Destiny 2 – Impressions of a Veteran, Prodigal Son and Kinderguardian

Destiny 2 has been out for a week now and Guardians are already levelling up to impressive levels. At PowerUp! we have all been playing. Some of us are ragged veterans of the original. Others, like me, gave up and only returned when “The Taken King” was released. Some others are brand new to Destiny 2. These are our stories.

The Kinderguardian

Steven Hayes – Chef_Haysie

Image Credit: DrAssenov – DeviantArt

Destiny 2, the second full release game of a ten-year plan for developer Bungie has just come out. The hype around this game has been massive, to say the least. Bungie promised a lot with this one and expectations amongst fans of the game were high. Almost all of us here at PowerUp! have been excited for its release since it was just a rumour.

I had little to no interest in the previous game or its sequel. The buzz around Destiny 2 didn’t register with me, I wasn’t excited and just didn’t really care. However, I still pre-ordered a copy. I couldn’t just play Overwatch by myself while everyone else was playing Destiny 2.

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Never having played the first Destiny, except maybe an hour of PVP at a mates place, I found there was a steep learning curve. It doesn’t hold your hand and walk you through a long winded tutorial level. You’re given a basic idea on how to navigate the menus, shoot and select weapons. Occasionally Destiny 2 give you tips and guidance that pop-up like hints. This usually happens whenever you are far too busy killing aliens to notice properly. An in-game Codex would have been nice.

For the most part, I was okay with the pacing and delivery of the tutorial material. It would have been nice to have a tutorial on the modding and upgrading of gear though. Without a group of mates with thousands of hours of game time, I’d not have known that gear customisation even existed. I’ve had to ask veterans of the game, strangers and other new players questions and involve myself in the community to learn how to use these deeper systems.

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That being said, Destiny 2 is great to play by yourself. You can drop in and out of living open world events with other random players, chase the tides of the Red War or show off your skills in the PVP arena (also called The Crucible as I learnt yesterday). But the most fun that I’ve had with the game has been when myself and a team of friends or passer-bys are just rolling through massive waves of minions causing chaos, saving the galaxy and grinding those power levels.

Destiny 2 is gorgeous to look at, fun to play alone or with friends and I’m itching to play some more. It’s not entirely new player friendly, but if you’ve played a few RPG’s and FPS games in your time you’ll have no problems learning Destiny 2’s mechanics.

The Prodigal Son

Leo Stevenson – DeltaPhoenix08

I was hyped for Destiny. I pre-ordered, went to the midnight launch, despite having a digital copy, played at midnight and was keen to spend thousands of hours on it.

But I was bored by it very quickly. I played up until the Moon and Level 8 before calling it quits. It was too sparsely populated with content. Too obtuse and too impenetrable for my tastes. I’d tease my mates when they talked of Trials, Xur, Gjallarhorn, Crota. None of those words meant anything to me.

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Then Bungie released “The Taken King” and everything changed. Destiny became a streamlined, player friendly affair. There were missions and objectives and it was suddenly your goals and path to them were clearer.

Thankfully, this has all carried over into Destiny 2. Steven is right in his criticism of new players being left behind, but luckily the Destiny community is one of the best out there. As an only recent graduate from Kinderguardian status, helping a newbie level up and collect their first Exotic is almost as good as getting your own first one.

“The Taken King” was clearly what Bungie had intended for Destiny all along, but couldn’t deliver for whatever reason. “Rise of Iron” added some minor refinements, but it stuck to the playbook established in “The Taken King.” Destiny 2 does the same but goes even further.

There is an actual plot this time, with stakes and reasons for fighting. There are characters you can interact with and the universe feels much more lived in and real. Getting through

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the story takes some time, but it’s a lot of fun and not too much of a grind to go through a second and third time for your other characters. Even once you’ve finished, there is lots to do. In fact, I’d argue that Destiny 2 doesn’t even really start until you’re finished.

That’s when you get to grind for gear and level up your Power. Crucible, Milestones, Token exchange, Public Events, Adventures and Strikes are all legitimate ways to get new gear. There is a tonne of content in Destiny 2 and the Raid has just gone live too.

For now, I’m feeling incredibly positive about Destiny 2 and am having a blast. It’s taken most of the issues with Destiny and removed or replaced them with something much better.

The Veteran

Matthew Manchester – Manch717

As a day one Destiny player I have been craving the release of Destiny 2. I’ve spent well over a thousand hours on the original and us veteran Guardians demanded a lot from the original. Some aspects fell short (content anyone?) but thankfully the later DLCs really come through with the goods.

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So how does Destiny 2 measure up to my expectations? Firstly the overall feel of the gameplay and mechanics are very Destiny. Some of these aspects were improved greatly to my surprise. Although sometimes slow, it still feels like I have more control. Movement is a big factor in those crazy fire fights. Since my favourite ability is to throw a knife at an enemy’s head and it feels more satisfying than ever, I’m a happy Guardian.

The most important factor in Destiny 2’s success is does the content give us enough? My answer, for now, is yes. Bungie has always worked closely with the Destiny community to help fine tune the game. Destiny 2 includes a good 10-12 hours of story missions alone.

This time around though there is much more content in them. Not just the missions, but the cutscenes and lore too. On finishing the story missions a whole new world opens up. I was genuinely impressed with how much there is to do. There’s also still more to come too, like the Raid and Trials.

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There was also an impressive amount of call backs and nods to original game and lore. Some were incredibly funny and others were pretty serious. All in all, though, Bungie nailed the tone throughout.

I’d have to say the biggest surprise is the sense of scale in Destiny 2. It’s huge! All of the explorable areas are massive and much more populated this time round. Every part of the map seems to be used. Sure, the explorable areas in Destiny’s patrols were reasonable in size, but a fair chunk of those areas felt kind of barren after a while.

So, content? Check. Large areas to explore? Check. Cayde-6 in all his glory? Check!

Destiny 2 has, so far, delivered on most fronts. I still have to wait for the Raid and Trials but I have plenty to do before then.

Destiny 2 is being played on retail copies purchased by the writers and a digital promotional copy on PS4 provided to PowerUp! by Activision.

Expect our full review after we’ve completed the Raid.

Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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