Destiny 2: Shadowkeep

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Game Poster Image
Sci-fi shooter with intense combat encourages teamwork.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Team-based play encourages cooperation, communication, and socialization, but combat glorifies frenetic gun-based action.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Player avatars -- guardians -- are heroes fighting to save humanity. But many characters seem eager to do battle and appear to have fun in the heat of combat, striking poses in celebration.

Ease of Play

The controls are tight and intuitive, and should be familiar to anyone experienced with shooters. Difficulty depends largely on character level and who (if anyone) you are playing with. If things get too tough, players can grind on easier activities to earn more powerful gear that will improve their power.

Violence

Players use sci-fi pistols, rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, swords, and staffs to fight aliens, robots, and -- in competitive multiplayer -- other player-controlled humans. Enemies scream in pain, disappear from battlefield once defeated. Aliens occasionally bleed black, player's character sometimes bleeds red. Noninteractive narrative scenes show additional violence, including important characters being shot, wounded. There's a sense of horror on the moon, with red spirits floating around, bones littering caves, screams heard in the darkness.

Sex
Language

The word "a--hole" is heard in dialogue.

Consumerism

Players can spend real money within the game to purchase customization content. This is the latest installment in the Destiny franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is an online science fiction-themed first-person shooter available for download for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. It's an expansion to Destiny 2, though the original game isn't required in order to play. Players take on the role of a guardian of the human race, fighting aggressive aliens and robots using sci-fi guns and melee weapons. Some aliens emit black fluid when shot, and the player's character occasionally bleeds red blood. Enemies scream in pain and disappear once defeated. The new setting, the moon, carries a sense of horror, thanks to bones, screams, and floating red ghosts. Mild profanity is occasionally heard in voiced dialogue. Online cooperative play encourages people to communicate and work as a team, especially when playing raid missions, and some activities are considerably easier when playing with others. Parents should also be aware that players can spend real-world money within the game to purchase customization content for their avatars.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bynuenjins October 26, 2019

Rehashed content, underwhelming and short.

For a 40 dollar price tag, this is a very short and boring entry, especially for those who have played Destiny 1. For the few that will actually play the raid a... Continue reading
Adult Written byDrifter.EXE October 7, 2020

Good, but not great DLC has more intensity; some heretic elements may not be for children.

Ok before I start Im gonna include everything in Destiny 2. Destiny 2 is an online shooter that promotes teamwork and avenging our race. Violence wise, this gam... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTheraterboyzz October 18, 2019

The best

This is just like apex epic and action packed preteens and up should play this really
Teen, 15 years old Written byCryingSeal January 5, 2020

Good, but not Perfect

To anyone under the age of twelve, this will appear to just be another bullet sponge ridden game. However, there's a lot of depth to it that requires a lot... Continue reading

What's it about?

DESTINY 2: SHADOWKEEP brings back Eris Morn, a former guardian who has stumbled upon a fresh Hive menace on the moon, a destination that hasn't been seen since the original Destiny. She has accidentally awoken the Nightmares, powerful foes that mimic classic villains of Destiny quests past that pose a new threat to the few remaining humans left in the solar system. She enlists the player's assistance to destroy these enemies before they can begin wreaking havoc. In addition to the new campaign missions, this expansion also raises the player's maximum Power level to 960 via a variety of powerful new weapons and pieces of armor. Weapons can be further enhanced to exceed their Power limits. New finishing moves allow players to fell weakened enemies by rushing toward them to initiate cinematic, class-specific takedowns. Players also have access to new strikes and an original raid -- The Garden of Salvation, set in the Black Garden -- as well as a new season pass, which confers valuable reward loot with each new rank. Additional unannounced content is set to be rolled out slowly following the expansion's release.

Is it any good?

The second major expansion to Bungie's online sci-fi shooter is a mixed bag. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is praiseworthy for allowing new players to jump in without needing to purchase the original game. And it smartly keeps core elements that worked -- namely, the fantastic shooting and traversal mechanics -- while making bold moves to evolve the series. For example, weapon modifications are much more substantial, allowing players to essentially boost their favorite guns beyond their Power limits. And the range of activities that bestow useful rewards is now so diverse that players can pick and choose what they want to do according to their tastes and play styles while continuing to grow their characters, rather than be forced into quests and missions they're not interested in.

But for all the right moves Shadowkeep makes, some players are bound to be disappointed by how small it feels. The campaign missions can be completed in a single evening by a dedicated player, and the ending isn't satisfying. More quests are slated to be doled out following the expansion's release, expanding the story and lore, but that will do little to soothe players who expect more instant gratification. And while the evolution of the game's growth and quest systems are bound to be welcomed by those who have always enjoyed Destiny's complicated schemes, they'll likely do little to win over those who tend to get annoyed trying to work out what they need to do next. For all its changes, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep still feels an awful lot like the Destiny players have known for years. Whether that's a good thing will depend on the player.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep encourages people to get together and play with friends, but how does playing with others affect when and the amount of time you spend playing games?  

  • Do you think we should spend time and money searching the universe for signs of extraterrestrial life? If we discovered aliens, what would that mean for humanity?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

Themes & Topics

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