Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
…if you want a reason to grind for new weapons, armour and an engaging excuse to sacrifice your free time at the altar of incrementally raising stats and pew-pew’ing the crap out of antisocial aliens, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is a worthy destination.
What a long, strange ride it’s been for Destiny 2. Launching in September of 2017, Destiny 2 got off to what appeared to be a decent start by including a sizable, albeit shallow, campaign. However, as players reached the endgame it became clear that many of the features enjoyed in the original Destiny had been simplified or removed entirely. And so, began the inevitable backlash, as players revolted and filled reddit forums with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Two short and simplistic DLCs followed, Curse of Osiris and Warmind, neither of which did anything to curb the anger. Things looked grim for Bungie’s most expensive and divisive IP and then, in 2018, Forsaken appeared, boasting a nuanced story, new areas to play, multiple game modes and solid loot variety.
Destiny 2 had finally found its feet, but now it had to keep players interested in the long term. Cut to 2019, and Destiny 2’s next hefty content drop, Shadowkeep, is here and it’s brimming with both good and not-so-good, thankfully weighted on the side of the former.
Shadowkeep brings back gloomy goth bae, Eris Morn, for an adventure on the moon. The Hive has been busy building an enormous crimson-coloured fortress, The Red Keep, which looms over everything like a nightmare and it’s up to you and your fireteam to apply a liberal coating of gunfire to sort them out.
The campaign is both shockingly short and staggeringly filled with reused assets from the original Destiny, with whole sections of the map ported over and entire enemies cut and pasted with just a cheeky reskin applied.
Taken in isolation, this is some bullshit right here, however the game itself has been given numerous upgrades and tweaks. Armour 2.0, a more-fiddly RPG-style stat game, has been added and new loot now feels meaningful. Numerous new game modes like Vex Offensive, Nightmare Hunts and additions to the Crucible (the PvP hub) have been implemented, and while they’re not all winners (Nightmare Hunts are a bit bland, sadly), it makes the player feel as if there’s always something to do, something to grind for.
It should also be noted that while Shadowkeep is a paid expansion, Destiny 2 itself has gone free-to-play after Bungie split with Activision. In practical terms that means you can play most of what Destiny 2 has to offer without spending a cent, which for a game of D2’s quality is a pretty damn sweet deal. As for Shadowkeep itself, while the campaign feels a little cheap, the rest of the additions feel like significant improvements. It’s also an ongoing concern, with new modes and content dropping weekly, so for players who want Destiny 2 to feel like a one stop shop, a hobby game, Shadowkeep is a must.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for Shadowkeep to tell an interesting and twisty tale like The Taken King from D1 or Forsaken from D2, you’re in for a disappointment. However, if you want a reason to grind for new weapons, armour and an engaging excuse to sacrifice your free time at the altar of incrementally raising stats and pew-pew’ing the crap out of antisocial aliens, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is a worthy destination.