Destiny 2 Lightfall succeeds where other games fail in one key way
Destiny 2 Lightfall has been out for over a week now, and it'd be fair to say it's been divisive.
Our reviewer loved their time with the expansion, and I recently said it feels like a Destiny 1 throwback - for better and for worse. Many have memed "The Veil" (whatever it is), while others have discussed the difficulty in more detail.
For me, now playing through on a second character, the big standout feature of Destiny 2 Lightfall isn't just Strand, but the manner in which it's integrated into the campaign.
Spoilers ahead for Destiny 2 Lightfall's campaign - you've been warned.
Destiny 2 Lightfall's best moment is its Strand training montage
If you cast your mind back to Beyond Light, Destiny 2's 2020 expansion, we were given the power of Stasis - cosmic ice which turned the Crucible into a nightmare.
Initial balancing issues aside, Stasis was made available in a pretty strange way - players would get to grips with it at certain points in the campaign, and then lose access until the end of it.
Strand rolls out in a similar way, but because it's so vastly different to anything we've used up until now, it makes much more sense for our Guardian to lose access. One of Strand's core mechanics, the grapple, is completely alien in Destiny, an entirely new mechanic that takes time to master and build into a Guardian's toolkit.
Strand is worked into setpieces like the escape from an exploding building, and then a sort of "vision quest" to clear out those pesky Vex within one of their own networks. That, tied in with some sage wisdom from Osiris and a repeatable "training course" make the whole thing feel akin to a playable training montage.
It's by far the campaign's high point, backing up the narrative implication of our usual powers being blocked by the Shadow Legion, and playing through again I'm struck by just how much fun it is to gradually unfold Strand.
The game even drops one of the Strand Fragments into the storyline, too, and I'm looking forward to stringing up Vex and Cabal with it all over again as I re-learn the basics of Destiny 2 through the new lens that Strand provides.
In a campaign that's been disappointing in terms of story content, Destiny 2's gameplay shines through again - a statement that we thought we'd got past with Witch Queen's high narrative bar.