The Final Shape is Destiny 2 perfected

Bungie stuck the landing on the conclusion of the decade-long Light and Dark Saga.

Bungie
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Destiny 2 has seen its ups and downs since it was released back in 2017. From the highs of expansions like Forsaken and The Witch Queen to lows such as Lightfall. As we near the end of an era and Destiny 2 begins to take its victory lap, The Final Shape isn’t just the name of the latest expansion, it’s Destiny 2 perfected after 10 years of mostly ups but some notable downs too.

Lessons learned

An image showing an environment in Destiny 2: The Final Shape

Source: Bungie

One of the toughest sells of Destiny 2 is convincing new people to join the game. Whether it’s players trying to find a way to onboard their friends without scaring the daylights out of them, or Bungie trying to figure out how to keep the experience both complex and engaging but still approachable. The first thing about The Final Shape’s campaign is that they finally nailed the barrier of entry.

Gone are the campaign Power levels. Power is disabled on both the Normal and Legendary difficulties, replaced instead by enemy difficulty. Whether you’ve got 10,000 hours in Destiny or just want to see what the hype is about, you can start playing the campaign without any prior experience and you’ll be just fine. Legendary is tough but manageable if you put some effort into your weapons and build, and Normal difficulty is like choosing “just the story” mode. I was able to solo the campaign on Normal with very few deaths, and most of those were me missing a jump.

While approachability is a necessary foundation, The Final Shape is much more than that. It's a showpiece from start to finish. An example of great writing, breathtaking and terrifying set pieces, and a gameplay flow that never leaves the sweet spot.

The great climb

An image showing Ikora, Crow, Cayde, and Zavala in Destiny 2: The Final Shape

Source: Bungie

Things kick off with the team entering the Traveler and crashing their ships in the Pale Heart. From there, Guardians must make their way through this strange but familiar environment to link back up with Cayde and Crow, kicking off an epic journey to save the Traveler, humanity, and hopefully kill this Witness nerd.

As the campaign continued most of the big players in Destiny 2 made appearances, but the primary focus was on the previously mentioned Cayde and Crow, plus Zavala and Ikora Rey, with a little Mara Sov sprinkled in for flavor. The Witness does all it can to test this group as everything unfolds, and even scores a few victories, but one of the finest bits of storytelling in recent Destiny history is how the Vanguard comes together in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. They never lose sight of the end goal, but their humanity stays intact along the path.

I’ll do it myself

An image showing the Witness in Destiny 2: The Final Shape

Source: Bungie

While I did complete three missions on Legendary difficulty with Sam Chandler, Shacknews’ most decorated Guardian, the bulk of my time was playing solo, and this might be the best way to play the campaign. Not only do you lose out on having people talk during key cinematics or moments with important dialogue, but the characters in Destiny always refer to “the Guardian.” While it’s well known that there are many Guardians, you have always been the chosen one.

The feeling that I was the tip of the spear on my way to deal with the Witness really resonated with me as I played solo. Time and time again this fool would try to reason with me, and even as it spewed nonsense I closed the gap. You could hear the anger grow in its voice as it tried and failed to bargain. You feel like a badass, complemented by a moment of dialogue during Liminality when Zavala tells you to, “Show no restraint. I want our enemy to know exactly what you’re capable of.”

Taking Zavala’s words to heart, I spared no ability when it came to carving my way towards the Witness and through the new enemy faction, The Dread. These baddies are some of the coolest enemies the game has ever seen. From terrifying Subjugators and Tormentors to the maddening Weavers that will whip you around the battlefield and off cliffs with their Strand pull ability, you can’t say they aren’t all interesting. Even the flying Grim and melee-focused Husk are wonderful new targets for our aim and abilities.

Not goodbye

An image showing Guardians in combat in Destiny 2: The Final Shape

Source: Bungie

The Final Shape’s campaign isn’t all about being a god killer who fears nothing. There are certainly moments where Bungie lets you feel comfortable in those shoes, but the Witness was billed as the greatest threat the universe had ever seen, and it is. Key moments will range from adrenaline pumping to heartbreaking and everything in between. It’s the full package.

It’s weird to talk about The Final Shape as the conclusion of the Light and Dark Saga saga because that’s all that Destiny has ever been, but this isn’t the end for Destiny as a whole. Destiny 2 will continue for another year or two, and most likely we’ll step into Destiny 3 before too long and begin a new saga. Until then, The Final Shape is the best that Destiny has ever been. Enjoy the victory lap, Bungie.

Managing Editor

Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He made his mark early in his career through guide writing and a deep understanding of editorial SEO. He enjoys putting in the work to create a great content, be it a wild feature or grinding out an in-depth collectible guide. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his articles.

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