Release Date: October 1, 2019
Platform: PC (Reviewed), PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Shooter, MMO
PC Test specs:
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K
- RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600MHz
Performance Results: Slick 1440p 144Hz gaming at Ultra preset, animations are ultra-smooth, graphics are amazing, environments are immaculately detailed. No major hiccups or performance faults.
Let me preface this review by saying I haven't played Destiny 2 since its launch in 2017. No expansions, no new content--just the base game. So going right to Shadowkeep and the New Light free-to-play mode was massive sensory overload.
Ultimately Destiny 2 and its new Shadowkeep DLC was basically made for existing players. It's very new player friendly, nor does it play nicely with lapsed players like myself.
There's just way too much to do in Destiny 2 right now thanks to its dearth of bounties, missions, and activities, and Bungie doesn't explain it very well. They kind of throw you in the ocean and let you fend for yourself, and eventually you learn to sink or swim in the sea of content. As someone who played Destiny 1 since launch and chewed through every expansion, only to give up on Destiny 2 in 2017 due to the grind, Shadowkeep and New Light takes the massive investment to a whole new level.
To enjoy Destiny 2, you just have to ask yourself one simple question: Do you have enough time to devote to it?
The game becomes a kind of rampant addiction that overtakes your gaming habits, and Bungie has learned a lot about perfecting its service game craft since 2017. Destiny 2's current iteration has lots of little hooks to keep you playing as long as possible.
Destiny 2 has one of the most effective grind paths in gaming right now. But you have to spend time trying to find that path. Destiny is kind of like a codex: It's complicated, has lots of moving parts, and it can be rather cryptic. It's also a little like a big complex math problem. Once you figure out the proper sequencing of its multifaceted PvE, Solo, and PVP content, the real grind begins and the game opens up to you in new ways.
It also then demands much, much more of your time.
At its heart, Shadowkeep isn't just an expansion. It's a bold new beginning for Destiny. Shadowkeep is the first expansion to drop under Bungie's newfound independence--they now own the Destiny IP and publishing rights, and are fully separated from Activision's rule--
In this review I'll highlight the ways Destiny 2 has changed with Shadowkeep, how Bungie is both one of the best and worst live service game developers in the industry right now, and why the game may or may not be worth your time.