Destiny 2 – Lightfall

1 February, 2024 - 11:45 am by
About 7 mins to read
Reviewed on: PlayStation 5

After the events of The Witch Queen and the Guardian’s long fight against Savathun, Bungie has lifted the lid on Destiny 2’s next big bad, The Witness. Lightfall is set to be the penultimate expansion in the Light and Dark war that has been building since the first game was released almost 10 years ago. The revelation that The Witness has been the mastermind behind almost everything in the last decade has had fans salivating at the prospect of facing off against the cloud-headed menace, but before that, we have new powers to get our hands on.

Note from the Editor: As Destiny 2 is a live service game, we’ll be reviewing all of the expansions and what they mean to the overall game. Current reviewed expansions are found below:

Destiny 2 – Lightfall begins where The Witch Queen left us last year, with The Witness and his forces finally arriving in the solar system. As Earth’s forces throw everything at this new interloper, the command centre is quickly overpowered and scattered to the various worlds that have been well-trodden over the years. The Witness disappears into the heart of The Traveller and… that’s it. The opening cutscene is all we see of this big imposing doom monger, as apparently, the Guardian has bigger fish to fry; dicking about with a new Tarzan-like ability.

After the bombastic opening and a short mission that involved running around on an enemy spaceship, I arrived in Neomuna, a vibrant city in the heart of Neptune that has somehow avoided all of the shenanigans that The Witness and the Black Fleet have brought to the solar system over the last few hundred years. That was until I arrived, where I was quickly given a gun and told to sort out the mess I specifically had made. The first step in this new cause is to obtain Strand Energy, a wobbly green beam of energy that can be used as a means to swing around certain areas or to lasso enemies like an armoured Indiana Jones. This is the first new power since Beyond Light so Bungie was keen to make this the sole focus of Lightfall

At A Glance

Destiny 2 – Lightfall
Positives  + Vibrant new world to explore
+ Great supporting cast
+ Strand energy is pretty fun
Negatives  – No real plot development
– Dull missions
– Big advert for next year’s Final Shape DLC
OverallNo Score
Played OnPS5
Also Available OnPC, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Find out about our scoring policy here.

To this end the new location of Neomuna is built for the use of this new power and is a far cry from the ruined environments of Earth, or the dark nests of Hive forces we’ve become accustomed to over the years. Neomuna is a lively place full of tall skyscrapers, fluorescent lights, and brimming with technology that is untouched by a brutal war and just wandering around the city is unlike anything Bungie has created in Destiny so far. Once you unlock the Strand ability outside of the campaign, you’re free to swing through the futuristic city like Peter Parker with a laser cannon.

Once the abilities have been unlocked, traversing Neomuna becomes a genuinely fun experience that reminded me more of Mirror’s Edge rather than the first-person shooter I’ve become acutely aware of. In battles, the sword beams which you could shoot by hitting the shoulder buttons allowed me to cut down enemies with gleeful abandon, but taking the powers back to the rest of the solar system felt a little off. Neomuna is full of large gaps and tall buildings, meaning it is the perfect playground to fly from point to point, showcasing my new skills but once I left the planet, I quickly swapped back to my trusty Void build as the other planets are painstakingly flat in comparison so I couldn’t get much airtime. It’s a shame that I quickly defaulted back to my trusty build, but with Destiny 2’s 2023 update at least I can now save specific loadouts so I could sort out a few setups and quickly swap them on the fly. 

With the Strand ability being the primary focus of the 2023 Destiny 2 expansion, this does mean there’s a wealth of new gear to plunder throughout the solar system. The weapons introduced are remixes of what’s come before and unlike 2022’s Witch Queen expansion, there are no new weapon types this time around. That being said, Hand Cannons, Auto Rifles and Grenade Launchers can now be infused with Strand abilities to smash through enemies. While I understand that Bungie couldn’t add in a whole new weapon type to play in every new expansion, it did leave me feeling that Lightfall is just more of the same ground we’ve covered before, albeit with guns covered in green light.

As there is only one officially announced expansion left on the horizon for Destiny 2, this add-on was always going to be a hard sell. Lightfall is purely there to make sure all the pieces for 2024’s Final Shape are where they should be and compared to the incredible story, setting and content that was added in with last year’s expansion, I was left feeling like Lightfall would have been better served if it came before The Witch Queen. It is frustrating that this is the case as the new city of Neomuna is full of colour and life and is one of the most engaging environments I’ve explored in all of Destiny to date.

Thanks to its focus on the new powers, rather than progressing the story in any meaningful way, Lightfall ends up being a flat experience that leaves you wanting more. It doesn’t help that the Light vs Dark story, which has been building for the best part of a decade, is in its endgame. It also doesn’t help that the expansion has to live up to the incredible add-on that was released the year prior. There are good points to be found in Lightfall like the setting and the new Strand ability but as far as it being essential to the story, I’m not so sure. I’d only recommend Lightfall to the dedicated Destiny 2 players, or when it is inevitably rolled into the expansion collection when The Final Shape arrives.

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