Review – Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is a monster of a game and with good cause. We’ve held off on publishing an official review until now. We wanted to have completed the Raid, joined a faction and experienced all of what Destiny 2 had to offer in it’s first month.

Now, we’re ready to make a final call. Below you’ll find opinions from three Destiny 2 players; the good, the bad and the so-so.

With Destiny 2, Bungie has clearly taken the time to look at what was inherently good and bad about the original game, and used that as a foundation for a new title in the series, effectively creating a game that perhaps the original Destiny should have been.

If you enjoyed Destiny the first time around, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this one more, but just keep in mind that it’s still pretty much the same game. If you hated Destiny 1, well, it depends on why you hated it. It’s most likely that the things that you despised have been removed or improved.

If you never played Destiny, and this seems like the kind of game you would enjoy, now is DEFINITELY the right time to jump on board.

Matthew Manchester – Hunter Main

The Destiny franchise is something you may have heard of. The pre-release hype was enormous. I couldn’t get on a bus or a train without seeing a poster or a billboard. Everyone I play online with as well as my friends were all talking about it. Now that it has arrived some people may be wondering if it lives up to the hype.  Now that I’ve experienced all the game has to offer I’ll do my best to explain the good and the bad of Destiny 2.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”The campaign in Destiny 2 is a huge step forward” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””][/perfectpullquote]

The best place to start is the campaign mode. The previous campaign in Destiny 1 was good for the most part. There were a lot of plot holes and issues with content, but that’s another story. This time around Bungie really lifted its game. The campaign in Destiny 2 is a huge step forward. The story takes place directly after the age of triumph in Destiny 1. It was a time of respite for the Guardians and the people they protect. Little did they know the biggest threat was yet to come.

Gauhl and his red legion came and took all that we hold dear. The first mission puts you smack in the middle of this hostile takeover.

The story flows on from this point and is told in a much clearer manner that the original game. Also, an addition of NPCs involved and them being granted personality. The only downfall is some newcomers may be lost on callbacks. This was due to a lack of access to previous events or lore.

You can finish the story in around 10 hours with all cutscenes. I think this is a more than reasonable amount of content for a campaign. Especially since finishing the campaign opens up a truckload of content.

Strikes have returned and in a similar fashion to the predecessor. Strikes missions are like a mini Raid. You are tasked to eliminate a target or stop an event. You must then fight through a certain path to achieve your goal. They also add a little more story on top of the campaign missions. Strikes need to be done with a team of three. Lucky the playlist has match-making if don’t have a fireteam ready.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”finishing the campaign opens up a truckload of content” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””][/perfectpullquote]

The Nightfall Strikes have been slightly reworked to provide that feverish challenge. These Strikes provide higher rewards than your standard Strike. The Nightfall changes weekly. The modifiers now add a new element to challenge players, a god damn time limit. I didn’t like this at first but it does really challenge you and your team.

The Crucible (PVP) has also been revamped. Bungie has scrapped the old team structures. This time all game modes are 4v4. So far this has worked really well with the balancing it has done. It’s seen changes to loadouts and weapon damage. This means in most occasions you must work with your team to put players down. This has, for the most part, lessened my “what the hell are you doing?” or “the objective’s over here” rants. People seem to generally work as a team. Although you will still get the lone wolf who tries to 1v4. Usually, I see these people get punished pretty hard so it will eventually happen less and less.

Crucible now comes in a playlist of either quick play or competitive. This means you may play a game mode you don’t like occasionally. The payoff is that you can always find a game. The quick playlist consists of Clash, Control and Supremacy. The competitive list contains two new modes; Survival is a first to five with limited respawns, Countdown requires to plant a bomb when attacking or protecting a location on defence. Both of these modes require teamwork and coordination. I’d recommend playing with a fire team and if not at least use a mic.

Trials is the next level of competitive mode for Destiny 2. This is where you usually find the hardcore PvP players. This has had a revamp as well. Gone are the Trials cards and boons from before. Now the card is built into the director.You just need to disband the fireteam and rejoin to reset it. A full fireteam is still required to enter though.

The mode will be set to one of the competitive modes for that week. The map is also locked and will mean the same map and mode will only change upon reset. I’m still unsure if I like it yet. I have enjoyed playing it but feel like the match-making is a bit off. As far as I can tell there is no skill based matchmaking. You will either get stomped by a team you stand no chance against or do the stomping. It really doesn’t seem to encourage people to want to stick with it. Which in itself is a bit of a shame since Bungie is pushing this in all other modes in the game.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”As far as I can tell there is no skill-based matchmaking” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””][/perfectpullquote]

Overall Destiny 2 is a really solid game. The content has been improved on and the grind feels more rewarding. That is until you get to the end game content. The Leviathan raid is lucky it’s so fun to play. The decision to change the loot/drops in the Raid made it feel much less rewarding to do. In saying that you still will get rewarded upon finishing it. When completing each phase you may get a drop but they are quite rare.

Bungie’s decision to include scannable objects that give lore is great. A step in the right direction one could say. Until you realise all the fantastic lore from D1 is still not in the game. How can you expect new players to get into the universe t? It just doesn’t make any sense to leave it out.

Surely a lore page for things that you’ve scanned could be added. It would help give context to new players when exploring the worlds. I came across several occasions where they mentioned or referenced something from D1. Any new player will be oblivious to the relevance of the exchange.

Steven Hayes – Kinderguardian

Destiny 2 is a fun game and I’ve enjoyed my time playing it. I say enjoyed because we are now a few weeks past release and I find myself playing less of it. I’m playing less of it not because I don’t enjoy it, quite the contrary. I have been playing less of Destiny 2 because the slow grind isn’t something that I care to try and push past as quick as possible. I’m still only using one character, and I still have a long way to go to complete my gun and gear collections.

Destiny 2 to me is a nostalgic feeling game, stirring up memories of couch co-op and PVP from Bungie’s other landmark series Halo. I’ve found myself going back to Destiny every other day to run end game Raids, Heroic Events and Nightfalls with friends and clan mates of old and new. The laughter and banter, the intense silent moments of pure concentration, the euphoric adrenaline rush of conquering our enemies and fulfilling our mission objects to me is Destiny’s real hook.

I haven’t cared for PvP personally. I’ve played it each week to complete my in-game milestones but honestly, I haven’t enjoyed it. PvP seems to go one of two ways for me; I either run into a stacked enemy team all running MIDA Multitools and rocket launchers. Or the matchmaking puts me in a game against a team of enemy players who are too low a level to be able to have the MIDA Multitool, creating a fairer and more balanced game. Straight up the META game in Destiny 2‘s PvP is and was stale within the first 48-hours of its release. With just about every match being nothing but MIDA Multitools, PvP does not have enough diversity or balance for me to want to keep on coming back.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”The games destinations, the planets, the moons and the biomes within are all beautiful” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””][/perfectpullquote]

The games destinations, the planets, the moons and the biomes within are all beautiful. Walking around, exploring and taking just a little bit of time to soak in the atmosphere is strongly recommended. From rolling hills, desolate swampland and alien crash sites on Earth, to the Mind Fluid or “milk waterfalls” of Nessus. Even the 40ft methane waves in the oceans of Titan are gorgeous. Each location is distinctly different and laden with visual storytelling and little areas of wonderment.

Greg Newbegin – Warlock Main

For those new to the series, Destiny 2 is a first-person shooter, set in a shared world. What this means is that you will encounter other players while you run about performing errands. In some cases, they will assist you, in other cases, they will just be there. In further cases, they will actually be part of your “fireteam”, which essentially means they share the same objective, and you are all working together towards achieving that objective. The campaign is composed of story missions, all of which are part of “The Red War” storyline and are symbolised on the map by a red arch.

In this way, players will always know the next step in the campaign. In addition, there are Adventures, which are self-contained story missions separate to the main storyline, but related to some ancillary aspect of the larger story arc; and Quests, which open up later in the campaign, and tell a short 3- or 4- mission story related to the world environment on which the quest takes place (there are 4 worlds, by the way – the European Dead Zone on Earth; Titan, a moon of Saturn; Io, a moon of Jupiter; and Nessus, a planetoid in the outer reaches).

In addition, there are Lost Sectors, which finalise at a dedicated boss and loot cache that can be discovered within a game world, as well as Planetary Chests to find, patrol missions, public events, and strikes. All of this represents quite a lot of gameplay (playing through everything will take a good 30 or 40 hours on a single character), but – in traditional Destiny fashion – the game does a poor job of explaining what’s what. Freedom and sandbox gameplay is one thing, but progression and development is another thing entirely.

Unfortunately, this stems from Bungie’s desire to appeal to all players, and it’s a tough thing to criticise. I would recommend hardcore Destiny fans to work their way through the campaign first and foremost, as completing the story and hitting character level 20 is the highest priority. Once this is achieved, the rest of the content can be consumed at the player’s leisure, all the while chasing max power level and quality gear.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”the REAL quality content is in the more difficult, higher-level, endgame content” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””][/perfectpullquote]

For newer players, how they play and what they chase is purely up to them, and it’s for these people that Bungie has put so many activities into PvE. This is good because there’s plenty of content, but on the contrary, it doesn’t really encourage these players to move towards what really makes Destiny fun – co-operative (and competitive) multiplayer in endgame activities. From my perspective, there’s so much that CAN be done at lower levels, that eventually it’s likely to become stale…

In reality, there’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m sure people will find enjoyment in the content that Destiny 2 has to offer, but the REAL quality content is in the more difficult, higher-level, endgame content. The raid is the epitome of Destiny PvE gameplay and is a lengthy mission with several complex encounters. Generally, it takes several to many hours to complete on the first attempt, but with practice, can be completed within 1-2 hours on future attempts.

The Leviathan raid in Destiny 2 is no slouch in this regard – it took 3 attempts and a good 10-15 hours before I finally managed to beat the final boss. With Destiny 2, Bungie has taken a new approach to the raid: there is a central location, which requires teamwork and problem-solving in order to unlock a series of four doors, each leading to an encounter. The first encounter, the Royal Baths, is a more “traditional” encounter, requiring teamwork, standing on plates, juggling buffs, and team shooting in order to progress.

The second, the Pleasure Gardens, requires a hell of a lot of teamwork, and a good measure of stealth and organisation. The Gauntlet – the third encounter – requires a great deal of teamwork and timing in addition to frantic jumping skills (sorry to those that hate jumping puzzles – it’s now a key part of a major encounter). And lastly, the final encounter is with Calus, the Cabal emperor himself.

This final battle is complex for more reasons than just the mechanics, and in true Destiny fashion, failure tends toward glitches just as often as it does to player error. It’s frustrating, to say the least, but I must say – it’s gorgeous. Raids are an experience worth having, but participants need to be in for the long haul, and just be keen to play with other people – which, to be fair, is not for everyone.

This is the Destiny formula perfected. It’s a vast improvement over the original game, and I’m very likely to spend another 1000 hours in the Destiny universe – gladly, I might add. However, I do feel as if the series really needs a shake-up if they want me back for another 1000 hours after that…

Eyes up, Guardian.

Destiny 2 was reviewed on PS4 with a digital promotional code and retail codes purchased by the reviewers.

Parts of this review were originally published on AnotherPlug and have been republished with permission.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: Destiny 2

  • 7/10
    Titans & Hunters & Warlocks! - 7/10
  • 8/10
    The Raid - 8/10
  • 9/10
    A Story! - 9/10
User Review
2 (1 vote)

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