A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Destiny 2: Beyond Light is the latest downloadable expansion within Bungie's popular sci-fi first-person shooter series for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbos Series X/S, Google Stadia, and Windows PCs. Missions revolve around constant and intense action, as players wield an enormous arsenal of kinetic, energy, and explosive weapons in futuristic firefights against various aliens and machines. Enemies yell out in pain and disappear when defeated, sometimes accompanies by splashes of black blood. The player's customizable Guardian fights to protect humanity and is regarded as a hero, though their only means of solving problems seems to be to spectacularly destroy or kill anything that gets in their way. Much of the game's designed to encourage cooperation and teamwork -- especially when playing with friends -- while other parts foster friendly competition. Families should note that players new to the Destiny experience may find the game's convoluted story and complicated loot and upgrade systems difficult to understand. While online gameplay is unmoderated, which could expose players to inappropriate content, "a--hole" can be heard in dialogue.
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What's it about?
DESTINY 2: BEYOND LIGHT takes the Guardians' fight to save future Earth to the icy Jovian satellite Europa. Players descend on the storm-ridden moon aiming to help a four-armed alien save his people from a new villain, Eramis, who has discovered the dark power of Stasis, an ability that freezes movement at an atomic level. Angered at how her people have suffered and fearing for their long-term survival, she plans to use her newfound power to destroy the Traveler -- the giant floating orb above the Last City -- and in the process, doom all that it protects. As a Guardian, your job is to thwart her plans by engaging in a series of missions that will take you across the cold surface ruins and into the interior of the moon. As always, you'll want to keep an eye out to collect as much loot -- weapons, armor, collectibles, and currencies -- as you can along the way to augment your strength and abilities. You'll also have the opportunity to wield the power of Stasis, even though it's a facet of the Darkness, the antithesis of Light, the power from which your Guardian draws strength. And, of course, you'll also have opportunity to engage in new co-op strike missions, a difficult new raid mission (yet to be released at the time of this writing), and try new maps in the competitive Crucible arena.
Is it any good?
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in the media. Is the impact of the violence in Destiny 2: Beyond Light affected by the lack of blood and gore in the game compared to other shooters? Since the action is constant and intense, do you notice any physiological changes in yourself during or right after playing?
Some of Destiny 2: Beyond Light's group activities are intended to be experienced with friends so that you can effectively plan and cooperate together, so what happens when you try these activities alone or in the company of strangers?
- Platforms: Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bungie
- Release date: November 10, 2020
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Language, Violence
- Last updated: November 13, 2020
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