish, but revisiting the same areas multiple times did get tiresome eventually. On another note, the campaign features several returning characters such as Eris Morn and the Drifter who appear in an awesome action packed cutscene but don’t make much of an impact otherwise.
WELCOME TO EUROPA
Europa is a vast desolate wasteland made up of a frozen outer layer with ruins of old cities buried underneath the ice. The icy moon is one of the most beautiful destinations in Destiny thanks to some top-notch visual art and design in addition to a dynamic weather system. Players will be spending a lot of their time speeding across Europa on their sparrows and the breathtaking visuals do a great job at making sure that traversal does not get tedious, especially considering the scarcity of fast travel points. Furthermore, the background music blends very well with the environment and is excellently produced as expected given Destiny’s track record of compelling soundtracks.
It is also worth noting that with the release of the new generation of consoles, Destiny 2 will receive an upgrade featuring higher resolutions, faster load times and more. This means that Europa will look even more stunning after the upgrade on December 8th which will make the game run at 4K with 60 FPS.
As aforementioned, Stasis is the new element/power type introduced in Beyond Light that focuses more on control rather than damage. This is accomplished by temporarily freezing crowds of enemies to focus on higher priority targets. As always, the abilities you get are based on what class you chose when creating your character before playing the game. Warlocks will be getting the Shadebinder subclass, Hunters get the Revenant subclass, and Titans can use the Behemoth subclass.
While Stasis is a viable subclass in PvE, it feels severely overpowered in PvP activities such as Crucible, especially for Warlock players. When hit by some Stasis abilities, you get frozen in place for a handful of seconds that almost always results in getting killed. There is an option to break free from the ice, however it will deplete more than half your health bar and also result in certain death the majority of the time. As it stands, Bungie has addressed these issues and nerfed Stasis with a new patch and hopefully will continue to take proper action to keep PvP as balanced as possible.
After completing the campaign and some activities, players will find themselves at around 1,200 power level which means they have reached the soft cap. In order to increase their power level further players must complete activities that reward Powerful and Pinnacle rewards such as Strikes, Crucible, Raids… For the most part, there always is something to do to help level up your character and Beyond Light makes sure to provide multiple sources of loot to keep things fresh.
Arguably the best piece of endgame content is The Deep Stone Crypt raid which takes you and your fireteam to the source of all Exos located on Europa. The raid features intricate and tricky puzzles that require great teamwork and communication even for those who have seen guides and walkthroughs of the raid.
Due to balance issues with some older weapons which were overpowered and overused, Bungie took the tough decision to sunset (cap at 1,060 power level) every legendary weapon and armor released before December 2019. While this may have solved said problems, this deemed many old weapons useless and created a limited pool of usable weapons for all players.
This along with temporarily removing older content from the game are necessary changes for the game’s future, but have definitely affected the game negatively in the short term. Perhaps having these changes made gradually with the release of seasonal content could have been a more elegant approach. However, as it stands, the game is definitely going in the right direction and credit must be given to Bungie for taking such a tough decision
GameRev was provided with a digital download code for the purpose of this review.