Destiny 2: Beyond Light – First impressions

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***WARNING – This story may contain potential spoilers for the campaign of Beyond Light and the wider Destiny 2 story. If you want to go in blind turn back now***

On Tuesday evening Bungie launched the latest expansion for Destiny 2 in Beyond Light.

Unfortunately, as has become the norm with major releases, connectivity issues plagued the game for most of Tuesday evening though by Wednesday morning in South Africa connectivity appeared to be fine.

We have managed to complete the main story of Beyond Light but the actual campaign is far from over for us as we try to further our exploitation of Stasis.

But given that we’ve completed the core story of Beyond Light we wanted to share our thoughts with you just in case you’re toying with the idea of jumping into the expansion.

Europa is intimidating

Because we own Beyond Light we were catapulted into the first mission of the campaign in which we are tasked with saving the last surviving member of House of Judgment and former Prison of Elders warden, Variks The Loyal.

We also meet the Eramis, Kell of Darkness who has communed with the Darkness and was gifted its power known as Stasis.

You will wield Stasis as well, eventually.

From here on out your Guardian will be working with Variks to topple Eramis’ empire but that’s really only half the point of the Beyond Light campaign.

The setup here is a Guardian of the Light toying with the powers of Darkness and the conflict that presents. As a player, you might not care and simply want to dive into using Stasis but the narrative being built here is interesting.

Eramis represents somebody whose intentions led to the Darkness corrupting those intentions – giving the Eliksni people back their freedom and power – and blinding the Kell to other points of view.

Our Guardian however has “noble” intentions which is to say that we will use the Darkness for the right purpose.

That purpose ultimately becomes hunting down Eramis and throughout the campaign we had to stop and ask ourselves “Are we doing the right thing?”.

The internal conflict Bungie left us with once credits rolled on the main story was great and it’s a testament to how well Bungie tells a story.

There are also many levels to Europa. The surface is just one aspect of the patrol area and now that we’ve finished the campaign we’re excited to explore.

The (Jupiter) Moon Cheese

When we dove into Shadowkeep in 2019 the power grind was a major feature of our progression but this year we got lucky.

A bug saw Lost Sector bosses dropping gear more frequently than they should and this gear was a higher power level than we suspect it should’ve been. This meant that if you went back and forth through Lost Sectors you could power level rather quickly.

In one 30 minute session we went from 1050 to 1165 Power. Unfortunately this bug has been patched but it did help us a lot with completing the campaign.

The upside for us here is that a rather long grind was skipped and we could focus on the story which made for a wonderful change.

We mention this because Bungie really needs to remove this Day One grind for simple story missions.

We get it, this slow bump in power requirement for missions adds a bit more time to the campaign and forces you to explore the worlds and new systems Bungie has created but we have an entire year for that.

Most players – ourselves included – wanted to jump in, finish the story and then start the grind to 1250 Power Level which is where the real exploration and grind starts.

The one shining light here is the New Light campaign which you can complete as either a new or veteran player. While it may not be as efficient as the Lost Sector cheese, it is fun to explore the Cosmodrome, and you get a free Risk Runner once you complete the quest.

The setup

While most of your time will be spent helping Variks, the Exo Stranger from Destiny will be featuring quite heavily as does her grandfather, Clovis Bray, though we never see the mad man.

Europa was one of the first colonies established by Clovis Bray and remnants of the Golden Age can be seen throughout the planet though there is something a lot more sinister happening here.

To that end we recommend reading the lengthy Clovis Bray Personal Log as well as the lost pages of that log which are still being decrypted.

As far as the Exo Stranger and Clovis Bray are concerned we suspect Bungie is setting up a few story strands it can tug on later, or perhaps in the Deep Stone Crypt Raid which launches on 21st November.

With that having been said, there is already enough in the campaign and the Clovis Bray facility to have the skin on the back of your neck crawl at the mention of the scientist’s name.

Sup bro.

Gearing up

We want to explore this topic in a bit more depth but we feel it warrants mentioning as sunsetting of gear has been a major point of contention among the community since it was announced.

Throughout the campaign you will be gifted new weapons from Variks and new gear from Europa can be earned through quests.

What really struck us as odd however was the gift of a Long Shadow sniper rifle from Forsaken.

The idea behind sunsetting was to lower the effort needed to balance certain weapons (Mountaintop, Recluse and Revoker to name a few) unfortunately this means weapons like Long Shadow can only be infused up to a certain point. This means that players may not be up for investing in these weapons and instead use them for infusion fodder.

What really burns is the fact that some weapons are required to complete bounties but there are very few if any viable weapons.

Take a bounty for Machine Gun kills for example. The only “viable” machine gun we have access to is Xenophage and it’s not exactly a weapon for clearing ads.

In theory sunsetting makes sense but in practice we’re going to need a few more weapons to make this work.

There are new weapons and perks such as this which seems like fun.

So far however, Beyond Light has been fun and whether you wanted it or not, it’s still the same old Destiny we know and love albeit with a slightly streamlined Director.

We’re having fun and with Season of the Hunt set to start next week, there is going to be a lot for players to do ahead of the Raid race next weekend.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.