Destiny 2: Lightfall Will Feature Many Firsts for the Franchise

Destiny 2 continues to chug along for another year with yet another expansion instead of a proper sequel. As such, it’s hard to imagine that its upcoming expansion, Lightfall, would do much to change the formula. Players know what to expect every year. A new story that might or might not push the narrative forward, a new playable space that’s more window dressing than engaging sandbox, a new raid and a slew of new gear. Destiny 2: The Witch Queen altered some of that by delivering a good campaign with an interesting antagonist, but then fell into familiar patterns.

Destiny 2: Lightfall, however, could change much of that. The Witch Queen did a lot to shake up the expansion formula and Lightfall appears set to shake up even more by providing many firsts for the franchise.

A new antagonist and a familiar Disciple

Destiny has long struggled to provide a singular antagonist. Though we’ve gotten decent ones in Oryx, Ghaul and Savathun, the majority have either been one-offs or best left forgotten. The Witch Queen altered this, however, by revealing a final singular entity, The Witness. Also known as the Entity and the Voice in the Darkness, The Witness had a direct role in the Collapse of the solar system and is finally returning to finish what it started. Now that Destiny finally has a defined main villain rather than just ‘Darkness,’ Lightfall should be able to deliver a focused story with a trajectory that will ultimately lead to The Witness in Destiny 2: The Final Shape.

Destiny 2: Lightfall will also potentially provide closure for one of the franchise’s more mysterious characters. Emperor Calus is now entirely in league with The Witness and will likely serve as Lightfall’s primary enemy. Much like Savathûn, the road to Calus has been a long time coming and we’ll finally get to face him in the flesh.

Neomuna, an actual city

Destiny’s play spaces have always been destroyed ruins, forests or swamps. While Bungie has frequently employed environmental storytelling to make these areas interesting, there’s no hiding that these are dead areas. Destiny 2: Lightfall changes that with Neomuna, a thriving metropolis spared from The Collapse. Bathed in neon light and thriving, we hope, with life, this new space hopefully provides a refreshing spin on the Destiny sandbox.

We know Neonuma will be populated with its own protectors, the Cloud Striders, but it remains to be seen how well-populated the city actually is. Will we encounter pedestrians? Can we casually link up with Cloud Striders while patrolling the city? Hopefully, Neomuna is as exciting to explore as its concept suggests.

Strand, the second manifestation of Darkness

Since Destiny 2: Beyond Light introduced the first Darkness subclass (Stasis), players have asked the same question: when are we getting the next Darkness-based subclass? Well, we now know we’re getting it in Lightfall in Strand. According to Bungie, Strand allows players to “pluck at the threads of consciousness” to create weapons and easily traverse the environment. Stasis played with mobility by enabling players to create temporary platforms. Strand goes further, allowing players to swing through the streets, and presumably, other environments. If delivered as promised, Strand will completely change how mobility works within Destiny 2’s sandbox.

Of course, Strand will also function like any other subclass by imbuing Guardians with powers. Here’s how it breaks down for each class:

  • Warlocks are Bloodweavers – The summoner subclass; Warlocks use telekinesis to shape Strand into creatures.
  • Hunters are Threadrunners – The speedster subclass; Hunters use a spearhead at the end of a rope to dart around enemies and slice them up.
  • Titans are Berserkers – The brute subclass; Titans use Strand to create claws that slice up enemies.

What might not change? Crucible and Gambit

Destiny 2: Lightfall aims to break the mold in many ways, but there’s at least one sad trend we expect to continue. Bungie has severely neglected the PvP Crucible and PvPvE Gambit modes for years. As a result, the game hasn’t received new Crucible or Gambit maps since 2019. Specifically adding to Gambit’s dire state is that 2 of the 6 Gambit maps have since been vaulted.

At one point, it was assumed that every major expansion would bring new maps for its core activities. Indeed, that’s exactly what we got through Forsaken’s launch (which introduced Gambit). New Strikes, a new Raid and new Crucible Maps were all part of the package. Shadowkeep changed that with no new Gambit maps added. Beyond Light followed with no Crucible maps. That trend persisted with The Witch Queen and we’ve seen no evidence to suggest Lightfall will be any different. We sincerely hope Bungie proves us wrong.

Destiny 2: Lightfall launches February 28 on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.