Destiny 2: The Final Shape campaign review

by on June 10, 2024
Release Date

June 4, 2024


This is a review of the main campaign and expansion content for Destiny 2: The Final Shape and does not encompass the new Raid, Season, or post-campaign content. Be aware: the following review containers minor story spoilers.

Anyone who has played Destiny since the beginning will likely agree that it hasn’t always been an easy series to be a fan of. It has seen many more lows than highs, and often those lows have been nigh-on catastrophic for both the game and its fanbase. But to give credit where it’s due, when Bungie hit a high point it really does stand out. Destiny 2: The Final Shape fits comfortably into the “highs” category, despite a few caveats.

The first game launched way back in 2014, which means The Final Shape is the culmination of Bungie’s promised ten-year plan, and serves as the narrative conclusion to the Light versus Dark Saga that has been the backbone of both games since the beginning. It’s not an easy thing to keep one-upping each universe-ending boss with another, but Bungie has largely succeeded. The latest, and final, boss of this Saga is The Witness, the Traveler’s oldest and deadliest adversary, who seeks to use the Traveler’s Light to freeze all of creation in place, preventing all forms of entropy, conflict, decay, or evolution, enacting the so-called Final Shape.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape

Bungie has always been pretty good at enemy design, creating terrifying endgame bosses like Oryx, Savathun, and Rhulk, but the Witness is unique even for this team. His huge, almost sorrowful eyes and hair made of ghostly, screaming skulls give him the impression of something from a cartoon, and as the narrative has worn on, his motivations have become less and less terrifying. Oryx was far scarier an adversary, and The Witch Queen’s Savathun remains the franchise’s most interesting, compelling villain.

Regardless, The Final Shape opens with our Guardian, fan-favourite Crow, and the remaining Vanguard leaders Zavala and Ikora Rey heading into the Pale Heart of the Traveler via the gateway cut into it by the Witness. What awaits them is a twisted, beautiful world comprised of jumbled abstract memories and long-forgotten locations. The new Patrol Zone is an incredible play-space, more linear than others but visually stunning, showcasing once again that Bungie’s level designers are genuinely some of the very best in the industry.

It’s not just the colours, either, but the way the world changes so dramatically as you progress through it, presenting wonderful visual variety while still maintaining Bungie’s trademark open battlegrounds – the same kind of design that made the original Halo: Combat Evolved an FPS touchstone. Your pursuit of the Witness brings you back into contact with legendary Hunter Cayde-6 (voiced by a returning Nathan Fillion), whose resurrection is explained a little clumsily, but whose presence is welcome on levels it’s hard to articulate for a Destiny fan.

Destiny 2

The choice to focus on the primary Vanguard leaders, the three mentors who have been with us from the start, as well as Crow, the Guardian who was Cayde’s murderer, Uldren Sov, in his previous life, allows Bungie to tell a much more personal story. These are the characters we’re most connected to, most invested in. Eris Morn, Drifter, Saint-14, Saladin, the Bray Sisters, and Osiris all had their moments to shine in previous expansions and mostly sit this one out, allowing us to see the bond between Ikora and Zavala shake and almost break, while they both deal with the return of their dearest friend.

Honestly, Bungie almost over-eggs the pudding with this one. Zavala acts out of character for almost the entire campaign, although the story builds and delivers upon the crisis of faith he’s been having since The Witch Queen. I can’t lie, either, and pretend that the loss of Lance Reddick isn’t keenly felt here. Keith David is a fantastic actor and the only choice for many to replace Zavala’s original voice actor, but his delivery is vastly different, and coupled with the crestfallen shell of a warrior that Zavala has become, he feels far removed from the Commander we know – though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ikora remains as resolute as ever, though, and Cayde-6 is given far more to do than just be a wise-cracking badass. Fillion’s delivery is pitch-perfect for every line, and he becomes the emotional anchor of this story for the entire ride.

Narratively, this is right behind The Witch Queen, vastly superior to the Lightfall campaign, not bogged down with too many characters or a convoluted plot. The story throughout is simple and clear, the stakes feel tremendously high, and the possibility that not everyone will survive is distinct and constant.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape

With the new Prismatic Subclass, Bungie shows that they can listen and learn. Lightfall’s insistence on dangling Strand before us like a carrot throughout the campaign was unanimously unpopular, and in Destiny 2: The Final Shape Bungie wastes no time in letting us open our new presents. Instead, they give each class a small offering of Aspects and Fragments and then scatter the rest throughout the campaign missions, the post-game quests, and the Patrol Zone. It’s a clever way of doing it, allowing us to play with the new Supers and abilities while still giving us that all-important grind.

Prismatic is fantastic too, allowing each class to combine various elements of the other five Subclasses into one multi-faceted behemoth. Not everything is available, but I played through on my Warlock and being able to, for example, toss out a Solar healing grenade while placing down a Stasis Turret and using my Stormtrance Super felt both incredibly chaotic and ridiculously satisfying.

As ever the moment-to-moment action is utterly sublime. Destiny 2 still offers the best shooting and movement in the genre, with impactful weapons, skills, and abilities that can turn the tide of any fight in heartbeat. Combining Prismatic powers with new weapons like The Call (a Sidearm that fires mini Strand rockets) never gets old, and the new bosses and mechanics work very well. With only seven primary missions and a handful of activities mixed in, none of the new mechanics feel overused, and each one is fairly easy to fathom out. We even have some new enemy types in the form of the flying Grim, super-fast Husks, and Strand-wielding Weavers, who make up the Dread, the Witness’ army led by the terrifying Tormentors and Subjugators.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape

My only real moment of disconnect was when I returned to the Tower and was told in a pop-up that I should play through the campaign in one go before doing anything else. The reason for this is simple and only mildly irritating, but essentially certain characters I had recently left in a state of absolute mortal peril were back in their old positions in the Tower, ready to give me bounties and sell me gear like this Witness ain’t no thing.

Elsewhere there are changes to currencies, as Legendary Shards are no longer required to upgrade weapons, and a new Pathfinder system looks to revitalise the day-to-day grind of Vanguard, Crucible, Patrol, and Legacy activities across the entire game space – though I haven’t looked into it enough yet.

I think it’s fair to say that Bungie has delivered on its ten-year plan with The Final Shape. It might not be the end for Destiny 2 (there’s still a year of content ahead of us), but the war we’ve been waging for a whole decade is coming to an end and, thank the Traveler, the team didn’t screw it up like they almost did with Lightfall. The final mission unlocks after the World First completion of The Edge of Salvation Raid, and it’s the first 12-player event in the franchise’s history. It’s even better that Bungie made this particular mission ridiculously full of mayhem and over-the-top while not gating it behind steep difficulty or the need for a set fireteam. Just get in there, and finish the fight.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape

To say that Bungie is sending us out with a bang is an understatement. I haven’t felt as emotional over the final battle of a franchise since Avengers: Endgame. I don’t want to spoil the finale but it’s an unbelievably well put-together denouement that brings everything together with real emotional weight, and sets up the remaining year’s content in a way that doesn’t feel convoluted and, crucially, takes nothing away from what’s transpired.

Whether you’ve stuck with Destiny from the very beginning, or you’ve had long breaks between expansions, or you’re new to all this, The Final Shape Campaign is superb – but for long-time fans in particular it’s one of the best expansions Bungie has ever produced and offers some great new content to get stuck into. Bungie absolutely needed to stick the landing with Destiny 2: The Final Shape, and by all accounts the team has done just that. Eyes up, Guardian – it’s time to finish this fight.


Prismatic Subclass is great
Superb story
The Pale Heart is an excellent playspace


Some characters feel a little off
The final pay-off is locked in a new activity

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Bungie absolutely needed to stick the landing with The Final Shape, and by all accounts they’ve done just that.