Screenshot by Destructoid

Let’s look at the biggest Destiny 2: Lightfall issues so far

I hope things improve as the season goes on

Recommended Videos

Destiny 2: Lightfall is out, and like many Destiny expansions over the years (dating all the way back to the original game), the phrase “expansion” can be applied very loosely to many facets of the actual release. Let’s take a look at where it falls short.

As an aside there will be no major story spoilers here, other than broad themes.

Screenshot by Destructoid

The Lightfall story is abrupt, and doesn’t really explain anything

All roads seem to be leading to The Final Shape expansion, which will be dropping in 2024. Well, a lot of roads have been heading there previously, but Lightfall is more like a detour.

Much like many infamous mystery box shows, Lightfall is content with telling us about a lot of cool stuff that might happen without actually showing us. Many cutscenes are low impact, filled with new characters to juggle (to the detriment of older beloved cast member development) and a complete lack of stakes that drive the overarching narrative forward. More mysteries are provided and remain mysteries.

Also, the handling of Osiris, a very prominent lore figure, is baffling here. For years many of us wanted to meet him, now I hope I never have to deal with him again.

Screenshot by Destructoid

The power fantasy of the energy grappling hook just isn’t there

One prominent feature of Destiny 2: Lightfall marketing thus far was the ability to grapple through the air like Spider-Man. A friend of mine said to me pre-launch that he couldn’t wait to partake in this feature, and that it was the standout thing of the expansion for him. Well, about that!

Destiny 2: Lightfall goes through great lengths to make the neon-green Strand abilities (the new subclass) fun to use during the campaign. But it turns out that system is mainly a ruse, as your powers are significantly lessened when you actually acquire Strand for use in the core game; including a super lengthy cooldown on grappling. It’s a rug pull.

Bungie has always had issues juggling PVE and PVP play, but this is something that should be fixed soon-ish: reduce the cooldown on grappling as soon as possible, especially if it’s being used solely as a means of traversal.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Grinding out more things isn’t going to be appealing for a lot of casual players

Piggybacking off of that, you need to grind a lot of the cool aspects of the Strand subclass until you can actually use it. That’s on top of the existence of the season pass (which has an XP grind if you want to acquire the new exotic bow on the free track, among other rewards), and all the other grinding in the game.

As soon as the story is over (abruptly), you’re greeted with a big grind in a small pond. It’s a stark contrast to the richness of some prior expansions, which felt like they injected a new living world into the mix.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Neomuna, the new main area, is a big letdown

I was stoked for Neomuna before launch. The neon aesthetic, the promise of a futuristic built-up city that was a haven against the darkness: it all sounded and looked cool on paper. But in practice, it’s empty, looks partially unfinished, and is full of enemies we’ve already seen before; just slightly modified. I know, I know, fool me twice (or 10 times)!

Not only that, but the inhabitants of Neomuna are also all over the place tonally, including one extremely polarizing NPC that’s basically a future version of Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s like two different people directed two different versions of the expansion and smashed them together.

You don’t get a second shot at a first impression, and so far Lightfall has a lot of work to do to regain the trust of some long-timers. There’s still a full season for that (if you’re sticking around), and now I’m more curious than ever to see how the next expansion shakes out. Following the general “every other expansion is good” format, I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Destructoid is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Chris Carter
Chris Carter
Managing Editor - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!