Hey all! I’m back with my review of a sequel to a game I loved to hate. It’s my Destiny 2 Review!
Plot Synopsis: One year after the end of the SIVA Crisis, Cabal forces of the Red Legion sever external communications throughout the Solar System and launch a full-scale aerial assault on the Last City, destroying the upper main portion of the Tower. The Guardian (Read: You the player) and Ghost respond and assist the Vanguard in the evacuation of civilians, but while assaulting the Cabal command ship of Dominus Ghaul, the military emperor of the Cabal, he attaches a massive mining device to the Traveler and drains it of the Light, a special form of power used by the Guardians. The Guardian loses their powers and is nearly killed by Ghaul…
Plot: Wow I actually can say this, Destiny now has a plot. A concrete and very real plot, I was pleasantly surprised to see a sequel to a game that had essentially no plot actually pull off with a restart of their story. There are nods to things that occurred in the previous game, like references to my killing of Atheon, Crota, Oryx and other bosses. That being said this isn’t a top notch story, it’s pretty simplistic, regain your powers and drop kick the guy who stole them from you into the sunset. However it is a significant improvement over the past game where there was almost no story at all.
Characters: We get reintroduced to a ton of old faces from Destiny 1, including the fan favorite Cayde-6, who is actually the first NPC you encounter in the game. All the characters were really fleshed out and had enough banter during and before missions that really fleshed out the world. That being said some characters like the newcomer Hawthorne were kind of glossed over, but I expect we’ll be seeing much more of her in future Destiny 2 DLC.
Gameplay: If you played Destiny 1, you pretty much have everything already mastered. The gameplay isn’t really that different, although there are some new gun types like the Grenade Launcher (kind of weak in my opinion) and the Submachine Gun which is great for small enemies like Shanks. The biggest change is the switching of the gun system from Primary, Secondary and Heavy into the new one. Kinetic and Elemental replace Primary and Secondary and are pretty simple. Both categories have the same gun types, but the Elemental have elemental damage which is great for breaking shields. There isn’t any immunity I’ve encountered thus far, so any elemental will work pretty well unless there are certain modifiers like Burns in the Nightfall Strikes. There are perks to using the correct element of course, breaking a shield causes the enemy to lose some health, if you use the correct type it does more.
I will admit that I was highly worried about the new Power weapon classification, because it added things that used to be in the Secondary classification, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, and Fusion Rifles into the Heavy classification. This was done mainly for PvP, and frankly I was quite worried what that would do to the gameplay. It hasn’t changed, and thankfully most things aren’t quite as bullet spongey as they used to be. That along with a much more increased drop rate for Power ammo in PvE allows you to use them comfortably often, but not constantly.
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Everything else is pretty much classic Destiny, kill enemies and get loot. There are challenging modes still like the Nightfall and there is one change to that particular game mode I find to be terrible and that is the addition of a countdown to complete the mission. Each week has different ways of extending the clock, but frankly I don’t see why they needed to change that at all.
The Raid, although I have yet to complete it fully, is quite fun with a much bigger focus on puzzles and mechanics rather than just kill everything in sight before it kills you. There were times in the Raid that I really hated not having access to ammo synthesis packs anymore as well, but again enemies dropped them fairly frequently.
Now for the bad news. There are still bugs that have been around since the original Destiny Alpha. Namely the jumping bug where you can die by hitting geometry at the wrong angle and instantly dying. I had it happen to me three times, so it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be in Vanilla Destiny, but the fact that it’s still there is more than a little frustrating.
Another point of concern was how hyped up certain Patrol activities were before launch. Lost Sectors were advertised like Destiny’s version of Nephalem Rifts from Diablo 3, a Procedurally Generated Area that was different each time you entered. The truth is it’s far from such a thing. They are little more than caves where you go in, kill about 25 enemies and one named enemy mini-boss, grab some loot and leave. It’s pretty boring after the first time or two. Thankfully they do regenerate over time so you can go back and redo them a few days later.
Also present is the loot system giving more weight to items you already own when decrypting Engrams, especially Exotic Engrams. Thankfully it’s not giving us Rare or Common equipment when we decrypt Legendary engrams like at Vanilla Destiny launch, but it’s been three years since then. I expected a bit better.
PvP is an area I don’t tend to touch on, but unlike the first Destiny where a single player can really make a huge difference by going around and flanking the enemies, in Destiny 2 everything encourages you to play with your team by sticking together. I’m not really a fan of that, as I enjoyed being that flanker quite a bit whenever I played Destiny PvP in the past. Others have also voiced similar concerns.
Grimoire, the substitute for Story in Destiny is completely gone. There are scannable objects you can interact with out in the world and during missions but honestly, I miss being able to read up on the lore of various bosses or enemy types. Where are these Cabal Beasts coming from? Are they domesticated, trained? Not answered at all, at least I haven’t found an object telling me about them.
The biggest problem with the Grimoire in Destiny 1 was that it wasn’t in the game. Putting it in the game wouldn’t be a difficult task and would seriously add a ton of replayablity. It would also help flesh out the story considerably. Here’s to hoping it gets added in the first DLC, but I’m not holding my breath.
One last thing of note is that the game really punishes you if you don’t join a clan. This isn’t completely doable in game still, but it’s much better than it used to be because you can access all your clan members through the menu and join on them easily.
Art: Now back to the good part, the game looks amazing, the environments are pretty big and very beautiful. My personal favorite planet is a tie between Nessus and Titan. The character models are also really well done, especially the Exos like Cayde who are given much more emotions through their animations.
Music: The music is pretty awesome as well, but it’s not quite up to say Final Fantasy standards. It’s good, but I’ve heard better while playing Final Fantasy XIV.
Overall: This is going to be a great game to get, and while the replayability is questionable at this time, we’ll be able to judge it better come the first DLC pack releasing sometime before year’s end.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.