Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Review

"Recycled Nightmares"


October 30, 2019 at 3:57am
By Jason Stettner

It’s time to step up once again Guardian, as a mysterious force is rising on the moon. This is another expansion for Destiny 2, featuring the Shadowkeep. It’s an interesting addition to the game that adds more light to work towards with fresh gear, presents an additional couple Strike missions and provides another Raid.

There are other inclusions such as new Crucible maps and PVE extras, but the core of this is the new narrative. This continues the story of the core game as we work on the Moon to meet a new main character, and battle what appears to be a formidable foe. It opens up in a really epic way, and for the first half of this it really feels like fresh content.

There are distinct areas, vast backdrops and teases of what’s to come. Then, we get to the latter half which is filled with recycled content. They get away with this by noting the bosses as nightmares and it feels honestly lazy. It ruins the pacing, and the latter half drags to try to stretch how much time you get out of this.

The ending portion of this is also just super abrupt, with the cinematic not evening showing what actually happens. It’s weird, and I was really enjoying it until this latter part of the expansion. For hardcore Destiny players you’ll enjoy the extra additions, but I’m not sure that the casual player will find too much value here. I mostly play just to cover the game’s releases, and even I got tired of seeing the same old boss enemies again. I crave something new, and they seemed to be giving just that right off the bat.

That opening segment truly is awesome, and it gets you excited. As the story progresses it does get slightly blander, you get forced to do side events on the moon and then have to grind through enemies to gather special unlocks in order to finish it off. It’s like they had a super strong start-up, and just didn’t know how to take it further or even end it. Still, there’s a lot that’s added with this expansion. You have the core story, there’s the raid, and of course some Strike missions. They work on expanding other elements of the experience and the world is still stunning.

I didn’t mind returning to the moon here, but at the same time I do desire to travel elsewhere, as being on this satellite once again only feeds into that mindset that they keep pushing recycled content. I also would have liked some of the later objectives to be clearer, it seemed like the game was having a hard time directing me and then when you had to visit other planets I had to look up multiple guides online to understand what it was asking.

Those elements needs to be clearer, as while I’d consider myself as being a more hardcore player, not of this franchise but of the genre and having issues with navigation here. That’s really going to be an issue for a casual player base.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep starts out strong, but ends with a rather abrupt situation that’s dampened by the recycled content that’s present. It’s really starting to wear down on me, seeing the same old elements of play being used over and over in this one. Just because it’s noted as a nightmare and the room is red now, doesn’t mean it’s at all different.

I understand there’s a desire to push the content further, but it might be best to dial it back and just have a really cohesive tighter package that feels entirely new. This isn’t nearly as good as Forsaken, but it does provide a good selection of additional things to do. The entire game feels somewhat revamped with the changes to armor, the increase of light and all of the new additions to the package. As mentioned you get a couple more Strike missions and of course a raid to tackle.

Those definitely add value to a fairly lengthy main narrative and there are worldlier PVE additions among a few new Crucible maps if that’s something you’re into. I liked the mystery of the Shadowkeep, they could have leaned into that more as it just seemed like a state of pushing older things upon us once again, which I’m just tired of frankly.

Read our Destiny 2: Forsaken Review
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Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by The Amplifier Group

Rating Overall: 7.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner