Destiny 2 received a major expansion earlier this, and with it arrived a soft relaunch of the game. On top of the release of Shadowkeep, where players find themselves returning to the Moon for the first time since Destiny 1, the game received a new update named “New Light”. But what is New Light? New Light is Bungie’s dubbed name for the game transitioning from Battle Net to Steam, as well as going entirely free to play. This change seems to have breathed new life into the player base, resurging the community considerably by drawing in both new players and returning veterans alike – myself included. In order to get the most amount of players on board, Bungie has put every player at the same level so no players feel left behind and can immediately jump into the new expansions if they wish to. I’ve put in about 20 hours into the game since this update, despite being put off since its launch in 2017, and these are my thoughts.
Right off the bat, I came to realize they’ve brought back the tutorial level from Destiny 1, obviously to ease newer players into the experience rather than trying to throw them headfirst into the main campaign – which I appreciate. I didn’t feel as alienated as I did when I played the beta two years ago as a result. So far so good. Shortly after I partied up with some friends and did some Strikes as well as the Red War campaign – and three things stuck out to me that I really liked: the music, the feel of the gunplay, and the presentation. The game is visually beautiful, particularly the lighting. Easily some of the best lighting I’ve seen in a videogame, which is funny considering most of the plot and lore is based around the concept of Light and Dark. Secondly, the orchestral score is intense and plays well with the action on screen and adds to the experience immensely in my opinion. Ramping up and fading out at the right times. Lastly, the gunplay. In both PVE and PVP, it feels satisfying to kill enemies – my only major gripe being that campaigns are laughably easy due to the level boost given in the most recent update. This problem is nullified on harder missions or on Nightfall missions where you have to strategize with your squad in order to survive – which in my opinion is where most of the appeal of Destiny 2 comes from.
I briefly played a raid with a combination of friends and random people we found online, and it soon became apparent that they were extremely challenging and required good coordination – and definitely something that cannot be completed with a bunch of random strangers like we were. In my eyes, the raids (and dungeons) are the ultimate challenges to the players in Destiny 2 and thus provide the most satisfying gameplay. I’m keen to learn some of the raids and give them another go, and hopefully complete them in the future due to the intensity of them, on top of the previously mentioned satisfying gunplay and interesting locales.
I believe this move by Bungie to make Destiny 2 free-to-play, as well as moving it to Steam was the correct one to make. Not only were existing players greeted by the Shadowkeep expansion (which I have yet to play), newer players also had a reason to try it out without spending a dime – letting players who liked the look of it, but didn’t feel like it justified a purchase beforehand the chance to properly try it out. For all of the above reasons, I commend Bungie’s efforts and look forward to what else they have in store for the Destiny franchise.