Initial Release: 9 September 2017
Destiny 2 is without a doubt an even greater game than its predecessor, but more so, an even greater experience than one would have expected. From the solid and engaging story that almost carries the same feel as a classic space opera, to the fluid combat system that caters to your own preference, there is simply not a lot you’d want to miss this time around.
The term ‘improvement’ goes as a complete understatement when trying to describe the state of Destiny 2. Throughout the many years Bungie has spent tweaking, enhancing, and further expanding their rich universe, it has somewhat paid off in the form of an engaging experience that eagerly beckons you to play again. Learning well from their previous mistakes and following on from the success of their DLCs, Bungie has gladly showed their dedicated fanbase that they’ve been listening and working hard to create their ideal game.
The changes made are somewhat minute to a veteran’s perspective, with many aspects such as gameplay mechanics, sub-classes, and loot systems feeling polished to a more favourable degree. Various missions are no longer tied to the plot nor specific bounties, but instead they invite you to explore the rich world Destiny offers, and provide plenty of tools you can use in your adventure. There are so many things to do this time around, and with the addition of the Director mechanic that no longer requires you to return to Orbit, you can now know exactly where you are and what’s happening around you in real time.
Story is Destiny 2‘s greatest asset, an idea that many would consider surprising due to how the original game turned out. Yet, from the very first fight to the very last stand, Destiny 2 is filled with moments of pure emotion and sentimentality. It is also perhaps the first time we see personality behind each characters we’ve come to know and admire, standing alongside them and facing the war as true brothers in arms. Much of the lore is further explored thanks to the in game side missions you also have access to, which takes over from the app exclusive ‘Grimiore’ cards you were forced to collect in order to understand the world’s history. This time, these missions have relevance to past, present, and future events, and can now provide you with more loot than you can ever imagine.
While the experience of Destiny as a whole has always been emphasised through the lens of a dedicated Fireteam, Destiny 2‘s story-line felt more comfortable as a solitary experience. Co-op is certainly recommended if you can’t finish the more difficult missions late game, but the journey of loss, survival, and redemption was much more awe inspiring when going at it alone. Add to the fact that key cutscenes are far more detailed and feature your presence far more frequently, it’s hard not to shake the pleasant feeling of creating your own legend.
On the other hand, there are still a few things that need to be addressed and reconsidered in order to unleash the full potential of the game. The majority of this comes down to how much a new player must know in order to enjoy the story to its fullest, which appeared to be a concern quite a lot. Passing comments on previous happenings and characters such as Eris Morn would simply pass over a newcomers head, therefore you should definitely read up on some history if you’re just going into this franchise quite fresh.
The Crucible also doesn’t feel quite as ‘fun’ as it used to be. Although the squad based tactical approach proves to be a key method in learning your strengths and weaknesses, it’s hard not to miss the frantic group fights and panic supers that occur in 6v6. This comment could however just be put down to personal preference, but hopefully there will be a game mode simply dedicated to this.
There also seems to be controversy with the way cosmetic items are now being distributed. Unlike the old days where shaders were free and could be used by anyone, there is now a limit to how many you can utilise and for which weapons and armour. If you would like to the get the exact same shaders again, you would either have to grind for it or spend real money in order to obtain it. Needless to say this model has rattled many fans who have already reached the end game, feeling that this unnecessary feature should be removed all together.
Destiny 2 is without a doubt an even greater game than its predecessor, but more so, an even greater experience than one would have expected. From the solid and engaging story that almost carries the same feel as a classic space opera, to the fluid combat system that caters to your own preference, there is simply not a lot you’d want to miss this time around. While some of you would remain quite sceptical and weary amidst all the the issue and hype the franchise has seen over the years, it’s safe to say that it feels damn good to be a Guardian once again.
Verdict: 9 out of 10