By Tyler Fuller
Photo courtesy of denofgeek.com
In September 2014, the world was met with “Destiny,” Bungie’s first new franchise since “Halo.” It released to a mixed bag of reviews, some lauding its tight gunplay, stunning visuals and potential for hours and hours of loot-grinding, while others felt it failed to live up to its sky-high potential, only delivering a shell of a story and not including enough content at launch to keep a large audience hooked. Despite its shortcomings, legions of guardians fell in love with the game and, with the subsequent expansion packs, the fanbase continued to grow.
When “Destiny 2” was officially announced on March 27, 2017, the collective “Destiny” community was sent into a frenzy. Just under six months later, on September 8, the game released, much to the same reception. “Destiny 2” is, in many ways, a vast improvement
on its predecessor and even a step up from the final product of the original game that included all four expansion packs. Despite all it has going for it, though, the game still
manages to come up short in several avenues.
“Destiny 2” features nearly all of the same modes as the first game, including a story mode, raids, strikes, the Crucible, patrols, Trials and eventually, Iron Banner. It would also be safe to anticipate the addition of new modes and events to be introduced periodically, as was the case in the first game. One of the biggest gripes with players
of the original “Destiny” was the hollow pit of gameplay that was the story mode, and while “Destiny 2” will not be taking home any VGA’s for best narrative, Bungie did an excellent job creating a more detailed and compelling story this time around. Each of the characters plays a specific role in the narrative and, while some are more developed than others, they all feel necessary to the plot and important to your character.
The story moves along at a rather brisk pace, with even the most casual player likely completing it in six to nine hours. After the credits roll, however, is where the real bulk of “Destiny 2’s” gameplay will take place. Just as in the original, both strikes and the Crucible provide ample enjoyment for both PvE- and PvP-minded players, and the weekly Nightfall strike returns as well as the Trials of Osiris, now called Trials of
the Nine. The latter two activities once again provide the opportunity to discover high-level gear that will progress your guardian’s light level. The best gear, however, is attainable through “Destiny 2’s” ultimate test: the Leviathan raid. Unlike some of the initial raids in the first game, The Leviathan proves quite the challenging endeavor, forcing you and your fireteam to communicate and coordinate at far more intricate levels than ever before. The raid also features a bevy of hidden areas and secret features, details that should ultimately lead to an increase of longevity for the endgame of “Destiny 2.”
Graphically, “Destiny 2” looks nice but is not breaking any new ground or stretching the capabilities of current-gen consoles, though the game does look exceptionally clear in 4K resolution on the PS4 Pro. For normal PS4 and Xbox One consoles, however, the game will run at 30fps and sit at 1080p resolution. Unlike the original Destiny, though, the sequel will also release on PC with the potential for 4K, 60fps play if your PC can support it.
My biggest complaints with “Destiny 2” arise from some of the newer mechanics and features. First, the grind to max level in this game is less of a difficult, time-consuming hike and more of slightly-rigorous stroll. Whereas I was not a fan how the original game initially placed the player’s ability to level up solely in the hands of RNG, the relative ease with which you can obtain high-level gear diminishes the gratification of reaching max level. Depending on their luck, a dedicated “Destiny 2” player with a reliable fireteam can easily reach the current max light level of 305 within a week or two, a task that could take months in the original game. This excess of high-level gear that is, at times, simply given to the player, I am afraid, will tarnish the longevity of the game, as the journey to acquiring all the best legendary and exotic gear is one of the game’s biggest draws. Additionally, I was slightly disappointed at how little difference in graphical style and overall gameplay there is between this game and its predecessor, which released three years ago. Suffice it to say this is a rather minor complaint, but it would have been a nice touch for Bungie to add some variety to the gameplay mechanics and some new features, enemies, and game modes. Aside from these issues, I have noticed some graphical glitches and gameplay bugs while playing, issues Bungie has addressed and is plan-
ning to fix at the writing of this review.
Overall, “Destiny 2” is a highly enjoyable adventure for veteran players and newcomers to the series. It features a much deeper and well-rounded story than that of the first game, and includes an endgame that will undoubtedly keep players busy at least until the Curse of Osiris expansion is released in the coming months. If you were a fan of the original, or are interested in diving into the “Destiny” universe, “Destiny 2” is a must-play.