Destiny 2’s Lightfall DLC has received a lot of controversy and disappointment regarding how the story played out. Still, if there’s anything to take away from it, it would be the fantastic final boss fight. While it wasn’t anything special regarding cinematics, it was an overall tough fight, which made it all the more enjoyable. Let’s break it down.
***Destiny 2 Lightfall Campaign Spoilers***
Calus (Phase One)
Right off the rip, if we are comparing this fight to last year’s final battle with the Witch Queen, Savathun, then Calus gets beat by a large margin regarding the sheer spectacle/cinematic factor. It definitely wouldn’t have hurt to throw in a cinematic or two during the fight to add to the overall ambiance, especially given our history with Calus.
It is nice that it gets right to the point, though, considering we’ll have to replay this mission throughout the year for materials such as Ascendant Alloys for craftable weapons, so adding extra cinematics would’ve prolonged the fight, dragging it out longer than needed. The Witch Queen battle is excellent for nostalgia’s sake, but it sucks when you need to run it multiple times for the Alloys, and the cinematics adds so much extra time to it.
Phase One of Calus is pretty straightforward, as he creates a giant machine gun with his new darkness powers and shoots darkness orbs, similar to the Caretaker from the Vow of the Disciple raid. This isn’t too big of a deal, considering it’s the usual trend with the darkness enemies like the Caretaker and Rhulk. It is a massive step up from our previous bout with Calus during the Leviathan raid, where all he did was stand still and shoot a laser from his head, as now he was actually moving around to fight us!
Setting-wise, the arena the fight takes place in is pretty tiny, with three mini platforms that encompass the area populated by a bunch of Cabal enemies, such as Psion’s, Incendiors, and Legionaries, meaning even if you try to space yourself from Calus, you’re still met with heavy resistance. I enjoyed this a lot more than the Witch Queen fight, as her arena was very spacious, allowing us to step back and catch our breath, unlike this fight that kept us on our toes the entire time.
Even if you cleared the Cabal enemies from the mini platforms, they would simply respawn after about thirty seconds, hardly giving you the luxury to relax. Calus himself also hits pretty hard, but not enough to panic after a single blast from his darkness orb, though taking multiple in a row could spell trouble.
This was a lot more manageable to work with than the Witch Queen, as even if you were the same power level as her during the campaign, one arc blast from her was enough to essentially one-shot you.
When I finally got a nice rhythm down, I figured it would be ok to start damaging him, which was fine for a little bit. That’s when Calus simply waive his hand to spawn a Tormentor, making my heart sink to the floor but also making my adrenaline go through the roof in a good way since I figured he wouldn’t make it that easy.
Dealing with the Tormentor took top priority, as it would’ve been a huge pain later in the fight. Unfortunately, about as quickly as I could think, “Ok, I can breathe now, so let’s start damaging Calus again” he waived his hand again, and another Tormentor spawned – I will neither confirm nor deny that I screamed when I saw the second one.
After what felt like an eternity, the second Tormentor was beaten, and Calus was finally brought down. That’s when you notice that Calus is still talking, and you turn around to see him not only get up and shed his armor, but now he has two swords in hand and is RUNNING AT YOU AT MACH 10!
Calus (Phase Two)
I didn’t go into the campaign thinking I would ever see Calus charging at us with murderous intent, but boy, was I wrong because here comes Phase two of the fight. All the mini platforms around you are now encompassed by the Veil (whatever that is), and now all that’s left is you and Calus on a small platform with him running full speed at you.
We’ve had a lot of moments in Destiny that would be considered “Adrenaline Rush,” but nothing, and I mean nothing, had ever got my blood pumping more than seeing Calus run at me with swords the entire time. The worst part is that he doesn’t stop, either. No animations, no cinematics, just pure murderous intent until either he or we bite it.
The Witch Queen had some “Adrenaline Rush” moments here and there, but after dragging us back and forth between reality and the Ascendant plane, the fight becomes stale, especially when you have to replay it.
So, remember those lovely Tormentors from before? Well, if you ignored them during Phase one of the fight, they’ll gladly join you in Phase two along with Calus, so make sure to defeat them beforehand – I learned that the hard way on my first attempt.
As a nice trade-off for putting the fear of the Traveler in players, Calus now trades his monstrous attack power for poor defense, allowing us to deal massive damage after dodging one of his attacks. Now it’s simply a matter of the timing of dodging his attacks and then retaliating, which is challenging on the first try.
You could use Strand to swing back and forth, but there’s something comical about running in circles from a giant space rhino with swords too. Psion’s will occasionally spawn throughout the fight, but they’re mainly there to help refill your ammo, so their presence isn’t a huge issue.
After making his health bar hit zero for the second time, Calus yells in agony and becomes a weird tree-like statue like Rhulk did at the end of the Vow of the Disciple raid.
As mentioned above, this was by no means a cinematic spectacle like the Witch Queen was. That said, there was a much more satisfying feeling watching Calus become a tree than watching Savathun fall to the ground, simply due to the sheer difficulty of the fight.
Was it a perfect ending to our many years-long quarrels with Calus? Probably not, but I’ll take the quick 15 min of pure adrenaline with Calus any day over the hour-long movie that was the Savathun fight.
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