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Destiny 2: Shadowkeep artwork

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep review – Goodnight moon

Destiny was the game that brought the three founding members of FULLSYNC together. Since the sequel’s release though the franchise has been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. But, following Bungie’s split from Activision, a new dawn is beginning for Destiny 2, and it’s called Shadowkeep.

Whilst at first glimpse you may think Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is just another expansion, it’s actually much more. Yes, there is a new story and gear, but work has been done on the base game too. With the introduction mission being replaced by one from the original Destiny, and other amendments that aim to introduce new players to the game in a more friendly way.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Guardians on the Earth's Moon

The improvements come following community feedback. One major change is that you no longer have to complete missions to unlock your supers. Instead, you start with all three and all the abilities that come with each of the Arc, Void and Solar classes. And, instead of earning XP to level up and unlock the abilities, this goes instead towards a new season pass.

The current pass is Season of the Undying and works similarly to battle passes. Whilst the first is free for gamers who buy Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, you will need to pay for future ones. Ranks go from 1-100 and come with rewards every time you level up. Along with those rewards, there are also new activities, bounties and a new exclusive exotic weapon.

Along with all the new, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep will also be bringing back some of the old. As well as the original Red War campaign, those who purchase Shadowkeep will also have access to the Curse of Osiris and Warmind expansions. However, if you want Forsaken, you’ll have to pay extra. And there is a fair bit of content you miss out on without it.

But even without Forsaken, there is still plenty of storylines to play through, especially with the new storyline of Shadowkeep.

Returning to the roots of the original, it’s time to revisit the moon after Eris Morn discovers a brand new (or potentially ancient) threat. And it’s a story that finally feels as if Bungie is heading in the direction that they and fans of the series had wanted. It plays much like any other campaign; discovering what’s going on, finding out how to beat it, and then carrying out your actions to save the universe once again.

A particular aspect I enjoyed about the latest expansion is that with the return to the moon came a whole bunch of nostalgic thoughts. Revisiting some of the old sites was great, but, Bungie haven’t just rehashed an old map. It looks better than ever before with increased detail, but there are also some beautiful (yet creepy) new locations to explore too.

If I had to highlight any downsides amongst the heap of positives I’ve come across, a short story campaign would be near the top of things. However, even then, it feels like things are being set up nicely for future content.

But one thing that did confuse me a little more is the new armour system in place. Like before each piece has a light level. However, you can now attribute specifics effects to your armour. Doing so by spending points that each piece of armour is assigned. This will offer things like reduced damage from specific enemy types to also reducing damage from a specific energy weapon.

Whilst it took a little time to get used to, it is easy enough to get your head around. But there was one issue I found. In that even though you think you’re picking up better armour because of its light level, quite often the amount of perks you can assign to it often drops, so you have to be more careful when selecting what to wear. Still, it has promise.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep finally feels like the title we all wanted and has rekindled my love with the game. I’m yet to convince the other two founding members to return to play with me, but even still, I’ve begun to enjoy the gameplay again, and don’t even mind the grinding. By no means is this the finished article, there are plenty of plans in the pipeline for Destiny 2, but it’s a strong step in the right direction.

83%

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep TL;DR:

  • Shadowkeep isn’t just an expansion, it is a complete rework of the base game too;
  • The series finally returns to the story of the Darkness established in Destiny, which had previously been left unexplored;
  • Whilst the Red War campaign along with Expansion I and II are included, you will have to pay to access Forsaken;
  • Reignited my love for the Destiny franchise once again.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is the first expansion released that has been both developed and published by Bungie, following their split from Activision. The expansion was first released on 17th September 2019 and is available to purchase now for PC (Steam), PS4 and Xbox One.

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