Lightfall is Destiny 2’s next major chapter, featuring both a new campaign and a new destination. We played it on a PC for this review.
The live service nature of Destiny 2 feels like a double-edged sword at this point. On the one hand it’s one of the best examples in the genre, having kept its audience captivated for well over five years now. On the other hand, it feels like a game that can be tough to get into. For newcomers, the sheer amount of pre-existing content can be daunting, and there’s so much lore that it can feel like the active player base is always a few steps ahead of you. We’re somewhere in the middle, periodically getting drawn back in for new story content rather than continuously playing.
Sadly, it’s that story where Lightfall feels like a bit of a letdown right now, especially in terms of the buildup and a lack of epic story beats. Having last played The Witch Queen, it’s clear that Lightfall doesn’t rise to the same heights just yet – nor does it do too much with some of the story premises that have been set up in previous expansions and seasons. Instead, there’s a lot of emphasis on Calus and the Shadow Legion and the new location of Neomuna – which is a great environment that left us wanting more. As it currently is, Lightfall feels more about tentative set building than a grand intro for what’s to come.
That’s not to say that there’s not a lot to enjoy here. Chasing after The Veil inside Neomuna is exciting as you’re trying to beat Calus to it, and the interplay with two Cloud Striders is exciting as well. The moment may not feel like they’re part of something truly grand just yet, but the gameplay design is spot on – partly thanks to the neon-drenched new location we get to explore this time around. We’d even go so far as to say that the mission designs are actually among the best we’ve seen in Destiny 2 thus far – it’s just that the story doesn’t do too much to sell players on the upcoming season’s content.
Along with a new location, Lightfall also introduces a new enemy type – the tormentors. They’re servants of the previously introduced Witness, and they’re strong foes on the battlefield. They’re also not the only tweaks to the game that are new in Lightfall, which comes with options to save your loadout, better weapon crafting and a cool new subclass called Strand – which can be combined with any base class in its own unique way.
Lightfall brings excellent additions and improvements across the board, demonstrating that Bungie still has a strong foundation here. The story in Lightfall doesn’t yet build on that like previous expansions did, but there’s a full season of additional content coming so things might look very different in a few months. And if you’re a newcomer who’s here for the story, then that gives you a lot of time to catch up on what came before – perhaps that’s the silver living in a somewhat lackluster first act.