This may be the best expansion yet released within this franchise. Destiny 2: The Witch Queen provides an expansive series of missions that, at least for those who follow the series' often murky lore, delivers an emotional narrative. From the player's ghost, who is genuinely shocked and disturbed at the thought that some of his brethren may have sided with the Hive, to Savathun herself, whose complicated motives and objectives make her a villain players can at least appreciate, if not actually sympathize with, there's more to each quest than simply going to waypoints and shooting everything you see. Bungie has also attempted to bring added variety to campaign missions, introducing puzzles and platforming challenges between combat encounters. And while these new elements are a mixed bag -- jumping around platforms in a pitch black area by shooting time-limited light emitting spores on the wall is often more frustrating than fun -- they do, at the very least, make for a nice change of pace.
It's all built on Destiny's peerless first-person shooting mechanics. Weapons feel fantastic, and can be upgraded in all sorts of creative ways by embarking on side missions, collecting various resources, and taking the time to learn the complex but satisfying new crafting system, which allows you to customize weapon mods, stats, and shaders. The glaive, in particular, is a very compelling new weapon, capable of both melee and ranged attacks powerful enough to defeat even some of the game's tougher foes with just a few good, well-aimed strikes. But it's worth noting that while Destiny veterans are by now used to the intricate systems used to create and upgrade gear and weapons and should be able to adapt to these changes without too much trouble, players new to the series who jump in at this point are bound to be at least a little overwhelmed by the vagaries and intricacies of how everything works. Expect a long, slow learning curve. The good news, though, is that the fighting is never anything less than a blast, which should help make the learning a little less of a slog. Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is a terrific addition to the sprawling Destiny universe, adding fascinating lore, some creatively designed missions, and gratifying new weapons and armor.