2023 Newsfeed

‘Destiny 2: Lightfall’ – has Bungie fallen from grace?

Renowned game studio Bungie (known for the Halo franchise) has released the newest DLC for their live service game Destiny 2, titled: ‘Lightfall’.

The case for the physical copy of Destiny 2 released in 2017. Note how it has the Activision logo on it as this was released when Bungie was still owned by Activision.
DLC and Bungie’s past DLCs

The DLC (Downloadable Content) offers a brand new destination for players to explore, a new story, new weapons and a new power for players to use.

DLC is a way for game companies to release new content for existing games instead of developing an entire brand-new game.

This is a practice that Bungie has been doing since Destiny 2 was released back in 2017. Bringing out larger expansions, starting with ‘Forsaken’ in 2018.

Unfortunately, Bungie has a habit of releasing a lot of lacklustre content while also making some good content as well.

The ‘Forsaken’ DLC is widely regarded as the saviour for Destiny. While other expansions, such as 2019’s ‘Shadowkeep’, are less memorable and are poorly regarded.

Following 2022’s ‘The Witch Queen’, hopes were high as this DLC exceeded the community’s expectations.

Throughout 2022, there was a build-up to the Lightfall DLC. Teasers were dropped, and Bungie was showcasing a lot of content surrounding the DLC.

On the 28th of February, 2023, Lightfall arrived, and players dove in.

Gameplay and story

Lightfall takes players to the distant planet of Neptune, where an entire unknown civilisation has been living for hundreds of years.

The task is simple, reach “The Veil”, an object of great power, before the antagonist uses it to bring the end of the Universe. Sounds simple enough.

Gameplay-wise, Lightfall takes the Destiny formula while making significant improvements, providing new changes to armour mods and the ability to save load-outs for swapping on the fly.

The DLC also provides a brand new power for players to use, ‘dubbed strand’ as a power of command and manipulation over green threads to slash, stab and blow up anything in the player’s way.

With Strand also comes more mobility changes, including a grappling hook that takes up the grenade slot. Giving players the ability to favour mobility or grenades.

However, while the gameplay is good, the story of Lightfall is a bit flat.

It seems like Bungie chose to create one DLC consisting of Lightfall and ‘The Final Shape’ (set to release in 2024) before separating it into two individual DLCs.

The Veil itself is barely explained, it is the MacGuffin of the DLC and it is what the protagonists and antagonists are both trying to get to first.

Yet, beyond being a powerful object, we don’t know what it does or why it is so important. We just know that it is significant enough that the antagonists cannot get to it first.

Location and environment design

The location itself is incredible. The Neptunian city of “Neomuna” looks incredible and unlike anything already in the game.

The city is enormous and looks like something out of a Cyberpunk movie.

There are neon-lit streets with impressive skyscrapers extending into the stars above, all backed up by a score full of orchestral sounds and synthesizers.

The aesthetic of this hidden city is simply wonderful. The team that works on the environments for the game have, once again, knocked it out of the park.

However, for a massive sprawling city, it does feel a little bit dead.

The lore stated it’s because all the citizens have uploaded their minds to a cloud network. This feels like a lazy excuse as to why the city is so empty. .

My Xbox controller with my Xbox Series X in the background, this is the way that I play Destiny 2 and have been since the game was released in 2017.
Pricing and final verdict

The DLC costs $75 on Steam and up to $130 for the deluxe edition, giving players access to the seasonal content for the rest of the year.

In my opinion, if somebody is looking to buy Lightfall and prepare for The Final Shape. The standard edition ($75) is more worth it, but only slightly.

The muddled and confusing story really brings down the immersion for players.

But some people come to play Lightfall not for the story but rather the Strand abilities that are unlike anything that has ever been in the game throughout its 6 years of life.

Photos by Reid Hampson