Destiny 2's Final Shape post-raid finale is a must-play 12-player masterpiece mission that perfectly ends its 10-year saga

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie)

What you need to know

  • Destiny 2: The Final Shape's Salvation's Edge raid was finally beaten for the first time after 19 hours on Saturday morning.
  • This led to Bungie immediately dropping a new finale mission for The Final Shape and the decade-long Light and Darkness Saga called Excision.
  • Excision is Destiny's first 12-player activity, and features an incredible final battle between the Guardians and all of their allies and the Witness.
  • I detail the mission in the text below, but go in blind and play it yourself. Provided you've finished The Final Shape's campaign, you can do so; there are no Power Level requirements.

After a grueling 19-hour World's First raid race, Destiny 2's Final Shape Salvation's End raid was finally beaten by Team Parabellum — and immediately following this crippling blow dealt to the Witness came Excision, a new climactic finale mission everyone in the community can participate in. With matchmaking for a fireteam of up to 12 players (making this the first 12-player activity in Destiny 2 history), multiple narrative cinematics, and an incredible final boss battle, Excision is everything you could hope for from an ending to Destiny's decade-long Light and Darkness saga.

I'll go over the mission in detail below, but honestly, you should go in blind and experience it yourself once you finish The Final Shape's campaign. You'll find the node for it to the right of Salvation's Edge's on the Pale Heart Director menu, and don't worry about Power Level requirements or difficulty — as far as I can tell, the former aren't in place for this finale, and with 11 other Guardians at your side, the latter is hardly an issue. Spoilers for Excision and The Final Shape campaign below.

The Vanguard and its coalition of Awoken, Fallen, Cabal, and even Hive prepare for the final battle. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The mission begins in the calm before the storm, as the Vanguard and its allies prepare for the final assault against the Witness and its remaining forces. Guardians, the Awoken, the Eliksni of Mithrax's House of Light, Empress Caiatl's Cabal, and even Savathûn and her Lucent Brood Hive all rally to the Stasis-wielding Commander Zavala as he gives a rousing speech, followed by a heroic charge into battle reminiscent of scenes in Avenger's Endgame or Return of the King.

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You're thrust into war, then, with Sol's defenders and the Witness' armies clashing on one of the largest battlefields I've ever seen in a single Destiny instance while some of the franchise's best-ever music swells. With direct support from the Vanguard's coalition and many major story NPCs, you and your massive fireteam act as the tip of the spear that pierces the outer defenses of the citadel the Witness is taking refuge in.

Making your way inside kicks off the mission's second phase, and the fight against the Witness itself. Legions of enemies continuously arrive in an effort to stop you, but by absorbing reservoirs of the Traveler's Light found throughout the arena and dunking them in a rift, you can give yourself near-instant ability cooldowns to help vanquish them while simultaneously weakening the protective barrier around the Witness. Additional NPCs also come to help; Saint-14 might drop in to create an unbreakable Ward of Dawn bubble you can use for cover and a Weapons of Light buff, or you might see Mithrax and Savathûn arrive and give you special heavy weapons like Scorch Cannons and Synaptic Spears.

Everyone's Ghost prepares to deal the final blow to the Witness. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Eventually, you'll reach a simplified version of a Witness damage phase from the raid, during which everyone has to hop on a central platform, break the glyphs on the Witness' chest, and then hit the weak spot they reveal with everything they've got while avoiding powerful Darkness blasts. The fray can end in as few as two phases with perfectly executed DPS, though I think it's more fun if it lasts longer since I get more time to go crazy with my Prismatic builds and even more allies come to reinforce you.

Once you get the Witness down to its last chunk of health, the battle caps off with everyone's Ghost acting as a conduit for the might of the Traveler, and all 12 players blast it with beams of Light until it disintegrates in a massive shower of particles. This is where Excision's gameplay ends and its final cinematics begin, with our Ghost — now completely drained — falls lifelessly into our Guardian's hands.

Within an ocean of bright white, Cayde-6 approaches, and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save our Ghost by giving it the Light he was brought back to life with. Emotions were already running high, so when I got to this part of the finale, I was full-on crying; I can't think of a better send-off for one of the most memorable characters from Destiny's 10-year saga as we move on to a new era.

The Guardian and the Vanguard celebrate a hard-fought victory. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Everything comes to a close with a special epilogue in which we see the Vanguard and its allies releasing thousands of paper lanterns into the night sky to celebrate their hard-fought victory. At the center of it all is our Guardian, sitting side-by-side with Zavala, Ikora, and Crow — now the Hunter Vanguard, with Cayde's blessing — as the four ruminate on what the future holds. It then cuts to one final, beautiful shot of our Guardian silently watching the Traveler from afar, with our ever-faithful Ghost hovering at their side.

The story of Destiny doesn't end here — Crow reminds us that we still have Fikrul's remnants of the Scorn and Xivu Arath's Hive to deal with, as well as reports of unusual activity at Nessus (teasing the start of Destiny 2's first seasonal "Episode" next week) and a strange aurora of Light and Darkness the Traveler is "bleeding" out into Earth's atmosphere — but our decade-long fight against the Witness and its Final Shape is over. And honestly? I can't think of a more perfect ending.

Guardians make their own fate.

Destiny 2 is one of the best Xbox games and best PC games for fans of multiplayer and looter shooters, and The Final Shape — the final expansion in the Light and Darkness Saga — is finally here and available to play now.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape | $49.99 $39.99 at CDKeys (Steam)

Destiny 2: The Final Shape | $49.99 $39.99 at CDKeys (Steam)

Destiny 2's The Final Shape expansion is finally here, and thanks to this cool discount, you can pick it up on PC for a full 20% off. The DLC takes players into the heart of the Traveler itself and tasks them with thwarting the Witness with an incredibly powerful new "multiclassing" subclass called Prismatic.

Also see: The Final Shape (GMG) | The Final Shape + Annual Pass (CDKeys) | The Final Shape + Annual Pass (GMG)

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.