How does one put into words what I have felt in the past 24 hours? Excitement, anxiety, stress, pain, and ecstasy. Probably, the best emotions to describe the lead-up and the experience of Destiny 2’s newest expansion, Lightfall. As expected massive spoiler warning ahead.
I had been here a little over a year ago with the Witch Queen expansion, but this time, it is different. With an extra year of experience under my belt and a year’s worth of lore locked in my brain, this time I was ready. Or at least, I thought I was.
Calus and the Witness were on their way to confront the Traveler, and it was up to us to protect it. But how does one defend against the incarnation of Darkness? Well, that’s something I was excited to figure out because there was nothing that came to mind. My thoughts going in, we were going to lose and lose hard. And the final result was a resounding defeat. The Witness found the Veil and entered a realm we can not follow while subjugating the Traveler leaving us vulnerable.
It was not the loss I was expecting. I knew the Traveler would fall in some way considering Caital’s previous predictions coming true. “A city, besieged. The Shipstealer revived. The Leviathan reborn. Your Traveler infected by Darkness”. Before this season, the Shipstealer had been revived and the Leviathan reborn. We were now waiting for the other two to come true. And they did in Lightfall. Neomuna, the new destination is at war and the Traveler, well it sure is infected by Darkness.
The loss I expected was that of Osiris. Without a ghost, it seemed likely that he would fall during the campaign, but that was not the case, and I am glad to see he is still standing. A death I was not expecting was that of Rohan, the Cloudstrider. And despite his character only being present in Lightfall, the sacrifice he took hit hard. I stood staring at my screen for a couple of minutes, speechless. I was not prepared.
Thankfully that was the only character death, but perhaps the biggest scare was right after defeating Calus, and the Witness takes control of your ghost. Seeing your guardian aim at your ghost made my heart skip a beat. Even if it seems unlikely to lose your ghost, the way it happens tugs on your heartstrings. The slight hesitation from your guardian is how I felt, I said to myself: “do not take the shot”, luckily he did not, and the ghost is still alive, but the Witness still won.
From seeing that cutscene up until writing this article, I still do not have words to describe that final cutscene. I said I expected loss, I knew something would happen to the Traveler, but I was still not prepared for that ending. Got to give credit to Bungie for making an expected outcome seem unexpected. In stories like these, you expect to win, and we got that by defeating Calus, only for it to be stripped away moments later.
Story aside, the missions, the combat, the environment of space, and Neomuna were simply fantastic. Seeing Calus’ ship, the Typhon Imperator sent chills down my spine. Then there was the first of many encounters with the Tormentors. I almost jumped straight up off my chair, and an inhumane sound emerged from my lips. They truly lived up to their name, and unlike the Hive Guardians, they remained terrifying throughout.
Neomuna, in my opinion, is the best-looking destination we have in Destiny 2. Everything about it is breathtaking, even while in the middle of a war. Neomuna encapsulates the beauty of an advanced civilization alongside nature better than I could have ever imagined. I still have a lot of places to explore, but already I am in love.
Strand. The newest subclass added to Destiny 2. Leading into Lightfall, I was the most hyped for this new subclass, and it did not disappoint. The ability as a Hunter to grapple to anything and then dive or punch enemies was second to none. The best of all though, was the super, being able to swing the rope around and annihilate hordes of enemies was the highlight. In a later article, I will go more in-depth on my thoughts on strand once I have more experience with it.
I have to commend Bungie, they included strand in the campaign perfectly. It did not feel forced like Stasis was with Beyond Light it flowed well with the story, and they gave you ample opportunity to experience and learn the new subclass.
Lastly, I want to talk about the campaign’s difficulty and how it compared to the Witch Queen. Overall it felt easier than the Witch Queen. I feel it mostly came down to the current sandbox, as well my comfort with the game. Since the Witch Queen campaign, I have improved a lot as a solo player so it would make sense for it to feel easier this time around. I felt tested throughout, and that is what matters.
The final battle against Calus seemed easy to begin with, but oh how wrong I was. Having to dodge the tormentors sending you off the map and damage from Calus and other enemies in a small arena was no easy task. I wanted desperately to finish the mission with strand, but due to time constraints with loadshedding, I went with my void subclass, and even then it was still painful. The second phase of Calus was terrifying. Having to deal damage while he chases after you and almost one shot you was not easy, especially given my lack of ammo.
Ultimately, I fell in love with everything in the campaign. There was not a single occasion where I felt cheated out of a good battle or storyline. The story and gameplay kept me on my toes throughout, and each experience with strand left me wanting more. Now that it is all said and done, I have much to explore concerning the new season, Neomuna, strand, and the new raid launching on March 10th. Be sure to keep an eye out next week for a strand article.