Destiny 2 Review

Destiny 2

by Matt Kamen |
Published on

Remember when the first Destiny came out, and it was effectively sans plot? Recall how it took until the Taken King expansion for Bungie to really decide what the game was meant to be? Mercifully, Destiny 2 doesn't make the same mistake – it's a fuller, richer, deeper game in every respect, from plot to mechanics.

Picking up one year after the events of the Rise of Iron expansion, Destiny 2 begins at the end – the end of humanity's last bastion, that is. As the Last City falls before Dominus Ghaul and his Red Legion army, players get an opening that plays like the original game, before all the familiar elements are stripped away in the wake of Ghaul's conquest of Earth. It's a choice that works well on two levels, moving the story along for returning players who know the lore, while presenting a gripping for newcomers.

Destiny 2

It also ups the stakes – Destiny 2's main campaign feels like it has real stakes, with the future of Earth really and truly on the line in a way that never came across before. Best of all, the story is actually in the game this time, not revealed through those obnoxious grimoire cards that you had to visit the website to read.

It's more imaginative and visually spectacular than anything in the first game.

While the three core character classes – Hunter, Warlock, and Titan – return, new subclasses offer a way to mix up skills and super moves. Warlocks, for instance, retain the original 'Voidwalker' subclass, though slightly modified, but gains the new 'Dawnblade', with a super move that unleashes shards of devastating light knives from the air. It's a nice way to diversify your play style, with wild card attacks that differ from your core proficiencies.

The world of Destiny 2 impresses too. From the wilds of Earth beyond the fallen city to space battles of a scale that almost dwarfs the imagination, it's more imaginative and visually spectacular than anything in the first game.

Post-story, you'll have a familiar array of Strikes and Crucible missions, expanding the co-op and versus gameplay and accessible from the new social area, the Farm. These feel fairly immaterial at present, but expect the variety of content and challenges to expand as the months go by.

Destiny 2

However, a few curious changes from the original rankle. There's no more free play of story missions, only 'Meditations', a curated selection of three missions, playable at a higher level. Your Guardian is now more customisable, with individual armour pieces now repaintable, but the Shaders used to do it are now consumable – and available to buy through microtransactions. Most baffling, Sparrows – the hoverbike vehicles synonymous with the first game – are now random loot drops, making exploring the world slower than we'd like.

Overall though, Destiny 2 is a delight, improving on the original accessibility, storytelling, and scope. Guardians should get ready to pour another few years of their life into this.

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