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Destiny: The Dark Below, Review

Have you ever known an expansion to make its game feel smaller than it did before? it sounds an impossible feat, akin to cooling your soup with a flamethrower, but alas that’s exactly what’s happened here.

On paper, the new content sounds just fine, if disproportionately pricey at £19.99. and appraised in isolation, a fair amount of it is. there are three new story missions, centred upon long-lost guardian eris’ campaign of vengeance against the hive. although fairly slight, and reusing too much existing level design, the last one in particular scales up rather well to create a ferocious challenge at higher difficulties. the same is the case for new Strike mission, the will of crota, a blistering rampage of strategic assault that demands tight team tactics throughout. lovely stuff.


The big bad endgame showpiece is the new Raid, crota’s end. Picking up where the Vault of glass’ calculating, sinister intelligence left off, its elegant blend of combat-puzzles, abstract problem-solving and back-to-the-wall squad strategy is, if anything, an even more savage proposition. the new crucible maps are excellent, too.

The problem? the new economy and levelling systems that come with the expansion. whatever level of Destiny you currently play at, they will find a way to ruin your day. new, higher-level gear in the tower’s shops (unnecessarily) brings all players to the level required by the new content, but in doing so effectively undoes the previous achievements of dedicated players while vetoing the future journeys of those yet to hit the top tier. that it does so while providing so few new experiences is infuriating.

Then there’s the way the Dailies’ difficulty settings have changed, offering either too little reward, or punishing solo difficulty. and xur’s new system for upgrading exotics is desperately ill thought-out. all considered, it’s hard to tell who bungie is pitching these changes at. but whether you’re a veteran or a newcomer, there’s almost certainly something here to hate.

6/10

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