Because the unique launch of Future again in 2014, there was an formidable but overly imprecise storyline constructing within the depth of its ever-expanding lore. The gist of it? Good versus Evil, or within the case of this universe, the Mild versus the Darkness. For thus lengthy, it is felt like a meandering excuse so that you can shoot aliens throughout the photo voltaic system. Nevertheless, with the launch of The Witch Queen final yr and now Lightfall, narrative seeds planted virtually a decade in the past are starting to sprout. The tip consequence to this newest enlargement is a contradicting amalgamation of each disappointment and pure FPS pleasure.
Lightfall is being tagged as “the start of our finish”, appearing because the second chapter of a proposed trilogy of expansions which is able to wrap up the decade-spanning storyline with subsequent yr’s The Ultimate Form. The sport’s opening cinematic definitely feels excessive stakes with the calamitous arrival of The Witness — who for these out of the know acts because the bodily embodiment of the Darkness, and the proprietor of this universe’s first collapse. As followers of Future since its unique launch, we had been swept up within the epicness of this opener, because it did really feel like the start of every little thing we had been ready for. This could have been our Avengers: Infinity Struggle.
You are in a short time hyper-spaced away to a brand new setting on Neptune, and the neon-swept metropolis of Neomuna. For those who’ve been enjoying Future for some time, you’ll be struck by how completely different this metropolis is visually with spectacular skyscrapers, clear streets, and an excellent collective of vibrant and vivid colors. Future has all the time excelled with visually spectacular settings and Neomuna isn’t any completely different.
The place it does undergo nonetheless, is in its lack of character. With Neomuna being one of many first settings we’ve visited that isn’t desolate, destroyed and deserted, it was disappointing to search out the streets of this metropolis so devoid of life even when there have been narrative causes for it. Whether or not it is the Moon, Nessus, or the Dreaming Metropolis, Future settings have captured the spirit of their respective realms and planets in a approach that you possibly can lose your self within the smaller particulars and get an actual sense of their historical past. Neomuna is flashy however lacks that attraction, as a substitute appearing as extra set-dressing than a narrative backdrop. Granted there’s a respectable quantity of lore to dig into in the event you go in search of it, however Neomuna didn’t reel us in in the way in which that we had hoped.
However what in regards to the story which urges us to discover Neomuna within the first place? Nicely, via the opener we had hoped that we’d lastly be attending to combat alongside our favorite characters from the sequence, in a struggle we’ve been coaching for for years. Whereas Lightfall definitely appears like a late-story enlargement, and one with loads of large moments, it was irritating to be served one more set-up marketing campaign. The story at play right here felt too small and separated from the true motion of this narrative, and when it did ultimately carry it again, it left us with a mountain of questions and never very many solutions.
We’re certain Bungie might have even condensed all of it right into a seasonal marketing campaign, particularly after what simply went down in Season of the Seraph. We suspect, although, that integral narrative beats will sprout from Lightfall and unfold throughout the following yr’s value of seasonal storylines. It would make the following yr as a complete extra fascinating narratively, however as of proper now we couldn’t assist however really feel let down. As we fought Callus, and befriended the Cloudstriders on Neptune, we actually simply wished we had been again defending the final metropolis alongside the likes of Zavala and Ikora.
With all of that being stated, we nonetheless got here away from Ligthfall with a giant smile on our face, and a quizzical enthusiasm for the sequence. Lightfall could also be a set-up, nevertheless it nonetheless leaves the universe in some very thrilling locations; Future as a complete now not feels prefer it’s caught in various states of stasis. It’s evolving, maturing, and we actually can’t wait to see the place all of it goes. Whereas most followers of the sequence will sound like damaged information, thrilling occasions are certainly forward for the Future narrative.
Okay, however with all of our discuss on the narrative let-downs of this enlargement, what about its precise content material? Whereas exploring the streets of Neomuna, Guardians will familiarise themselves with the brand new Strand subclass, which we are able to already inform shall be a fan-favourite. Threadlings search out their prey with the Broodweaver Warlock subclass, while the Titan’s Berserker claws rip via waves of Vex, and the Hunter’s Threadrunner whips away droves of Cabal. These new talents really feel recent, highly effective, and enjoyable to make use of, however essentially the most thrilling introduction of the Strand subclass is its grappling means.
Guardians can swap out their grenade slot for the grapple, and it’s laborious to place into phrases simply how satisfying a terrific grapple swing will be. Future 2 was already one of many best-feeling first-person shooters on the market, and the introduction of the Strand grapple simply elevates it that bit extra. You’ll definitely be eager to fiddle along with your builds to make sure you can swing extra usually, however whether or not or not it’s to keep away from a killer blow, or ship one with the momentum melee assaults, there’s no finish to the enjoyable you possibly can have with it.
Then there’s the brand new Tormentors, which you may want Strand’s mobility to outlive in opposition to and defeat. This new, large, and intimidating enemy kind is the standout of the Lightfall marketing campaign. Future is properly know for its reliance on bullet sponge enemies, nevertheless it’s good for the sport to throw a genuinely tough foe your approach. When enjoying in our fireteam, a Tormentor would trigger giddy pleasure as we knew we would wish to carry our A-game and keep on our toes — particularly within the marketing campaign’s immensely enjoyable legendary issue. At any time when Lightfall threw our fireteam right into a claustrophobic degree with a Tormentor or two, it was simply the very best enjoyable we’ve had in an FPS in years.
There’s a lot we might nonetheless cowl with this newest enlargement, like Buildcrafting 2.0 and the brand new Guardian Ranks system, each of which intention to streamline the Future expertise. Nevertheless, at its core Lightfall is all about its story, setting, and gameplay adjustments. The marketing campaign and setting largely allow us to down, with the entire thing feeling like the center baby of the Witch Queen, Ligthtfall, and Ultimate Form trilogy. Nevertheless, the vigorous pleasure that Future 2’s good gameplay elicits tremendously elevates the general Lightfall expertise, with some stellar enhancements because of Strand subclasses and grapples. It’s irritating to be left in narrative limbo for one more yr, however you’ll nonetheless battle to discover a area shooter that’s this a lot enjoyable.