Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By Jesse Fobare
FCE 

Destiny 2

Game Connoisseur

 

Last updated 11/21/2017 at 3:03pm | View PDF



On September 26th, 2017, Bungie released their high-anticipated sequel to Destiny, which released back in 2014. The MMO-style shooter has been a hot topic in console gaming since the birth of the franchise due to it’s interesting combination of MMO/RPG and shooter elements, as well as the fact that it’s Bungie’s follow-up game to their wildly successful Halo series (which was taken over by 343 Industries in 2012).

A major complaint about the first Destiny was that the story was awful. And it was. Maybe it’s not that it was awful, but it wasn’t really there. Yes, the “campaign” in a style game like this may not be as important, but it would be great for the player to at least have some sort of purpose for all the things they’re doing. I’m not going to spend much time talking about Destiny 2’ story, but I will say that it’s there, and much more satisfying than its predecessor’s.

Bungie understands how to make a game that they want their community to continuously go back to. The gameplay isn’t much different than it was in Destiny 1, and this is a GOOD thing. Everything feels incredibly fine-tuned. The controls are smooth, the weapons feel fun to shoot, and the class abilities are still there as Bungie’s trademark “4th element” outside the realm of guns, grenades, and melee mechanics. Even after spending hours and hours doing strike missions, raids, and PVP, simply walking around the Cosomodrome and popping Fallen in the head with a scout rifle was one of most fun things to do in the first game. These are the elements that made the first Destiny so much fun to play and are the reason I put upwards of 400 hours into it.

In Destiny 2, this smooth and satisfying gameplay experience is still present. There are still Fallen to pop in the head, there’s tons of loot to pick up, and lots of areas to explore. Speaking of exploration, Bungie really kicked it up a notch when it comes to level design. The planets seem much less linear than they did in Destiny 1, giving the player the opportunity to spend more time walking around looting chests and enjoying Bungie’s a, rather than flying down a straight path in their sparrow(which are still in D2) to reach their objective as quickly as possible. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more time exploring the EDZ(D2’s first explorable area) already than I spent in patrol mode on any planet in Destiny 1. Public events are now TRACKABLE(I know, right?) and have a chance of granting the player one of those coveted exotic engrams. A lot of my time spent in the game so far as been zooming around each of the planets with my college buddies from public event to public event in hopes of getting some good loot.

One of my main issues in Destiny 1 was that Bungie was constantly experimenting with the game’s progression systems to the point where it was hard to keep up. There was a point where you needed a full set of raid gear to be max level. The players complained(rightfully so) and Bungie allowed players to be max level wearing whatever they’d like.The damage model for guns changed a few times as well. Each update I downloaded, I thought to myself (I wonder what guns I won’t be able to use this time.) Several updates to the game changed how you upgraded your gear, making it hard to catch up if you hadn’t played in a while. The game ended up being very grind-y, which, isn’t always a bad thing, but when it seems like your progress is being bottlenecked by what system Bungie happens to be trying, then there’s a problem.

It’s a bit too early to tell if Destiny 2’s progression system is here to stay. They seem to have a simple system that works: to upgrade your gear, you simply find gear of a higher value and break it down to increase the level of your current gear. Seems fine to me. The max attack/defense value sits at 305 right now, and in order to find gear to break down to get you there, you have to complete weekly challenges to acquire the “powerful gear” engrams. These weekly challenges basically consist of playing the game. Do the weekly nightfall strike and the raid(which is phenomenal, by the way), play a little crucible, and run around with your friends doing some public events and you should get a powerful guardian in no time.

Bungie emphasized much more weapon/abilities balance for crucible this time around. But I worry that their efforts to balance have made the rest of the game feel a bit watered down. A good chunk of the exotics don’t really feel exotic. Their characteristics feel a little weak and generic compared to awesome unique weapons in Destiny 1 like Icebreaker and Helm of Saint-14. This is a minor complaint in the grand scheme of how fun the game is to play, but I hope that content added to the game in the future will be more special.

Overall, if you played Destiny 1 and enjoyed it, you need to play Destiny 2. It’s a time sink, yes. Bungie always has a little carrot dangling in front of you to keep you playing. Even if you haven’t played Destiny 1, I think this game has more to offer for someone more casual who may not have as much time to spend grinding for those precious engrams.

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