Shadowkeep is the latest DLC released now, and Destiny 2 is certainly a game with which I have a love/hate relationship, especially after last year’s Forsaken expansion, as well as the prior two expansions not really bringing anything in terms of vast improvements to the game. For this latest one, I was waiting in hope that the core experience would return to a bit more of an even balance, instead of huge sweeping changes like they did with Forsaken…
Shadowkeep takes us back to the Moon under supervision from Eris Morn – you remember her from the first game don’t you? She is a bit of an expert on The Hive and was a hunter who led a fire team to their death trying to assassinate Crota and ended up helping coordinate the battle against Oryx: The Taken King.
This time around she is taking you into the Shadowkeep and discovering the mysteries of a pyramid found deep underground, and the Nightmares associated with it.
I don’t want to go into to much depth with the campaign as it does throw up a few what-the-hell moments, which are explained as you play through it. The campaign sees you traversing the moon and a lot of familiar locations from the first game. It is very similar, but there are a few changes: one I noticed, immediately, was a building that was up on a post with a large circular room, is now sitting ground level for some reason. I am guessing that The Fallen and other enemy factions have brought it down since your last visit! There are no new enemies this time around, except for the Nightmares, who are essentially the same enemies you have fought since the first game. However, they are now orange health bar bullet-sponges!
You will come across these throughout the entire campaign, and they can be an absolute pain when they are spawning in during the boss fights, given how much is needed to take them down. Speaking of bosses, they are what you would expect from Destiny with their own arenas, except this time they can move to different areas. One boss, in particular, rushes off to another room which is tiny and has enemies spawning in on you and was a bit cheap, really, but manageable.
The campaign, itself, runs at a steady pace (with your guardian having a conversation at one point), but there are a few points where it makes you kill a set number of enemies to cleanse an artefact (100 Fallen), or complete a few bounties. I found this to be busywork in all fairness, but at least they were easy enough to do, albeit time-consuming. The end cinematic was interesting to say the least, and has me wondering when the next story driven content will be landing and hoping it is soon!
On top of the rather good campaign, there is a new dungeon, new strikes and a raid for end of game activities on top of existing Escalation Protocol, Gambit and Crucible etc. There is also an excellent new mode called the Vex Offensive, which essentially is a horde mode, finishing off with a large full-scale boss battle. I have run through it a few times now, and enjoyed it each time except for weapons needing a specific modifier to finish off certain enemies, which can be a pain if you are using older weapons that do not have the slots for the modifiers.
Once you hit the level soft cap, you will go back to weeklies, where you will be playing a set amount of Crucible matches, Gambit matches, Strikes, Dungeons and raids on top of clan participation to gain engrams and weapons in the hope that you will get something that will up your light level. It can be a slow grind above 900 light to the cap, but at least there is plenty of content to be going at to get there, and for me, personally, I love Gambit and Gambit Prime, given I don’t gel with the PvP stuff as much as I used to.
Thankfully, the upgrades have changed again, not requiring as many resources, and you can buy upgrade modules from the gunsmith in the tower, or earn them through the season progression. I would like to see these a bit more often, though, as you may want to keep an awesome piece of armour or your favourite weapons upgraded to be relevant and upping your light level, there aren’t a great deal of them around though.
After my opinions on Forsaken, I feel refreshed and pleased with what Bungie have done with the Shadowkeep expansion. The campaign is awesome – albeit drawn out in places – and there is, literally, a metric ton of stuff to do. PC players now have the game available on Steam instead of Blizzard’s Battlenet (see video below), so it is now unshackled from Activision services. Not forgetting a load of content which includes the base game and chunks of the first two years content is now completely free for all players, so now is a perfect time to jump into the Destiny universe.
Bungie are certainly back on top form after leaving Activision. I am REALLY looking forward to future content for Destiny again.
- Developer: Bungie
- Publisher: Bungie
- Players: single player, co-op and PVP
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!