[Review] Destiny 2: Shadowkeep

The Destiny franchise has always been about evolving and improving upon itself with the troves of feedback from its ever-growing supportive fan base and critics alike, with every expansion that rolls out, and Shadowkeep is no exception. It really has been quite the journey for ardent followers of the franchise since the original Destiny and it’s not difficult to say that Destiny 2 has never been in a better place with Shadowkeep.

After investing a little more than 5 hours into the completion of the story missions, I realised that while Shadowkeep may initially seem to offer a much less content-dense campaign than its preceding expansion, Forsaken, it excels in setting a foreboding tone for the new story structure which spans over the course of the first season of Destiny 2, Year 3.

Veteran players find themselves returning to the moon after 2 years to interact with a very familiar figure from Destiny 1, Eris Morn, the Hive-obsessed Guardian who’s presence was fundamental in previous expansions: The Dark Below and The Taken King. In addition to battling the resident Hive and Fallen factions, players now have to contend with periodic invasions of Vex enemies that transmat in onto the lunar battlefield. Aptly named the Season of Undying, players will also come across creepy, shadowy revenants of dead Guardions that wail out their unfinished missions, replacing the standard patrol beacons that one might find on any other planetary patrol zones. “Nightmares” (toughened versions of Hive monstrosities) police around and within the depths of the Scarlet Keep, challenging any player brave enough to pierce the veil of mystery surrounding the menacing Hive lunar fortress.

On top of all the new content, another major highlight of the season would be Destiny 2’s overhaul of its in-game character customization by introducing a new weapon mod system and Armor 2.0. Players are now able to experiment with different builds by combining and matching different elements and perks that were previously locked in earlier expansions, giving them the capability to tweak load-outs on a more granular level.

While Shadowkeep might seem like one big nostalgic ride for fans of the series, Bungie does well to balance the wants of its existing hardcore fan-base and the needs of entirely new players in the Destiny-verse by making vanilla campaign missions along with 2 earlier expansions (Curse of Osiris and Warmind) accessible with the introduction of Destiny: New Light. This would be a perfect time to get on the free-to-play Destiny hype-train (which eventually leads into the premium Shadowkeep) if you haven’t already!

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Guest Author: Fariz Fenrir Ferhat