by Anthony O'Connor

Year:  2024

Director:  Joe Blackburn, Tyson Green

Rated:  M

Release:  Out Now

Distributor: Bungie

Running time: 15-20 hours, endgame content, PvP

Worth: $17.00
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

… an absolutely superb ending, epic and emotional and exciting and conclusive.

Way back in 2014, game developer Bungie (creators of Halo) unleashed their brand-new IP on the world. Its name was Destiny. Featuring some of the best, most responsive shooting in video game history, Destiny was also saddled with a half-baked, unfinished story, threadbare content at launch and little to no endgame. The critical response was lukewarm at best and Bungie’s assertion that this was a robust multiplayer shooter with a plan for ten years of content seemed downright laughable. Well, we’ve now hit the ten-year mark, with Destiny 2’s latest expansion, The Final Shape, being one of their best yet.

So, who’s laughing now?

Destiny 2: The Final Shape is the conclusion of the so-called “Light and Darkness saga” that has played out across two base games and a dozen expansions. Obviously, going into every nuance would be impractical and deeply tedious, but the basic gist is, The Traveller – a massive sentient golf ball – has helped various races fight against The Darkness, and the malevolent being who would wield it, The Witness. You, a player generated Guardian, have been tasked to join the fight and help save the universe. Usually, by waiting for your robot Ghost to hack a computer while fighting off three waves of enemies.

Destiny’s storytelling has been patchy over the years, with ecstatic highs like The Witch Queen and confounding lows like Lightfall. Happily, The Final Shape is one of the good ones, featuring an emotional story combined with a challenging, surprisingly intricate campaign best played on Legendary difficulty and featuring some of the series’ best cutscenes. Story aside, the addition of the new Prismatic power class gives Guardians the opportunity to mix and match their abilities to great effect, offering a bunch of unique builds. Plus, there’s the usual loot pool upgrades and quality of life improvements that are always welcome.

Honestly, the main problem with The Final Shape is that once it’s over, and the long-running narrative more or less concluded, it just leaves the Destiny experience feeling a little… done. Oh sure, Bungie are offering additional content called Echoes that features three acts launching every six weeks or so, but it all just feels like the same underwhelming seasonal gear that we’ve been getting sick of for some time now.

Good stories end. That’s what makes them so precious in the first place. And despite years of ups and downs, Destiny 2: The Final Shape is an absolutely superb ending, epic and emotional and exciting and conclusive. It’s amazing that they managed to craft such a satisfying wrap-up for this long-running yarn and a credit to everyone involved, particularly the writers, voice actors and art department, who have managed to make such an old engine look and sound so consistently good. That said, once the credits roll, it feels like it might be time for this Destiny tragic to put the ol’ controller down and move onto something else.

Then again, very few people thought Destiny would last the full decade, and here we are. Maybe Bungie has it in them to keep this crazy train going, but even if they fail, it’s been a hell of a ride.