A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Online play rewards teamwork and cooperation as well as friendly competition. Players are encouraged to find groups of friends with whom to play to take on tougher missions, such as raids. But play revolves around tense and frenetic action that glorifies deadly weapons.
Positive Role Models
The player's customizable Guardian is fighting for the survival of the human race and is clearly framed as a hero, though their only means of protecting humanity seems to be to kill or destroy all threats.
Ease of Play
Returning players should fall back into the swing of things swiftly. But new players could be confused by the game's sprawling lore, complex loot, and upgrade systems. The only way to become comfortable with these elements is to put in the time required to gradually learn about them through play, including reading lengthy text explanations.
Violence & Scariness
Players engage in first-person sci-fi combat using an arsenal of energy, kinetic, explosive, and melee weapons. Enemies -- a mix of aliens, machines, and, in competitive play, other humans -- typically yelp in pain, fall to the ground, and disappear when defeated. Red blood occasionally appears to stain the screen when the player's character is hit, and some aliens bleed a blackish liquid.
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Spoken dialogue contains the word "a--hole." Online play is unmoderated, which could expose players to all kinds of inappropriate content.
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Products & Purchases
Players who purchase only the base game will be nudged to upgrade to a "deluxe" edition to access additional content and season passes. Players can also spend real money on cosmetic upgrades. This is the latest chapter in the Destiny franchise.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.