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Destiny 2: The Final Shape Review – Excellent Story With Some Identity Issues In Terms Of Difficulty

Destiny 2: The Final Shape Review - Excellent Story With Some Identity Issues In Terms Of Difficulty

Having been out now for over a week, I figured it was time for a Destiny: The Final Shape review. To cut a long story short, the story, and the writing was excellent for a video game, especially a franchise, which had a very poorly written previous expansion. However developers Bungie have made some non-story related decisions which frankly just baffle me.

In others words, there is some really good things and some really bad things mixed together here. We will start with the good.

Story Campaign  – The Good

I saw some early reviews of the campaign that said it had an unsatisfying ending. Things is, none of those reviewers got to see the actual ending of the story. Let me explain.

The campaign is all about stopping the Witness from being able to use the Travellers light to recreate the Universe in their own image. I won’t spoil the story, but I’m sure you’ll guess that we win in the end. The final mission, was was extremely hard to beat on the most difficult setting wasn’t a true ending. We weaken the Witness and turn the tide somewhat, and that’s it. However, we always knew that the Raid, which only launched this last Friday would feature a second battle against the Witness.

I’ll talk about the Raid more later, but it is now the longest Worlds First Raid Race in Destiny‘s history. Given the complexity of the mechanics and with contest difficulty active of the first 48 hours there were some teams took 35 hours + straight to finish it. This was canonically the first time a fireteam had actually beaten the Witness themselves in a fight. That team and any who complete the Raid did not kill the Witness outright, but again weakened him/her/them even further.

The Final Fight

Players then had access to a new twelve player activity which amounts to a final fight against the Witness with all our allies in tow. Having completed this mission, it actually did provide a truly satisfying end to this story. It felt like a war, and when we defeat the Witness this time it does feel final and involves sacrifice.

Truly it is one of the best missions Destiny has ever had, and resolves a lot of story built up during that final campaign. None of the early reviewers had access to either the Raid, nor this twelve player activity. Realistically, without seeing these it’s impossible to review the story being told. With them, it was perhaps Destiny‘s best story narratively speaking to date.

Another major plus point is the new location inside the Traveller. The Pale Heart is in my opinion the best patrol zone they have ever created. There are so many tasks to do, and it’s so huge that I sometimes feel overwhelmed, in a good way. However, unlike the previous location from the last expansion the Pale Heart is normal levelled. This means you can mess about and have fun there completing tasks without too much hassle after you finish the main game, which was very hard.

The new Pathfinder system is great within that location and offers reasons to go exploring all the secrets. If only that system was saved exclusively for the new area…..But, it was not.

The Bad

Sadly as said above there are some decisions which have downright angered the fans. I mentioned Pathfinder, a great addition to new The Pale Heart area. However, Bungie has now done away with all the old rank up systems for ritual playlists and replaced them with their own Pathfinder.

The biggest issues fans have with with this Pathfinder is that some of the path’s you are forced to play take you into activities you may have no interest in. Unlike previously when you could choose to ignore both PvP modes and/or Gambit, Pathfinder has been designed to force players into those modes. There’s many players like me who love the PvE who just have no interest in the PvP side of the game. Most fans also have no interest in a Gambit mode that hasn’t had an update an around five years.

I don’t ever play PvP unless forced to and now I’m forced to choose between Gambit and PvP to get completed pathways for ritual playlists. I’m sure this is Bungie looking to up the numbers on both PvP and Gambit. It really is a kick in the teeth for these who buy the games for PvE only.

Raids & Dungeons

In an inexplicable move Bungie has decide to move all Dungeons and Raids into a new category where they will always by five levels above you, not matter what level you reach in the season. The Raid is already the hardest to learn mechanically and now enemies hit harder than they ever did and you hit less hard than ever before. This means learning the crazy Raid mechanics are far harder because everything hits so hard. Normal mode Raids have never been like this and could always be eventually over levelled.  Bungie already developed both Contest mode and Master Raids to provide challenge to pro players. Normal mode Raids are supposed to be easier to learn, so players can advance to Master mode later in the season, if they wish.

Not only is this active in the new Raid, Bungie have also implemented this negative power delta in all previous Raids and Dungeons as well. Making them all far harder to complete then they were just less than two week’s ago. It is like they have developed this expansion to appeal to streamers more than the normal gamers.

Less people are playing the new Raid than ever before and it’s a nightmare to try and find randoms to run it with unless you have a pre-made fireteam.

Dual Destiny

Bungie also sold this expansion on the acquisition of exotic class items. However, what they did not tell anyone is that to complete the mission to unlock these consistently you have to play as a duo and have to use comms.

This does not suit everyone. Most fireteam sizes are three and always have been in the game outside Raids which are six. Therefore, when I am playing with my two friends, who gets left out in the cold to run this activity? If this was a one-off exotic you get, and then you are done, I’d be praising this mission instead of bashing it. Thought it would still be tricky for solo players, or those with speech disabilities as communication in your pairs are so key.

The worst thing is that they excuse this by saying there is a chance to have these items drop from any chest on The Pale Heart after you complete the mission once. However, the drop rate is rare, and requires hours of farming to get any to drop. Plus there are over one hundred combinations. Therefore, it’s possible you’ll never get the roll you really want. Running the mission gets you a guaranteed drop, but that is tricky for many, many players for the reasons stated above.


Overall, despite the best story and campaign they have done in a long time plus the best patrol location, The Final Shape feels like it was deigned for pro-gamers who do this as a job. As someone with two jobs and a family, I took a few days off to play this last week and I am still struggling to get through content. Mainly because some of it has been set to such a high bar compared to how the game has worked for the last ten years.


There are solutions. I doubt a single player would complain if Bungie walked back the power delta changes to Raids and Dungeons. It was just a bad idea that should never have gotten past the brain storming sessions. Not everyone wants a game to feel as challenging as possible and Bungie have super challenging modes already. Destiny 2 is not Dark Souls and middle-aged gamers like me don’t have time for that level of frustration. There’s a reason I usually wait till contest mode is over before I try and learn Raids. Mostly it is because I have to play with random people I find online.

Bungie could also change the pathways in Pathfinder so players who don’t enjoy PvP or Gambit are not forced down that route. It should be a choice of what content you like to do to complete the objectives. Currently you can play only Gambit or PVP and never have to do any PvE content. However, you just can’t do it the other way round and its so obviously designed to increase numbers in those game modes.

RELATED: Sony Mess Up And Release Destiny 2 And Elden Ring DLC’s Early On PS5

Finally, for the exotic class items Bungie could up the drop rate after completing the mission once elsewhere. For example, playing the final mission every week could give one guaranteed, or the drop rate from random chests could be increased from rare to uncommon or common. I doubt there would be as many complaints if players knew they only ever had to get through that duo mission once, unless they enjoy it and have a friend to run it with.

Will they make these changes, who knows? They’ve acknowledge no one liked the power changes in Raids and Dungeons and said they will monitor it. They must see the negative feedback clearly on the other two points also. So hopefully they’ll admit they’ve wrongly changed some basics of this game which people have come to depend on. This is the first Raid released in the game I don’t have a week one clear of. I cannot be alone. Not everyone will have five-six hours straight to learn new mechanics and also deal with enemies that will always be above you no matter what level you become in the game.


So, my review of Destiny 2: The Final Shape is a mixed bag. Loved the campaign, love the new locations and lore, and cinematics. However, some silly pointless changes have been made which not many fans are happy with. Bungie needs to be aware of that. It can be fixed, but it’s up to Bungie whether they double down, or make those fixes. If this is the way the game is going long term, it may finally be time for me to step off the grind.

Any Destiny players here? What did you think of the The Final Shape and what do you think of some of the negative changes I discussed in my review? Thoughts below as always.

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