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Destiny 2’s new Pale Heart location is The Final Shape’s true hero

The Final Shape is one of the best Destiny 2 expansions ever, and one very big reason for that is its breath-taking new patrol space.

Destiny 2 The Final Shape: A split image of a guardian glowing with a pink aura and a third-person shot of someone holding a sword

Oh boy, The Final Shape was really worth the wait. I’ve wrapped the campaign, played some additional missions, and grinded the overworld activities in the new Pale Heart patrol space, and I’ve got to say, it’s a near-perfect Destiny 2 expansion. I’ll reserve final judgement until the I’ve played the Raid, but regardless of what happens there, it’s safe to say that despite the stunning cutscenes, excellent writing, and stellar gameplay, the Pale Heart is standing out as The Final Shape’s best asset – I think it might be my favorite Destiny location ever.

Ironically, the Pale Heart was one of the aspects I was most worried about heading into Destiny 2’s latest expansion. For a starter, patrol spaces in the FPS game have always been a bit hit-and-miss when it comes to their quality. Add onto that the pressure of answering a decade-old question (‘What’s inside the Traveler?’) plus my fears that it would merely be loads of re-used assets and locations stitched together, and I was nervous it would be underwhelming. Well, turns out I shouldn’t have been nervous at all.

Aesthetically, I’m totally in awe of the Pale Heart. This is by far and away the space game’s most varied location when it comes to environments – you’ve got snowy mountains, jagged rocky wasteland, vibrant green pastures, and more. Yet it all feels so well-connected. Despite its linear layout you never feel like you’re heading in a straight line, it all flows seamlessly, and the recurring motifs of the Witness (hands… so many hands) tie it all together while also reminding you of what’s at stake.

Destiny 2 The Final Shape: A wide third-person screenshot of a Destiny character holding a sword and looking out at a view with a stormy sky

The architecture of the buildings, the designs of the monuments and the often-claustrophobic layouts of its cave systems are all outstanding. There are very few spots in the Pale Heart where you can stand and not see something beautiful, creepy, or interesting.

I actually encourage you (as I did, post-campaign) to explore each section of the map with your HUD turned off. The Pale Heart looks even more spectacular without the clutter of the multiplayer game’s many readouts.

Destiny 2 The Final Shape: A first-person POV of someone holding a black pistol and looking out at a mysterious structure

However, making a patrol space look good is only half the battle – it also has to be fun and functional for a variety of activities. I actually liked the aesthetic of Lightfall’s Neomuna last year, but to actually play, it was very forgettable. That’s not the case with the Pale Heart.

It offers up some amazing play spaces for the campaign missions, it’s packed full of collectibles, and most importantly, it’s an amazing arena for the new Overthrow activity. Overworld events in Destiny 2 are usually a bit of a repetitive chore, but with several mini-activities popping up in various pockets of each biome, I can’t see it getting stale quickly.

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While the Dreaming City and Savathun’s Throne World stand out to me as top destinations in Destiny 2, I think the Pale Heart trumps them both. Obviously, it needs to stand the test of time a bit first, but I can confidently say I’ve never thought more about the location of a new expansion than I have in these early days of The Final Shape. Bungie, you nailed it.

For more on The Final Shape, check out this guide from our pals at PCGamesN on all the Destiny 2 lost Ghost locations scattered around the Pale Heart. Oh, and if you played the campaign on launch day, make sure you didn’t miss this vital cutscene due to all those server issues.