With Destiny 2: The Witch Queen and its assorted seasons in the rearview mirror, 2023’s Lightfall expansion has some big shoes to fill. Improved storytelling, new gameplay modes, and the ensuing seasonal content made The Witch Queen expansion a standout experience, and Lightfall doesn’t manage to reach the high bar it set. Destiny 2’s latest add-on introduces major gameplay tweaks, an exciting new subclass to play around with, and plenty of fresh Exotic gear for your arsenal, but this is overshadowed by a disappointing campaign and a lifeless Neptunian destination that make for an underwhelming combination.
Lightfall doesn’t waste any time setting the stage, taking place shortly after the devastating events of Season of the Seraph. After a quick slideshow narrated by the silky-smooth voice of Lance Reddick’s Commander Zavala brings everyone up to speed, it’s all hands on deck as the Witness finally makes its long-awaited arrival in the Solar system to battle the Traveler. From the opening mission, the action unfolds at a breakneck pace, as a new Shadow Legion of Cabal led by a reborn Calus set a course for Neptune, and you’re hitching a ride alongside them in an effort to prevent a doomsday scenario from occurring.
Bungie has spoken several times about adopting an ’80s action movie vibe for Lightfall, and that influence is felt everywhere on Neptune’s primary location, Neomuna. From a city bathed in neon lights and a training montage as you master your new powers, to the introduction of a cast of characters that include analogs of loose cannon space-cops, maverick rookies, and grizzled veterans just one week away from retirement, Lightfall wears its not-so-subtle inspirations proudly.
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