Title: Destiny 2

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC (planned)

Reviewed on: PS4

Genre: FPS, RPG

Players: Single player, Co Op, Versus 4v4

Written by Whistler 9th October 2017

Bungie’s MMOFPS franchise hasn’t had the smoothest ride in it’s nearly four year run where even when it started fixing issues, the public never seemed to warm back up to the sci-fi loot-a-thon. What didn’t help is how much the story was relegated to Bungie.net’s Grimoires or amongst text based descriptions and the infamous line, "I don't have time to explain why I don't have time to explain". So ever since news of Destiny 2’s release, even fans of title were somewhat skeptical.

Credit where credit’s due, Bungie have finally realized how important it is to get the player’s invested in becoming a guardian, setting the stakes and introducing us to the main villain in the very first mission.

D2 opens to the Last City of Earth under siege by the elite Cabal military sect, the infamous Red Legion, led by one self-appointed leader, Emperor Ghaul. Finally the battle actually feels like hits close to home, especially now that the Red Legion have captured the Traveler itself and have sapped all Guardians of their powers of the Light. In one mission the player’s are now set up as the underdogs, having to scrap together a resistance in order to fight back against this seemingly undefeatable menace.

It’s a shame then, that this fantastic set-up quickly falls to the side and the status quo returns in full effect. It may be harsh to say but in light of how effective it sets up the main narrative, Destiny 2’s main storyline fails to really deliver a level of epic proportions that the developer’s have been known for. The main story certainly has it’s highlights but it still boils down to a funneling process for gear until your leveled enough to take on the Strikes, Nightfall missions and the Raid. That being said it’s nice to see the game does give more time to developing key NPCs including some fresh faces, even it if is only brief; the three Vanguard (Ikora, Zavala and Cayde-6) play a far more involved role this time and Cayde-6, the fan favourite, gets much more screentime. A few additional NPC’s are thrown in, mainly to deliver context within missions on each of the planets, my personal favourite being Failsafe. A schizophrenic Golden Age AI that has lived on a crashed ship for countless years, Failsafe is deeply sympathetic, caring and in equal measures completely insane making for plenty of comedic yet genuine dialogue. But really let’s be honest, we’re here to do the one thing Destiny does really well, and that’s shoot the baddies then loot those sweet engrams. While it functions much the same, fundamentally Destiny 2’s gameplay refines and retunes various aspects under the hood for a much tighter experience though granted not without some debatable design choices.

Upon starting the game you have a choice between three classes: The Warlock capable of summoning a healing rift for allies, the agile Hunter and the walking powerhouse Titan. Having unlocked and played around with all three subclasses for each I can safely say they’re all a enjoyable to play with though are somewhat underwhelming in some regards especially in how they’re unlocked. Sadly compared to Destiny 1 and it’s expansions, only one new subclass is introduced throughout the entirety of D2’s playtime. Warlock’s acquire the Dawnblade subclass, effectively replacing the Sunsinger, Titan’s become Sentinels and Hunters can unleash lightning fury as Arcstriders. While it’s great that the first subclasses we get to play with after the first mission are new, cementing a fresh feel for D2, the other subclasses are unlocked through a rather unimpressive and yet bizarre set of milestones.

Overall unlocking these subclasses could’ve provided the devs with an excellent way of expanding upon the narrative but they just come across as tacked on and easily forgettable. There is some semblance at an attempt to add lore and make gaining a new subclass interesting, but it just completely lacks the satisfaction that gaining a new subclass should feel like. What’s more is that the subclasses gained are ones we’ve already become well acquainted with in the previous title so it doesn’t really feel all that exciting to play the unlocked subclasses besides maybe getting to play our personal favourites again.

Destiny 2’s gunplay on the other hand remains as fun as ever, while the grouping of weapon types that I went over in detail for the beta still has some of us divided, overall running and gunning is still just as satisfying. To briefly recap, player’s now effectively carry two primary weapons divided into kinetic and energy slots, and one power weapon. Primary weapons consist of all your usual auto rifles, scout rifles, hand cannons, and all other sorts of small arms assortments. In theory the idea is you swap to your energy weapon to deal damage to the corresponding elemental shields then swapping back to kinetic guns to finish the job. For when things get hairy you can then whip out your power weapon, consisting of swords, rocket launchers, fusion rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and the newly added grenade launchers. These weapons are capable of dealing mass amounts of damage while at the cost of relatively rare power ammo. Overall swapping between the three weapon types feels somewhat underutilized but likewise refreshingly liberating as you’re free to put together a loadout that suits you more. Relegating the likes of sniper rifles and shotguns to the power weapon slot does feel somewhat limiting, meaning while everyone’s free to choose their loadout, few will feel all that different to one another.

While there is of course a clear meta for the most efficient weapons for either PVE or PVP content it is still enjoyable to experiment and most guns feel satisfying to use except for arguably the grenade launchers and scout rifles. As it stands few of both categories really feel like the function as they should, with grenade launcher’s feeling too clumsy to properly utilize and scout rifles doing mediocre long range damage that is dwarfed compared to most auto rifles with ease.

These changes are likely to create a more even playing field for Destiny 2’s PVP, but it’s effects can be felt rippling through the PVE content due to the previously mentioned reasons. Whether intentional or not, a byproduct of these changes can be felt in how Destiny 2 places a great deal more emphasis on teamplay. PVP feels wholeheartedly better than it’s previous iteration, while granted somewhat frustrating should you come up against stacked teams, PVP is far more enjoyable due to more gunskill focused action that benefits from communication with your team.

The infusion system has seen a slight overhaul that will likely cause some frustrations for most of us. Simply put, in D1 with legendary and above gear you could infuse higher leveled gear into your favourite pieces of equipment so you could still progress while getting to keep your prefered threads and guns. Now however you can only achieve this process using the same kind of gear, so to keep that snazzy Nezarec’s Sin helmet you’ll need to find a higher rated helmet to infuse into it. This can cause plenty of frustration hoping for specific types of drops but thankfully there’s still plenty of good gear to play around with until you get that 300 Light Level autorifle and can stop getting moaned at for using the Mida-Multi Tool.

Of course the real meat to Destiny content lies in the endgame Nightfall Strikes, Raids and Trials of the Nine. Nightfall's are essentially Strike missions with added modifiers and a time limit to really bring on some pressure while netting better rewards and ultimately a better experience for those of us that love a challenge. So far they have been true to their word and you’d best ensure you have the patience and friends list available for taking them on. My one gripe with these, and by extension Raids and Trials, is that Destiny 2, much like D1, does not really do a great job of transitioning players into endgame content. Where the story is easily soloable and Strike missions will queue you up with others wanting to play them, Nightfalls, Raids and Trials suddenly throws the player in the deep end with no proper way of playing without jumping through the haphazardly put together hoops. There is a companion app but honestly after a couple of uses I made a point to just ask my friend if himself and/or others would be willing to help me with these missions.

Ultimately it feels like D2 still has the same issue in regards to raids that it’s predecessor had. To get the full experience of the endgame content you practically need to join a clan, or convince several friends to stay invested in the game. Should you manage this however the endgame content is refreshingly rewarding as the Raid is challenging for newcomers but not overwhelmingly stressful so long as you have a team that’s willing to exercise some patience.

Destiny 2’s highlight is in the successful feeling achieved when you bring about victory with a team of friends both newly found and old, even after hours of frustrations, it’s that moment of success that makes it all worth it.

While Destiny 2’s story is still rather bare bones, the base game lays down a far more solid foundation for expansions to build upon. It still feels like a multiplayer shooter trying it’s best to fill the boots of a MMO but it’s the kind of multiplayer shooter we don’t want to admit we want. For some you’ll likely burn through its content and likely never pick it back up, but much like an everyday takeaway, Destiny 2 is that guilty pleasure you like to come home to relax and enjoy with mates.


Solid presentation,

Superb gunplay,

Challenging and rewarding endgame content.


Main story is surprisingly short,

Narrative falls apart pretty quickly,

Infusion system feels like padding at times,

Little in ways of new enemies.

Final verdict,

Destiny 2 scores a 7 out of 10.

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