Review: Destiny 2: Final Shape

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The decade-long saga has come to an end, and to say Bungie was under pressure is an understatement. Following impoverished reception Fall of delicate and a terrible week in which about eight percent of the staff was suddenly laid off, in addition to the revelation that management was actively limiting the looter shooter’s capabilities, community morale was at an all-time low. The developer desperately needed a win. So after a few weeks, it has Final shape he fixed it Destiny 2 ship?

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Destiny 2The biggest problem was the way the narrative was handled. Between the expansions that make it feast or famine, the seasonal model fueled by drops, and burying 90% of it in story entries with unlock requirements, Destiny 2The story is the best and worst part. For modern players or those who are not interested in reading third party sites such as Ishtar Collectivethe chances of understanding what is happening are low.

Final shape unfortunately continues that trend. The campaign had the opportunity to tie all the disparate elements together and give players a unified experience. Instead, we’re isolated in the Pale Heart of the Traveler as Cayde-6 and Crow come to an understanding, Ikora does nothing, and Zavala Haunted Season schtick is back. The cinematics are few and far between, with only one instance of more than two game characters on screen together, and most of the work is done by a stack of sketched cutscenes.

The first few days were a nightmare for the servers as many players skipped entire sections of the story, leading to a confused experience, and reaching the end of the campaign revealed nothing beyond a comic book explanation of how to defeat the Witness.

It took several days, a raid, and one final mission before the story came to an end. Meanwhile, the best parts of the story were relegated to what came after the campaign: unintentional filler. We’ve been waiting a decade for this ending, and Bungie couldn’t assist but keep squeezing it out.

Once six players cleared the arbitrary hurdle for the rest of us, we could finally take on Witness (for real this time) in a 12-player Excision match-made mission. When I started, I was furious, disappointed, and all the same gloomy. At the end I was full of tears, overjoyed and free.

In one mission, Excision Bungie gave me what I had been subconsciously craving for over a year: closure. The developer did nothing groundbreaking in terms of originality, and instead played it out in the best way possible. By putting the final pieces of the Light and Darkness Saga together, the studio gave players a powerful, emotional, and unforgettable ending. When my ship returned to orbit, I became Anton Ego.

Screenshot by Destructoid

In stark contrast to how Destiny 2The story has been developed over the years, the gameplay has always been simply spectacular. If it weren’t, I doubt it Destiny 2 would survive its droughts. Instead of resting on its laurels, the developer took on the challenge of creating the most engaging gameplay ever.

During the ViDocs development period, the Prismatic subclass looked compelling, but felt gimmicky. However, after spending time with her and unlocking additional Prismatic Fragments, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to the base Light or Dark subclass. It’s a power fantasy the likes of which I haven’t experienced since the Subclass 3.0 remakes. It makes me feel like the legendary Ranger I was meant to be. Finding synergy between different subclass abilities takes build building to another level and will certainly shake up previous content, breathing modern life into things like dungeon and raid rotators.

By the way, Final shape it integrates mechanics at a level usually reserved for content like dungeons and raids into almost everything. It’s no longer a matter of putting enough bullets into an enemy or dealing with the occasional Champion. Moments like finding glyphs and passing debuffs between fireteam members are now commonplace and place a greater emphasis on communication between Guardians. For people with social anxiety, this can be quite a challenge, but as someone who is also working on it, I promise it is worth the effort.

Ignoring Taken and Scorn (since they’re mostly reskins and Fallen zombies), we finally have a modern enemy faction with Dread. Ranging from annoying to terrifying, these Witness disciples play a unique role in the Forces of Darkness thanks to their ability to command Strand and Stasis. Turns out, being caught in the Tangle isn’t all that fun. Still, I’ll take it over flying Grims who like to give me tinnitus and jump up and down like Castlevania Jellyfish. We’ve been begging for a modern faction for years, and it was worth the wait.

Finally, the Pale Heart of the Traveler is unique in that it’s a modern destination, but one that’s occupied solely by you. That’s right, every inch of Nostalgia Lane is devoid of other players, outside of matchmaking activities. This is odd because it makes the area lonely, but it makes the space feel more personal. The environments are very diverse, and I really like the area around the modern hub. This environment seamlessly transitions from handsome and peaceful to obscure and twisted, beautifully reflecting our journey.

Screenshot by Destructoid

I went in Final shape expecting to be disappointed, and the launch reinforced that. However, as is the case with live service games, it is possible to turn the tables. I just wished Bungie hadn’t waited until the eleventh hour to wow us. Destiny 2 has long been a game in which many players see potential and therefore become frustrated when they have to deliver a product with minimal functionality. Final shape is the embodiment Destiny in many ways, good and bad, delicate and obscure, but I’ll be damned if Bungie couldn’t deliver.


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