Lengthy-running residing video games are sophisticated beasts to wrangle and increase in new instructions. After so a few years, sport modes, prior modifications, and distinctive viewers teams, a sport like Future 2 should cater to many masters. That problem is keenly felt with Future 2’s newest enlargement. Lightfall is the penultimate chapter within the storytelling arc that has been underway for the reason that authentic sport’s launch in 2014. It misses the mark as a story and in a number of different key methods. However as a gradual evolution of what has come earlier than, it brings loads of vital additions to the desk.
Lightfall’s meandering and poorly defined plot doesn’t provide a strong first impression. Makes an attempt to nod tonally to ‘80s motion flicks largely fall flat, making an attempt and failing to muster a playful vibe at odds with the upcoming apocalypse. A brand new core character and vendor, whose dialogue is much more irritating than the mixed lot of early Future 2 leads, dramatically exacerbates that tonal misstep. After a number of missions that tease large revelations, the story closes with little payoff, placing gamers proper again the place it began within the opening cinematic.
Town of Neomuna on Neptune is colourful, however vacant and void of life. It lacks the sense of discovery and exploration that characterizes the very best locations within the sport. Nonetheless, the distant planet homes some gratifying fight locales and actions, together with invigorating public fight areas, new enemy configurations, and probably the most harmful non-boss enemies the sport has but launched, within the type of the Tormentors – an awesome problem, every time they present up.
The poor style left behind by Lightfall’s struggling marketing campaign is regularly alleviated by a lot of what the remainder of the enlargement gives. The brand new Strand subclasses take some time to wrap one’s head round however ultimately emerge as extremely rewarding and highly effective. Strand talents result in a extra cellular and controllable battlefield, dramatically increasing the out there playstyles in the very best of how.
Main quality-of-life enhancements additionally make an enormous distinction, even when some techniques nonetheless want tweaking. The long-awaited method to loadouts is superb, letting you arrange quite a few builds to flip between on the fly – each for perform and cosmetics. A brand new method to mods is simpler to understand for newcomers to build-crafting. Alongside changes to how artifact unlocks present new talents, and continuous additions to every subclass’ choices, the potential to tweak and experiment is way more gratifying than it has been beforehand.
New commendation and guardian rank techniques are good additions, however each really feel too prescriptive and restricted to be significant. Guardian ranks demand too-specific duties that don’t signify what they purport to do – categorical a given participant’s expertise and experience. And commendations are a enjoyable thought supporting improved group expression, however in observe, gamers are largely simply spamming them out with out consideration.
Different endgame and investment-oriented actions fare significantly better than the marketing campaign. Stellar further missions provide new challenges and locales, just like the thrilling hidden quest for the Vexcalibur unique. On that word, a number of new exotics add a lot to the sandbox expertise, making me desirous to chase them down. The most recent raid gives an intriguing core mechanic and a singular visible palette that blends natural and tech-infused seems right into a cohesive fashion. And the brand new seasonal content material, centered on Earth’s closing protection towards invasion and destruction, is participating and enjoyable.
I could have discovered the marketing campaign uninspired and its legendary problem a slog characterised by bullet-spongey foes. However an enlargement to a sport this large is extra than simply its opening story. Lightfall units up some robust potentialities – narratively and within the gameplay sphere – for a rewarding 12 months of journey forward. Regardless of some frustrations, Future 2 continues to make strides in catering to a various participant base characterised by disparate wishes. Lightfall is hit or miss, however any stumbles shouldn’t be sufficient to derail gamers’ enthusiasm for continued journey or the thrill of seeing the epic conclude over the following 12 months.