Destiny 2 – Shadowkeep impressions

Marking their first big release since their split from Activision, Bungie has launched Destiny 2: Shadowkeep alongside the new free-to-play version of the game, dubbed New Light. We’re checking out what’s new on a PC version of the game.

The split from Activision was a bold move in gaming, and left people with questions. One was regarding the functionality, since the game was operating on Activision’s own online platform. The answer came when Bungie announced the game would be moving over to Steam, migrating all the account content for players who filled out the corresponding information. This worked flawlessly for us, and I haven’t heard of cases where it didn’t – at least so far.

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Of course, switching from to Steam also raises questions to Bungie as a publisher rather than just a developer. Would they be able to guarantee a decent enough server experience upon launch. If you emphasize ‘on launch’, then some gamers would argue ‘no’, since for a lot of them it took a bit of waiting to get into the game. That could just be the fact that it’s a major new release in an established franchise though, since Destiny 2 is still the biggest FPS out there with the exception of Call of Duty (yes, it’s bigger than Battlefield).

Shadowkeep comes with new story content for Destiny 2, as well as new gear, raid and dungeon content. In other words, it’s not a massive reimagining of Destiny as we know it but rather an expansion in the vein of Forsaken. Depending on which edition of Shadowkeep you pick up, you also gain access to certain amounts of future content (more with the Deluxe version), as Bungie sticks with the seasonal model introduced earlier.

The main story quests in Shadowkeep take you to the moon, which is difficult to talk about without spoiling a major plot element that’s introduced early on. Let’s just say that a major source of evil was discovered on the moon, and it’s making it a bit of a haunted place where the dead come to life and ghosts of your past come to haunt you.

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The story content is excellent and ties into previous Destiny lore as well – even dating back to the first Destiny game (so if you’re exclusively a PC player then you might miss out on some of the nuances). There’s a downside to this as well, because too much of the content feels oddly familiar at times, especially during the first half of the new story campaign (which you can blast through within a day or so). Though the story provides new a direction for Destiny 2, the environments (including the moon itself) aren’t radically new to those who played a lot of Destiny before – veterans might remember the moon from Destiny 1 as well. The “ghosts from the past” concept, by its very nature, also re-introduces (and thus re-uses) previous content to a degree.

I haven’t really jumped into the new non-story content much yet, but my preliminary feel is that it feels like “more Destiny” all around. Definitely not a bad thing for fans, but maybe not what some people were hoping for. I would assume that newcomers are going to go with Bungie’s new free-to-play version (New Light) instead, and perhaps once the player base stabilizes we’ll see that Shadowkeep is going to be a springboard for new stuff to come.

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