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Destiny 2

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 27 - 2017

Welcome back, Guardian.

 
While I must confess to not being a Destiny die-hard, I will admit that the game remained installed on my console’s limited hard drive all the way through until the launch of the sequel. And while I must also confess that I have not studied and learned all of the lore of the Destiny universe, I did end up buying the game three different times. The fact is, I really enjoyed the game. There was something about the shooting in Destiny that was simply satisfying and, despite all the many other problems that the game had, especially at launch, I could keep coming back to shoot various aliens and feel happy.

 
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After three years, and various expansions that improved the game no end, Destiny has finally been removed from my Xbox One, replaced with the sequel Destiny 2. This time around, Bungie have addressed a huge number of the criticisms aimed at the first game, resulting in a game that has so many more reasons to be happy to play. And the shooting is just as sublime as ever.

 
I was excited to jump into Destiny 2 once the game was ready on my console, but I really wasn’t prepared for what came next. The campaign in Destiny 2 starts in the most dramatic manner, and follows into what is an impressive narrative journey, far outreaching anything that the original game had to offer. The campaign, which will run past 10 hours for the majority of players, is the first of many improvements that Bungie have made over the first game, and it is probably the most obvious.

 
What a great way to start a sequel! Basically, a faction of the Cabal known as the Red Legion, led by the impressively evil Dominus Ghaul, attack Earth and capture the Traveler, the giant alien planet thing that gives the Guardians their power. It turns out that Dominus Ghaul wants to take the Traveler’s light for himself. In the initial chaos, the player’s Guardian is essentially stripped of all their powers and weapons, and left for dead. It is all very dramatic.

 
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What comes next is the slow stomp to safety, by which we mean a new central hub known as The Farm. From here, the player can head off into danger, face off against some Fallen, and then try to reconnect with the Light and get some powers back. It may take a while, but you know that eventually the fight will be going back to Dominus Ghaul and the Red Legion.

 
The pacing of the campaign is just brilliant, with players visiting some truly memorable locations as they progress. New planets to visit offer some spectacular set pieces and the campaign characters bring everything to life, keeping the player more invested than anything the previous game could offer. Players are also given the chance to get to grips with new abilities and such as they progress smoothly through the campaign, as it really does flow very naturally.

 
Players will level up at a reasonable rate, unlocking new skills, until they reach the level 20 cap and then start judging progress by increasing their Power level. This is increased through finding new gear, following the same gameplay loop that the original game used. Players will play the game in the hope that they find some cool new, more powerful weapons or armour that will increase their Power level, allowing them to find some more cool loot to increase their Power level, etc. It is a loop that many players found frustrating in the first game, myself included. However, in Destiny 2 there are a couple of things that really make the loop much more bearable. The first is that the weapons in the game are all pretty incredible, and are so satisfying to use. In this respect, any frustration is somewhat tempered by actually being able to use a cool new gun.

 
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The other thing that makes the loop more tolerable in the sequel, is that there is so much to do out of the gate. The original Destiny, before all of the expansions came along and offered more, was quite limited in variety for the player. Destiny 2 not only offers more variety of activities, but also ties them together in a much more seamless way. You have patrols, strikes and the excellent new adventures that offer up involving side quests that are great to play. There are public events and limited time events that refresh regularly to keep the content varied and enjoyable even after the campaign is finished. Then you have the return of the Crucible, Destiny’s competitive multiplayer offering, which also brings a selection of changes for those Guardians who prefer to fight among themselves.

 
For solo players like myself, there is a lot to like in Destiny 2, more so than the first game. A huge amount of the activities can be played alone, and even the co-op events now allow for matchmaking, so the friendless player need not miss out on large parts of the game. If you happen to have a clan, or be part of a like minded team of players, then new rewards for clans, and additional customisation, makes Destiny 2 even better.

 
At the end of the day, there are a lot of changes in Destiny 2, most of which act as improvements over the first game. It does feel quite different and takes a little getting used to when first starting, especially if it is not long since playing Destiny. But players will soon slip back into the comfortable role of Guardian, and appreciate the little things such as being able to move from one mission to the next with less downtime and feeling more engaged with a story. Of course, the real test of Destiny 2 will be the longevity. From launch, there is far more varied content than before, and it is a much more fluid experience. Will Destiny 2 be the phenomenon that the original game was? Well, it is looking good so far, but we will have to wait and see what else Bungie has up its sleeve for this sequel.

 
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Destiny 2 brings the same excellent gunplay and the same game loop, but adds more mission variety and a decent story. There are lots of other little changes as well, but also many of the same problems that players leveled against the first game. Despite its problems, Destiny was a great game, and Destiny 2 follows suit. Fans of the series and newcomers can both jump in, safe in the knowledge that they will have a damn good time.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



 

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