Another year, another Destiny 2 add-on. Although expected, Destiny 2: Beyond Light distinguishes itself from previous expansions by introducing an all-new ability that opens up unique combat options. A greater focus on story and characters also makes this add-on essential for those invested in the franchise’s lore. Beyond Light may not help draw in a new audience or bring back lapsed players, but it delivers a solid DLC that’s worth the $40 asking price.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light story
The Darkness, one of Destiny’s long-standing foes, returns in grand fashion by making several planets disappear. Your quest to discover why leads you to the Jovian moon, Europa. There, the story shifts its focus toward Beyond Light’s main villain, Eramis, who leads an army of Darkness-infused Fallen. This turn of events makes you gain new Darkness abilities. Along the way, you’ll run into old Destiny characters like Variks (who plays a crucial role in Beyond Light), The Drifter, and even the Exo Stranger. While clocking in at only around six hours, the narrative is arguably the strongest out of all of Destiny’s expansions.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light powers
After absorbing Darkness energy early in the story, you’ll gain Stasis abilities. Unlike most Destiny overcharge powers that focus on pure destruction, Stasis is all about crowd control. Large ice walls protect from incoming fire while freezing blasts cement enemies in place. Stasis-stricken foes even shatter when shot or punched. Although Stasis doesn’t fundamentally change how combat works, it’s different enough from typical overcharge attacks to infuse missions with an air of freshness. Considering the sheer number of baddies Beyond Light tosses at you, Stasis is an essential tool in your arsenal.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light world
The other big highlight is Europa itself. With Jupiter always on the horizon, Europa’s vast icy wastelands are both beautiful and ominous. Towering mountain peaks and bottomless fissures make for grand sights, but can hide enemy patrols. The moon’s dynamic weather system can blind you with its random snowstorms. This provides tactical advantages and disadvantages. It’s harder to find enemies during a blizzard, but it’s also difficult for them to spot you. Attempting to complete objectives during white-out conditions can become a chore, but it’s not as much of a hindrance as you’d expect. Considering how the weather keeps you on your proverbial toes, it’s a small price to pay.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light raid
It wouldn’t be a proper Destiny expansion without a new raid, and Beyond Light delivers big time with Deep Stone Crypt. What’s interesting about this raid is how it tells a self-contained story that anyone can follow. As is usual for raids, you’ll need a competent team behind you in order to not only fend off waves of enemies but to solve its myriad of team-based puzzles. Raids are always show-stoppers in Destiny and Deep Stone Crypt is arguably the series’ best yet.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light gameplay
Other than a new ability and setting, Beyond Light offers more of what folks have come to love (or hate) about the franchise. You’ll find the usual public events, patrols, and lost sector missions while exploring Europa. Some of these are new to Beyond Light, but most are either variants of or straight up repeats of missions from before. You’ll have to play and replay all of these if you wish to continue leveling up and obtain more loot in the endgame.
This is all well and good for Destiny 2 loyalists used to the game’s grind. For everyone else, it’s content they may not want to dabble in. It’s difficult demanding something wholly different in this regard, especially since Bungie has to serve the majority of the fanbase who love the game’s core missions. But injecting something new into the perpetual grind would have been nice.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light multiplayer
Crucible, Destiny 2’s PvP mode, sees no significant additions in terms of content. Players can use their new Stasis powers in Crucible, which is simultaneously great and frustrating. Freezing opponents and rendering them helpless is fun, but it’s not so great when you’re on the receiving end. Though great in Beyond Light’s campaign and PvE modes, Stasis doesn’t seem suited for Crucible since it radically interrupts the flow of what would otherwise be fast-paced matches.
If you’re a Destiny 2 fan then there’s a lot to love with Beyond Light. Stasis is a great new ability that brings real change to combat encounters and Europa is a fascinating environment to explore. The new raid is also worth the price of admission. With that said, this expansion won’t help draw in new or lapsed players. At the end of the day, it is more Destiny 2 -- for good or ill. Bungie isn’t finished adding content to this expansion, so it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves in the coming months.