My Rating: A solid 8/10
After contemplating actually buying the game for 4 days after launch, I finally decided to pick it up. In fact, I ordered it at 7PM for that 10PM-12AM delivery, courtesy of Amazon Prime Now. It arrived at 11:15 and after I got it installed on the console, I fired it up. Sat in my pitch black bedroom, lit only by the glow of the TV, the game loaded and pretty much blinded me with the brightness of the home screen. So white.
You can choose between Titan, Warlock or Hunter as your class before you start and for some reason, when I loaded the game there was a warlock waiting for to play and so that’s what I went with. The warlock is sick. I’m all about that magic and powers and other non-existential stuff along those lines. Its much more appealing to me.
Let the games begin
The game starts you off with a good 20 minutes of wading through the mud, fighting your way through your home city. Thrown right in at the deep end. You’re under attack by the Cabal and you have to defend your home. With a pistol. This intro sets the theme for the game, the Cabal come to your world and f*ck sh!t up and you’ll be on a quest of defiance to restore order. I won’t say much more than that very brief summary because I don’t want to be throwing spoilers out there left, right and centre.
Bungie got it right with this one. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the first Destiny to be fair, Destiny 2 seemed to just flow a lot more nicely. There are several worlds that unlock in an appropriate order for the story; each world has an introductory quest or two and then its all guns blazing from then on. You have adventure quests, public events and campaign quests. Throughout the game, I never found myself struggling to find something to do. In fact, I am currently playing through it a second time to try out the Titan class and I will probably do it once more after to try the Hunter class!
Guns and Gear
At first I didn’t really focus on my gear too much because I was too busy shooting the hell out of everything, dropping solar grenades on them and throwing flame sashes at my enemies. But once I took a step back, I was very pleased indeed. You have what you’d expect in terms of gear: Helmet, gloves, legs, belt, chest piece, guns, guns, guns. I’m trying to avoid a direct comparison to the first Destiny because 1) I haven’t played it since the dawn of time and 2) this is Destiny 2.
So, assuming you are entirely unfamiliar with how the gearing system works in the game, it goes a little something like this:
You have 3 types of weapon: kinetic, energy and power.
You get very limited power ammunition because, well, the weapons are powerful! You can find yourself with the same sort of weapon for both kinetic and energy. Options include auto rifle, which is your standard rifle really, think M16 or AR-15 fully auto. Then you have sub machine guns, hand cannons, fusion rifles, pulse rifles and sidearms. I think that’s everything. The main difference between kinetic and energy is of course the projectiles.
As for power weapons, the game offers rocket and grenade launchers, sniper rifle, fusion rifles, shotguns and swords. I tend to go for an auto rifle for both kinetic and energy and a rocket launcher for my power weapon. But you can carry several of each type of weapon and swap them out at any time. A sub machine gun is good for when you need a quick burst of rapid damage at close range, where as an auto rifle is better suited for medium range encounter.
I’ve not really had much luck with swords, I found them kind of weird to work with. Although I’ve seen other players dishing out ultimate punishment with them so I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume they’re pretty decent. I don’t much like the sniper rifles because targets do not stay particularly still. You have a tiny dot down the scope to aim with and unless your target is a tank, of which there are a few in game FYI, they tend to unintentionally bop and weave out of the way too easily. Shotguns seem pretty weak from my experience and grenade launchers shoot grenades, which don’t quite explode on impact. Thus, I find myself with a rocket launcher for the most part.
So that’s the weaponry. What about gear? Well, I mentioned above the kind of stuff you get to equip. Each item has a power level, which I believe used to be Light in the first Destiny and other than the name, it still functions the same. Quests and encounters give a recommended power level and you can see your overall power level on the character/equipment screen. The power of an item contributes to its defensive value. Additional stats vary, I think based on which class you are playing, and include agility, mobility, recovery. There are several tiers of gear: white, green, blue, purple, orange or uncommon, rare, legendary, exotic and I don’t recall what white gear is but you won’t have any of that for very long anyway!
You get weapons and armour from taking part in strikes, when you unlock them further in the game, public events and by helping to kill high value targets that appear when you’re out and about on your journeys.
As with Destiny, Destiny 2 brings us face to face with the Cabal, The Fallen and the Vex. With the Cabal being the primary antagonist. You tend to encounter all of them on all worlds so there’s very little exclusivity in terms of location to antagonist. Which is quite a nice touch, everybody is fighting everybody!
The PvP in this game is real good fun. You have to work together or you’ll get destroyed. There’s a competitive and non-competitive mode which cycles you through a variety of game modes such as team deathmatch and CTF. It’s a bit like Call of Duty with awesome guardian abilities thrown in. Except it’s actually fun! The game does kind of push you into PvP by giving you a quest to play 2 crucible (pvp) matches. You don’t have to, but you feel compelled to because seeing “0%” next to an objective forever is demoralising. But yeah, I digress, the PvP is equally as entertaining as the solo content and it’s worth a try even if you’re not a fan of PvP usually. I’m not! (Except for BF1 but that’s totally an exception).
The good stuff!
The gameplay is amazing. It’s super entertaining and there’s very little feeling of repetitiveness. You know? You don’t go to planet A, kill some people to progress, go to planet B which looks like planet A, kill some people to progress, rinse and repeat. I mean, you kind of do. But the hostiles change, the environment changes and, for me at least, I didn’t once feel like I was falling into a pit of repetitive despair.
The environments are beautifully crafted, as you’d expect. Sometimes I get reminded of that awful game that had all the hype and no live-up, No Man’s Sky, but literally the only reason why is the coloration of the environments. The graphics are beautiful in this game, I’d be inclined to say they are slightly cartoony but that’s what makes them perfect for the game.
When you take a glance at the in-game map, the zone you’re in seems pretty small but it takes quite some time to get from one side of the map to the other. Unless you have your trusted pike with you, which you don’t.
Character animations are awesome, the feel when actually moving is fluid for the most part, it doesn’t feel unnatural. The only negative thing here is trying to turn a corner when sprinting, there’s a slight delay before the character responds to the turn… BUT, that’s exactly how it should be. It’s just a minor nuisance 🙁 The character dances and emotes are pretty sweet too. I picked up a “salute emote” with my copy of Destiny 2 exclusive to amazon.co.uk. I prefer the play dead emote, though!
Some games abuse cinematics, or cutscenes. Destiny 2 does not. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of cutscenes in this game but they aren’t abused. They are an addition to the story, they aren’t put there solely to make up the story. On top of that, you can skip them any time you want.
I picked up Deus Ex: Mankind divided the day it came out, spent about half hour waiting for it to install on the console and then before I even got to play it, there was an introductory cinematic to set the story. It wasn’t skippable. After about 10 minutes it was still going and I hadn’t even got to play the game yet. I turned it off and haven’t played it since, long non-skippable cinematics are not cool. Although I have been told I should give it another try, it’s on my to-do list.
Finally, the story is epic too. There’s only 2 things that really get me hooked on a game and that’s the story and the fun factor. If a game isn’t fun, I don’t want to play it but if the game has a shit story, I’m going to be inclined to avoid it.
The bad stuff 🙁
Ok, so we’ve had the friendly bacteria. Lets look at the virii.
I’m not sure if there’s any particular reason behind it but going from one planet to another, we get shown a beautiful journey through space in our funky spaceship which has a customizable appearance. This seems to take forever. Other loading times can sometimes seem a bit lengthy too.
One thing I thought sucked about Destiny and I feel the same about Destiny 2 is the lack of group-up options for the end-game content. The raid requires 6 people and you either have to go on google and find 5 people to roll with or have 5 friends in-game to roll with. It’s a bit limiting. I get why it’s like that, you cant have the bad-ass, end game, epic battle be so easy as to allow PuGs to smash it repeatedly. But it means a lot of people are never going to experience it. The same applies to Nightfall Strikes, the more hardcore version of strikes.
Overall, the game is fantastic. I wouldn’t let the prospect of never being able to experience the end-game content put you off of the magnificent story and fun to be had while playing through this one. If you even remotely enjoyed the first Destiny and you haven’t got Destiny 2 already, go and get it! asap!