It's a tricky question whether new players will grasp all of this expansion's convoluted lore, complex and evolving loot systems, and focus on playing with friends. Destiny 2: Beyond Light drops players straight into the deep end by simply assuming they're familiar with key events, places, and characters -- like poor, Cayde-6, a much-loved Destiny personality now dead and gone, yet still referenced in this story. Rookies will have loads of catching up to do. That said, it's very possible to just ignore the narrative, since most campaign objectives can be achieved simply by travelling to map markers and killing everything you find there. As you do this, you'll gradually come to figure how to upgrade the weapons and gear you find, and how to complete steps in the seemingly endless quests and bounties you'll inevitably take on in order to speed progress. Hopefully, you'll also run into some nice players along the way with whom you become friends so that you can take on some of the game's harder activities -- such as raids -- as a cohesive unit.
Helping ease people into this complicated experience is the franchise's instantly intuitive combat, which remains among the best you'll find in a sci-fi shooter. Weapons feel powerful and satisfying, and movement is quick and precise. It's easy to enter a kind of zen state as you find rhythm in battle. Plus, this is an undeniably beautiful game. Europa's icy tundra is mesmerizing, and the Guardians -- no two of which look alike, thanks to Destiny 2's enormous and still growing selection of customizable guns and gear -- are pretty much the epitome of futuristic warrior cool. That said, Destiny 2: Beyond Light is essentially just more Destiny. More mysterious narrative to ponder, more quests to keep you busy, more loot to covet and collect, and more ways to grow your Guardian. It's all wrapped up in top-notch art and excellent combat mechanics, but Destiny's distinctive design philosophy will either grab you or it won't.