Destiny 2 is an evolution of the original game. It doesn’t do much to attract new players, and if you take away the extra layers you will find way much of the original game. But it works. The original game improved in many ways since the original release in 2014, and all the expansions added something unique while fixing the flaws. This means that fans of the franchise will love it, and most importantly, PC players now get a chance to try it.
So, what is similar to the original game? Missions are pretty much the same. You go from point A to point B while destroying stuff and killing enemies. Our Ghost will do the talking and scanning while we must defeat waves of enemies that will spawn until our Ghost is finished. Patrols are still geographically limited and simple tasks. Strikes are pretty much a gauntlet of different enemies in various locations, with a final boss and the chance of scavenging all the loot we can get our hands on. And then we have Raids, which is there to provide a loop of end game content. Bungie has managed to tweak enough of these mechanics to make them fresh for veterans of the franchise, but they won’t have to learn anything new to catch up quickly. On top of this, we can add the already polished gunplay, great acting, gorgeous cut scenes and breath-taking landscapes. Especially on PC, with 4K support and unlocked framerate.
The game opens with The Tower. It used to be our main hub and social space in the original game, and it is coming under attack. We try to defend it, but we are vastly outnumbered, outgunned and everyone is ordered to evacuate. During this epic battle, we will come across the main three Vanguard Leaders: Zavala, Ikora, and Cayde-6 – each on the battlefield alongside you trying to take down as many alien invaders as possible.
We decide to take the battle to the enemy and hop on board one of their ships. We get face to face with Dominus Ghaul, the leader of the Red Legion, a faction of the Cabal. He captures the Traveler and disrupts its Light-giving powers, draining all Guardians and Ghosts of their regenerative magic. He proceeds to kick us off the ship, sending us to a presumed death. With their light drained and no longer immortal, the Vanguard leaders speed off to different areas of the solar system. Now it is up to us to regain our Light and save the Traveler and the universe.
I won’t spoil the story any further, but after these events, you will be able to select your class: Hunter, Warlock or Titan. Each subclass has three core abilities that will recharge over time: a grenade, a class ability, and a melee power (you’ll always be able to make a melee attack, but it’ll have an additional effect when your melee power is charged).
Each subclass also has a unique and devastating ‘super’ ability on a much longer cooldown, and a choice of two perk trees, which will further modify all these powers. Destiny 2 features three brand-new subclasses, which will join three reworked ones returning from the original, and another three from The Taken King expansion. That’s right – Stormcaller, Sunbreaker, and Nightstalker are all returning.
Now for the differences, one new cool new feature is the ability to bring up the Destination Map anywhere at any time. Unlike the previous game, you are now free to stay on a planet and explore and alternate between main story missions, adventures, public events, treasure chests, lost sectors, and quests. The main story will progress with the campaign missions, but you are free to tackle whatever you want in any order you feel. Most of these activities are fully voiced and will add extra lore and immersion. You also level up rep on each planet, leaving behind the per weapon and per armor stuff. Destiny 2 was made with exploring in mind, so you will be forced to do that until level 20 when you get your Sparrow. Shaders have also been a topic of controversy, but I personally don’t mind it. They are consumables and each piece will cost you one, but I found the drop rate more than generous. I never felt forced to spend real money on these.
Should you play it? Yes. At its core, Destiny 2 takes everything you loved about the original and cranked it up to 11. The game features one of the best soundtracks and voice acting. It ranges from melancholy melodies to intense electronic tracks to match the events the story will take you to. Each character sounds different, with Cayde-6 and Failsafe giving the note. Smooth movements, no screen tearing, unlocked framerate, 4K support, everything is done flawlessly. For PC, linking Destiny 2 with the Battle.net launcher worked without any issues. Pre-loading and servers on release day were smooth the minute the game went live. Servers have been well maintained and populated, the social aspect is simple and intuitive, even the linking between your Bungie and Blizzard accounts worked ok. Destiny 2 is a meatier and improved Destiny experience.