by Phil Gibson
Bungie’s sequel to the 2014 hit arrived in the middle of last week and now that enough time has passed for me to have delved into the game it’s time to give some honest thoughts on this game.
For the sake of the review I won’t include story related spoilers aside from the opening, I’ll note that my light level for my main class as of the time of this writing is at 265 on a Titan, I attempted and failed the first Nightfall mission, and have not had any raid attempts. This review willthus be centered around structure of the game and how addictive it has been this past week for me.
To start off with I’d like to point out the fact that I never finished the first Destiny. After three years I couldn’t bring myself to finish the Mars campaign, even though I had all the DLC (yeah, I wasted some money there). For whatever reason the first game simply couldn’t entice me enough to keep going and it’s remained on my shelf for those three years relatively untouched. Fast forward to Destiny 2, and I managed to finish the main campaign in a solid 14 hours split between the first two days of release.
Yeah, it’s better.
In terms of the story, Destiny 2 picked up the slack that was left by the first game in the titular series. Cutscenes that are actually worth watching, in-game events that are true spectacles to behold, and there is dialogue that is serious and humorous as needed. Without spoiling anything beyond the opening of the game, you lose your light when the city is attacked and the Traveler from the first game is captured and rendered useless. Early enough on in the game you regain that light and set out on a revenge mission to return that light to all the others. From there you can go to and from the new hub area, the Farm, and the first main area of the game, the European Dead Zone, or EDZ.
Earth (EDZ), Titan, Nessus, and Io make up the main areas you can visit in the main game, not including any story specific areas that you can’t return to. The EDZ provides you a dilapidated city and forest to run around with plenty of enemies ranging from the Fallen to the Red Legion (the reason for the lost light) to take care of. Titan is Saturn’s moon and makes for more enclosed firefights with some interesting, if not somewhat annoying, platforming segments. Nessus is a planetoid at the edge of the system that you visit that makes you feel like you’re reliving the best moments of the Borderlands series, making it perhaps my favorite. Lastly is Io, Jupiter’s moon that you round out the main story on before hitting the final few missions. Titan and Io both give some spectacular scenery thanks in large part to simply looking up. If they aren’t being blocked cliffs or structures, you get fantastic views of Saturn and Jupiter respectively.
From gentleman, Devrim, in the EDZ to the rogue AI, Failsafe, on Nessus there are plenty of moments to stop and enjoy the banter that gets thrown at you over the course of the game. With cutscenes and set pieces bringing more life to the story, it makes the radio dialogue much more enjoyable than in the first title.
Having only played as the Titan class I can say with absolute certainty that I enjoyed it. Whether it’s slinging the shield around from the first subclass or slamming fists and hammers with the subsequent two subclasses, a ball is to be had. The weapon system has changed, and in my opinion for the better. Your primary weapon is no a kinetic weapon while the secondary is an energy weapon. This means you can have two of certain weapon types such as two Auto Rifles or two Submachine guns. Sniper Rifles and Shotguns have been designated as power weapons this time around so they join the likes of swords, grenade launchers, and rocket launchers in the third spot. For me, this works. Using any of those weapons, aside from grenade launchers, makes you feel overpowered from the sheer destruction these weapons can have on your enemies.
Back to the class traits, the circle button on PS4 (the version I played) and the B button on XBO now offer class specific abilities meant to help the player and other teammates. The Titan can summon a wall to block incoming fire, or a small barricade that be shot over, whereas the Warlock can create healing or damage boosting fields. These additions to the classes make for interesting firefight, if you can remember you have the ability on standby.
Crucible matches are now 4v4 instead of 6v6, making them a bit out of my range of preference. I much prefer PvP with more players instead of less, but it in no way detracts from the fun that can be had from killing other players mercilessly with your flaming Warlock special. With a few changes to the formula, such as capture points A and C being automatically captured for their teams on their gametype, the overall feel of the Crucible remains the same with players still able to earn gear and reputation from competing in matches.
When you get tired of those things you can explore the worlds and find the lost sectors, not-so-hidden caves that house yellow-health enemies and engram caches. Littered around the maps are also side missions and quests that help you level up and uncover more of the enhanced story. Completing these can net you better gear in the end game, as well as tokens that can be traded into the main representatives on each world.
Lastly, Strikes and patrol missions remain in the game, though neither are unlocked until after completing the main story. As of the first week there are only six strikes available so they can become a bit old after a while, but nevertheless they’re all enjoyable at the outset and provide fantastic loot for those looking to grind for it. Patrol missions are scattered around each world and provide for incredibly easy buffer content that can help you complete challenges in each area that help with leveling up and earning reputation.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Destiny 2, and will continue to enjoy as they release the DLC and other updates for the game. Having not been a huge fan of the first title, I found this one to have quickly become a favorite, and a rare entry into the list of titles I have actually completed lately. I could go on and on about other aspects of the game, complain about the few server issues that plagued the first few days, go into detail about the great music or beautiful graphics, but I won’t. That stuff needs to be experienced first hand to truly appreciate it. If you would like to hear specific on those aspects, let us know in the comments
Go forth, Guardians.
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