My first three hours with Destiny 2: Beyond Light

Today is Fate 2is a great day. Beyond the light, the third major expansion of the game, is finally live after seven weeks of delay, making it an important new patch and the final season. I have a lot of feelings right now that will take days if not weeks to shake out completely. But right now I’m mostly just happy to have brand new things fate play.

The first day of fateThe annual expansion declines are always an odd mix of emotions: excitement about new places to explore and loot to collect, fear that that feeling will quickly go away when new content is blown, and excruciating frustration at the problems that have not arisen yet. And so it’s gone for my time Beyond the light so far. I’ve fallen under the spell of the game, but like someone who is only half dreaming, if they anticipate the alarm clock that will wake them up any moment, I’m ready for that magic to fade as always. The only question is usually how long that will take.

The Traveler has finally healed himself, although it is still unclear whether he will wake up soon and fight the darkness. (Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku)

The conflicting feelings surrounding a new expansion were also compounded this time around by some worse server problems, particularly on Xbox, which happened to launch two next-gen consoles today. The background server maintenance was originally supposed to be completed in the early afternoon, but has been since then

. While I was struggling to log in right after the game came back up and running, things went pretty smoothly afterwards. (I play on an Xbox One, at least until my Series S shows up.)

Beyond the light introduces Europe, a beautiful, icy wasteland orbiting Jupiter, full of dark secrets and a powerful army of the fallen who wield a power out of the dark called stasis and have so far kicked my ass. It has easily become one of my favorite places in the game, perhaps second only to the Dream City added in Forsaken, which is largely viewed as such Fate 2High water mark.

Europe has a campsite where you can hang out with all of your favorite friends who really don’t get along. (Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku)

The wintry satellite makes a great first impression with an initial mission to rescue Variks, a beloved ally of the fallen, who is returning Fate 1. A number of cinematic cutscenes are very exhausting to determine the stake and give enemies and friends alike more personality than the average fate Story mission. The beginning of Beyond the light is probably the most narrative I’ve ever seen on the series without relying on direct narration or communication to explain what’s going on.

Here are a few brief thoughts on the previous expansion:

  • Europe has dynamic snowstorms and they are wonderful. I love it when visibility fades, when the wind comes up and all you can see is the red glow from Vex coming over a hill. I also like it when the storm subsides and the sunlight is reflected in all its crystal clear beauty from the blue ice of Europe.
Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku
  • A couple of story missions in and Beyond the light ‘s fallen are tearing me apart. The new power limit is 1260, and by 1065 I’m already looking for blue engrams to boost my performance so I can keep making progress. It’s a nice change of pace after new story content has been slightly blown in the past.
  • I forgot how much I miss Variks.
  • The cosmodrome is back and feels right at home. The loot cave still doesn’t exist, but dusting Fallen in the Steppes really brings me back like walking the halls of your old high school, but much less depressing.
Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku
  • I will withdraw the bounty. Variks, Europe’s seller, won’t give you any until you’re done Beyond the lightThe main story campaign, and so far I haven’t contacted the seasonal provider. As a result, I rely on gunsmith bounties and whatever I can scrape together during planetary patrols. It might be a relief if I don’t really want to grind up the new seasonal artifact and season pass as efficiently as possible.
  • Europe is fresh, but the loot pools are not. I’ve gotten some legendary drops so far, but it’s all old stuff. It was pretty drained. My first new engram was literally another Steel Sybil Z-14. The vendors’ equipment has been updated, but the world losses are still more disappointing than not.
Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku

This last point is probably the biggest head scratch to date. Not only am I getting mostly old gear so far, but it’s still all falling below the game’s current infusion limit, which means that while I get it this season, for the next couple of seasons it will be more like sunset than a full year later going to happen now. A lot of these are guns I wouldn’t normally bother with, but the fact that they’ll be out of date in the next six months also makes them feel a lot more like a mess.

Next Beyond the light Bungie dropped the 3.0.0 update, which changes a lot of things. Most of this was discussed by Bungie early this fall, but some things, like weapon balancing and improvements to vendor armor drops, were detailed in today’s patch notes. Many of the changes, like the infamous hand cannon nerfs, will take more time to form an opinion. On the brightside, Hawkmoon, the rapid-fire hand cannon from Fate 1is back and I look forward to seeing if it is still as fun to use as it was last time. Another exotic returner is the Chaperone Shotgun, which you can get from a quest that the Cosmodrome’s new Vanguard scout, Shaw Han, did. He seems nice.

Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku

The other big space elephant in the room is vaulting about half the game. Titan, Mercury, Io, and Mars have all been conquered by darkness along with their quest givers, public activities, and strike missions. The new card looks nice, but it’s also much emptier.

The Beyond the light Era of Fate 2 could become a more focused proposition, or it could simply suffer from the same content bottlenecks that have haunted the game since launch. Game director Luke Smith also seemed to confirm this in an interview with PC player today that Witch queen, Fate 2The 2021 expansion won’t unbalance any of the older goals either, although it will get a brand new one.

As I said, I’m both excited for what I’ve seen so far Beyond the light and also, as trained by past extensions (Rise of the Iron, Shadow Guardian), careful how long that will take. At the moment, however, there is a lot more to chew on.

Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku

I haven’t even got my own stasis powers, let alone experimented with them in each of the three classes (early reports: they’re extremely radical). I think I’ll do it right now.

Here we go again:

Image: Bungie

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