Whats up! I could of easily started a second full time job with the time I’ve spent playing Destiny 2 these past few weeks. There will be spoilers in this review, read/look at your own risk, specifically plenty of photos with spoilers. The first sections of the review will pertain to newcomers while the latter sections will be for Destiny veterans where I’ll give my thoughts and opinions on the changes Bungie has made to the Destiny franchise. I’ve also written a getting started guide which can be found here.
I have two characters, a Hunter at 305 and a Titan at 304 (just need a mark). I’ve finished the main campaign and the preceding blue missions. I’ve done the Nightfall every week. I’ve done Milestones every week for each of my characters. My best trials card so far was 3 straight wins with 3 straight losses. I’ve finished the Raid multiple times. I’ve been carried through the Raid and have helped new players get through it. I haven’t completed all of the Adventures or finished all of the Exotic quests ( I do have my Rat King). I have a clan with about 10 members that just hit level 3 (Player 2 Push Start). As is with Bungie I’m sure there are also many undiscovered secrets. I’ve found a few instances in patrol zones where after finishing a public event there are environmental interactions available which when completed prompt you to engage in another activity somewhere else but I have been unable to figure out what to do. I have chosen to ignore the internet mostly and focus on my own experience.
Create your own Space Opera
When I think of Destiny as a franchise I am reminded of create your own adventure novels. I wasn’t a big fan of them and didn’t read many of them because I always craved something more linear, deep, and engaging. At the time when I would have read create your own adventure books most likely I was playing SNES era games, Mega Man X, Final Fantasy VI, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Mario Kart. Games were a lot more linear back then and you can see how they have evolved now into these massive open world games that gamers expect to get 100’s of hours worth of play time out of. Destiny lets you choose what you want to do, there are level restrictions for some activities that are obvious because you wouldn’t be able to complete them without being strong enough. Bungie doesn’t completely let you out into the wild like Fallout 3 but gives you just enough customization and exploration style gameplay mechanics where you often do feel like you are creating your own space opera. Even more so with Destiny 2 because they have a cohesive story this time around. The characters make sense, have purpose, and for the most part have understandable dialogue. Destiny 2 draws heavily on the world created in the first title, one that was filled with much more mystery is now a little more defined allowing the user to feel like they are having more of an impact on the game world than before.
What is Destiny?
Destiny is an online-only-first-person-shooter-create-your-own-space-opera with MMO like game mechanics. Imagine Halo where you get to customize your own armor, complete missions in an open world, an insane loot grind similar to Diablo, through out all of which you are completely surrounded by other players. Destiny is at its best when played with strangers, friends, or even new clan mates (more on that later). Those of you looking for a deep first person Witcher 3 style RPG will not find that here. Those of you wishing to purchase this game and absolutely refusing to participate socially with other players I would say that most likely this is not the game for you. I encourage everyone that is playing Destiny to make friends in the game. I’ve had a PSN account for around 9 years, before the original Destiny came out I had maybe 30 friends on there, after the original Destiny I think I’m close to 150. Most of them are people I met in game and did activities with and have even ended up playing other games with.
The biggest argument most gamers might have is I don’t play video games to be social, I get that, I too have games I love enjoying by myself. Destiny 2 does not feature couch co-op, you will always have to be online to play with others which will also require they have their own copy of the game. Most of the activities or at least the better ones will require that you team up with other fellow guardians. Destiny also revolves around a weekly reset which will bring with it new items to purchase from a mysterious vendor, resets for all activities that give rare/powerful loot drops. For those of us that have limited time to game or are monogamous gamers it’s a perfect rotation. Other players can’t constantly grind and get way over powered, Bungie is very good at keeping it balanced. What is ingenious about Destiny is the drop in drop out format of its multiplayer. For many activities as long as there is room on the Fireteam you can join anyone that is on your friends list. Select their name and choose join and within a few moments you’re teleported into whichever activity they are doing usually within close proximity.
What do you do in Destiny 2?
Many gamers consider a single player campaign or a story mode to be the main validation for purchasing a game, for Destiny 2 it mainly serves as a tutorial. When it comes down to everything and looking back over my experience with Destiny 2 I realized the main campaign is a tutorial for newcomers and a treat for returning players. Bungie wants everyone to create their own Space Opera. The story is decent but is really brought to life by the wonderful cast of characters that Bungie has been developing over the last 3 years. Many of which are returning characters such as Cayde 6, Zavala, and Ikora have benefited from previous expansions from the original Destiny and are finally becoming fleshed out mainstays in the franchise instead of someone that just handed you missions. The main campaign is spread out over roughly 17 missions and can take around 6 hours to complete at a moderate pace.
Dominous Ghaul, the big villain for Destiny 2 headlines the main campaign and is an integral part of what made the campaign intriguing for me. Ghaul could be considered a rag to riches story growing up as a tossed aside orphan to becoming the grand leader/warlord of a giant galactic Romanesque Empire. He sees the opportunity to be challenged by coming to Earth (we had gained notoriety or street cred in the first game by knocking off some baddies with fucked up feet), conquering the people there, and trying to seize the only real commodity that the Earth had left which also happened to be the source of our power. They paint Ghaul initially as this entity of evil that wants to conquer everything, he goes through a few arcs where you finally start to respect him even though he is the villain. Throughout the campaign you learn tidbits about Ghaul through fantastic looking cutscenes. I found Ghaul much more fascinating when I realized he wants to earn everything for himself. He doesn’t want to force anything into submission or steal it, he wants a challenge that can be fought and overcome. They don’t elaborate much on him being a cast away orphan besides a few lines of dialogue but you can tell by the end of the campaign he would prefer earning something for himself rather than being handed it, if he were a human he’d probably be an entrepreneur. My honorable mention for a new favorite character would be Failsafe, a wisecracking schizo 600 year old AI that is all too lonely.
After the opening mission everyone is scattered, disjointed, and weak. The campaign turns into a standard getting the team back together story. While un-original this was very helpful in fleshing out mainstays from the original Destiny. This allowed Bungie to show the vulnerable side of its cast and characters which in turn made them much more relatable. Destiny 2 features all new locations for everyone to explore starting us off with 4 different galactic entities to explore. The campaign does a great job of moving you from location to location and giving you a little sneak peak of the new areas. The pace is brisk, the campaign invites you to explore each location a little but for the most part tries to stream line you to the end which is good because most of the game opens up after finishing the main campaign. There were a few surprise vehicle levels which could be considered vintage Bungie, I thought they were just ok but could see Halo nerds really loving it.
The Destiny franchise features the best shooting mechanics and most robust selection of guns compared to every other shooter out there. Bungie taught the world how to make shooters for a console and they are still the gold standard. Destiny is embedded in a fantastic game world filled with mystery and a sense of wonderment of what could be around the next corner. While playing through the campaign I constantly found myself asking my fire team members if we were really going to get to go THERE. The second mission on Titan in particular was just insane for me, it felt like I was in the movie Aliens crawling through vents in a mysterious space colony with fans, dim lighting, and some savage sounding guns. The campaign could really only keep me entertained for so long, my biggest complaint about it was the length which I think would be the most common complaint for the average gamer but realistically I didn’t need more more than what I got being a returning Destiny player.
Destiny 2 looks great and is a very impressive graphical upgrade over the original Destiny. I’m playing the game on a PS4 Pro and can see a huge difference when playing on my 55 inch 4k TV vs my 1080p 27 inch monitor. I had a chance to play the PC beta which looks even better, almost like a new game. Everything you hear in the game is top notch from the guns, to the voice actors, or the game’s sound track. Bungie went all out with the Destiny 2 sound track which I think they are finally starting to find the musical identity for the Destiny franchise. The original Destiny featured a great soundtrack but when you heard it you were like ok thats Halo but slightly different. Now as I’m exploring these new worlds in Destiny 2 I’m like ok thats slightly Halo but much more Destiny now. Bungie took a lot of cues from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. All of the voice actors did such a wonderful job bringing the Destiny universe to life, I used to think of the Speaker as useless pixels but the voice actor did a tremendous job in painting him as the bitch he really is. There was some over the top goofy dialogue a la Borderlands but nothing as bad as “I don’t have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain”.
Campaign Score -B 8/10
Not Revolutionary but leaps and bounds better than the original Destiny campaign. It does a great job showing off the new world in Destiny 2 and features AMAZING voice acting on all levels with an elite soundtrack to go with it.
Strikes are team based missions with varying difficulties that are meant to be replayed multiple times. Unlike the campaign Strikes should always be played with a 3 person fire team unless you are diehard or like crying into a pillow. The main point of Strikes is to farm for loot, the second point is that they are good primers for getting ready to do a Raid in Destiny. Most of the mechanics or boss fights in a strike will inspire teamwork, especially when playing a strike on its hardest difficulty (Nightfall). Strikes can take anywhere from 10-25 minutes for most players and consist of a few mission objectives such as defend the point, explore this, or beat this mini boss and culminate in an end boss battle.
I like Strikes a lot and was really bummed out that Destiny 2 was only launching with 6 (5 for Xbox) at the start. You can play the strike play list but get burned out pretty quickly because you are replaying the same ones at a much more rapid pace. The Strikes that Destiny 2 came with are all great minus one. One of them is really just shitty and lazy, it features a really annoying boss fight that isn’t even difficult but just really drawn out. The other 5 however are all excellent and really feature some of Bungie’s best work. Right now Bungie only offers Strikes in a 140+ Power Level play list, a nightfall at 240 and a prestige nightfall at 300 (these two modes reset every week and feature a different strike each week). This time around the only way to access Strikes is through the playlist, you can’t find them on the patrol zones to play single ones if you want to practice for a Nightfall which can be annoying. Strikes are perfect for when you just want to play Destiny in a linear fashion, from point A to B with minimal challenge or having to find a group (Strikes in the Strike play list will auto match groups for you if you are feeling lazy).
Strikes Score - B 8/10
We got one lame duck along with a low Strike count. If Bungie follows course and is only releasing one new Strike per expansion I might be sorely disappointed. However 5 out of 6 are fantastic.
The Crucible is Destiny’s competitive or PvP mode where you are pitted against fellow gamers. This time around Bungie decided to change the Crucible from a 6v6 format to a 4v4 format. I like the new format much better. I have always been a fan of competitive shooters, last year I spent plenty of time with Overwatch, Titanfall 2, and Battlefield 1. I never really got into the Crucible for the original Destiny. I hated how the original 6v6 format felt like a grenade and super fest where the guns and positioning were secondary. Now with the smaller teams supers recharge less frequently, about 1 a match, maybe 2 if you are really good. They’ve lowered the grenade charge rate and significantly reduced melee attack damage (it takes 3 hits now to kill someone) forcing everyone to rely first and foremost on guns for a first person shooter.
The new format rewards teamwork for all match types and the maps are much more intimate, you won’t go long without encountering an enemy. Bungie has also tinkered with the gun load out format which I’ll discuss more later as it changed more than just how Crucible works.
Power ammo for your heavy weapons spawns frequently enough you shouldn’t have a problem grabbing at least a couple of times per match, I had issues in the original getting to heavy ammo crates. The Crucible is much more decisive and rewards those of you who are skilled at shooting or gifted with strategic positioning. Crucible has never been why I play Destiny, nor do I think this current iteration will be the reason that I continue to play Destiny 2. I do like the change to the 4v4 format but still unsure about gun loadouts.
The Crucible for some reason has been restricted like the Strikes only offering 2 playlists, Quickplay and Competitive. I’ve only noticed three match types in Quickplay which are Control (control 3 points) Clash (classic team deathmatch), and Supremacy (grab the death token). In Competitive I’ve noticed Survival (Pooled Lives) and Countdown (Attack/Defend mode). Control is probably the best suited PvP mode for Destiny and is still a lot of fun. I’ve always disliked Clash but can tolerate it much more now that the play style has changed to a more gun oriented PvP mode. Countdown is just fucking boring, it really is, I could think of 10 other multiplayer modes I’d rather have for Destiny than this. Sadly this also appears to be the mode they are using for Trials. Survival is amazing, I’ve had the most fun in Survival matches. You play to a score of 4 wins, each round each team is sharing a pool of 8 lives, first team to expire loses. I’ve had intense drawn out matches in Survival, I’ve seen some of my teams rally down 1-3 to come back and win. Once you realize the trick to Survival is surviving the mode will make much more sense.
Again Bungie has decided to remove our freedom and only offers us two playlists where we really don’t even get to choose our own game mode and are stuck playing with what they choose for us (I’d play much more if I could just pick Survival every time). I’m not a big fan of this especially with this being a sequel to a game that was played for the past 3 years, its hard to go down to a restricted play list in the 4th year. This isn’t a major hold up for me as I believe that Bungie will open up more game types soon. I think they decided it would be best to restrict it in the beginning to ensure a smooth launch. I could see this infuriating the hardcore Destiny Crucible players. The maps all seem to be ok and they seem to have a good amount of them for launch to the point where I don’t feel like I’m constantly playing the same ones. I would of rather had more strikes and less Crucible maps or modes.
Trials sucks. Bungie has picked their lame Countdown mode as the new Trials format, it is absolutely terrible. Every team is using the same gear, scout rifle, usually a Mida Multi Tool, and an auto rifle, usually an Uriels Gift or a Prosecutor. Teams pre-fire busy corners or corridors to defend against a bomb plant. It’s not fun at all, while Trials was difficult in the original Destiny the game mode used for it was still a lot of fun and I’m just bewildered as to why they haven’t included it.
Crucible Score - C or 7/10
This isn’t the reason anyone should be playing Destiny (at least now) and for whatever reason they’ve severely dropped the number of modes and freedom we had from the original. While I thought lack of customization hindered Strikes I think it hurts the Crucible much more. I’ve been having fun playing in quickplay matches but have been frustrated playing Trials or Competitive because of Countdown. Bungie should have left their spin on Attack and Defend for Counterstrike or Rainbow Six.
Patrol Zones are open world free roaming areas that represent the four destinations in Destiny 2. These zones are also auto populated with other players which is a cornerstone of the Destiny experience. You can explore these solo or with two other players. Most of your campaign missions and strikes are portions of these massive open world style maps. Patrol Zones are littered with Patrol missions, Adventures, Public Events, Lost Sectors, and of course enemies. Roaming around in these new Patrol Zones has been my favorite thing to do in Destiny 2 besides the Raid which is basically a hardcore version of a Patrol zone. In Destiny 2 I can finally feel like I am getting lost in its world especially when going out on patrol. I am constantly bombarded with the Dark Souls rabbit hole feeling while exploring the exotic locales spread out in Destiny 2. Each of the locations is so unique and different you can tell that Bungie spent most of their time developing these areas. Each Patrol Zone is heavily populated with so many activities you never run out of things to do. Lost Sectors are great additions, basically they are hidden dungeons strewn about the Patrol Zones that you can stumble across, pop in, kill a boss and take some loot.
In Destiny 2 you really feel like you are exploring the new Patrol Zones, not just passing through them to get to a mission objective. I am really excited to keep exploring them to see which types of secrets and mysteries Bungie has squirreled away in them. You can feel a lot of influence from the Dark Souls series when running around in some of the hidden unground areas or Lost Sectors. Adventures are mini story missions spread out through Patrol zones that will offer more insight into the location as the well the NPC associated with that zone. Some of the Adventures will bring you into new areas in each of the Patrol Zones. I can see myself getting more into these later down the line or on nights when I don’t have friends to play with. Bungie has basically made Grimoire cards from the original game playable in the form of Adventures. Public events are much more frequent and marked where/when they will begin and also present the best way to level for anyone who is under 265 light level. They are basically boss fights or light horde mode style encounters, everyone has a chance to turn a Public Event into a Heroic event by completing a few side tasks during the encounter, for the most part I haven’t seen a Heroic event drop me anything of significance. The added difficulty of a Heroic event is a nice touch and it also brings with it a sense of accomplishment because it will require you and other players to be on the same page to trigger the Heroic event.
Each of the Patrol Zones does a great job of immersing you as the player into their worlds. In the European Dead Zone you are playing through what looks like a bombed out Bavarian city in the middle of a dense forest. Titan has you on some crazy looking oil rig that is attached to a futuristic bubble city. The city in Titan is something out of an elaborate science fiction novel that also was where my favorite Campaign mission took place. Nessus is a planet with red foliage, milk for water, and crazy alien architecture. IO might be the most lonely feeling place you visit which features giant trees and caverns for you to explore. The Raid is featured on a ship called “Leviathan” and is basically a mini patrol zone.
Patrol Zones Score - A++ or 11/10
Patrol zones were an activity that I thought was vastly overlooked and under utilized in the original Destiny. Bungie has upgraded them to a point where I’m almost completely satisfied with them (I still want a Nightfall Patrol Zone rotation). Great graphics, mood setting music, and too much to do has really helped make the Patrol Zones shine in Destiny 2. Bungie innovated in ways I wasn’t expecting and as a diehard Destiny fan this was a welcome surprise.
What’s in a Raid?
Raids are 6 person PvE activities and also happen to be my favorite thing to do in Destiny. The raid “Leviathan” came out the day after I started working on this article. Raid’s are missions that require platforming, puzzle solving, coordination, and the desire to be challenged. Raids in the original Destiny took anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to complete, and that being for competent teams that had already beaten the Raid multiple times. Doing a Raid for the first time can take up to 10 hours or more, especially on launch day when no one knows what they’re doing yet. The loot drops would reset once a week and aside from being the most challenging activity in the game (besides trials maybe) they typically would give you the best gear. Raids are difficult and people can be assholes which is why I understand the social aspect of online gaming can seem worthless to some people. My advice to newcomer is try and join groups that low key, there are groups that exist like this. Be honest when you join up, let them know if you don’t understand something. Most people are willing to explain it to you.
I’ve played through the Leviathan Raid from start to finish, it is comprised of 3 challenges and culminates in one boss fight at the end. Most of the Raids from the original Destiny would feature multiple boss fights, surprisingly Bungie decided to give us 3 team oriented challenges to finish before being able to challenge the boss. The Leviathan Raid is set on a massive ship that supposedly eats worlds, it looks like a giant worm. There also happens to be this magnificent golden palace perched on the front overlooking Nessus. The Raid takes place in this Caesars Palace Casino looking spread perched on top of a giant space worm. The challenges are all very unique with rather easy mechanics for a Destiny Raid, I think Bungie has decided to make this one a little easier so that it will appeal to more players
There is a stealth challenge where you are sneaking around in a forested area gathering pollen to make your characters strong enough to take down these wild dogs that are roaming. This area requires very good communication as you are split up into multiple teams and can go from quiet sneakiness to utter chaos within seconds. Another challenge has you running a relay race where again you are split up into multiple teams of shooters and runners. Basically shooters will have to shoot the correct sequence of buttons to allow the runners to advance through the course which happens to be random. The third activity is basically a horde mode esque challenge where you are constantly rotating plates that need to be stood on. Calus is the culmination of the Raid and is featured as a boss fight. The boss fight is more standing on plates, going to a shadow realm to get a buff, tons of adds, and just a big fat cabal or baby Jabba the Hutt to shoot at.
There is a lot more background to this Raid than previous Raids, much more story is involved and Bungie has done a great job of giving us a Raid that evokes just as much mystery as their first Raid in the original Destiny, The Vault of Glass. There is also an entirely optional area in the Raid referred to as the Underbelly. The Underbelly consists of ventilation ducts, food storage, engine rooms, giant fans, tiny crawl spaces, electric water, and jumping puzzles. The Underbelly houses a series of chests that are unlocked with keys that drop during each of the challenges during the raid for more loot which is basically tokens, purple engrams, and exotic engrams. The Underbelly features some of Bungie’s best level design ever, I am utterly shocked that this is used as an optional area for the Raid. The Underbelly can be accessed from multiple areas in the Raid itself and also features shortcuts to all of the challenges you can partake in the Raid.
All in all I like the Leviathan Raid that Bungie gave us. It might be a little easier than previous Raids but I’m ok with that if its main purpose is get more players involved with Raiding as it still remains my favorite activity in Destiny. Will this Raid be enough to keep me entertained until we get the expansions? I’m not sure and can see this getting old fast. They haven’t dropped the Prestige mode yet for the Raid, with the way my Raid groups are playing out right now I can just see this being a test in frustration. The loot is just ok, the shader is actually dope but I haven’t been a fan of the armor I’ve been getting for my Titan or Hunter. I thought they could do better especially with this being a Cabal themed Raid.
Raid Score - A- or 9/10
Raiding still remains my favorite activity in Destiny. The Underbelly is such a well crafted experience I highly recommend every Destiny player regardless of having completed the Raid or not go experience the Underbelly. Bungie is letting everyone know the level of communication required to complete Raids with this one, I was happy that it wasn’t just a boss fest.
Changes from Destiny 1
Loadouts and Loot
Guns and armor played a large role in customizing your guardian in the original Destiny. In Destiny 2 Bungie decided to change up quite a few things, one thing that was lost was more customization options for your gear which is a shame. They changed up the types of guns you can have equipped at a given time.
Primary Weapon - Hand Cannon, Scout Rifle, Pulse Rifle, Auto Rifle.
Special Weapon - Fusion Rifle, Side Arm, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle
Heavy Weapon - Machine Gun, Rocket Launcher, Sword
Kinetic Weapon - Hand Cannon, Scout Rifle, Pulse Rifle, Auto Rifle, Sub-Machine Gun, Sidearm,
Energy Weapon - Hand Cannon, Scout Rifle, Pulse Rifle, Auto Rifle, Sub-Machine Gun, Sidearm,
Power Weapon - Sniper Rifle, Fusion Rifle, Rocket Launcher, Grenade Launcher, Sword, Linear Fusion Rifle.
Basically for Destiny 2 you are now able to equip two primary weapons and one Heavy/Special weapon. It seems this change was made to accommodate Crucible players more than the PvE crowd to keep PvP balanced. Going to the Kinetic, Energy, and Power weapon load outs for Destiny 2 has made the Crucible more balanced AND boring. The trade off is making the rest of the game feel a bit more stale and could effect the gameplay long term. I’m still unsure how I feel about this swap in terms of the overall game but think it’s lame that Bungie is putting such an emphasis on Crucible this time around, it seems like they really want to turn Destiny into an E-Sport.
Where the hell are machine guns?
Currently in Destiny 2 I see no reason to use a shotgun or a sniper rifle, they both feel underpowered compared to the damage output and ammo reserves of other Power Weapons. The damage from sniper rifles feels nerfed when I could be using a fusion rifle, rocket launcher, grenade launcher, or linear fusion rifle without even having to lineup a headshot. A lot of this comes down to the allotted ammo reserves Bungie has decided to give us for these guns. They seem to have buffed rocket launchers over the last game, which is a positive because I feel like I am sending true devastation with each rocket that I fire now. The more I use grenade launchers the more I like them, they are a great tool for melting bosses and when compared to Shotguns they have one less unit of reserve ammo. The linear fusion rifles are pretty neat offering versatility with the ability to either snipe and get weak point bonus damage or just hip fire like you would with a regular fusion rifle, the difference with linear fusion rifles is they fire a single beam. I honestly think the best thing here would be just to move snipers and shotguns to the energy weapon category, seriously who gives a fuck about Crucible being super pro and balanced. I feel that Bungie has decided to leave the entire game unbalanced for a mode that most players don’t invest a lot of time in, maybe its an effort to get more people to try it. There are plenty of other hardcore shooters out there for competitive/MLG gamers, and if you are one of those playing Destiny then you’re just a big fish in a small pond. If Bungie remains stubborn they need to up the ammo reserves for shotguns and up either the damage output or ammo reserves for snipers.
Bungie also removed the amount of nodes each weapon has for customization along with random perks/rolls for each weapon. Now supposedly each named legendary or purple weapon has the exact same perks. Last night when I was in a raid group one of the players said that he had a weapon with the same name the had different perks, this might be something to look out for. The guns also come leveled up now when they drop. I think that all of these are bad moves by Bungie. I didn’t mind spending time to level up a gun, in Destiny 2 I would enjoy it even more with all of the great new patrol zones. Bungie could of easily introduced a mechanic where running patrol missions or even using the tokens you earn to level up guns and unlock the perks as you go. This gives you time to see if you even like the gun and a reason to just run around more in the fantastic universe Bungie has crafted. The random rolls would be a welcome addition because now I just dismantle the double of any gun I get, there is no tinkering or experimenting anymore to see which build is superior.
Loot Delete Repeat
The armor you get now also has less nodes and will only affect your mobility, resilience, or recovery. You don’t get pieces that allow you to carry more types of certain ammo or even affect your character in a significant way unless its an exotic. The armor sets look cool but I really enjoyed holding multiple sets that would benefit different builds I’d run for certain activities. Bungie introduced mods this time around, for guns they don’t really do much besides a +5 damage buff and the ability to change a guns energy damage type. The mods seemingly do more when it comes to armor, they add a +5 defense buff as well as perks like reload your kinetic weapon faster or (insert subclass) grenade recharges faster. This is a cool level of optimization but we only get one slot to do this, the armor before in Destiny 1 basically had 2 or 3 slots (predetermined) we could swap in and out for different perks. I miss this a lot especially with the way that Bungie has decided to do ammo drops this time around. I prefer random mods on armor because as with guns when I get a duplicate it is just getting deleted, no need to see what roll I got on a set.
Destiny 1.2 Subclasses
Bungie did very little in reinventing the subclasses from Destiny. After playing the Destiny 2 Beta and seeing how they had reworked the Sentinel subclass I thought we were in for much bigger changes. They didn’t change much minus removing my favorite super which was the Warlock self revive (this was probably for the better) and replacing it with a Titan subclass and just changing the hammers to a sword. Again Bungie also opted to give us less freedom in customizing our subclasses, you can pick which grenade or jump your class can utilize but the melee and super are all tied together along with other abilities in the subclass. They’ve basically split each subclass into 2 mini subclasses that doesn’t let you swap abilities between the mini subclasses which is something I sorely miss. In the original Destiny you were given 3 different choices for about 6-7 different ability trees. Some of them were stat based but otherwise they would affect your melee, grenade, or super. Bungie has done away with this system in favor of a more stripped down one. I’m hoping they are planning to add more mini subclasses or subclasses in general because I find myself rarely switching where in Destiny I was constantly adjusting based on what activity I was doing. The class abilities were also added which I feel should change in some way shape or form based on what subclass you are using. The Hunter has a roll dodge that either reloads your gun for you or refills you melee meter. I’ve found this ability to be fairly useless, its nice to have a free reload with a gun like Sweet Business but or the most part I forget that I have it. The Nightstalker subclass does alter the roll a little bit in granting brief invisibility which also can come in handy but I was surprised they didn’t tinker with the class ability more. The Titan can place a tall standing barrier or a short barrier than reloads your gun for you when you duck behind it. The main thing I’ve used it for is to grab a revive on a downed friend or specifically for the Boss fight in the Leviathan Raid. The Warlock can drop a pool that restores health or increases your damage. This would seem to be the most valuable of all the abilities (I have yet to level up my Warlock at all) but have noticed players ignoring or forgetting to drop it.
The armor sets look good in Destiny 2 with the exception of a few sets or Exotics that are a bit too cave-dwelling-gruel-eating-apocalypse looking. The armor, loot, and guns have always looked great in the Destiny franchise and play a big part in making your guardian look cooler than than the Wolf of Wall Street. This time around Bungie has decided to change the way shaders work making them a one time use item. You can also apply shaders to your guns now (minus exotics) which I think was a great idea. Shaders are now applied individually to each item, so you could shade yourself in multiple ways allowing for much more customization. A lot of gamers are furious that certain shaders can be purchased with an in game currency that either randomly drops for you or can be purchased via micro transactions. I can see where there may be frustration here but as I’ve been playing I’ve gotten more shaders than I’ll ever need. I’ve earned plenty of the currency that can be purchased with real dollars from just playing the game and been able to purchase plenty of the shaders that I didn’t have. The micro transaction currency also allows you to purchase items like sparrows, ships, emotes, and skins for your exotics. Bungie stuck to cosmetic items again which is fine. Yes I know micro-transactions exist, for the most part I’m ok with them as long as they don’t make it pay to win. Why should we try to limit the makers of the games we love from making extra money. I like to think of micro transactions as tips similar to tipping a service employee in the U.S., I like your game a lot heres some extra to show my gratitude and appreciation.
Join a Clan Silly Goose
The Clan system Bungie introduced in Destiny 2 is simple and fantastic. Everyone should join a Clan. Bungie has done a great job in making it a very casual affair to invite or or become a member now in Destiny 2. Ever since I was a young lad clans in online gaming meant you were the hardest of hardcore or the 40 year old virgin living in your parents basement. Now they’re just as open as we are with our gender and sexuality. The reward and leveling system is a really neat way to promote doing group activities together. Completing activities such as Crucible matches, Nightfalls, Raids, or Trials will net your entire clan Engrams as rewards on a weekly basis, these also happen to be good engrams that drop at your light level. The only requirement to earn these rewards is that half of your fire team is composed of your clan members, so for Crucible, Nightfall, or Trials you need 2 members, for the Raid you need 3. Clans also earn experience and levels, experience is contributed from their members for doing almost any activity in Destiny, even if you are solo. Running patrols or public events will net your clan experience, I’m pretty sure you get a bonus if you are teamed up with clan members as well. When your Clan levels up, currently there is 5 tiers total, your clan members receive more rewards from completing activities. My clan, Player 2 Push Start just hit level 3, our level 2 status net us more glimmer when decrypting engrams. It was a joy logging on last night to find my clan mates had already nabbed our Crucible and Nightfall rewards for the week, 3 of us got to work on the Raid last week to nab our clan the reward as well. It only ended up being a 10 power level item which I found it is a bug, lame.
The matchmaking you cried for but didn’t get
Clans also play into Bungie’s guided game system which is basically matchmaking for Destiny 2. I haven’t tried to place myself into a match as a solo player yet but did offer to guide a random player in a nightfall with another clan mate. After selecting the option we were given a random fire team member within a few minutes, it looked like the queue time was rather high for the single player. The option just launched for the Raid this week, I really wouldn’t be interested in trying that unless I had a minimum of 4 clan members with me that were familiar with the raid but most likely 5 would be ideal with 1 random. This is probably the best way Bungie could of managed to integrate matchmaking in Destiny’s more difficult activities. I still don’t think straight up matchmaking would work for Raiding, anyone that thinks it would especially in the original Destiny is a straight up clown and probably never had the patience to stick it out and finish a Raid and if you did you were probably carried like Yoda on Luke’s back.
When I look at Destiny 2 by itself as a single package and try to ignore the game everyone loves to hate (D1) I see an amazing console generation defining game. Destiny 2 integrates single player, multiplayer, 1st person shooter, open world, loot hunting, exploration, and story telling into a single package that no other game developer could. The new locations and story Bungie has crafted is top notch content and lets every player create their own Space Opera. I wish every video game handled multiplayer the way Destiny 2 does with options for competitive, cooperative, and single player. Most of the issues I have with the game are ones that newcomers to the Destiny series would never even notice or probably care about, even those of you that were part time Guardians might be in the same boat. Destiny 2 has proven that Bungie remains one of if not the best AAA game developers. There is much more than $60 worth of game content in Destiny 2. If I had never played the original Destiny I would easily of given Destiny 2 an A+ or a 9.5/10.
However with the amount of time I poured into the original Destiny I came into this review with the idea of tearing the game down and deciding what I really did and didn’t like. Changes made to simplify Destiny 2 and pandering to PvP players may affect the longevity of Destiny 2. I also doubt their ability to continually bring us new content especially with the simplification of loot and customization of our Guardians. My biggest question is how long can Bungie keep me interested. I understand I am being totally selfish/unrealistic in regards to my standards for Destiny 2, I expect much more than the average person would. I don’t feel like I’m a minority when it comes to other hardcore Destiny players but Bungie might need to make Destiny 3 a paid subscription game. I can’t ignore that this is more of an expansion than a sequel to a game that I played for the past three years, the longest that I’ve ever continually played a game.
I think that Bungie’s biggest mistake was taking away our customization. The subclasses, guns, crucible, strikes, and even story missions feature much less customization than what we had at the end of the original Destiny. The loot pools are much smaller and that at this point in the game I’m continually getting the same guns and armor. Loot, Delete, Repeat. I didn’t like that with previous expansions for the original Destiny they would lock out old content or make it obsolete, not that I’m expecting them to port over Destiny content to Destiny 2 but they should be letting us pick which Crucible mode we want to play rather than just restricting it to play lists, thats what games with dwindling player bases do. I don’t doubt that many if not all of my issues will be fixed or improved, Bungie has proven to me they are just as invested in Destiny as its rabid fan base.
Overall Score Score B- or 7.75/10
+ Great new locations to explore
+ Good story with amazing presentation.
+ It’s still Destiny
- Took away customization almost anywhere they could
-Unsure about new content or staying power, did simplifying the game ruin the hardcore experience?
I try writing for TAY and make videos for my YouTube channel for fun. I like playing games and interacting with gaming communities to wind down. You can find me here!
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