Destiny 2 - Beyond the Light, produced by Bungie, was for me a review as unexpected as it was welcome to write. I, like so many other gamers around the world, am confined to my four walls of home due to the lockdown and I can happily say that Destiny 2 has been, and will continue to be, for me a great means of escape.
I am proud of what passion and stubbornness of Bungie they managed to achieve in their current working conditions limited by the lockdown. Something that, while not transcending a worldly videogame experience, maintains its dignity as a valuable product.
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But what exactly is it about Beyond the Light? Our duties as guardians, in my case, a titan exo, take us to the world of Europa, a cold and inhospitable sphere covered in eternal glaciers, where the forces of the House of Salvation Eliksni seem to be mobilizing under the command of their new Kell. , Eramis, who will be our main antagonist in the DLC.
After tracking down a traitorous member of the called House Variks, Eramis will try to kill him only to be stopped by us, just in time on Europa. Under the protection of the guardians, Variks will then become our eyes and ears in the ranks of Eramis, thanks to his spy system. Another important piece of the puzzle is also the Unknown Exo, an exo guardian who together with two companions, Eris Morn and the Remnant, will help us in the fight against Eramis and his forces.
Variks will tell us how Eramis, once pure of soul, was corrupted by the power of Darkness, the same power that thanks to the Unknown Exo we will learn to control, and how in this way she lost the right path. What used to be the desire to give back a home to one's people to move it, has now turned into a mad thirst for conquest that threatens the safety of the entire human race.
Thus begins the war on the new world of Europe. A war from which only one can escape.
The frozen lands of Europe they are the home of the operations of both Eliksni and Vex, the theater of war on which the events of Beyond the Light will take place. The map itself is not vast, but the areas, connected by corridors such as frozen gorges and iceberg tunnels, have a good level design, making extensive and appreciated use of the vertical component, allowing players to fight on different levels of terrain. Pleasant to cross either on foot or in the saddle of your vehicle, it is SparrowHowever, they usually hide hidden dangers such as cliffs and cliffs headlong into nowhere, so it's best to be careful while exploring.
But not only that, the map will not be limited to a single frozen landscape, but will range in urban and industrial environments, as in Creation and other more "esoteric" ones such as in the Well of Infinity, thus breaking what in the long run could become monotony of the landscape.
Finally, Bungie does not fail to exploit the graphic potential of Destiny, giving us truly breathtaking glimpses of the horizon, making the map even more rich, making players feel like it is not simply the fence of their playing field, but part of the entire planet of Europe.
Despite some missions from the DLC they often brought me back to areas already crossed in previous chapters, in a good part of the game the missions led me to a new area previously inaccessible, therefore new. Even if I found myself traversing the same spaces, the gameplay and storytelling still made the experience fun and entertaining.
Overall, Bungie has done a great job of transporting their players to Europe, with no particular note of merit. The map is solid and the setting commendable.
Beyond the Light: story, characters and gameplay
Here we go to touch what for me is the sore button of the DLC. I don't have as much experience with narrative expansions in a multiplayer experience as a World of Warcraft player might have. That said, given the aforementioned multi-player nature of the title, I wasn't expecting a great emphasis on the characters or the story, but a focus on the gameplay, which in fact did not disappoint me.
Starting first from the plot: Eramis comes corrupt from a dark power in an effort to bring back the glory of her race and to defeat her, you'll need the help of a guardian who has returned from a future where this evil power prevails and annihilates the human race. It is a story seen and reviewed, predictable in its unfolding.
However, it is thanks to a great job of dubbing that Bungie manages to make these otherwise flat characters endearing. Variks, as an insect being, often intersperses animal lines in his lines of dialogue, Eramis speaks with an almost hissing tone, while the Unknown Exo does a good job of conveying her determination to save the past and thus avenge her future.
Coming now to the gameplay that comes from this plot, there is no shortage of good surprises. However two-dimensional in fact they are, i lieutenants of Eramis, namely Praksis, Kridis and Phylaks, have been good boss battles. Although some more than others. Much smaller are the boss fights scattered among the private events on Europa and during a few story missions, but even those turned out to be fun.
The Stasis: strengths and weaknesses
Big component of Beyond Light's gameplay, and centerpiece of the events that make up the plot, is the power of darkness, renamed it Stasi. That's right, it is the same power that Eramis uses to achieve his purposes, the antagonist of the Light of every guardian, the power emanating from the Traveler, protector of humanity. Thanks to the help of the Unknown Exo, we will learn to use the power of the Stasi, without being consumed by it.
The Stasi is a new kind of energy rating in Destiny 2, whose thematic focus is that of ice. In fact, both Titans, Hunters and Warlocks will be able to unleash new powers through this element. In my case, a titan, I cannot sadly say that I was too thrilled by the new class.
While I'm sure the other classes have received exciting new or different abilities, I believe the Titan's skill pool doesn't lend itself very well to the theme of ice and "battlefield control". Bungie seems to have had difficulty implementing it properly and it shows.
I think the main problem lies in the system of subclasses. As a titan I have chosen the Solar subclass, which allows you to use a two-handed hammer in its super form to create incendiary shockwaves and as a melee ability, throw a one-handed hammer, similar to Thor. This very physical and aggressive playstyle is not really present in the Stasi class, quite the opposite: it allows me to raise an ice barrier with the grenade, separating myself from my opponents, instead of allowing me to charge them head down.
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The new class castrated me abilities that fit my play style, and I often had no choice: the game would force me to use the new class in the story, whether I wanted to or not.
Furthermore, one of the main abilities of the titan, his defensive wall, has not changed in any way in the new energy class: as well as in the subclasses, the wall remains that, just a wall. An opportunity to deepen the gameplay that for me marks a great lack.
The titan class therefore remains for me problems, even with the arrival of the Stasi class, as it does not seem to have a definitive identity. Try to make yourself play like a thug, in close combat, but if you want to do it, you are castrated by a skill, your defensive wall, which you will practically never use. He wants you to play as a support, offering upgrades to your allies, shields, etc, asking you to play behind the cover of a wall, but your super ability will prompt you to seek direct melee.
In summary, I find problems with the implementation of the new Stasi power in the titan, inherent problems of the class, which the expansion has unfortunately not solved. Generally speaking though, it would be wrong to say that Stasi power can't be fun or satisfying to play, I just see a great deal of wasted potential in it.
Extra! The introduction to the player
Beyond Light does not stop to offer players a new story, a new experience, but also takes care to review and rebuild the old ones. Although this part is not strictly related to the DLC, not even taking place on Europa, it is still part of its contents. It is work in addition to the already great amount of effort and dedication put into the main experience and for this I intend to reward it.
We are now at the Cosmodrome, where each player's adventure begins. I can say that this is not a complete innovation, many parts of the old introduction to the player have remained the same, but it is nice to see how Bungie has taken the trouble to add characters and a, albeit small, storyline dedicated to introducing the new player.
In total, this is an unexpected experience, albeit still improvable in some of the tutorial components, but nothing less than welcome.
The final judgment
I am in love Destiny 2. Gone are the days of my first experience with the title, when it was under Activision Blizzard, then a product of greed and a prey to absurd monetization. The game has changed, and above all improved, so much that it seems to be another title. I can clearly see the love and passion that Bungie feels for his creature and it has shown it thanks to its new expansion, Destiny 2 Beyond Light. Not a sensational experience, but certainly enough to make me a passionate player.Verdict 7/10 Destiny Beyond the Light: a chilling story, for a hot gameplay Comment Although plagiarized by some flaws, Beyond Light was able to glue me to the screen for many hours, making me appreciate not only a game play worthy of note, but also a technical and artistic department of great value. Pros and cons ✓ Good gameplay
✓ Good dubbing
✓ Great art department x Trivial texture
x Missed potential in the Stasi class