Another OVERPRICED “Slow Motion” tiny adventure
This review had more thought put into it than the story of lightfall.
My disappointment is immeasurable, and my day is ruined.
WHAT THE F**K IS THE VEIL??
and the crowd goes mild
This truly was a strand type game
Lightfall somehow managed to be worse than RedWar and Shadowkeep, which is impressive in its own right. Despite the Pyramid invasion that put this expansion’s events in motion, the gravitas that the new and returning characters bring to the table makes the entirety of the campaign feel like a filler arc. There is little to no clarity given in regards to new plot elements – it presents itself like the narrative team thinks you already know and understand concepts like the Veil, despite them only ever being namedropped on occasion before this point. New faces are forgettable, and Neomuna feels like a throwaway area with no soul. Without dropping spoilers, the finale falls flat, drawing out the same emotional response as vanilla D1, leaving me scratching my head and asking out loud, “that was it?”
As far as gameplay is concerned, gunplay is top-notch, and the campaign missions themselves manage to be engaging enough with high enemy density. The strand segments are enjoyable to a fault, yet the low cooldown abilities are sure to have spoiled me for normal post-game content.
I cannot recommend this in good faith. I’d say that I hope Bungie learns from the plethora of poor reviews, but if they knew how to take criticism, we wouldn’t have gotten this pile of garbage in the first place.
At this point, Bungie should just hand over the story writing to ChatGPT. It would probably do a better job.
1. The overarching story was really bad, even for Destiny standards. An example is major plot devices (the Veil and the Radial Mast) never get explained and the entire story being left on a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ cliffhanger for another year. It’s the equivalent to Thanos getting all the Infinity Stones and just leaving through a psychedelic portal. None of the impact of the “second collapse” is felt anywhere in the world, except for the Traveler no longer being above the city.
2. Neomuna and the Cloud Striders are strange. They really don’t fit in Destiny, especially for a campaign set around a second collapse. Not only that, but Neomuna is small and pretty lifeless, with it’s only redeeming factor being that it looks pretty. Also Nimbus is so annoying, they make me physically uncomfortable
3. Strand so far feels really gimmicky and kinda just does what Stasis does, but worse. I can’t find a use case for it apart from just being fun to goof around with.
Overall, I am a bitter Destiny fan who hates the direction the game has been going, but even still, I can’t justify spending $50 on this, just to end up with 6 hours of a mid tier campaign, followed by the same thing I’ve been doing for 3 years. Would rather spend $50 on several shamrock shakes from McDonalds
After the Witch Queen, I had thought that Bungie had finally done it, they’d found a formula that works, create 8 solid, well balanced missions, with decent challenge, and a focused story centered around a few major players in the universe, ending with a big reveal that sets up the following seasons.
I was wrong.
Lightfalls campaign is a mess, both from a story perspective as well as gameplay perspective. It tries to do too many things at once. In 8 missions, Bungie is introducing a new subclass, a entirely new world with its own worldbuilding and characters, conclude Calus multi year story thats pretty much been ongoing since the games original release, and set up the finale of the “light and dark saga”.
All of this, in 8 missions, the results are exactly what you expect.
Strand is an entirely new subclass unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, with a new nonsensical power source (the Veil) we’ve heard nothing about, Beyond light dedicates almost its entire campaign to the darkness powers, Lightfall does not and so we have 2 training missions where we listen to Osiris plagiarize a essay on philosophy from a high school student who forgot about the assignment until an hour before the due date. Meanwhile we learn absolutely nothing about the Veil, which the bad guy needs for some reason, I think? He needs to link it to something to get something to do something, I think?
The witness plot ends with us still knowing basically nothing about his plan, but don’t worry, I’m sure Bungie will be able to explain his motivations just before we immediately kill him in the 8 mission campaign for the final shape.
Neomuna is awful, its completely underdeveloped because theres no time in 8 missions to develop an entire planet we know nothing about while also resolving two plotlines and unlocking a new power, so from what i’ve gathered its a techno religous cult that turns people into giant uncanny valley monstrosities to protect the city for 10 years before turning them into a desktop pc. Also despite everyone being in a cryogenic chamber and the people all being holograms, they are also able to create street art of everyones favorite new characters…….
The cloudstriders are awful, Rohan is straight out of Destiny 1 with how utterly boring he is, while Nimbus is the splitting image of a Red War character like failsafe. Unfunny and utterly cringe to listen to, to the point it actually takes the wind out of what is supposedly a “serious, dark, somber plot”. Alot of people have already talked to death about how awful the cloudstriders are, so i’m not going to bother going over these augmented homunculi’s more than I have to in order to inform you they are terrible and cringe.
Calus is done dirty, he gets a bunch of cutscenes with the witness, which highlights some very important character traits of Calus, he’s a nihilistic Rick and Morty fan, but deep down he just wants to be loved, which he’s not getting from the Witness and his souless zombie minions that refuse to pour him a nice cup of wine when he kindly asks for it.
These cutscenes are the highlight of Lightfall, they show just how powerful the witness is, but also show a more pitable side to Calus, continously hinting at the fact that Calus is slowly realizing, like Eramis in the season prior to lightfall, that siding with the Witness isn’t all its cracked up to be. If you expect this to lead to a last second betrayal or refusal to follow the witness orders by Calus, as virtually every cutscene hints at their growing animosity towards eachother, remember, we only have 2 missions to focus on and develop him, so he will instead be uncerimoniously killed off in a terrible final boss fight.
This leads pretty well into the gameplay of lightfalls campaign, and how it is a direct downgrade from Witch Queen as well.
Witch queens campaign teaches the basics of Destiny’s mechanics, while also providing fun but challenging setpieces and encounters. This can mostly be attributed to the hive being a well designed faction with each enemy type fufilling a specific and distinct role, as well as the lightbearer hive, which are all incredibly well designed, are counterable, and force the player to adapt while not feeling unfar or cheap.
Lightfall mostly involves fighting against the new “shadow legion” cabal. Cabal are already the most annoying faction to fight due to their constant abuse of Destiny’s wonky physics, slamming you into walls with their shields, or their fire blasts, or their stomps, or their drop pods and insta killing you on contact with any solid matter.
Bungie knew this was a problem, and removed insta kill on walls slams for lightfall (likely because they encountered the same problem during playtesting). But because you still get left at 1 hp on contact with walls, it doesn’t actually matter and a stray bullet will just finish you off.
In a Campaign centered around a faction like that, its probably best to make sure most gameplay is ranged focus or in wide ares, not involving you fighting the cabal in tight enclosed spaces where they can slam you into walls constantly, you would obviously be wrong, neomunda is massive network of alleyways, and the campaign missions consantly force you into crammed spaces where every cabal gets the opportunity to slam you into every nook and cranny in these poorly designed arenas.
The new enemy type, the tormentor, is everything wrong with Cabal enemies turned up to eleven, an incredibly aggresive juggernaut enemy with questionable critical hitboxes, that slams you with melee attacks knocking you across the room and silencing you, while also having a incredibly fun not at all broken grab attack, which nearly insta kills you with how much damage it does, and will insta kill you because enemies can gangbang you as the tormentor holds you down and has its way with you like a 5 dollar hooker.
But fine, at least I can build around this right? I can use a subclass like solar or void, and avoid the hassle of having to be up close with a faction that hard counters melee oriented builds right?
Of course you’re not, because strand is not just an awful subclass that is significantly undertuned atm, but also a melee focused subclass that you are forced to use in multiple sections of the campaign, for some incredibly weak reasons (your strand super is the only thing that can destroy certain objectives for one example). While i’ve heard as warlock you gain access to some non melee options, both Titan and Hunter are melee oriented, and as a result will be launched, stomped, and slammed into walls, while being grabbed and silenced by tormentors melee attacks.
Its an utterly bizzarre combination, which is beautifully shown in the games final boss fight, a circular arena with 4 outcrops dangling over a death pit, filled with flamethrower enemies to launch you, tormentors to slam you, and a second phase where Calus transforms into a giant Cabal Blademaster, a enemy type infamous for sending guardians sliding at mach speed into walls with its melee attacks, you can choose not to use strand in this fight, if you want to die as calus outruns you in the second phase and will kill you, or use strand, and deal with the amazing cabal strategy of slamming you into every corner in the arena.
Every one of my 5 deaths against this boss were not due to being outgunned or outsmarted by the AI, but rather by being launched across the room into a death pit, or fondled and gaped by a tormentors grab attack like its my first day in the supermax prison showers.
Overall, Lightfall might be the worst Destiny Xpac i’ve played since Shadowkeep, an xpac that literally doesn’t even have a real campaign. So Lightfall managed to slightly eek out Shadowkeep by actually having a campaign, even its its one of the worst things i’ve played in a long time.With Bungie now funneling money into new IP’s, it might not be long until Destiny is either put on life support, or out to pasture.
Meh at best. Lightfall was advertised as a vibrant new world but it feels more empty than it was before the DLC dropped.
Each year we pay more and get less.
Edit: Bungie just annouced they will be selling you the answers to this expansions questions through the next year, in seasons that are seperate purchases. (TWAB 03/02/23)
Yeah, I’m done giving Bungie chances. Played for 10 years, since D1 Alpha on Xbox 360.
Every single expansion they put out, they forget what they did in the previous one, both the good and the bad. Just when things were getting good again with The Witch Queen, they went back to the MCU level writing where they deflate any tension with a cringe joke (seriously, why is most media still doing this?).
Done with this franchise.