Destiny 2's New Light mode brings the game to everyone for the first time. Anyone can jump and play without having to spend a time. But there's a cost to that freedom: A lot of the game is a huge grind that feels like work. It's work interspersed with some of the best shooting in the entire industry, and work built around a social infrastructure where you can meet new friends and make long-lasting partners, but it's also laced with lots of tedium, grinding, and bounties, bounties, bounties.
I still content that Destiny 2 is one of the best FPS games in the industry and it's a damn good service game, but it's model need a lot of work. Especially if Bungie truly wants to capture a whole new segment of players that haven't ever tried Destiny before. As it stands, New Light and Shadowkeep are tremendously overwhelming games that don't properly prepare gamers for what they're getting into.
The sheer volume of content and the never-ending grind make the game feel like something you work for rather than play. It doesn't always respect your time or make you feel powerful insofar as the loot-chasing.
Thankfully the game always makes you feel powerful when you're shooting enemies. It also makes you feel powerful when you make new friends or even acquaintances in a high-thrills Crucible battle or Gambit Prime match.
No matter how much I do it, that part of the game never gets old. I play Strikes and Gambit matches for the sheer enjoyment of the experience. I don't get too wrapped up in the min-maxing grind or gear-chase because it seems kind of hollow; to me Destiny 2 is best enjoyed in smaller doses because that way you can digest it properly.
The goal with games like Destiny 2 is to gorge players with a content feast, but that's how you get overwhelmed and burnt out--and it's also what caused Bungie's huge re-tooling and dramatic rebirth of Destiny in the first place. Nevertheless there's something here, something that keeps pulling me back, and that's really the hallmark of a successful game. I'm at odds with Destiny 2 a lot of the time, but one thing I can always agree on is it's actual combat is fun to play.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep isn't perfect, neither is New Light, but the expansion is an incredibly savory slice of rich storytelling Bungie is known for and is absolutely dripping with flavor. The storyline goes by kind of fast, but the experience is still there waiting for you on the hallowed, blood-strewn walls of the Red Keep.
Shadowkeep is definitely worth your time if your a Destiny 2 veteran. If you're a new player, I'd recommend chewing on New Light for a while and getting the gist of things before you revisit that haunted bone-white disc in the sky.
+ Amazingly optimized on Steam and PC
+ Gunplay is still incredible
+ Campaign is dark, mysterious, and chock-full of tasty lore tidbits
+ Seasonal events and rankings add spice to everything you do
+ New RPG system greatly expands the game
- Very overwhelming to new players
- Service elements are extremely grindy, requires tons of investment
- Bungie doesn't explain New Light or Shadowkeep progression very well
- Massive in-game economy built around upgrades