Destiny 2: Shadowkeep. A Review of Sorts.

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

The Red Keep.

It's no secret that I like Destiny. But what you might not know is that I don't do raids, I don't do PvP, I've never played Gambit, I don't even really get together with a group of friends. Why? Well, the friends thing is because all of them have moved on to other games a long, long, long time ago. The other stuff? I don't really like dealing with randos and my hand-eye coordination isn't what it once was, so I'm trash at PvP anymore and I don't seem to have that competitive drive for digital prestige. I dunno, I guess I'm getting old. I am part of a clan though, but we have never done anything together. I think it was just made to get the base powerful engram from Hawthorne and that was it.

Why am I telling you this? Because Shadowkeep seems to give PvE pleebs, like myself, stuff to do after the endgame. A lot of the endgame activities I've experienced seem able to be done by yourself, and without having to step foot into the PvP aspect of Destiny. Sure, there are some activities that will require me to venture into PvP activities and those quests will remain incomplete, which is fine. Thankfully not having "x" item isn't a death sentence with Destiny.

This is a huge improvement from the last few Destiny experiences where it seemed at least 3/4 of the activities required you to do PvP, or a mix of PvP and PvE. Not everyone enjoys PvP and while I understand that a lot of effort and time was put into the PvP side of life for Destiny, it shouldn't be needlessly forced onto the player base. I hope this trend continues as it offers me, and people like me, way more bang for our buck. Because I know that the hardcore PvP players despised it when us PvE players just showed up for the weekly Crucible bounty and completely ruined the experience for them because we sucked and just dragged the team down.

Shadowkeep also brings back a location we haven't experienced in a long time: The Moon. It's awesome to be back on the moon. To see how the years have treated it, which isn't very well at all. Structures are falling apart, the moon itself seems to have more scars and, of course there's the Red Keep, that just kinda shows up. I'm still a bit foggy on exactly how the Red Keep just appeared as it did, without anyone from the Vanguard really taking notice. There's mention of how the Vanguard was keeping tabs on Hive activity on the Moon, but that they were ignoring it because it didn't seem threatening enough. Seems any activity that close to home would be too much activity after the Red Legion invasion, right?

Eris Morn also makes a return, and about time. I think we were all wondering where she buggered off to. As always though, in classic Eris fashion, she never has anything good to tell you and has found something really horrible on the moon: The Pyramid and the Nightmares.

She's awesome. Nothing but trouble though.

If you'll recall at the end of the base Destiny 2 campaign, the Traveler releases a huge burst of energy(or light) throughout the galaxy. This then wakes up these ominous pyramid looking structures out in deep space and they start moving towards Earth. Now, apparently, there's been one on the Moon this entire time just buried deep within. The Pyramid seems to be bringing back these nightmare versions of old enemies to haunt your guardian with. Poor Eris is also haunted by her dead fireteam now. None of it exactly makes sense as to where, when, and why the Red Keep and the Pyramid are actually a thing but hopefully that will get fleshed out later in the season more than the little bits a pieces you get throughout the campaign.

I'm sure you'll be able to actually go deeper inside the Pyramid later on.

Now, on to what the Shadowkeep expansion really offers: Way more activities and a real reason to grind(thankfully).

Shadowkeep revamped the PvP experience a little by adding new maps and better match making. Bungie did take away a couple of PvP modes(Quickplay/Competitive) and maps(ones supposedly under performing) in the process but it doesn't seem to be too drastic. They are also trying to balance heavy ammo and abilities which seems to be an ongoing issue regardless. Again, me not being the PvP person, I don't know how this really effects PvP play all in all, but it sounded reasonable just reading about it. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article that there are a lot more activities to do. Cleansing the Essences, the couple of Exotic quests you get right off the bat, the weird Fortnite Season progression thing Destiny seemed to adopt. Which if you're not familiar with that, it's basically a "leveling" system that awards you different items/buffs with each Season level. Which is great because it gives you a bit of a motive to kill everything and actually do the patrols and other activities offered, aside from just knocking out the required amount to get your weekly bounty done and never touching the Strike/Crucible play list ever again until the weekly reset on Tuesdays; only to repeat the process over and over. There are Nightmare Hunts to be done, the Vex Offensive, the Vex Invasion activities on the Moon on top of the World Events. As far as things to keep you busy I think Bungie has outdone themselves with Shadowkeep.

It might seem like a rip-off but this baby actually gives you a reason for the grind.

There is also the addition of new weapons and armors. The whole armor system has been revamped and it seems, for the most part, for the better. There are a few new weapon perks thrown into the mix as well. The addition of Artifacts is also pretty nifty, kinda adding to the reason for the grind. You can level up your artifact and the level of your artifact adds to your overall light level. Each level to the artifact also offers different unlockable perks for your guardian to use. The new overhaul takes a little bit to get adjusted to but when you do, it makes way more sense than the previous iterations.

The only part of Shadowkeep that seems to even remotely fall flat is the story itself. I can't help but think that this is just the prologue to something way bigger in the Destiny universe. Especially at the end where, whatever the hell entity is actually in the Pyramid, calls itself "your salvation" after slamming the light and pointing out all the negatives that have actually occurred because of it.

What "they" say about the Light actually makes you think: Is the Light really a force of good? Because it does seem to be wherever the Traveler goes, whatever world/planet it resides on, gets ruined and only suffering and pain follow the Light. If you've made it this far, dear lord you're a trooper and I thank you. In conclusion Shadowkeep gets a solid 8 on the 1-10 scale for me. It kind of chips away at that "Social Wall" I despise and offers a slue of content for us PvE'ers to do. You even get a nifty little surprise from Bungie after you beat Shadowkeep. Bungie separating from Activision was apparently the right thing to happen for the Destiny franchise.

Oh, and Destiny 2 went Free-to-Play as well, did I mention that? If you were ever on the fence about it now is the time to give it a whirl. The Free to Play roadmap is below. I think you get everything up until the Forsaken expansion for free which is a ton of content. Then if you decide to invest your hard earned monies into the franchise you get a hefty discount on the Forsaken expansion and a little off Shadowkeep as well if you buy the bundle.