Frosty Reviews: Destiny 2: “Beyond Light”



What's good squad? Frosty Phenix here! So I’d like to give my two cents on “Beyond Light”, the recent expansion of Bungie’s Destiny 2...the MMO/Looter Shooter that has somehow stayed in the game and laid the foundation that other companies have tried to follow. Let’s get into it! 


Year 6/Season 14

Destiny 2 is a free to play online only multiplayer first person shooter video game developed and now self published by Bungie. Destiny 2 released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows Platforms in September of 2017. It’s prequel, known simply as “Destiny”, released in 2014 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. Fun fact about the game as a whole, Destiny 2 did not start off in a “free to play” model. However, with the current gaming community seeking “more for less”, Bungie adjusted to welcome those that seek a taste of the product before investing in the product entirely (see my Warframe Article and Pay to Play Articles on our site). With the newest consoles released in 2020, Destiny 2 is available as a free upgrade on your next generation console that you own of its previous generation if you already own the purchasable game contents. Since it is already free, you’re just making sure the content you have already paid for is on your next console. Cross-Sharing of content is also available for those that wish to continue playing the game on another family of consoles entirely.




Control the darkness, Guardian

As always, Destiny remains in the top bracket of games that legitimately “feel good to play”. The way your favorite weapon shoots, the way guns reload or swords sheath, the way your powers are unleashed, it is all top tier! I’m speaking as someone who has played from the first game up to now, complaints about the story, lack of content and all that. The one thing I cannot not take away from this game...is the gameplay control set up. 


This DLC doesn’t change up much on the gameplay other than adding a new power, which the game series itself has not seen since the first game’s most well known expansion “The Taken King”. This power is called “Stasis”, which is under the “darkness” category of powers. At first, the playable character’s powers were purely light based (Arc, Solar and Void), but now players are dabbling in the dark powers of the game’s possible enemy force...known simply as “The Darkness”. This new power class for each of the game’s current character types (Warlock, Titan and Hunter) have cool distinguishing names and unique attacks and abilities to its respective class. They are as follows...


Warlock Stasis Class Title: Shadebender

Melee Ability: “Penumbral Blast” - When you melee, your warlock shoots out a forward blast from their staff that freezes and does damage to the enemy in front of them.

Class Ability (Rift): “FrostPulse Aspect” - When you cast your rift ability, it sends out a shockwave that freezes nearby enemies.

Ultimate Attack: “Winter’s Wrath” - The warlock summons a staff imbued with Stasis Status effects, which can shoot ice projectiles at enemies and as a final attack the player will prompt their warlock to raise their staff to send out a shock wave that destroys nearby frozen enemies.


Titan Stasis Class Title: Behemoth

Melee Ability: “Shiver Strike” - Your Titan character lunges forward with the stasis ice forming where they previously stood, surrounding their fists with the new darkness ice and slamming into one enemy with force while freezing any enemies in the path that your Titan is facing after they have come down on their unfortunate foe.

Class Ability (Shard): “Tectonic Harvest” - When your Titan shatters a Stasis crystal, it creates “shards” that allies can pick up and grant them energy towards recharging their melee ability.

Ultimate Attack: “Glacial Quake” -  Your Titan forms a mighty gauntlet on their fist, slamming the gauntlet into the ground and sending out shockwaves that form Stasis crystals that then freeze nearby enemies. Covered in an armor of Stasis crystals, your Titan becomes an unstoppable wrecking machine for the duration, jumping higher, faster, and farther while blasting enemies with increased melee attacks.


Hunter Stasis Class Title: Revenant

Melee Ability: “Withering Blade” - Your Hunter Melee tosses two shuriken forward towards enemies, slowing or freezing them on contact

Class Ability (Dodge): “Shatter Dive” - While in midair, your hunter quickly descends and shatters nearby enemies

“Slow Dodge” (name unconfirmed) – Your hunter slows nearby enemies each time they perform a dodge.

Ultimate Attack: Silence and Squall – Named after the pair of Kama blades that the Hunter summons, this Super involves a two-pronged attack, with each Kama blade having a different function. The first blade, when thrown, immediately detonates on impact, freezing enemies in a radius from the center of the blast. Hurl Squall, the second blade, embeds itself in a surface (or an enemy) and then detonates, creating a Stasis storm that will track nearby enemies, slowing and damaging them as it makes contact. 


The darkness grows as your story continues

Following the continuation of Destiny 2’s story, the mysterious darkness has finally made its presence known. In the previous expansion’s seasonal continuation “Season of Arrivals” the darkness took hold of 4 planets in our solar system. As the Season of Arrivals concluded, the representation of the hero’s main power, The Traveler, fixes itself as the darkness completely takes the 4 planets that it held major footholds over during the season. As we open into this new DLC and seasons, the city and vanguard prepare for the next move by spreading out across the Sol System to understand their enemy better. When your character receives a distress signal from an old ally on Venus’ Moon of Europa, we find it to be Variks of the former Fallen House of Judgement who needs your help to defend him from his former ally Eramis, the self proclaimed “Kell of The Darkness”. Through communication with Variks, we find out that Eramis seems to have been corrupted by this very darkness, drunk on the power it brings her. As you work through her forces that now wield these darkness powers that are similar to the light powers traveler offers you, the darkness then beckons to us and offers us this power as well to defeat the enemy at hand. After we work through her forces as our connection to the dark power grows, we face Eramis in one final showdown to stop her from spreading the darkness to the wrong hands.


I will say this isn’t the BEST storyline Bungie has ever written...but it wasn’t the WORST. We are introduced to new Fallen/Eliksni characters in Eramis and her generals, the new Cosmodrome Bounty Vendor Shaw Han and the return of an old ally turned enemy and now…”ally” again, “The Crow”. Formerly Uldren Sov, Brother of the Awoken Queen and antagonizer to us in a couple of ways, The Crow is now a newly risen light bearer and unaware of his actions from his previous life. One complaint that Destiny Vets had was that new players were starting the game the same way D1 vets started the game...flying to a player rest zone (The First Tower) that is no longer what it was and the Exo Stranger had not been relevant for some time until this DLC. Finally, Bungie created a NEW opening for new players and I have to say that brings me joy that they are showing they care about the continuity and new players who deserve a different opening all together. With the way this new campaign ends (kinda similar to Ghaul’s fate if you ask me) and with the rest of the season ahead of us, Beyond Light and “Season of The Hunt” might surprise us (fingers crossed).


Other content coming into the game is laid out in the roadmap below:


Visuals/Changes 

Although not much has changed, Bungie made changes to the overall map.


How the Sol System Map Looked at the end of Season of Arrivals:


How the Sol System Map Looks now:

As you can see, four locations are missing on the overall map and we have a closer view of the earth, which now has two locations for you to explore (Cosmodrome and EDZ) 


Character Menu:


Before the end of Season of Arrival

Beyond Light and Season of The Hunt


#DARKNESS!! 


They also rendered the faces of playable and NPC characters a bit sharper in my opinion, unless I am only noticing the character frame increased light contrast in comparison to the now dark character choice screen and character edit menu. Destiny 2 runs at a minimum 30 frames per second (FPS) on current gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One/One X, 60 frames per second on the next Gen consoles PS5 and Xbox Series Consoles and an uncapped Frame Rate on PC. There is 4K Resolution support for current generation consoles and above. 


Sound

Sound is a modest, but important section - how is the musical score, but also, how do the sounds add to the overall gaming experience?


The new music that comes with this DLC and update in general is fantastic. Michael Salvatori (Co-Composer of the Halo series and the Destiny series since its creation) has always done a fantastic job with the musical aspects of the series so this is not surprising. The sound effects for the new Stasis Powers capture the true sound of “cosmic ice”. The blizzard sounds on the Europa destination help present a location bombarded by the low temperatures and inclimate weather. 

Difficulty

It’s the standard light/power grind so not much has changed here. Story Missions usually recommend higher and higher power levels as you move along so it’s usually best to stop and do some side activities to meet that particular minimum requirement. Some players find the content rather difficult while others find the grind easy when planned properly.


PVP in this game is fairly straight forward, however having the proper armor ability set up and “meta” weapons for the best results is highly recommended. 

Conclusion/Final Verdict

While the game is always growing and changing, each new expansion is held to a standard (price wise and content wise) to previous installments of excellence before it. While I do not think that “Beyond Light” is the GREATEST EXPANSION EVER...it’s not the worst either (I’m looking at YOU CURSE OF OSIRIS AND WARMIND)


FINAL SCORE

- 7.5 Out of 10


Destiny 2 is currently available for Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S


Sources: https://www.pcgamesn.com/destiny-2/stasis-subclass

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Salvatori