Destiny 2 – Shadowkeep

14 March, 2024 - 4:38 pm by
About 7 mins to read
Reviewed on: PS5

The Destiny 2: Shadowkeep holds a lot of firsts for Guardians. It was the first expansion Bungie self-published after its split from Activision, it is the first release for what is the current free-to-play base game, and it introduced several gameplay mechanics like finishers, Nightmare Hunts, and a reworked armour system. While things have certainly changed since the 2019 expansion first came into being, Shadowkeep is an expansion that deserves some attention, even if it is starting to show its age.

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:

Shadowkeep sees the return of Eris Morn who hasn’t been seen since the original Destiny. The powerful witch has discovered that a mysterious Pyramid ship has managed to bury itself under the surface of Earth’s moon. Morn accidentally activates the ship which not only powers up the invading Hive forces but releases the ghosts of her old fireteam. This results in the ever-reliable Guardian being called in to perform a space exorcism across the lunar surface.

At A Glance

Destiny 2- Shadowkeep


+ Creepy story that differentiates from the usual plot

+ Big, expansive dungeons

+ Tough enemies


– Repetitive back-and-forth admin ‘missions’

– Relatively short

– Story expanded into no-longer accessible seasons


Recommended as part of the Legacy Pack

Played On


Also Available On

PC, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One

Find out about our scoring policy here.

As soon I was given the instructions to explore the area where the pyramid was hidden, dubbed the Hellmouth, I knew this expansion would be a dark and creepy exploration of Destiny’s darker side, and boy, I wasn’t disappointed. During the campaign, I had to crawl through tight spaces, fight in almost darkness and experience some trippy cutscenes that centered around Eris’s battle with her dead teammates. To say more than this will venture into spoiler territory but I will say that plot-wise, Shadowkeep’s venture into Hell feels like one of the more engaging expansions to Destiny 2.

This in part is due to the enemies Bungie has thrown at me – The Hive. These scuttling critters, who also play a big part in The Witch Queen DLC, lend themselves to the lightless areas of the moon. Thanks to their proximity to the pyramid, these particular Hive have evolved into powerful Red Hive. The Alien-inspired baddies manage to attack in large numbers and can overwhelm battle arenas quickly, coupled with the lack of light, this left me walking around enclosed areas with nothing but the light from my gun keeping me safe. It was a blast having to play through the expansion with a fear of being jumped at any moment, the lengthy levels only added to the tension as the baddies slowly got stronger and more menacing.

The story properly introduces Nightmare Hunts, a public event that’s available to all players who decide to visit the Moon, even without having purchased Shadowkeep. The hunts revolve around trying to stop the Hive from activating an alter of power and summoning a powerful demon. The lengthy battles last around 20-30 minutes depending on the number of players online. Cutting through waves of enemies, in what is effectively a hoard mode, is fun enough but finishing each hunt will net something Destiny 2 is known for – loot.

Like every other expansion Bungie has put together, Shadowkeep has weapons, amour and vehicles in spades. Like a kid looking to smash as much pick ‘n’ mix in a bucket as possible, there are hundreds of guns, bows and swords to get your teeth into and each one has its uses. I particularly found the exclusive Shadowkeep story armour complimented my Titan build rather nicely, and after it was given a splash of green paint, has become my go-to look. 

While it was fun cutting through strong hoards of Hive beasts, and exploring what amounts to Bungie’s version of Hell, there are some issues with Shadowkeep. The main bone of contention comes with the majority of the missions being “Return to talk to Eris,” followed by “Attune at the table next to Eris.” When the plot is spread over 19 missions, these little back-and-forths quickly add up, and the situation isn’t made any better when part of the story is told during seasons that are no longer accessible in 2023. After clearing through the Hive, and slowly sorting out those ghastly premonitions, the story simply ended with nothing more than a pat on the back from Eris Morn. 

Shadowkeep was released at the same time Destiny 2 introduced the battle pass setup and Bungie wanted to ensure players remained committed to the MMO for the year. While the seasons have since been amended to only include additional stories that don’t impact the expansion, at the time this wasn’t the case. This left Guardians having to explore the consequences of Shadowkeep’s ending through lore books rather than having access to play catch up through gameplay. With so much content available, this could be seen as a good thing, skimming books is quicker than shooting through numerous missions, but is it as fun? The answer is always no, but I will say that where Destiny 2: Shadowkeep ends is at a sensible juncture, and if you were to move onto the Beyond Light campaign, the important gaps would be filled in for you.

Shadowkeep is already a relic of the past and while the new areas are quite lengthy, the story can be blasted through in a few hours thanks to the repetitive “Go to the table and then speak to Eris” schtick. Bungie’s foray into seasonal content does mean the year-long season arc, which is no longer accessible, leaves players to fill in the gaps by reading copious amounts of lore books. Shadowkeep is the black sheep of the Destiny 2 experience and while it doesn’t exactly enhance the Light vs Dark story, it is a nice break from the traditional gameplay and is worth exploring, even if you’re only in it for the gear.

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