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Destiny 2: The Final Shape Review

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This is it – the end of the whole story arc that has gone throughout Destiny 2, and not to put too fine a point on it, Bungie needs to knock it out of the park with this one. 

You see, whilst Lightfall was okay, it didn’t set the world on fire, and I have to admit that after the initial burst of enthusiasm, I haven’t even been tempted back to Destiny 2 in about six months.

So, can The Final Shape bring me, and players like me, back into the fold? Is it too little too late? Is it a House of Wolves or a Taken King? Well, there’s only one way for you to find out what I think, and that is to cast your eyes over my scribblings. Although I will say this, as a little tease – it isn’t a House of Wolves…

Destiny 2 The Final Shape review 1
It’s Destiny 2’s The Final Shape

The story is essential in Destiny 2: The Final Shape, and to be honest, a lot of the build up to this expansion came as a shock to me. When I last played, The Witness, the ultimate big bad, had carved a triangular hole in the Traveller and gone inside, to a place where we were unable to follow. There then followed some strange stuff, where Crow managed to wish himself inside the Traveller by riding an Ahamkara dragon (it gets weirder, hold on) and then his sister had managed to open a portal using some kind of Awoken space magic and their bond to let everyone else get in. 

Well, that was the plan, but it went a bit wrong on the journey into the Traveller, and we and the Vanguard find ourselves separated. Oh, and just to add a little spice, the wish that Crow made has also resurrected Cayde-6, so that’s good. Cayde has always been my favourite NPC, and to have him back in all his Nathan Fillion voiced glory is a real high point.

Of course, Zavala has a different voice now after Lance Reddick’s untimely death, and while he doesn’t do a bad job, whoever this guy is, he’s not Lance. Anyway, hilarity ensues as the Witness pulls out all the stops to prevent us from evicting him (it?) from the Traveller!

Now, Destiny 2, and before it, Destiny have never been bad looking games, with a highly polished presentation; as long as you don’t look too closely behind the scenes. And true to form, there is no difference here – everything looks really good in The Final Shape, and the cut scenes that introduce and explain the story in particular are worthy of praise. The new enemies and locations look great too, whilst the usual good work has been turned in by the sound team. The voice of The Witness is suitably creepy, the cries of his new creatures turn your spine to water when they kick in, and all in all the way the game is presented is up to the standards we have come to expect. 

Destiny 2 The Final Shape review 2
Highly polished

But on to that game itself, and with a cynical head on, I might be forced to say that this is Destiny – the formula hasn’t changed in many years, and I can’t see it changing any time soon. It isn’t going to suddenly become a kart racer, you know what I mean?

What it is though is probably the pinnacle of the looter shooter genre. However, this time around, the way the story has been integrated into the shooting makes the whole game seem to mean a bit more. You remember the feeling when Oryx fired his weapon and destroyed most of the fleet, the feeling of being alone, up against the odds? Well, that feeling is back in Destiny 2: The Final Shape, and the difficulty has also been ramped right up. I did try to tackle the main story on Legendary difficulty, but couldn’t get past about halfway in the second mission (told you I was rusty). In order to write this I had to finish the story, so I made the sacrifice for you…

Once you have beaten the story (which takes some doing, thanks to some very mean checkpointing) there is a whole new world of content ready to explore. And in a first for the game, there is an end game mission that draws together twelve people – that’s twice as many as any mission has ever managed before – and I have to say it is pretty spectacular. 

Destiny 2 The Final Shape review 3
The best Destiny 2 expansion?

Away from new areas, like the Pale Heart inside the Traveller, the news is also good in the new mechanics section of The Final Shape.

There is a whole new subclass to unlock, called Prismatic, and to make sure that you use it, there are enemies throughout the campaign that need their shields broken by using Prismatic energy. The developers have mapped this new power to the two thumbsticks, which is exactly as awkward as it sounds, and I have died a few times trying to pop the power, instead punching the target of my aggression!

Still, after a while you get used to it, and the good thing about the sub class is that it is a mixture of all the ones you had before  my Titan, for instance, uses massive Void axes as a super, while throwing strand grenades. Mixing and matching facets of other sub classes allows for some truly interesting builds to be developed, and with various fragments able to be equipped to change things up, the limits are very wide indeed. How this will all go down in the Crucible though… 

It is saying something when the worst thing to moan about in a Bungie expansion is the controls, but for me, Destiny 2: The Final Shape is the best expansion that has been added to Destiny 2. The story arc truly draws to a close, but there is still much to get on with – exotic quests, new chapters coming to the season (episode one, Echoes has just begun) and a whole new area to explore. They make The Final Shape a must play if you are a Destiny fan.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Great storytelling
  • Cayde!
  • Difficulty is properly challenging
Cons:
  • I don’t like the Prismatic activation controls
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Bungie
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 4 June 2024 | £41.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Great storytelling</li> <li>Cayde!</li> <li>Difficulty is properly challenging</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>I don’t like the Prismatic activation controls</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Bungie</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 4 June 2024 | £41.99</li> </ul>Destiny 2: The Final Shape Review
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