Destiny 2: The Final Shape Review & Insights

Destiny 2: The Final Shape Review – Stunning environments but with a cliché-ridden story.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape – Campaign | Review

The Shape of a Mediocre Story

Destiny 2: The Final Shape has arrived, a highly anticipated expansion that is visually stunning but falls short in narrative delivery. The environmental art team once again showcases their talent, with the interior of the Traveler offering breathtaking vistas. However, the story struggles with predictability and lackluster dialogue. The campaign, despite being fun in parts, heavily relies on reused mechanics and aging technology, leaving much to be desired for Destiny 2’s dedicated fanbase. Let’s delve into the details.

The Premise

As a serious, though still casual, Destiny player with thousands of hours logged across both titles and every expansion owned, I found Destiny 2: The Final Shape to be a mixed bag. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of expansions like Rise of Iron or Forsaken, but it still manages to be “good” overall. The plot centers around The Witness, a malevolent entity who has carved a triangle into the silent space god known as The Traveler.

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Destiny’s storytelling strength has often been its mysterious and cryptic nature. The Final Shape attempts to provide answers, such as the return of Cayde-6, but many fall flat. While I appreciated the explanation for Cayde’s return, the rest of the story, including the nature of The Witness and the inevitable showdown, felt predictable. This expansion marks the first since the passing of the iconic Lance Reddick, with Keith David admirably stepping into the role of Zavala despite the lackluster dialogue he’s given. Unfortunately, Zavala and Ikora come across as largely ineffective and unlikable, making the plot feel forced and contrived.

The story’s biggest flaws stem from characters making poor decisions and failing to communicate, a frustratingly common narrative device. As an omniscient player, watching companions repeatedly make mistakes without any control is aggravating. Crow is dull, Ikora feels useless, Zavala is portrayed as foolish, and only Cayde, voiced again by Nathan Fillion, shines. Fillion brings charm and likability back to Cayde, which was a highlight amidst the otherwise tedious narrative.

The narrative’s predictability extends to key plot points and character arcs. The Witness, introduced as a menacing entity with mysterious motives, ends up being disappointingly one-dimensional. Their motivations are generic, and their ultimate plan lacks the depth and complexity that long-time players would expect from a final showdown in a major expansion. The build-up to the climactic battle feels rushed, and the resolution offers little in terms of surprise or emotional payoff. The game attempts to wrap up several long-running storylines, but it often does so in ways that feel unsatisfying or overly convenient.

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The Gameplay

Destiny 2: The Final Shape continues the franchise’s tradition of providing exhilarating gameplay, though with some caveats. The expansion introduces new twists on old mechanics, which quickly grew tiresome. Many segments require unlocking gates using a handful of methods, which are then reused for breaking boss shields to avoid quick, unchallenging fights. This repetitive mechanic becomes a chore rather than a challenge, diminishing the overall enjoyment of the campaign.

The standout feature is the new Prismatic class, though the prismatic shielded enemies can be frustrating. The necessity to gain temporary buffs to damage certain enemies feels overused in the franchise. The Prismatic class allows a mix of skills, supers, grenades, and more from each subclass, adding a light and dark meter requiring weapon and skill damage type adjustments. This mechanic, while functional, can feel restrictive due to reliance on RNG for weapon damage types.

When the light and dark meter is full, it turns pink, allowing for a temporary super-prismatic charge, a new grenade, and the ability to break prismatic shields. Although fun initially, this mechanic becomes repetitive by the campaign’s end. Despite these issues, Destiny’s core gameplay remains engaging, whether using a controller or mouse and keyboard. A new enemy type, primarily aerial, feels lackluster and more like an afterthought than a significant addition.

The repetitive nature of the gameplay mechanics is compounded by the over-reliance on familiar mission structures and enemy types. While the core gunplay remains as tight and satisfying as ever, the lack of truly innovative mission design makes the campaign feel like a retread of past content. Boss fights, in particular, suffer from this repetition, often devolving into extended damage phases interspersed with immunity mechanics. This design choice, while intended to add challenge, instead becomes a frustrating barrier to the fluid combat experience that Destiny is known for.

The new Prismatic class adds a layer of strategic depth, but it also introduces a level of micromanagement that may not appeal to all players. Balancing light and dark energy while ensuring the right mix of abilities can be rewarding, but it can also feel cumbersome during intense combat scenarios. This class also highlights a broader issue within the game: the increasing complexity of subclass management. While Destiny 2 has always been about customization and player choice, the introduction of multiple layers of subclass abilities, modifiers, and now the Prismatic system, can overwhelm even veteran players.

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The Experience

Graphically, Destiny 2: The Final Shape showcases moments of brilliance with some of the best environmental art in gaming. Stunning vistas are occasionally marred by unfinished textures reminiscent of older graphics, creating a jarring contrast. Playing on PC, the visuals are impressive, though transitioning to the Xbox version showed minor differences mainly in frame rate, not quality. The level of detail in certain areas is astonishing, with intricate designs that enhance the sense of immersion. However, these moments of visual splendor are sometimes undercut by inconsistent graphical quality in less prominent areas.

The music is enjoyable but lacks standout tracks that leave a lasting impression. Balancing solo play between normal and legendary difficulties, I found the soundtrack pleasant yet unmemorable. The sound design, on the other hand, is impeccable. The ambient noises, weapon sounds, and environmental effects contribute significantly to the immersive experience, making each location feel alive and dynamic. However, the overall audio experience would have benefited from more memorable musical themes that resonate with the game’s epic scale.

One major issue is The Witness, whose voice acting and motivations are underwhelming and generic. Their design, while interesting, suffers from distracting elements, diminishing their intended menace. The attempt to create a truly terrifying antagonist falls flat, as The Witness fails to evoke the same level of fear and respect as previous Destiny villains. This lack of a compelling antagonist weakens the narrative and reduces the stakes of the campaign.

Launch day was plagued with server issues, making the initial experience frustrating. Frequent disconnections and server problems were a constant annoyance, though these should clear up in the days following release. This review covers the base campaign, with additional content expected post-launch. As with any live service game, it’s wise to follow updates from favorite streamers and creators to assess the ongoing value of the expansion.

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Wrapping Things Up

Destiny 2: The Final Shape mixes breathtaking environmental art, enjoyable gameplay, and an intriguing new subclass with a mediocre, cliché-ridden story. While not the revitalization some fans hoped for, it maintains the core fun of Destiny 2. If previous burnout was an issue, this expansion might not change that. However, for those willing to overlook the story’s shortcomings and savor the new environments and mechanics, it’s worth exploring, especially once server issues stabilize and if the $50 price tag is justifiable.

The Final Shape’s impact on the overall Destiny 2 experience is nuanced. On one hand, it offers enough new content and mechanics to keep dedicated players engaged. On the other, its narrative shortcomings and repetitive gameplay might not be enough to retain those looking for significant innovation. The expansion stands as a testament to Bungie’s ability to create compelling worlds and engaging combat, but it also highlights the challenges of maintaining long-term narrative and mechanical freshness in a live-service game.


  • Incredible environments: The environmental art is some of the best seen in gaming, offering breathtaking vistas and intricate designs.
  • Fun Prismatic class: The new subclass adds depth and variety to combat, providing players with new strategic options.
  • Additional content coming post-launch: The promise of more content ensures that the game will continue to evolve and offer new experiences.


  • Cliché-ridden story: The narrative is predictable and filled with tired tropes, failing to deliver the epic conclusion that fans expected.
  • Unintimidating antagonist: The Witness is underwhelming both in design and voice acting, lacking the menace needed for a compelling villain.
  • Frustrating “new” mechanics: The reliance on familiar mission structures and repetitive mechanics detracts from the overall gameplay experience.

In conclusion, Destiny 2: The Final Shape offers a visually stunning but narratively weak addition to the franchise. Its engaging gameplay and beautiful environments are hampered by a predictable story and repetitive mechanics. While it may not reignite the passion of lapsed players, it provides enough new content and experiences to keep dedicated fans engaged. For those willing to overlook its flaws, The Final Shape offers a worthy, if imperfect, continuation of the Destiny 2 saga.

FAQs: Destiny 2: The Final Shape

1. What is Destiny 2: The Final Shape?

Answer: Destiny 2: The Final Shape is the latest expansion for Bungie’s popular online multiplayer first-person shooter, Destiny 2. It features new story content, gameplay mechanics, environments, and a new subclass known as the Prismatic class.

2. What is the story premise of The Final Shape?

Answer: The Final Shape centers around The Witness, a mysterious antagonist who has cut a triangle into The Traveler, Destiny’s silent space god. The story aims to answer long-standing questions about characters like Cayde-6 while setting up a climactic showdown with The Witness.

3. How does the new Prismatic class work?

Answer: The Prismatic class allows players to combine abilities, supers, grenades, and more from each subclass. It introduces a light and dark meter, requiring players to mix and match weapon and skill damage types between light (arc, solar, void) and dark (stasis, strand).

4. What are the major gameplay changes in The Final Shape?

Answer: The expansion introduces new mechanics for unlocking gates and breaking boss shields, heavily relying on existing gameplay elements. The Prismatic class adds a new layer of strategy, but some players may find the repetitive nature of these mechanics tiresome.

5. Are there any new enemy types in The Final Shape?

Answer: Yes, The Final Shape introduces new enemies, primarily aerial types, though they are considered less memorable and impactful compared to existing races in the game.

6. How does the environmental art in The Final Shape compare to previous expansions?

Answer: The environmental art in The Final Shape is praised for its stunning visuals and intricate designs, showcasing some of the best artwork seen in the Destiny franchise. However, occasional unfinished textures can detract from the overall experience.

7. What are the technical issues encountered at launch?

Answer: The launch of The Final Shape was plagued with server issues, including frequent disconnections and rubber-banding. These issues are expected to stabilize in the days following release.

8. How does the music and sound design hold up in The Final Shape?

Answer: The music is enjoyable but lacks standout tracks. The sound design, however, is top-notch, enhancing the immersive experience with detailed ambient noises, weapon sounds, and environmental effects.

9. How does the expansion handle the transition of Zavala’s voice actor?

Answer: Following the passing of Lance Reddick, Keith David takes over the role of Zavala. While David’s performance is commendable, the dialogue and character development in the story are considered weak.

10. Is The Final Shape worth purchasing for long-time Destiny 2 players?

Answer: The Final Shape offers beautiful environments and fun gameplay but falls short in narrative depth and innovation. It may not reignite interest for burnt-out players, but it provides enough new content for dedicated fans to explore and enjoy.

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11. How much does Destiny 2: The Final Shape cost?

Answer: The expansion is priced at $50. Whether this price is justified depends on the player’s interest in the new content and willingness to overlook the narrative shortcomings.

12. Will there be additional content added to The Final Shape post-launch?

Answer: Yes, Bungie plans to add more content to The Final Shape after launch, ensuring that the game continues to evolve and offer new experiences for players.

13. How does the new subclass system affect gameplay balance?

Answer: The Prismatic class adds complexity and strategic depth, but it can also feel cumbersome due to the need to manage light and dark energy. This may overwhelm some players, particularly those less familiar with subclass mechanics.

14. What should players expect in terms of narrative closure from The Final Shape?

Answer: While The Final Shape attempts to tie up several story arcs, many resolutions feel unsatisfying or overly convenient, lacking the depth and emotional impact that players might expect from a major expansion.

15. How does The Final Shape compare to previous Destiny 2 expansions?

Answer: The Final Shape is visually stunning but narratively weaker compared to expansions like Rise of Iron or Forsaken. It offers fun gameplay and a compelling new subclass but struggles with repetitive mechanics and a cliché-ridden story.

16. How does The Final Shape handle character development for key figures like Zavala and Ikora?

Answer: The character development for Zavala and Ikora is considered weak, with both characters appearing ineffective and unlikable in the story. The narrative often feels forced, with characters making poor decisions that frustrate players.

17. What advice is there for players experiencing technical issues at launch?

Answer: Players experiencing technical issues such as disconnections and rubber-banding should expect these problems to stabilize in the days following release. Keeping up with updates from Bungie and the community can provide additional guidance.

18. How does the light and dark meter work in the Prismatic class?

Answer: The light and dark meter requires players to balance damage types between light (arc, solar, void) and dark (stasis, strand). When the meter is full, it turns pink, allowing for a temporary super-prismatic charge that enhances all attacks and grants a new grenade.

19. What are the most significant pros and cons of The Final Shape?


  • Pros: Incredible environments, fun Prismatic class, and additional content post-launch.
  • Cons: Cliché-ridden story, unconvincing antagonist, and frustrating “new” mechanics.

20. How can players stay updated on future content and changes to The Final Shape?

Answer: Players can stay updated by following Bungie’s official channels, favorite streamers, and content creators who regularly cover Destiny 2. This will provide insights into upcoming content, patches, and community feedback.

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