Game Review: Destiny 2
Destiny 2 was never going to get off to the best start! At least thats what I expected. The first game in the franchise took almost 3 years to reach it’s potential. a series of regular updates, sandbox reviews and player feedback from a very vocal community helped to shape Destiny 1. Destiny 2 however was going to be a different proposition, I’m not sure why Destiny 2 opted to take a different approach for the sequel of the hugely popular game. DId Activision, Bungie or combination of both decide that they wanted to move the game away from the very protective community and aim at bringing in the causal player?
Lets recap Desiny 1 release from my point of view, now I’m not talking gameplay, graphics or story but what the game ‘meant’ to me, Destiny 1 was like a hobby for me, I played the game almost every day, I had weekly rituals to complete when the game reset its activities every tuesday, I would complete nightfalls on all characters, I would carry out weapon tests for the Gunsmith and come the weekend I would gather my fireteam to complete the raids – hoping for that elusive piece or armour or exoctic weapon to drop! Destiny 1 was my hobby! I liked to collect the weapons and aim to get the perfect god-roll for stats. I wanted to collect all exoctics, because Destiny in its nature was a looter/shooter. And the grind of chasing the elusive loot was one of the main attractions for the game and in my opinion they (Bungie) got it spot on!
So what happened with Destiony 2? You have to remember the Desiny community is vast, vocal and very protective of the game, so the initial build up and release of the game was very well recieved by all. I played the game and started the campaign on launch day (having taken a couple of days holiday from work). I had watched all of the trailers and interviews from Bungie and couldn’t wait to get started, my initial introduction to Destiny 2 was different to what new players experienced as I was carrying my Guardians across from D1 and my introduction to the story was a little different and was a great nod to the loyal playerbase.
Over the next week I played through the campaign and my impression was that I was blown away, My view of the Destiny 2 campaign was thatit was simply excellent. The storytelling and cutscenes were far above what I had previously experience with D1, I had bought into the characters and felt that I cared what happened in the story.
Graphically the game had stepped up a notch, playing on a PS pro I could see big improvements in the graphics, not only in the cutscenes but gameworlds are vast and detailes.
The sound effects and gun play is as good as ever and will discuss gun play a little later in the review. Bungie has also introduced new features, such as Fast Travel points and Lost sectors to explore. All in all it appeared to be a recipe for a very successful sequel……or so I thought!
So, what went wrong with Destiny 2? I personally think that well meaning changes to the core game where made to make the game more inclusive to the new and more casual player, however this had the impact of removing all what made Destiny 1 great and making the Destiny 2 game appear stale once you had completed the campaign. The gameplay appeared a little slower, more noticiable in PVP where character movement speed seemed stunted. All weapons had static stat rolls, effectively eliminating the need to grind the game for the perfect weapon, something that the community in general like.
Character progression through the power and light levels seemed too easy, levelling up should always been challenging. Fast travel points – I intially thought that this would be a welcome addtion however all it has done is stop me from exploring or riding my sparrow!
The raid – this is the jewel in the crown for a MMO style game, the raids in D1 was in the most part excellent. They required skill, communication and co-ordination. and they were fun! The raid in D2 , not so much, It is excellent in its design but I felt that they had moved too far away from ‘the boss fight’ and more on to puzzle based encounters.
So it isn’t looking good for Destiny 2 and maybe the game isn’t worth playing, right?
If history has taught us anything, it is to never write off Bungie! Since launch, Bungie have continued to make small improvements to the game and are attempting to address the complainers! Even as I type this review Bungie have just concluded a ‘community summit’ with the aim to gather together the community representives whether streamers/content creators or MLG players and spend 2 days with the developers to bring (hopefully) sweeping changes to the game. This, i think is unprecendented and shows us the committment that Bungie have to bring back glory to my beloved Destiny.
We have already seen the launch of the first DLC – the curse of osiris which I thought was excellent and with the inclusion of new armour and weapon sets, I now have things to do in game, They have even launched the first Raid Lair, A shorter and more engaging experience. More fundamental sandbox changes have been introduced also, increased player speed and weapon balancing has defintitely made the experience more enjoyable. But as they admit themselves they still have a long way to go.
We have the next DLC just around the corner, whcih is bringing more change. But we will have to wait until september (I think) before we will get Destiny 2 version of the Taken King with the game changers and promises that we hope are kept.
In summary, am I worried about Destiny 2? No, it took almost 3 years for Destiny 1 to get to the point where it felt like a complete game! In Bungie we trust!!!
Finally, would I recommend Destiny 2 to new players? Absolutely, the campaign itself is excellent and the level of content available is excellent value. I can’t score Destiny 2 yet as I don’t think its a complete game yet so The Gamer Hive will revisit in the Autumn.
However – it does get My seal of approval.