Everything new in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, the latest expansion for Bungie's hit science fantasy franchise, has arrived. It's the first expansion Bungie has created since going independent from Activision, and they've come out swinging with an extensive amount of new content and features for players to enjoy. Fear not, though — in this round-up, we're going to break down everything that Destiny 2: Shadowkeep has to offer. So grab your favorite weapon and get on the dropship, Guardian. The moon is haunted, and it's time to go ghostbusting.

Campaign: Eris Morn returns...and so do the Vex

The primary campaign of the Shadowkeep expansion centers on Eris Morn — a Guardian who players of the first Destiny game will remember as a helpful ally against the Hive — and her discovery of a terrible new foe on the moon. This enemy can use the Darkness to create nightmares, horrific apparition-like versions of enemies that have been slain in the past, to strike fear into the hearts of Guardians. Many familiar faces will appear as nightmares throughout Shadowkeep, including the Hive god Crota and Dominus Ghaul, the main antagonist of Destiny 2's base campaign.

In addition to these new nightmarish foes, the sinister Vex have prepared a massive offensive operation of their own. Throughout the Season of the Undying (which all Shadowkeep players will participate in as access is packaged with every purchase of the expansion), they will launch various attacks against the Guardians and anybody else who stands in their way.

Raid: To the Black Garden we go

Conceptual artwork of the Black Garden and Black Heart from the first Destiny game.

Conceptual artwork of the Black Garden and Black Heart from the first Destiny game.

The new six-player raid in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, dubbed the "Garden of Salvation," will see players return to the Black Garden, a place located in an alternate reality and often thought to be the birthplace of the Vex. The Black Garden was the final location of the first Destiny game's campaign, and during the Guardians' time there, they destroyed a Darkness entity known as the Black Heart that the Vex were worshipping. Based on this, it's incredibly likely that we'll be facing a terrifying Vex threat this time around.

As with all Destiny raids, the Garden of Salvation is going to be dropping potent (and exclusive) gear, so make sure you and some friends are prepared to fight the Vex where they are their strongest.

Dungeon: Enter the moon's depths

As part of the fight against the lunar nightmares, Guardians are also going to be able to battle through a brand new dungeon. It is effectively like a mini-raid for fireteams of up to three players. Set deep within the lunar depths, this dungeon will pit players against some of the most challenging enemies that the new nightmare foes have at their disposal. On top of that, the dungeon will also be filled with deadly traps and puzzles to solve, too.

Like Forsaken's Shattered Throne dungeon before it, this new Shadowkeep dungeon will offer players an opportunity to earn tons of quality loot, and it will likely tie into the rest of the expansion's narrative as well.

Gear: Armor 2.0 and new Exotics

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep will see the launch of "Armor 2.0," a complete overhaul to the way that armor works in Destiny 2. The focus of the revision is to allow players to customize their armor, both in performance and aesthetics. When you get a piece of armor, you'll be able to upgrade something called energy by investing Glimmer, Legendary Shards, Enhancement Cores, and Enhancement Prisms. This energy opens the door for you to equip more mods on your armor, up to three in total. The highest an armor's energy can go is 10. On top of this, armor will also often have an element associated with it now. This element will determine which mods can go on the armor. Some mods, though, are neutral and can be equipped on any piece of gear. There are also three new stat types for armor — Intellect, Discipline, and Strength. These stats allow you to use your Super, grenades, and melee abilities more often, respectively. On top of all of this, you can also change your armor's appearance through a new "appearance" menu as often as you'd like.

Shadowkeep also brings plenty of new weapons and armor to the table for players to unlock, including some awesome Exotic weapons. One of these is the game's first heavy bow, the Leviathan's Breath, which fires explosive arrows that have high knockback. Another is Erianna's Vow, which is a deadly hand cannon that has a scope and massively increased damage but uses special ammo and has a slower rate-of-fire. There's even a new trace rifle called Divinity that can create weak spots on enemies, which will be a big help in player-versus-environment (PvE) activities. This is just the tip of the iceberg of all of the new gear that Shadowkeep brings.

Artifacts and Nightfalls: Face the toughest challenges yet

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep also includes a new piece of gear called Artifacts, which allow you to use your experience to unlock further increases in Power level and obtain special new armor and weapon mods. These Artifacts are determined by the current season of Destiny 2. So, for example, the Artifact that players will have during the Season of the Undying (the season that Shadowkeep launches in) is The Eye of the Gate Lord. Each season's Artifact will offer different types of mods, though all of them give you the ability to boost Power level.

These Artifacts are tied to Nightfall: The Ordeal, which is the name for the series of deadly revamped Nightfall Strikes. These new versions of Nightfalls will be harder than ever before, and they'll introduce a new enemy type called Champions. These foes will only be able to be killed using mods that you unlock from Artifacts. If you can complete these dangerous new Nightfalls, though, then you'll unlock some of the most powerful gear in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep.

Finishing Moves: Kill in style

Guardians will be able to unleash a brand new attack on enemies with low health called Finishing Moves. These are fancy kill animations that look absolutely awesome and can be customized, similar to assassinations from the Halo games. You can also find unlocks for them that will alter what happens when you perform a Finishing Move; for example, one mod for Finishing Moves will make it so that the enemy you kill with one will drop ammo for Special weapons for you and your allies.

PvP: New maps and matchmaking

Last but not least, Bungie is completely overhauling the player-versus-player (PvP) of Destiny 2 in Shadowkeep. Instead of the traditional Quickplay and Competitive playlists, players will be able to choose from a wider pool of modes. Competitive players can test their mettle in the 3v3 Survival playlist, while others can jump into a more laid back experience with the Classic Mix playlist that offers Control, Clash, and Supremacy matches. Also, there's a dedicated 6v6 Control playlist, and finally, there will also be one that rotates between 4v4 and 6v6 matches of Clash, Supremacy, Lockdown, Mayhem, and Countdown each week. Bungie is also working on 3v3 Elimination for competitive fans, but it's not ready just yet. Players will be able to test it periodically over the coming weeks, however, and this will significantly assist Bungie in getting the mode polished and ready for official release.

On top of the revamp of the PvP structure, Bungie is also bringing back several maps from the first Destiny game back into Destiny 2, including fan-favorites like Widow's Wail and Twilight Gap.

Your thoughts

What do you think of everything offered in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep? Are you ready to go to the moon and conquer your deepest nightmares? Let me know.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is available now for $35 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.