Destiny 2: The Final Shape | Ship Crashes
You think Cayde will be mad that I destroyed his ship?

Where do I begin? In Destiny 2: Lightfall, we experienced one of the worst narratives the franchise has ever experienced. But in Destiny 2: The Final Shape, Bungie nailed it. There is a lot to unpack in Destiny 2: the Final Shape, considering it is the conclusion to a story that has been told over ten years. I’m not talking about in-game years, either. I am talking about from the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 5. That is 10 years of seasonal, episodic, and expansion packs worth of story-telling and world-building.

In Destiny, we were brought back to life to fight against the forces of Darkness, and at the time, we did not know what that was or who was leading them. We have fought Gods wielding the powers of creation and life called the Light to slay monsters and monstrosities who seek to enslave us, destroy us, and end all existence.

We watched as the alien race called the Cabal came to our solar system to invade in the launch of Destiny 2, only for their champion Ghaul to be defeated by us and their Emperor joining the forces of Darkness. We experienced the story where the Emperor’s daughter Caiatl, through the loss of their home by another invading alien race, the Hive, becomes our Ally.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape | Crow (Uldren Sov) and Cayde-6
We will never get the buddy cop drama we needed from these two.

We have broken time to rescue characters such as Saint-14; We stopped our enemies from altering reality and witnessed our own death.

Likewise, we’ve sought revenge on Uldren Sov for the death of our favorite comic relief character, Cayde-6, voiced by Nathan Fillion, and witnessed the revival of his murderer as he became a Guardian among us seeking to protect life where he can as Crow.

Furthermore, we watched as the Fallen, an alien race manipulated by the forces of Darkness, aimed to destroy us in Destiny 2: Beyond Light, and ultimately tried to remove our hope by destroying the Traveler only for the machines we developed to become more human than any of us and sacrifice themselves for our continued survival alongside those Fallen who wanted a better life, in Season of the Seraph.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape | Cayde-6 Returns
He knows about the ship…

We have even experienced stories where the brothers and sisters of the alien race, called the Hive, switched sides from working for the forces of Darkness only to become humanities salvation, as explained in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, and with our experiences brought on by conflict, have become an uneasy ally as they have been reborn in the Light the way we Guardians have.

All of these story points, all of these characters, the lore, the development, all culminating in this one final moment. In Destiny 2: The Final Shape.

In Destiny 2: Lightfall, The Witness, the leader of the Darkness, has invaded the Traveler, and with our knowledge gained from the seasonal expansions now in lore books, we have come to realize that the Traveler has control over all facets of existence, and the Veil contains the memories of all existence, wielding both powers the Light from the Traveler and the Darkness. The Witness seeks to re-create the Universe as a static image where life is living in stone, an outcome that the Witness has decided for us, our penultimate fate never moving, never changing, and never living.

In Destiny 2: The Final Shape, we make our way inside the Traveler at long last only to be greeted by Cayde-6, the long-since dead Hunter Vanguard, and Crow, the man who was Uldren Sov and the killer of Cayde-6. Destiny 2: The Final Shape | Cayde 6We discuss our plan of action and begin looking for our allies Ikora and Zavala, voiced by Keith Davids after the passing of Lance Riddick, to pursue the Witness before he has time to enact The Final Shape and bring stillness to the Universe.

While we are making our way to face down this monumentous enemy, our Ghost is mortally wounded by trying to keep him from manipulating Crow and ourselves. He underplays this wound as we continue to push through the Pale Heart of the Traveler. The further through the Pale Heart we move, the more we experience as the Witness tries to manipulate Zavala and undermine his leadership by attacking the memories of his deceased family before he became the leader of the Vanguard, which leaves him emotionally compromised.

But, as Zavala begins to leave his family behind, he hears his family screaming for help, hearing whispers from within the Darkness itself. Telling him to give himself to Darkness. We pursue Zavala, believing he is emotionally compromised and believing he may give up and surrender. But Zavala’s Ghost Targe takes charge, which leads us to the discovery that the consciousness in the Darkness are trying to aid us in the defeat of the Witness. But, without his Ghost, Zavala will lose his confrontation with the Witness. When all hope seems lost, Targe, Zavala’s Ghost, sacrifices himself, showing us and the Witness that it’s afraid of us, the Guardian who slain Gods and killed Monsters.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape | Ghost's Death
How to break the hearts of a million gamers, globally.

We learned from Targe’s sacrifice that the Witness, as we experienced in Season of the Deep and past seasons, is compromised of the consciousness of many collective beings. When we embrace the Darkness, we can destroy the consciousnesses entrapped within the Witness with our Light.

Now armed with this information and knowing that the Pale Heart is formed from the memories of those inside the Traveler, we make our way to where the Witness was created, and during the ensuing conflict, we learn that the Witness can be wounded. But, knowing this information, The Witness lashes out at us as we escape to regroup, and our Guardians make our way to Salvations Edge to stop the Witness from enacting the Final Shape, the raid in the Final Shape.

Upon completing the raid and breaking The Witness’s hold on the Travelers Light, our Guardian alongside the allies we’ve made throughout 10 years, from the Fallen of the House of Light, The Cabal Empire under Caital’s command, The Queen Mara Sov and her Awoken Army, and even the uneasy alliance with Savathun Hive God of trickery and deceit go to face down The Witness in Destiny’s first official 12-man activity where we harness the raw Light of the Universe to shatter the Witness and end this 10-year war.

But then, our Ghost dies

The war has ended at the cost of our Ghost that brought us back from the dead, and the prophecy of our looming death has become fulfilled.

We’re then transported into a void of Light as we try to rationalize and beg the Traveler to bring our Ghost back, how it raised an army, that it, the Traveler, can bring our Ghost back, not for our sake, but for Ghost’s sake. But, as we stand in the void of Light, Cayde-6 appears before us, and he reminds us. What comes from the Light returns to the Light, the lesson his Ghost Sundance taught him as we ventured to defeat the Witness. Cayde-6. He looks at us, smiles, and tells us to tell his friends, Ikora, Zavala, Crow, and the rest, that this was his decision, his Light.

Nobody makes my fate, but me.

With those words, Cayde-6 vanishes, telling us we were his favorite Guardian, as our Ghost springs back to life, seeing us there and wondering where we were.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape hits all the marks, leaving the Destiny community feeling emotionally raw and compromised, with the community acting together in the raid to defeat the Witness and trigger the final encounter.Destiny 2: The Final Shape | Sophie

Zavala, now voiced by Keith David after the passing of Lance Riddick was a bit to be desired; during the campaign for Destiny 2: The Final Shape.

I blame the directing on those moments as the story points made little to no sense, as Zavala’s character has lived for hundreds of years, not to mention that by this point, Zavala’s character has come to terms with Sophie and Hakim’s death, which is why we had Season of the Haunted.

Now, all of a sudden, he is emotionally compromised and willing to pursue The Witness to surrender himself to Darkness? But when he gets Targe killed, he is perfectly fine again! But he has had Targe longer than any of his past relationships.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape | Prismatic
I can have fire knives AND arc grenades!

I feel that Keith David’s performance had its highest points; when it came to the final cutscene leading up to the final battle, where all our allies were rallying behind Zavala, Keith David delivered a monumental performance that I feel had us all as a community collectively hyped and following that moment up with Nathan Fillion’s Cayde-6 performance and Nolan North’s performance as Ghost it was gut-wrenching, heart pounding, tear-jerking and the best performance I’ve ever witnessed in Destiny.

When it comes to the new prismatic subclass that was introduced into Destiny 2: The Final Shape, I must say it feels a bit complicated to imagine at first because, by this point, our playstyles have become so accustomed to using one sub-class at a time, such as Solar, Arc, Void, Strand, and Stasis. But a unifying class from a narrative perspective makes sense, as we are supposed to be masters of Light and Dark.

Wielding both Light and Dark powers gives me a disastrous feeling, and not in a positive way, and it’s not even because of all the new combat combinations! My reason? I use a Norwegian keyboard, and so I have to learn a new mechanic in a game that is instinctively drilled into my mind.

Not only is having to figure out the motor memory for transcendence difficult, but the layout, because I use a separate language on my keyboard as half the world does. But the button placement makes pressing the key physically uncomfortable. I can only imagine how a controller player is handling the issue of going transcendent.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape | Zavala's Speech
Keith David’s Zavala rallying the solar system.

The fact that some of the sub-class options are locked away from you unless you go transcendent is what I feel is the worst part of this? I’ve had to remap my keybindings to have better ease of access to playing Destiny 2, something players typically do not do unless they absolutely need to.

The big question that remains from this is. Where do Bungie and Destiny go from here? With the conclusion of Destiny 2: The Final Shape, we’re launching into a new episodic format for expansions, and the community is raw emotionally. Not just from the game’s story, but how it feels about Bungie as a company. Because for us to get the Final Shape, Bungie had to lay off over a hundred employees due to poor management decisions, and where the game was in a massive positive direction, that does not make up for the layoffs because of Bungie’s poor management.

There is an air of unease as the community feels that Bungie is on the right track with the conclusion of Destiny 2: The Final Shape. But that does not mean that Destiny 2 is back, not yet.

But as far as this review goes, Destiny 2: The Final Shape is everything myself and the community have wanted and more.

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