What I have with Destiny is a conflicting relationship and the more I discuss it with other players, the more I realize this is a very common perspective. First of all, as the owner of the first Xbox irremediably in love with Halo, I can only try a great love for Bungie, but mine is not a blind and reckless infatuation but the result of the fantastic playful and artistic that the team, today as yesterday, offers the players. The first chapter of the new IP Bungie kidnapped me effortlessly and on day one of Destiny 2 I was ready with a group of friends, a shovel of time to devote to the title and, above all, incalculably high expectations. Unfortunately, in both cases I found myself quite quickly, considering how much such a product should keep a player glued to the screen, without new stimuli to continue. Or rather, the stimulus was always the same, that of an extremely fascinating looter / shooter formula, supported by an astounding gunplay. And despite everything, for me, it wasn't enough. Yet, the call of Destiny 2 over the months and years has always been very strong and the advent of Beyond the Light, combined with the persuasive requests of a couple of friends ready to return to orbit, made me decide to return once again to take on the role of the Guardian. I therefore recovered the Forsaken and Shadows from the Deep and, fortunately, I then had the opportunity to review this new DLC, which promises to be the most important ever for the brand.
Beyond the Light is not only a turning point, an essential cornerstone in the Traveler saga but also a springboard for anyone who wants to return to Destiny 2 after a period - short or long - of inactivity, but also for all those players who attracted by the sci-fi spiers of the title, but were reluctant to give in to its charm. It is a huge promise that Bungie is committed to with Beyond the Light, a more difficult undertaking than that to which it submits its Guardians. And it won't be easy to keep your word.
To evaluate the latter DLC it is necessary to analyze and discuss for a moment the issue of Destiny Content Repository (Destiny Content Vault), what's this, how it works and why it is introduced with this expansion. Let's start from this last point and try to shed light (I know, I know ...) on its usefulness in terms of sustainability of the Game as a Service Destiny 2. Basically, this new model of content treatmenti was born out of the need to keep the game solid and efficient, through the cadenced removal of contents, in conjunction with the grafting of new ones. Bungie has explained how to date, Destiny 2 is too large to function properly, the size and complexity of the title discourage innovation and at the same time are fertile ground for bugs and other issues. Furthermore, players starting to have to cope with an increasingly slower and cumbersome client, which had already passed the 115GB before the launch of Beyond the Light. The first Destiny suffered from the same problem but was circumvented with the creation of the second chapter, an effective solution no doubt, but drastic, which the team does not want to repeat. Consequently, Beyond the Light is not only the start of Destiny 4's Year 2 but it is also a categorical stance, the refusal to insert the number “3” next to the name of the MMO Bungie and, consequently, the first step of a long, new and lasting journey.
Beyond the Light is the beginning of a triptych of contents that will mark the next few years, 2021 will see the advent of the DLC "The Witch Queen" and in 2022 the expansion, with the provisional title, "Lightfall" is already planned thus guaranteeing support for at least another three years for Destiny 2. An important and courageous choice, which in the future could lead to an exceptional growth of the title but which today, unfortunately, we shows its more angular side. The game, as it is now clear and as Bungie itself reiterates, cannot grow indefinitely and therefore needs a mechanism that somehow manages to harness the good things the title can offer and at the same time not continually stagnate in its own playful ravines. . Consequently, some dry branches must be cut. This choice is not only the most logical, but it is also understandable, although accessing Destiny 2 today can leave a bad taste in the mouth of more than one player. In compliance with what is written above, in fact, Titan, Mars, Io, Mercury and Leviathan - with related activities - are no longer selectable and make their entrance instead Europe (one of Jupiter's moons) and the Cosmodrome, one of the most iconic destinations of the first Destiny. It is therefore clear that the number of contents removed, far exceed those entered, and it is clear that the team cannot be expected to have as many destinations ready to be introduced immediately, but the change can only appear too abrupt and sudden. It is true that many of the activities related to these destinations are now obsolete or little played, especially those related to certain campaigns, but the doubt remains that, especially for the most assiduous players, it is difficult to wait for the next DLC without running into a phase of fatigue, forced to yet another frenzied farming through a poor choice of activities in which try your hand. And here comes the conflict, why the basic idea actually appears to be the most correct one for the future and taking into consideration all the aspects at stake in the story, especially the one that sees the content cut back cyclically over the years on Destiny 2 along with the new ones, and the possibility of alternative methods to get your hands on the pieces of equipment related to the destinations archived - which moreover include all the goals of the first chapter - is exciting and offers the idea of a modular and stratified universe, with effectively inexhaustible potential. But the value of a work cannot be decreed based on what it could be and for this reason, the beginning of year 4, albeit with some tricks up its sleeve still to be played, fails to conquer as it should, albeit with different elements of value.
In the womb of the Shadow
Destiny has managed to create, piece by piece, an intriguing work in artistic terms, both on the design front and on that of the narrative background with a strong and unique character. The brand is one of the few that has been able, over the last generation, to make players witnesses of a multifaceted cosmogony, with almost mythological tones and punctuated by events and situations imbued with an epic out of the ordinary, also for a medium already so rich. Unfortunately, it has not always been possible to make all this particularly captivating in terms of writing, crystallizing with many imperfections the exceptional work done in terms of lore. Beyond the Light is no exception and proposes one - short - campaign ready to question some fundamental elements of the story itself that forms the foundation of Destiny, but without the proper bite. The Darkness returns forcefully to reclaim its part of the galaxy, engulfing four of the satellites and planets of our solar system (those stored in the Content Repository, of course) and we have the task of investigating Europa to find answers. There we find Eramis, Kell of Darkness, who plays the role of a new nemesis, in a story of revenge and loneliness from the subject more than convincing but transposed in an all too hasty way.
Basically, Eramis is able to control the Darkness in the form of a power called Stasi and it seems poised to become the spark of a war that can extend relentlessly, destroying everything in its path. It soon becomes evident, thanks to the entry of some old - and much appreciated - acquaintances such as the Unknown Exo, finally ready to provide us with some answers on the wide doubts formed over the years, that the only thing able to counter Eramis is the Stasis itself, something along the lines of "fighting fire with fire" in short, but with ice. In fact, the Stasi is declined as a new fantasy element perfectly contextualized in the Destiny universe, allowing you to take advantage of skills related to the cold, while also introducing a new altered status: freezing, immobilizing enemies and transforming them into beautiful and horrifying sculptures, ready to be shattered in one fell swoop. This campaign immediately distracts attention from the main problem and the disappearance of destinations so dear to us and therefore becomes an adventure that cannot be more classic. To defeat Eramis you must first defeat his lieutenants, trusted warriors blessed from the eliksni herself with the gift of the Stasi, to then get to her and her final boss fight.
The path to Kell is impervious and qualitatively fluctuating, but keeps the attention high thanks to the various moments in which the player briefly takes control of the power of the Stasi, being able to experience it directly on our enemies and therefore getting closer and closer to the Dark. After the conclusion of the main mission, you come into possession of the much coveted fourth subclass. But yet, everything can only appear hasty, especially on the narrative front. Our trusty Ghost is doubtful and frightened by the power we are embracing, as well as the characters around us, not convinced of this choice and obviously disappointed by it, but the narrative fails to convey that sense of inner conflict in approaching what has been fought so far, nor does it show the "weight" of this drastic decision. In short, although well constructed in its conception, all too often seems like a mere pretext to give us a new branch of skill to play with. Which is more than acceptable for the type of experience that such a title wants to offer, yet, given the excellent ideas it is impossible not to be convinced that more could be done.
Spellcasters, shinobi and biblical creatures
The new subclass linked to the Stasi is revealed immediately an interesting introduction in the universe of Destiny 2, capable of changing the rules of the game in a way still unexplored. Instead of relying on expressly aggressive skills, in fact, the element of ice tries to be more reflective and base its strategies on control of the pitch. The new grenade supplied is able, in addition to damaging and freezing enemies, to create a wall in front of us capable of suffering a large amount of damage before being scratched or destroyed. A simple addition but with various uses in terms of play, the wall is not just a protection for us or our team, it can be a trap for our opponents, creating sudden dead ends and preventing an otherwise certain escape but offers us also the ability to create new platforms from scratch, to create new paths or provide a sniper with a higher point from which to blow enemy heads.
Each class then personally embodies the gift of the Stasi and harnesses its power in a unique way. Witches and sorcerers thus become Binders of the Shadow, and they can rely on a new arcane glacial staff with the ability to summon freezing bullets and a portentous melee attack also able to freeze the targets hit, thus proving to be the right choice for those who want to adopt a battlefield control strategy. The titans, on the other hand, who are perhaps the least interesting of the lot, take on the role of Behemoth and they are all about brute force, thanks to their new super move Ice Shock, which allows him to perform a series of devastating melee attacks. The trio of hunters and hunters ends Revenant, which are perhaps the most interesting in terms of design, becoming real ice ninja and consequently being able to count on lethal freezing shuriken and on the couple of Kama Silence and noise. The first sickle it freezes everything around it at the moment of impact while the second (which can be launched at a different point than the first) creates a violent explosion followed by a small snowstorm. The subclasses of the Stasi can obviously be modified and expanded, with ad hoc missions that allow us to expand the spectrum of skills and choices related to the new element, allowing us to package our favorite configuration little by little. It is not yet possible to fully dissect these options but the new skill branch is interesting and well packaged, although it would have been appreciable to be able to explore it a little more right away.
An excellent graft for PVE but perhaps not so much for PVP, where the possibility of being repeatedly frozen without the possibility of "replication" can be decidedly frustrating but, even in this sense, before launching into an effective analysis of the balances in competitive multiplayer, it will be good to become more familiar with the new meta. Definitely, the Stasi is the real flagship of Oltre la Luce, which already piques the curiosity towards the new subclasses linked to the next subclasses coming in the future.
Impossible not to say a few words on the new and extended destination of Beyond the Light, also taking into account that with the removal of a large slice of content, the moon of Jupiter takes on an additional burden in guaranteeing solid and lasting entertainment for Destiny players. 2. The first impact is magnetic, almost to take your breath away, looking at the boundless panoramas of Europe. an infinite expanse of snow and ice, with dizzying canyons and overhangs and icy plains that can make us feel truly lost in a white and cold desert, harsh but bewitching. The meteorological issue is also introduced, which causes violent storms to explode from time to time ready to trap us and the enemies in a huge vortex ready to make the clashes more difficult and spectacular. The satellite can also count, among its locations, a maze of laboratories linked to Clovis Bray and his company, which are making a name for themselves in this expansion, and sparkling ice caves but which, overall, they do not fully conquer. Although able to show some exceptional views,
Europe is not a stratified playground for our activities to date and is therefore only half successful. His assault, the Glass Bridge, is quite good, albeit not particularly elaborate in its design, and therefore we just have to wait for the next Raid 21st November to discover the latest aspect of this new destination. Ultimately, while being an absolutely appreciable addition, Europe suffers from the lack of old destinations and above all the addition of new ones besides her, because as much as the return of the Cosmodrome is welcome, it is still not enough.
Beyond the Light is the first step of a solemn promise, the simplest one though: the undertaking of the commitment. The development team is loaded with dizzying new expectations, ensuring a bright future for Destiny 2 in the coming years, but will it be able to keep the burden on? As of today, Beyond the Light appears good content overall, weakened by some not entirely negligible problems and full of ideas for the next months and years, from almost every point of view, from the narrative to the purely playful one, which appears frankly fantastic but still very immature, if not downright ethereal. A campaign that is far too short and without bite, which fails to exploit the great potential of the base, brings us a new and interesting way to play thanks to the unprecedented subclass, which thrills with the desire to be exploited and experimented properly, even in the face of content arriving in the short term. The Season of the Hunt is imminent, as is the advent of the new Raid, and it is clear that at this moment the picture is not complete to fully evaluate this latest DLC.
There will be new analyzes on these important contents in the coming weeks, yet this article should already dispel most of your doubts. Destiny 2 continues to be a controversial and flawed title, presenting some gross errors and contextually continuing to ensnare players with its fascinating gameplay always on the crest of the wave. Those who in the past few months have been about to leave the game, perhaps may not see in Beyond the Light a solid reason to stay in the stellar ocean of Bungie but at the same time they will not even have reason to cut off relations with the boys of Washington, new players instead - albeit bewildered - could have excellent reasons to become guardians, as well as players who have early abandoned this second iteration of the Sci-Fi shooter. For these two slices of the public, in fact, the number of contents remains generous and interesting, relying on the recovery of the two previous DLCs and a renewed introduction aimed at those who approach the game for the first time. Today, unfortunately, we find ourselves with the shorter part of the deck of the new design that Bungie is creating for its looter / shooter, and the price to enter the sci-fi MMO quarter-year may be a bit salty perhaps (unless you are a Gamepass owner and a Microsoft console) but Oltre la Luce is still equipped with various arrows in its bow, some of which - perhaps the most decisive - have yet to be fired.