Review – Destiny 2 Lightfall


Jaxson Day, Host of Crimson Gaming Corner

Since the release of Destiny 2’s last expansion, Destiny has had one of the best years of content ever. Thanks to engaging activities and intriguing stories, Lightfall felt perfectly set up. With Destiny’s story at its most desperate, and the game at its best, people’s expectations were incredibly high. Unfortunately, after completing almost everything this expansion has to offer, I am left underwhelmed and worried about the next year.

Can Darkness exist where there is Lightfall?

Destiny 2’s whole model is quite remarkable in the first place, so expanding to this level is an accomplishment by itself. This newest expansion brings new weapons, story, environments, and most importantly a new subclass. All of these feel incredible and encourage lots of build crafting. Exploring the city was surprisingly engaging thanks to its dramatic change from other Destiny environments. Leaning heavily into its neon cyberpunk theme with strong purples and blues, and having civilians or a radio station explain the significance behind areas. Despite having no NPCs, coming across this dialogue by exploring added a surprising amount of life to this area that felt lacking in other Destiny areas. Of course, all of this is heavily carried by the gameplay, which is cemented as arguably the best feeling gunplay ever. 

When paired with the right weapons, abilities, and grenades makes your guardian feel like a one-man army. This is especially shown with the new addition of Strand, which introduces completely new abilities. One of which is the addition of a grappling hook that feels incredible, especially throughout the campaign. Every mission and arena is built with Strand in mind, meaning that by the end of the campaign, you are not only taught how to use Strand but very comfortable with using it. Strand also introduces new power-ups that encourage great build crafting, and will surely replace my current subclass for the upcoming months. Despite this new area and additions to the gunplay, neither were able to save the campaign from being pretty weak.

“I Don’t Have Lives to Spare”

Throughout this new Lightfall campaign, you have to work with new characters Nimbus and Rohan, as well as returning character Osiris to stop Callus and The Witness. From the beginning, The Witness takes center stage as they attempt to get their hands on The Veil. From a character perspective, Rohan and Nimbus are cool new characters. While their purpose of showcasing other civilizations in Destiny is a cool change, neither is given much depth until after the campaign. Which unfortunately leaves many story moments and character interactions feeling empty. On the side of returning characters, we only really communicate with Osiris as he teaches us how to use Strand. Despite previous seasonal activities seemingly showcasing all the characters working together to stop The Witness.

Finally, The Witness takes a back seat for the entire campaign leaving us to deal with Callus and his forces. Unfortunately, Callus and his forces feel incredibly generic Cabal in a different color. Thankfully, the final fight with Callus at the end feels incredibly fun, particularly on Legendary. Thankfully, this campaign added in Tormentors, a new boss type that is easily the highlight of the campaign. Tormentors come with a frightening grab move, and powers that dampen your own abilities for a short time. Battling against these always changed the gameplay significantly, particularly on legendary where one grab would kill you instantly.

What the heck is the Veil??

Outside of the characters and weak mission structure, arguably the most frustrating aspect of Lightfall’s campaign is the story. Throughout its 6-8 hour journey, Lightfall has you stop The Witness and Callus from getting the Veil. Despite this being such an important object, The Veil  isn’t explained at all throughout the campaign. While this might work later with more context, in the current campaign this fails to create any sort of stake in the story.

On the other hand, Osiris and your Guardian discover Strand, a version of the darkness that connects everything together. While the little tastes you get with the power during the campaign are fun initially, they get worn out quickly. Similar to the Veil, it is never really explored why the Guardians need this specific power to defeat Callus. Nor is the idea of using the Darkness explored at all despite it being a constant talking point in Beyond Light.

For the Newbies

Outside of the Lightfall campaign, Bungie attempted to make many notable changes to Destiny’s structure. One of the most impactful changes was rebalancing the mod system. Mods are no longer tied to what subclass your gear is, and different effects are also combined into Armor Charge. The other most impactful change was finally adding a loadout system that avoids having to  switch every piece of gear once at a time. While these are great for returning players, Bungie tried to also make the onboarding process for new fans simpler.

They do this with the addition of Guardian Ranks, which has players complete objectives. New players get a simple tutorial system that shows them how to play the game effectively and enjoyably, which in turn helps them level up their rank. While I am a returning player and can’t really comment too much on the effectiveness of this, I have heard that some aspects of it can still be confusing and frustrating, but it is still a much-needed improvement.


Ultimately, Bungie spent quite a long time building up the hype around this new Lightfall expansion. Specifically with it being the penultimate story of the current saga, and in turn the end of the 10-year plan. While the gameplay is the best ever, especially with Strand, the story really left a bad taste in my mouth. On the other hand, Bungie seems to have a good plan going forward. In the past years, they’ve shown that they can tell good stories in their seasonal content, and have already dropped some amazing exotic quests. I’m hopeful that Bungie can finish off this Saga in a positive way in the next coming years.

Destiny 2’s Lightfall  is available on all platforms, such as Playstation, Xbox and Steam.

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Game Score: 8/10