I had huge expectations for Beyond Light. Outside of the campaign and Europa, they haven’t been met.
Destiny 2’s latest expansion, Beyond Light, has arrived and has been available for a few days now. In that time, I’ve been able to complete the new campaign, explore the icy moon of Europa, earn a few Exotic weapons, and test out the new Stasis subclasses that allow players to wield the Darkness for the first time.
This might sound like enough to justify the new expansion. However, while the new campaign is excellent and Europa is a beautiful location with lots of interesting areas to explore, barely any new loot has been added to the game beyond the new handful of Exotic weapons that you can earn. On top of that, Stasis is overpowered in PvP activities to a comical degree, making the Crucible experience miserable.
Ultimately, unless some big surprises are coming after the Deep Stone Crypt raid releases on Nov. 21, I don’t think Beyond Light is worth picking up at the $40 retail price. However, the fact that it’s available through Xbox Game Pass means that subscribers can check out the expansion for free.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light
Bottom line: Beyond Light has an excellent campaign and Europa is an awesome patrol zone, but the lack of new loot and the terrible Stasis balancing make the expansion difficult to recommend.
- Excellent story campaign
- Europa is a great environment
- New Exotic gear
- New Stasis element is great in PvE
- Available on Xbox Game Pass
- Not enough new loot
- Stasis is very unbalanced in PvP
- A lot of previous weapons and armor level-capped
Destiny 2: Beyond Light What I like
By far, the strongest aspect of Beyond Light is the campaign. Even though it’s only about four hours long, I think it’s one of the best stories ever told in a Destiny expansion.
Eramis, a Fallen Kell that wants to use the Darkness to get revenge on the Traveler and the Light for abandoning her people long ago, is incredibly well fleshed out thanks to some superb cutscenes and dialogue. Meanwhile, the fan-favorite Fallen character, Variks the Loyal, is a great juxtaposition against Eramis’ idea of vengeance; he instead has a desire for his people to find peace over the course of the campaign. Overall, the two characters have a lot of chemistry and bounce off each other wonderfully, which is mainly thanks to some truly excellent voice acting.
The campaign’s gameplay is great too, as things are more mission-focused this time around compared to the checklist-like nature of Shadowkeep. The campaign also makes use of all of the spaces in Europa in particular, which I quite enjoyed since it helps you explore.
Speaking of Europa, it’s easily one of my favorite patrol spaces in the entirety of Destiny 2. The harsh winter environment on the surface feels oppressive and brutal, which is something that can be attributed to the location’s dynamic weather systems. Meanwhile, both beneath and above the ice, there are tons of interesting areas to explore, ranging from ancient Vex structures to urban Fallen highrises and abandoned facilities once staffed by the Braytech Exoscience corporation that created the Exo race.
Various quests available on Europa will take you through these areas and encourage you to look in every nook and cranny. Europa also has “Master Lost Sectors,” which are special variants of traditional Lost Sectors that are filled with very dangerous enemies but also have a high chance to reward Exotic gear upon completion.
Lastly, I’m a huge fan of how the new Stasis element feels to use in PvE content. The general theme of crowd control Stasis gives it a unique niche compared to all of the Light subclasses, and the fact that Stasis abilities do less damage overall compared to Light ones reflects that. I’m looking forward to trying out Stasis in raids as I can already tell that the ability to throw up a wall of ice for protection or freeze foes to stop them from reaching a critical objective will be incredibly useful. I also like the Aspects and Fragments system, which allows you to tweak your Stasis abilities so that they have some bonus effects that suit your preferred type of playstyle.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light What I don’t like
The biggest problem with Beyond Light is that there’s barely any new loot to earn aside from a small handful of new guns, two sets of armor, and some new Exotics. For an expansion that costs $40, you’d expect a lot more from Bungie. Perhaps more gear will be introduced after the raid — the raid itself will have some weapons and armor, too — but as of right now, there’s very little to chase. Destiny 2 is a looter shooter after all, and if there’s not much loot to chase, well…
This issue is exacerbated by how Bungie sunsets most weapons and armor that released prior to Beyond Light by capping their maximum Power Level at 1,060, making them effectively unusable outside of patrol spaces, Crucible, and Gambit (for some reason, Bungie raised the Power Level of playlist Strikes to 1,100). Essentially, Bungie has significantly reduced the effectiveness of the arsenal we built up for three years and then failed to replace that lost arsenal with new gear to hunt down.
While Stasis is awesome in PvE, it is absolutely busted in PvP environments like Crucible or Gambit. The Warlock’s Stasis subclass, in particular, is the most egregious since it can freeze people much easier than the other subclasses. Ultimately, the way Stasis works on a fundamental level isn’t healthy for the PvP experience. Destiny is a very movement-based shooter, so abilities that let you easily turn other players into ice cubes (including while they’re using their Super) ruin the flow of the game.
I would go as far as to say that right now, Crucible is pay-to-win since access to Stasis is locked behind this expansion. I’ve never seen something completely break the game like Stasis has. This issue needs to be addressed soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if PvP players leave the game if it isn’t.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light: Bottom line — Wait for now, or use Game Pass
As much as I love the Beyond Light campaign, the Europa location, and the way that Stasis feels in PvE, it’s impossible to ignore just how little gear there is for players to chase right now. On top of that, Stasis completely breaks PvP, making playing a large chunk of what Destiny 2 has to offer miserable.
I recommend waiting on Beyond Light since things might change once more gear is introduced after the raid. You could also pick up the expansion free-of-charge if you happen to be a Game Pass subscriber, which I recommend doing so you can play the awesome campaign. I also recommend checking out our list of the best Xbox One shooters if you’re looking for a good FPS.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light
Bottom Line: Beyond Light has an excellent campaign and Europa is an awesome patrol zone, but the lack of new loot and the terrible Stasis balancing make the expansion difficult to recommend.