Destiny 2 Shadowkeep review: a glimpse of what Destiny 3 will deliver

In January 2019, Destiny 2 developer Bungie stunned the gaming industry by announcing that it had parted ways with publisher Activision and would continue to publish a persistent-world multiplayer online shooter in its own right. Shadowkeep, the fourth expansion for Destiny 2, represents the first fruit of Bungie's bid to take back control - and confirms the developer's decision in imposing style.

That's because Shadowkeep isn't just a predictable set of downloadable content: it brings with it a series of fundamental structural changes to Destiny 2 that bring it closer than ever to Bungie's original vision of Destiny - a persistent world, while maintaining an ever-evolving main storyline - that doesn't begin to crystallize before destiny 2.

But, I warn you, if you have never tried yourself in the world of destiny 2 and do not know what it is all about, then the following words may go over your head. We do not explain the history of additions with step-by-step instructions, but you will find advice on issues of controversy.

New items

Home of the fundamental new elements that Shadowkeep brings to Destiny 2 is a complete rejig of armor and weapon systems, and a system development that lasts the duration of each season and pays off when you level up (while continuing to participate in some Destiny 2 events on a regular basis).

Two of these systems stack on top of each other thanks to a contraption in the form of a seasonal artifact (Gate of God's Eyes at the time of writing) that allows you to forge mods that will complement your playstyle, allowing you, for example, to equip your favorite weapons with shield-penetrating or breaching rounds, or add effects to your grenades or melees. The judicious use of armor mods to provide all sorts of improvised advantages, so the new armor system is considered a success.

The whole power system got a reset too: when you shoot up the shadowkeep of all the items you have will be increased to 750 power, and ending the campaign's shadowkeep to around 900, at which point you have to take on the most exotic activities such as raids, strikes and weekly challenges to keep the building at your energy level. Which makes Endgame much more interesting.

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Shadowkeep even brings a brand new gameplay mechanic to Destiny 2: called Finishers, it will let you take down enemies that you have weakened enough with a single hit. Finishers add even more fun to Destiny 2 gameplay, and while they all have the same effect, you can collect different people (which essentially have different animations).

Story-wise, Shadowkeep centers right on the moon - a long abandoned planet for those who worked through previous expansions, Destiny 2's. Eris Morn has appeared there, and once you discover her, you will find that she has discovered mysterious pyramids that are apparently related to the invasion of the Vex, and live, due to some kind of timeline deception, so-called nightmares: mostly strong versions powerful enemies you have faced in the past.

The Shadowkeep campaign can't boast of a storytelling like, say, that of the Forsaken expansion, but it's pretty beefy, resulting in the adoption of a structure that encompasses various strikes and bounty-style activities. Definitely one of its main tasks is to prepare you for the new activities that the expansion brings to Destiny 2 Endgame.

And it's really very good. Here's a new raid called Garden of Salvation, which is usually long, hard, and archaic, and recommends power level 940 - along with two new hits. In addition, there is a three-player Nightmare Hunt - handy for receiving engrams, raising your power level by transmitting 900 - and a timed six-player called Vex Offensive in which you close the Vex portals by taking out the gate lords. It also adds three new crucible cards, and sees the smart PvPvE Gambit mode go from strength to strength.

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