Destiny 2: Lightfall

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Destiny 2: Lightfall review
Dan Lenois


Destiny 2 Lightfall falls flat on its face...

Lightfall glows with color, yet pales in comparison to past expansions...

Destiny 2 has always been a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to its DLC expansions, and Lightfall definitely holds true to this pattern. While last year's The Witch Queen at least met the minimum standards longtime players have come to expect from Destiny 2 expansions, sometimes even exceeding them, Lightfall, in contrast, struggles to keep up. This is best reflected in how this newest DLC handles its respective story campaign.

For those who are already owners of past expansions such as Beyond Light, the story of Lightfall will likely feel all too familiar. You, a guardian, discover a previously-lost city on Neptune, by the name of Neomuna, where humanity has survived, against all odds. On your adventures in said location, you gain all-new powers with which you might hope to defeat the cabal, once again. As usual, Destiny 2 has turned flagrant asset reuse into a near art form. There's only so many times one can fight the same exact faction throughout the vast majority of the DLCs seen to date. Bungie's sole new addition to this tired NPC lineup comes in the form of The Tormenter, a new elite enemy type that does admittedly keep the player on their toes the first few times you encounter them.

Strands of Power

The new Strand sub-class is one of the major new additions to the core Destiny 2 experience, and for what it is, it's not bad. There's something slightly satisfying at times about playing a Green Lantern-esque guardian, constructing weapons and dealing melee damage using this green light energy that appears to do whatever your guardian thinks of. Of course, like any Destiny 2 sub-class, the depth of ability options isn't particularly deep, but it more than meets the standard expectations for any new sub-class. Bungie has always been rather shallow in its development of RPG systems within Destiny 2, possibly out of fear of scaring away the more FPS-oriented players, but if you're going to go out of your way to include such systems in the first place, the reasonable thing to do is to at least try to make them worthwhile additions to the overall experience.

Campaign levels like First Contact raises questions about Bungie's development efforts

There are moments where Lightfall is, quite simply and in a very literal sense, broken. A classic example of this is the boss that players will encounter during the level "First Contact". The room that the player will fight the boss in has lots of higher ground areas from which the player can escape the boss' clutches in order to reload and regain health over time. However, it is incredibly easy to intentionally or unintentionally exploit this, as the boss will very slowly leap up or down to the player's location if the player remains out-of-range for a predetermined amount of time. However, the player can counter this by jumping up or down at the same time the boss initiates the opposite, creating a cat-and-mouse dynamic that allows the player to easily take down the boss at range without ever being in any direct danger.

Final thoughts:

While Destiny 2: Lightfall presents a visually-interesting cyberpunk art style, it's one that clashes horribly and feels out-of-place compared to the more serious tone established by past DLCs, and is especially odd for what is supposed to be the penultimate expansion in Destiny 2's planned remaining lifespan. While not as overtly disappointing as Curse of Osiris, Lightfall definitely ranks among the lowest entries for Bungie's longstanding live service game. While the new addition of a grapple hook is a neat gimmick, it does very little to make up for said expansion's lackluster contributions in both overall story and gameplay. Unless you are a Destiny 2 diehard looking to keep your DLC collection up-to-date, there isn't much reason to spend an outlandish $50 on only a meager few hours' worth of content.


fun score


Engaging new world, decent quests, fun new gameplay mechanics


Lackluster story, bizarre art style, middling content quality