Destiny 2: The Final Shape Review – This Is The Destiny You’ve Been Looking For.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape Review - This Is The Destiny You've Been Looking For.

I thought I was out.

I thought I was done.

Nightfall was the last straw. 

Destiny 2, the looter shooter that looted its way through our lives over and over again had hit rock bottom. The last few expansions felt like they had run out of ideas culminating in Nightfall, the lowest point in the game’s long history. Its obtuse and poorly written story along with uninteresting new gameplay elements led me to believe that the steam had finally run out on the juggernaut that is Destiny. 

Turns out I was wrong. 


I honestly didn’t give The Final Shape much chance of saving things. My expectations were set very low, with “better than Nightfall” all I was hoping for. Bungie, however, had other ideas. I have no qualms in saying that The Final Shape is the best that Destiny has ever been. The turnaround in 12 months is nothing short of astounding and Bungie should be applauded. I am once again caught in the grips of this epic game and I couldn’t be happier. 

Let me start with returning players. The Final Shape is the finale of the Destiny 2 story. The culmination of years of storytelling. So I was worried that returning players were going to be overwhelmed. But for the first time, I feel like Destiny has included an easy way for both returning and new players to catch up. There are playlists that allow players to redo key story missions, there are some great cinematics and the writing for the campaign of The Final Shape really helps to bring everyone along. There are obviously things that are still going to baffle newbies, which is unavoidable after so much time, but there is a real effort here to make sure that new players can get into the game with as minimal resistance as possible. 


Now I want to talk about the story. Essentially, after faffing about for 10 years, sending goon after goon to try and start his little revolution, The Witness, AKA the Big Bad, has busted a hole in the traveller and is looking to lock the universe in perpetual stasis his Final Shape. You, as the ever-loveable Guardian, must follow the Witness into the Traveller, work out a way to stop his nefarious plans and knock him off in the process. If it sounds simple, that is because it is and do you know what? Destiny is better for it. For so long Storytelling in Destiny 2 has been convoluted, full of jargon and highly ambiguous. Having a clear chief baddie, goal and plan makes The Final Shape easily the most enjoyable story that Destiny has ever told. I was totally wrapped in what was happening, from catching up with old friends to the heartwarming/tear-jerking finale. 

The actual missions that lead up to the finale are all top-notch. There is the usual Destiny mix-em-up approach where some missions are solo, some are strikes and others are world events, but all were enjoyable and with perhaps the exception of one or two of the “Adventures” well worth your time. There were none of the “you have to craft these parts/armour pieces/exotic weapon” quests that Destiny has used in the past which is something I wholeheartedly approve of. In all, I feel like this is the most enjoyable selection of missions Destiny has offered since launch and they may even surpass those originals. 

There are a couple of new additions in the form of world activities that make for a fun diverson as well. There is the new Pathfinder tree, which allows players to complete specific goals (like kill X number of Taken in the Pale Heart) to earn Season XP and work their way towards a sexy new bit of gear. It is a nice spin on the more traditional bounties and actually feels more natural because things tick off as you play, there is no need to report to a quest giver to see what is on offer. The second world activity is The Final Shape’s version of world events, where in the Pale Heart (the name for the new map) there is a rotating set of goals that earn points. Earn 1000 points and a new wave with tougher goals starts. Finish 3 waves and a big boss battle along with sweet loot is your reward. I had a blast playing in this sandbox of action as it is so easy to engage with and it is a great way to upgrade gear and weapons. 

There are still things here that I struggle with though. I have been playing Destiny since the first game, through all of the expansions and still there systems that are so convoluted that I just ignore them entirely. The high-end players get a lot out of min-maxing and things like that, but the effort it takes to learn the systems is not worth the payout for most players I would imagine. I would also love to see a more streamlined way to interact with all the NPCs each day. At the moment when you login in you have to go to the Tower to get some bounties, then go to the HUB to get a mission, then go to the location of the mission, then start the mission, with a loading screen in between each step. It is a lot of busy work in between the sweet shooting-and-looting. Surely there has to be a way to streamline this sort of thing. 


The simple fact of the matter is, The Final Shape made me care about Destiny again, something I didn’t think was possible. Bungie has pulled out all the stops to send this story arc off in fine style with an engaging campaign, welcome tweaks to progression and some fantastic new shared events. The story grabs hold and the conclusion is satisfying in a way I didn’t think was possible after all this time. I don’t think there is enough here to change the mind of someone who doesn’t like Destiny, but if you ever enjoyed the loot’n’shoot action you should absolutely be checking out The Final Shape. Simply put, this is the Destiny you’ve been looking for. 


Destiny 2: The Final Shape was reviewed on PC with code kindly supplied by the publisher. 

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