Destiny 2 Review

Destiny 2 is a game that succeeds in many ways the first game failed. One of its biggest successes is by having a viable story and campaign for players to play through.

Gathering all the loot you can, upgrading your character and then finally tackling the climactic raid is not only satisfying but also it’s fun. Despite there being a variety of changes that make this a much-improved game from the first one, it’s still very much the same Destiny we know. A solid, grinding shooter that keeps pulling you back in for more.

The game opens with an introduction to the stories antagonist - Dominus Ghaul. He’s an excellently cruel and menacing figure that ultimately deserves every bullet you put in him.

Cinematic cutscenes fill the campaign and its characters with color and an emotional range, that’s complemented by its soundtrack. Nathan Fillion’s character is great and is often the most interesting part of the story.

This all tied together nicely and kept me moving through the game’s colorful and detailed environments and towards its ultimate end game. Destiny 2’s story is less about the overall plot and more about the things you can see and do. The story seems only here to serve the purpose of carrying players through the grind that is a Destiny game.

In certain sections, the game forces you to grind. Some of its missions have a level requirement, which can seem frustrating at the time. I would say that this can give a sense of direction to how you play, which is more than can be said for certain times in the first Destiny game. The good thing is that if you get bored of grinding the story, you can always switch to PVP and level up that way.

The final boss felt rather underwhelming and was bypassed too easily for my liking. I felt like the lore and the history of the world was what really enticed me to come back and learn more. Thankfully the overall improvements to both quests and overall boss battles made up for this.

From the onset Destiny, 2 can feel a bit overwhelming with how much it seems you have to do. The Red War part of the game takes you through 4 different worlds, each is unique in their own right and offer a difference in tone and variety. It’s a joy to explore these worlds as you collect its bountiful loot.

For a newcomer to Destiny, it can still be hard to tell what to do and when to do it. Besides from the level capped sections, there’s often a sense of a free for all going on.

The soundtrack in Destiny 2 is truly amazing, and most definitely a highlight of the game. At times it can feel out of place as epic and triumphant music can be played during the most mundane times, spoiling the immersion. However, when the music is in sync with the action there’s no greater feeling.

There are subtle improvements from the first destiny game that make this iteration feel much more explosive and exciting. One of the biggest changes is how much quicker leveling up is during the early game. It’s a welcomed change and gives you so much excitement during your first few hours of playing.

As come to expect from Bungie games the shooter mechanics here are solid and balanced. Animations compliment the solid feeling weapons with things like seeing an enemy’s soul leave their body after you shoot them in the face with your shotgun.

I was slightly disappointed with the overall weapon types on offer. I wish there was more variety of weapon types, but you are rewarded with loot frequently enough to counteract that. Mods and exotic pieces aid in growing your power level always making you feel like there’s something else you can get. What Destiny does well is to make you feel compelled to keep playing and grinding it out, all for that next weapon.

The Titan, Warlock, and Hunter classes have been streamlined from the first game, but all still have unique abilities that differentiate them from one another and make each feel useful in team play.

Weapons and classes, on the whole, feel well balanced and this translates well when playing in PVP. In Destiny 2 the PVP modes have seen a positive shift to relying more on teamwork and coordination. By moving away from the one man army style from the first game, PVP is now much more fun and rewarding. Gear still matters here, but not nearly as much as having a skilled team. The maps also work well and suit the 4v4 game modes, though they are rather large and can result in some drawn out hiding and seek matches.

Destiny 2 is definitely a better game than Destiny 1, there’s no denying that. However, after around 10 hours of playing the story mode, quests and strikes a few cracks start to show. UI explanations are lacking and some loot mods you pick up could have their purpose explained better. There’s also a lot of players dropping out of queued crucible matches, this can leave you being a few players short and frustratingly incurs no penalty.

The Leviathan raid and the smaller scaled strike, Nightfall are the showcase events of Destiny 2. Both require a great deal of skill and strategy that’s sure to please hard-core fans of the series.

In NightFall your 3 person fire team is sure to find tons replayability if you wish to finish the strike along with all its subtasks. Meeting the level requirements and actually completing it are two different things. Here you’ll need to figure out a strategy, all whilst simultaneously defeating wave after wave of enemies. When all your planning comes together, it makes for one immensely satisfying experience.

The Leviathan raid continues the high standards set at Bungie. It’s beautiful to look at detailed in a way that has you stopping and staring for a while. Be careful not to stare for too long as this raid enforces the need for high-tiered gear. Despite a few bugs that forced me to restart the level, Leviathan and it’s high leveled puzzles was an overall fun time. Make sure you have 6 well-organized players on hand before you tackle this one.

With everything included here, I’d say you get about 40 hours of gameplay in Destiny 2 and that’s before the final raid. The Destiny 2 roadmap shows there is more on the way too. DLC is planned later, which is, unfortunately, an industry standard now.

Overall Destiny 2 is a blast and it knows what it does best. It’s co-op shooter that requires a lot of grinding. The social gameplay elements reward constant players with both loot and leveling and this is a much stronger foundation than the original game.

The Lack of events at current is a problem, but in time this will no doubt be changed. At the moment it feels a little like Destiny 1.5. There are improvements, but not the whole changes I personally was looking for.

If you’re not up for the task of grinding your way through a game, Destiny 2 isn’t likely your cup of tea. For fans of the series, it’s a natural progression and with more to come, its likely to only get better.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.