Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (2024)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Witch Queen fundamentally changes a lot of Destiny 2. There’s weapon crafting, a new area to explore, a new raid coming, tons of weapons to grind for, and plenty of sandbox changes that shake everything up. But the writing isn’t on par with some previous expansions.


  • +

    Plenty of new weapons and perks

  • +

    Weapon crafting introduces something fresh

  • +

    Lots of new activities

  • +

    Void 3.0 rework breathes life into the subclass


  • -

    Weapon crafting grind and rewards are tedious

  • -

    Story and dialogue aren’t very interesting

  • -

    Some new weapons don’t feel good to use

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Destiny 2: Key Info

Price: $39.99, $79.99 (Deluxe)
Release date: February 22, 2022
Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia
Genre: First-person shooter
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Bungie

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is the newest expansion of Bungie’s 5-year-old title, which has increased in popularity and scope since its introduction. This DLC includes a host of improvements, new gameplay mechanics, quests, and weapons to sink hours into. The new weapon crafting system alone should keep you entertained for a very long time as you work to build your perfect gun.

But The Witch Queen doesn’t do much for me in regards to its writing quality. While it’s certainly better than Shadowkeep or Beyond Light, I didn’t find the story or dialogue compelling, especially given how much build-up we’ve had up to this point. And if you’re coming in for the first time, I don’t think Destiny 2 is any friendlier than it’s been previously — a huge complaint many, myself included, have levied against the game.

So what does this expansion offer for the Destiny 2 experience? Read on for our full The Witch Queen review for my thoughts.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review: Gameplay

The Witch Queen keeps the core Destiny 2 loop basically the same. Some weapons got buffs to make them more competitive, while others received nerfs to bring them back in line. But new in this expansion is the glaive, a melee/ranged/defensive option in the Special slot. It’s actually surprisingly fun, especially since melee attacks don’t consume ammo (like they do on swords).

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (1)

The other major change is weapon crafting. Since its inception, loot has driven the Destiny grind as you work for the “godroll” (the ideal set of perks) weapon. But now you can craft your own godroll, granted you put in a lot of effort. I’m talking multiple hours to fully unlock everything on a particular weapon.

Guns with red borders will randomly drop. You can attune these weapons by using them to slay enemies and while you complete activities. Once you’ve attuned the weapon, you can extract crafting resources from it (which is currently the only way to get those resources).

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (2)

You’ll repeat this process with every red-bordered gun until you unlock a pattern, which lets you craft a weapon, like a blueprint. You’ll have a limited set of perks available with more possible once you level up the gun. This can take a very long time and it requires a lot of kills with the weapon. You can “reshape” the weapon at the crafting table, but that requires additional resources.

Some were worried that weapon crafting would break Destiny 2’s core gameplay loop, but that is very much not the case. You still need to grind for red border guns, and there are other new weapons that aren’t craftable, thus encouraging you to grind for a godroll if you’re not happy with what you can build.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (3)

Overall, I think crafting is a fine addition. That said, it can be incredibly time-consuming and tedious, and getting some red border guns to drop can be very frustrating. And changing out perks on something you’ve crafted is very expensive, prohibiting you from trying new combinations without putting in a lot of effort. I hope Bungie increases the red border drop rate and reduces the costs for changing perks. (I would love to see perks that you’ve already paid for on a particular weapon get an unlocked status, letting you swap back to them at any point for free.)

Also with The Witch Queen comes Void 3.0, a rework of the Void-based Light subclasses. They’re now in line with the Stasis subclasses introduced in Beyond Light with streamlined supers and powers. That means you can combine different aspects, abilities, and fragments to create a perfect build. This is a big change from the previous locked trees we had to choose from before. And every Void grenade is open to all three classes. Arc and Solar will get the same treatment later this year.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review: Story

The Witch Queen represents the culmination of stories years in the making. Savathûn, the Witch Queen and Hive god of cunning, has reappeared wielding the same Light power that your Guardian does. The working theory is that she has somehow stolen the Light from the godlike Traveler, the being that has blessed and protected humanity.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (4)

But as the story progresses, you’ll tap into Savathûn’s memories to unravel her plan, including discovering a bombshell moment in Destiny’s lore. You’ll tear apart Savathûn’s Throne World, a place where she rules supreme. The landscape reflects her thoughts and memories, from the beautiful keep to the murky swamps.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (5)

Destiny has wonderful lore, even though the writing hasn’t historically been all that great. The Witch Queen is fine story-wise, though I didn’t find it gripped me as thoroughly as the first major Destiny 2 expansion, Forsaken. Even Destiny’s pivotal The Taken King proved more interesting to me. The Witch Queen certainly piqued my curiosity a few times — definitely more than the previous Shadowkeep and Beyond Light expansions did — but most of the time, I had to force myself to keep playing the campaign.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (6)

Considering the hype and lead-up to The Witch Queen, I found myself ultimately disappointed in the writing quality. The dialogue wasn’t that great, either. Honestly, I was more excited to hear my Guardian speak again (which is one of my favorite parts of any Destiny 2 expansion). It took me about 10 hours to get through the main story, so from that standpoint, The Witch Queen has a lot to dig through.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review: Visuals and audio

Starting with Beyond Light in 2020, Bungie really started upping Destiny 2’s visuals. In The Witch Queen, the new Throne World destination looks incredible. Sweeping vistas, grungy swamps, and better character models all enhance the experience. Even the new cutscenes seemed to have gotten an upgrade.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (7)

As for sound design, The Witch Queen keeps things subtle and eerie. I don’t play with the music very loud most of the time, but I enjoyed having it going in the background while I explored or uncovered some new mystery.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review: Verdict

Reviewing a Destiny expansion is a challenging task because there’s so much more than just the campaign. There are new exotic quests, busywork, and sandbox changes to play with. Not to mention the seasonal content that dropped simultaneously with the campaign, plus the raid coming on March 5. In short, The Witch Queen has a lot to offer right now.

Aside from the disappointing story, The Witch Queen is a solid addition to Destiny 2. If you’re a new player, there’s almost an overwhelming amount of stuff to do — even for a veteran like me, there’s a ton to juggle. The new player experience is also still not that good from what I understand. If you’re thinking about jumping into Destiny, I encourage you to find some companions who know the game and can show you the ropes. Luckily, there are a lot of people who play Destiny 2. It's just a bummer that the game won't be coming to the Steam Deck.

For $39.99, this is the most expensive expansion to ever launch in Destiny’s history. But you get a lot for your money with a long narrative and a heaping bunch of content.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (8)

Jordan Palmer

Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.


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    Destiny 2: The Witch Queen review (2024)


    Is The Witch Queen enough? ›

    For those already immersed in Destiny 2's experience, there is enough content, challenge, and excitement here to add yet another jolt of life, and while it's still not going to be the most accessible game to newcomers, it's a great entry point nonetheless for those who haven't played before.

    Is Witch Queen worth it now? ›

    The Witch Queen is one of Destiny's better expansions, historically, but I would make the argument that the campaign specifically is the best one it's done in terms of mission design and story… ever. If you're a brand new player you may want to play it on Normal.

    Why is the Legendary Witch Queen campaign so hard? ›

    Legendary mode is difficult and stressful because what your Guardian is going through is difficult and stressful. For me, the challenge is what made the story so emotionally compelling. The Legendary campaign is good because it's hard, but being hard is not what makes it good.

    How many hours does it take to complete Witch Queen? ›

    When focusing on the main objectives, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is about 12 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 28 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

    Is it worth beating Witch Queen on legendary? ›

    Finishing the entire Witch Queen campaign in Legendary mode also gives an exclusive emblem, a Triumph for the upcoming Throne World title, eight upgrade modules, and new Exotic armor. Players who realize that the Legendary mission isn't for them can exit the mission and complete it in the regular mode.

    Is Witch Queen worth $40? ›

    Is Witch Queen worth 40 dollars? Witch Queen Deluxe had a full retail value of $80 USD. That included: $40 USD for the Basic Edition. $40 USD for the 4 seasons ($10 USD each).

    Will Witch Queen be replayable? ›

    The Witch Queen Campaign can be played solo or with a fireteam of up to three players. However, don't worry too much about the decision as The Witch Queen Campaign is replayable.

    Is Lightfall better than Witch Queen? ›

    It's certainly no Witch Queen, and while that expansion set a high bar for future Destiny 2 content, Lightfall doesn't come close in most respects. Yes, it introduces a new power set in Strand and adds a number of new mechanical features, but the campaign itself falls far short of the game's last major release.

    Is Witch Queen the best expansion? ›

    The Witch Queen is Destiny's best expansion, even eclipsing the likes of Forsaken and The Taken King before it. It's got a killer campaign that tells a meaningful story (and has a terrific Legendary difficulty mode) and offers one of the franchise's best raids in Vow of the Disciple.

    What is the hardest Witch Queen mission? ›

    The Ghosts is one of the hardest missions in the Witch Queen campaign for Destiny 2. Guardians will need to fight the third and final type of Lightbearer, destroy an army of Scorn, and defeat a Baron to finish this mission. It's a serious challenge on Legendary and a test of patience on Master.

    Can you solo the witch queen campaign? ›

    So, if you don't have a consistent Fireteam to play with, you may be wondering — can I beat the Legendary Campaign solo? The short answer is yes. The campaign will actually adjust in difficulty and change up encounters based on the number of players running a given mission to give solo players an equal chance.

    Does Witch Queen campaign give powerful gear? ›

    If you want to reach the Soft Cap of 1500 quickly, the best option is to play The Witch Queen Campaign on Legend difficulty, as this will reward a full set of 1520 gear upon completion - putting you 20 Power levels above the Soft Cap and shortening your grind to the Power Cap of 1550.

    Should I start with Witch Queen? ›

    Make sure you buy the Witch Queen Expansion to start

    Everyone is on even footing and expansions offer fresh entry into the world. I recommend the season pass so you can get more rewards, but it's not mandatory by any means.

    How hard is The Witch Queen campaign? ›

    The Witch Queen introduces a Legendary campaign mode designed to be significantly more difficult than the primary campaign. With stronger enemies that deal more damage as well as a power level cap, it's quite an undertaking for the average player. However, there's more than just glory at stake.

    What exotics do you get from Witch Queen campaign? ›

    Destiny 2: All Witch Queen Exotic Items, Ranked
    1. 1 The Edge Exotic Glaives.
    2. 2 The Dead Messenger. ...
    3. 3 Trespasser. ...
    4. 4 Renewal Grasps (Hunter Armor) ...
    5. 5 The Osteo Striga. ...
    6. 6 Osmiomancy Gauntlets (Warlock Gloves) ...
    7. 7 Secant Filaments (Warlock Armor) ...
    8. 8 The Blight Ranger (Hunter Armor) ...
    Dec 9, 2022

    Can you solo Witch Queen on legendary? ›

    Destiny story campaigns are always content you can play solo. They don't require matchmaking, and while you can take a team into them, they're never especially taxing.

    Can you get both exotics at the end of Witch Queen? ›

    At the end of witch queen on legend you get a choice of 1 out of 2 exotics, say I pick one for my warlock and I didn't pick the other could I start say a new warlock get the other exotic? Why would you wanna do that for another exotic? You can just farm it in the lost sectors.

    Is Destiny 2 the best game ever? ›

    If you're looking for an FPS title with superb gunplay and an excellent endgame, you won't find a better game than Destiny 2. The issue is getting to that good content requires dozens of hours of grinding and buying over $100 worth of DLC.

    What does buying Witch Queen get you? ›

    The Witch Queen is a paid expansion for Destiny 2. The cost for the Standard Edition is $39.99, which includes access to The Witch Queen Campaign, a new Raid, and Exotic Weapons and Armor.

    How to get Witch Queen for free? ›

    To play Witch Queen for free, You need to log in to the game, and a message is displayed to play the Witch Queen for free.

    How long will Witch Queen be free? ›

    Bungie announced that Destiny 2's critically acclaimed Witch Queen expansion will be free to all players until February 26, 2023.

    Do I have to complete Witch Queen on every character? ›

    Progress on campaigns is character based, so you will need to complete the campaign on each character.

    Was Lightfall rushed? ›

    Things will improve, but it just contributes to the overall feeling that Lightfall was rushed and under-baked. The story of Lightfall will not be over until next year's The Final Shape begins.

    Who is the strongest Destiny character? ›

    Xivu Arath is the youngest of the three siblings, but in terms of sheer physical strength, she is the strongest.

    Is Witch Queen harder with more people? ›

    Bungie has shared several details about what players can expect from Destiny 2: The Witch Queen's Legendary campaign. Enemies will be tougher, more dangerous, and greater in number. Additionally, the campaign will scale with the number of players in your fireteam and only provides limited revives in Darkness zones.

    What is the powerful cap for Witch Queen? ›

    The new Power level cap is 1550. Any Powerful Gear you earn will drop with a Power level somewhere between 1500 and 1550, depending on your current level, allowing you to make steady but unspectacular progress towards the cap. The new Pinnacle level cap is 1560.

    Will there be a Destiny 3? ›

    However, despite Destiny 2's next expansion likely being it's last, Bungie has reiterated in the past that the studio has no plans to create a Destiny 3. Back in early 2021, design director Jacob Benton went on record to state that Bungie has no plans to create a Destiny 3.

    What is the highest power level for Witch Queen? ›

    Every player who signs in will be at this Power level which is appropriate to start the Witch Queen campaign. Through general gameplay, players can reach the soft cap of 1500 by earning general gear through activity completions, chests, and more.

    What is the most played class in Destiny 2 Witch Queen? ›

    What is the most played class in Destiny 2 Witch Queen? TL:DR version, 38% hunter, 31% Titans, 31% Warlock. Hunter is the best class.

    What is the fastest lost sector Witch Queen? ›

    Veles Labyrinth is the fastest Legendary Lost Sector to farm in Destiny 2. With the right loadout and some practice, you can clear this mission in two minutes or less on Legend—three to four minutes on Master.

    What is the hardest legendary mission in Lightfall? ›

    Aside from the final boss fight against Calus, the most difficult mission in the Lightfall campaign is the Headlong mission. This quest is essentially the Guardian's training grounds for putting Strand to the test.

    Do you get anything for beating Witch Queen legendary solo? ›

    As a reward for completing the whole campaign on Legendary, you will receive: A full set of 1520 Power level gear. Eight Upgrade Modules. The Triumph required to complete the Throne World's seal.

    How many missions long is The Witch Queen campaign? ›

    The Witch Queen campaign is divided into eight decently long missions. On Legendary difficulty, these missions will take a significantly longer time to complete and provide double the loot after each checkpoint encounter.

    Should I play Witch Queen campaign normal or legendary? ›

    There will be challenging bosses and moments, but nothing too extreme. The Legendary difficulty, or “Become Legend,” is recommended for “experienced” players who want to face “harder missions and stronger combatants.” Generally, enemies will have more health, higher resistances, better aim, and more aggression.

    Does light level matter in Witch Queen campaign? ›

    As soon as The Witch Queen went live February 22, the minimum light level cap was raised to 1350. This means that regardless of whether you're a new player, or one who has been around for years now, the starting point from which you experience the new expansion is the same.

    What is the best way to level up in The Witch Queen? ›

    By playing the Legendary campaign, you can skip the soft cap grind entirely and cut 20 levels into the powerful grind. This by far is the most efficient way to level in The Witch Queen.

    Is The Witch Queen a good expansion? ›

    Destiny 2: The Witch Queen represents the best expansion that Destiny has ever received – from the fantastic campaign to its world-class raid to the new abilities and weapons that will forever change the way I fight on battlefield.

    Is The Witch Queen strong? ›

    The Witch Queen has a great deal of magic power, like that of elves. Her mana completely engulfs the Witches' Forest and thwarts Ladros' capacity to absorb and store magic. She blew a sizeable hole in her throne room wall by releasing her mana, showing the level of destruction she can cause with just her mana.

    Should I get Witch Queen or Deluxe? ›

    Including the expansion, all four Season Passes, the two dungeons (which will be released later in the year) and some smaller stuff. The Basic version just includes the expansion. You have to decide what content you're likely to want. If you want it all, then the Deluxe version is the better deal.

    Is Witch Queen the biggest expansion? ›

    Destiny 2's Witch Queen expansion is currently the third-highest rated game of 2022, with an especially high Metascore on PS5. Destiny 2's Witch Queen expansion has been officially out for just over a month now, and it rapidly became one of the favorite releases in the entire franchise for many fans.

    What is the next DLC after Witch Queen? ›

    Destiny 2 Lightfall expansion: Release time, trailer, story, Strand subclass & everything we know. Lightfall will be Destiny 2's fifth major expansion when it launches in 2023. Destiny 2: Lightfall is the follow-up to The Witch Queen DLC expansion.

    What is the best DLC for Destiny 2? ›

    Destiny 2: Forsaken – My old answer to this question would have been to start with Forsaken, which many would consider Destiny 2's best DLC, and one with a coherent, engaging story as you avenge the death of a fallen friend, Cayde-6.

    Do you need all expansions to play The Witch Queen? ›

    New players wishing to play the story in order as it stands now will need to purchase the story expansions: Shadowkeep, Beyond Light, and The Witch Queen. There is a Destiny 2 Legacy Collection that bundles the Forsaken Exotic pack (no story) with Shadowkeep and Beyond Light.

    What should I get rid of before Witch Queen? ›

    Destiny 2: 10 Things To Do Before Witch Queen Comes Out
    1. 1 Grind Presage And Harbinger Exotic Missions.
    2. 2 Complete Seasonal Challenges. ...
    3. 3 Finish Incomplete Catalysts. ...
    4. 4 Focus Umbral Engrams For Past Seasonal Weapons. ...
    5. 5 Get Rid Of Gunsmith Materials. ...
    6. 6 Complete Missing Triumphs. ...
    7. 7 Complete Grandmaster Nightfalls. ...
    Feb 2, 2022

    What level should I start Witch Queen? ›

    The recommended Power Level to begin the Witch Queen Campaign is 1360, however, all Guardians will begin at the same Power Level of 1350 - whether they are new or returning players. This means you can jump right into The Witch Queen without needing to grind levels or chase specific weapons or armor.

    Who is the strongest character in witch? ›

    Scarlet Witch, Marvel

    She may be the strongest witch in all of pop culture. The class five mutant's known powers include wielding Chaos Magic, reality-warping, telekinesis, psychic defenses, and even resurrection. Her ability to wield Chaos Magic has been used for both good and bad.

    Does witch queen give powerful gear? ›

    Completing The Witch Queen campaign on Legendary gives you a full set of 1520 gear, which will save some time. After that, Powerful Gear is available on a weekly basis from various sources: Vanguard Ops – Nightfall strike.

    Is witch queen harder with more people? ›

    Bungie has shared several details about what players can expect from Destiny 2: The Witch Queen's Legendary campaign. Enemies will be tougher, more dangerous, and greater in number. Additionally, the campaign will scale with the number of players in your fireteam and only provides limited revives in Darkness zones.


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