There is no denying that Destiny 2 is one of the most complex games on the market, and this stems from the fact that there are plenty of hidden lore references for players to discover, and lots of obscure gameplay mechanics that even veterans might be unaware of. This means that having a decent new player experience is crucial for having gamers invested in the plot as well as the looter shooter’s core features and activities, a process that is currently referred to as the “New Light” program. This is mainly achieved through a series of quests from Shaw Han in the Cosmodrome, and with Destiny 2 throwing new players right into the action.
This is not necessarily the best approach, though, and it draws comparison to the way Bungie dealt with the new player experience in vanilla Destiny 2, with The Red War campaign. While The Red War was not Destiny 2‘s best content, it did provide a great introduction to the game both in terms of lore and how gameplay worked, be it with locations feeling like tutorial areas or progression being gated.
A Reddit user by the name of KeystoneGray1 shared an analytical view of both The Red War’s new player experience and that of New Light. The player argues that the Red War introduction was very well done because it allowed players to understand the setting and the characters via cutscenes, while also explaining why they could be brought back to life thanks to the Traveler’s Light. The Cabal then deprived all Guardians of their Light, making them mortal, with players rising as the hero of humanity. The main character would go through patrol zones with every Destiny 2 gameplay element explained one at a time, unlocking the Light’s powers slowly but steadily.
Destiny 2‘s New Light experience is quite the opposite, as it provides little to no explanation regarding the story and the characters involved, and players find themselves stranded in a land where they have to kill a bunch of enemies they know nothing about. The Cosmodrome is less of a streamlined area, and it encourages exploration, which can lead to players being rather confused about what’s going on, what their purpose is, and why they should care about the story. Gameplay mechanics are not fully explained, either.
The difference between the two approaches is striking, and while vaulting The Red War and other content was necessary, the New Light experience doesn’t make up for that loss. Destiny 2 players still discover old features to this day, no matter how long they played, which goes to show how many layers the game has. As such, it’s vital to offer new players an experience that properly connects them with the world of Destiny 2.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.