Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Review

Take back the Light.

by Noah Nelson
Destiny 2 The Witch Queen

Destiny has come a long way since it began in 2014. With multiple issues that needed ironing out including a coherent story, quality of life improvements, end game content, and much more, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen has finally reached the summit of the franchise’s original scope. With as good of a story as you can get from a live service game, several new game-changing additions, and just about the best feeling first-person shooter game in the world right now, The Witch Queen is the best Destiny 2 has ever been.

In this review, I’ll avoid commenting on the core of Destiny 2, but instead, try to focus solely on The Witch Queen expansion. To summarize Destiny 2 briefly, it is a visual and mechanical masterpiece. Unlike other games that focus on one thing, Destiny 2 chooses to do it all. If you are looking for PvP mayhem, you can stick to Crucible. If you are looking for a solid story mixed with open-world side quests, the campaign and Vanguard missions have your back. Destiny 2 has something for every player, and it is all extremely fun. Now, with that established, how does The Witch Queen expansion improve upon the tried-and-true Destiny 2 formula?

Table of Contents

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The Hunt for Truth is Addicting

The first major addition that Destiny 2: The Witch Queen brings is a brand-new campaign set in the new map called the Throne World. Don’t be turned off if this is your first Destiny 2 expansion or if you haven’t played in a while. Speaking as a returning Destiny 2 fan that has missed multiple expansions and hasn’t played in several years, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen does a great job of catching you up on the story fairly early in the campaign.

The story of Destiny 2: The Witch Queen centers around Savathun, a Hive God that has been lurking about in the shadows of past expansions’ stories. Without spoiling too much, The Witch Queen campaign sees you infiltrating Savathun’s Throne World, discovering the truth through her memories, and ultimately taking her down. While there are some unanswered questions at the end, that is to be expected from a live service game, and the overall plot and pacing of The Witch Queen campaign is enjoyable.

The missions themselves in The Witch Queen campaign are diverse and fun. Each one takes you to a different part of the Throne World where you learn something new, whether that be a new mechanic or story beat. For instance, early on, you will learn how to use Deepsight to reveal platforms or passageways that were hidden from view. At the end of most missions is a unique boss battle that keeps things fresh. The settings are gorgeous, the musical accompaniment is fantastic, and some of the moments in the missions are truly unforgettable.

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Be on Your Guard, Guardian

Another new addition that The Witch Queen brings to the table is the Legendary difficulty for campaign missions. Like their original Halo games, Bungie has offered players the option to play and/or replay the campaign on a harder difficulty called Legendary. This new difficulty will really test your mettle but will also reward you with more and better loot which makes the campaign missions that much more fun to revisit solo or with a couple of friends.

What isn’t fun is how crushingly hard it is to complete at times. Though the difficulty does scale with each new member in your Fireteam, completing the campaign on Legendary for your first try can be soul-crushing. Don’t get me wrong, the Legendary difficulty is still loads of fun, but when it is too challenging, returning to the Classic difficulty feels like Bungie is catering to toddlers. It could be a player issue in which I should have leveled up a bit before trying to best the Legendary difficulty of each mission on my first go around, but just be warned.

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Attuned to the Light

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen introduces weapon crafting into the game for the first time. Early on in the campaign, the game walks you through weapon shaping as you create The Enigma, your first Glaive which is a new weapon in The Witch Queen. It is surprising that weapon crafting hasn’t come sooner to Destiny 2 as weapon modification, especially for Exotic weapons, is Destiny 2 end game bread and butter. The crafting system is the perfect fit in Destiny 2.

The Glaive is a spear-like weapon that, along with hacking and slashing, can deploy a shield and shoot projectiles. It is awesome. Unlike the Sword, the Glaive keeps the player in the first person and is a Special weapon. The Glaive is a great weapon that works extremely well in many circumstances. After chopping down hordes of Hive Thrall, you can spin around and shoot the Acolytes behind you. This new weapon is another excellent new addition to Destiny 2.

Lastly, there are Deepsight Resonance weapons. These special types of weapons will become available starting with “The Investigation” quest and can fundamentally change the way you play. Working with the crafting system, Deepsight Resonance weapons are random weapons picked up from enemies or rewarded from missions. They have a special type of progression called Attunement which fills with use. Oftentimes, completing a Deepsight Resonance weapon’s Attunement will unlock that weapon pattern for crafting, but when Attuned these weapons will always reward players with materials needed for crafting. Because of this new addition, you will find yourself constantly using new guns which, in turn, switches up your playstyle, further making adventuring through Destiny 2 feel meaningful, productive, and entertaining.

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Void 3.0 is the Subclass for Me

The Void subclass got a makeover in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen. Nothing too crazy changed about the Void subclass, but now you can choose between three Supers, multiple grenades, Aspects, and Fragments. Also, each Guardian class specializes in two of six categories with Void 3.0: Titans get Overshield and Volatile, Hunters get Invisibility and Weaken, and Warlocks get Devour and Suppression.

All of these extra customizations and class-specific changes make Void 3.0 incredibly flexible and fun. Switching up how your abilities work for how you want to play is satisfying. But there are some downsides to the new subclass. First, since both the Solar and the Arc subclasses didn’t receive the 3.0 treatment, the Void subclass is in a league of its own when it comes to customization and playability. Second, once you find your favorite Super, grenade, Aspects, and Fragments, there is no reason to change them. It would have been smart to announce the Void, Solar, and Arc 3.0 rollout schedule at the beginning of Season 16 or release the 3.0 update for all of them with The Witch Queen, but for now there is no information on if and when Solar or Arc will get their 3.0 spotlight.

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The Verdict

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is the next chapter in an already exhilarating game, a chapter that in and of itself reiterates and expands on the existing excellence of the core game. With a thrilling new campaign, an exciting new weapon, the addition of crafting and its impact on the weapon economy, and an upgraded subclass, The Witch Queen is Destiny at its all-time best.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC.

This game was reviewed using a copy of the game provided by the game's publisher,public relations company, developer or other for the express purpose of a review.

- This article was updated on February 24th, 2022

"loved"
loved

  • Score: 4.5 / 5
  • Available On: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Google Stadia, PC
  • Published By: Bungie
  • Developed By: Bungie
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter
  • US Release Date: February 22, 2022
  • Reviewed On: PS5
  • Quote: "Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is the next chapter in an already exhilarating game, a chapter that in and of itself reiterates and expands on the existing excellence of the core game. With a thrilling new campaign, an exciting new weapon, the addition of crafting and its impact on the weapon economy, and an upgraded subclass, The Witch Queen is Destiny at its all-time best."
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