A few years ago I was one of the few online writers to see the longevity and fun that could be had in Bungie’s Destiny. For me, it had everything that the beta had promised, a team-based experience where you could play mission after mission with friends, while gaining levels and loot along the way. I was so sure of my experience with the game that I even gave it a high score on Metacritic, which in true Internet style prompted verbally charged spite, one comment even coming from a major video game outlet. Despite the venom spewed at my opinion of the title, which I still hold firmly onto when people ask me about Destiny, I still play the hell out of the game with my friends and I still see the entertainment value that originally captured me in 2014.
Three years after its initial launch, the world now has a taste of Bungie’s second go around with the game and this editor has a firm grasp, thanks to some hands-on gameplay, on how this game is going to go. So, let’s break this down.
Things that were said at the presentation
In case you missed it, and you might have because some people tend to work on Fridays, the Destiny 2 reveal event was amazing. Here are some notable points that were covered:
– Developers were firmly focused on Destiny 2’s story, worlds, characters and enemies. What this essentially means is that the team seemed to focus more on the narrative design this time around, which is a HUGE plus when it comes to making the game memorable. One of the bigger issues with the first game was that people simply didn’t ‘get’ the story without going online via browser to look it up as they unlocked it. The narrative design of the game seems to be in full swing this time around with an evil group called the Red Legion, led by Lord Ghaul, hellbent on taking down the guardians and stripping them of their light. The game begins with the destruction of The Tower, which is an intense firefight.
Anyway, it looks like we’re going to finally get what we’ve been craving since 2014.
– Never play alone. Even though I’m positive that most of you would prefer to play this game alone, if given the chance (you hermits) the team at Bungie sounded determined to make sure that if you wanted to play the game with strangers, be it raids or otherwise, then you didn’t have to go to Reddit to track random people down to join up for a raid. People will be able to search through clans to find some potential space to temporarily join. The search even goes as far as to tell you about the clans that you are looking through — real information. This avoids the need to gather up friends via text messages or google hangout, or even try to coordinate schedules to make a ‘date’ online. There is now an open door at any given point to play in a clan, which is just absolutely huge.
– Maps are your friend. The maps in the game are now more informative and useful. Instead of merely pointing you to your next destination, they will do such wonderful things such as pinpointing treasure hunts, adventures (short mini-quests) and, this is one of the more exciting ones, public events. When a public event goes down, you’re alerted on the map and can go to it. That is incredibly useful. In addition to these, there is also a new set of missions called Lost Sectors. They provide shorter missions with a boss and treasure at the end.
– Oh, that’s Super. New supers were introduced at the event. They are as follows.
* Dawnblade – This super has your guardian throwing down spinning swords at a rapid pace. Violent, quick and
powerful. People who love sword play in Destiny will adore
* Sentinel – If you ever wanted to mix Captain America’s shield with Destiny, then welcome to that result. You can block, melee or throw the shield. Neat? Oh, yeah. I didn’t get a chance to try this out, but I’m stoked about it.
* Arcstrider – Break out that bo staff, Napoleon Dynamite, because it’s time to whoop up! Neat, quick, powerful and a great edition to things.
– Battle.net is leading the way for PC delivery of Destiny 2. It’s exclusive. A bold move? Yep. A stable move? Most definitely. Those folks at Blizzard know what they’re doing and it seems like a great way to keep things in the family.
There was certainly more information at the event, but those were the most important and most interesting. Let’s get on to the impressions now.
I managed to play multiple sessions of everything except PvP, which was fine with me because if you look at that video below you’ll notice my ass being handed to me (thanks, YouTubers). Anyway, here is a breakdown of my experience with the gameplay.
PC (Campaign) — This is by far one of the more talked about items at the Destiny 2 event. For you hardware purest out there, the game runs at 60fps on PC. That means, if you own a PC, then you’re going to be in for a treat. In addition, the game is absolutely stunning running on a PC. Thanks to it being built on such a beast and it enjoying things like high-powered NVIDIA cards, Destiny 2 will more than likely run the best and brightest on the PC platform. I know, it’s not like that is some sort of revelation or surprise, but PC people should once again feel elite because you currently are elite. Poorer than console gamers, but elite nonetheless.
Anyway, the campaign moved gorgeously on the PC platform. All the full video effects were in full force and all combined equaled out to a spectacular gaming experience. What you see in the mission gameplay video is what you get running on the PC. The keyboard and the mouse, for once (for me), were a treat to use and designed to be thoughtless. PC gamers have another thing to look forward to this year.
PlayStation 4 (Strike) — The strike was interesting. The areas covered in the strike were vast with multi-tier levels. You begin in a nice desert land and make your way down (and I mean down) multiple tiers of Vex and Red Legion into a mining operation that features large rotating land scrapers that can kill you instantly, if you get in their way. Once past those things, you make your way up, up, up levels of fighting with more Vex and Red Legion until you make it to the final boss, who proceeds to lead you down, down, down. Each level the boss leads you too has a different way of reacting to your fighting, as does the style of fighting from the boss itself.
The first tier of the boss fight is just a basic fight that has you running around a rectangular level. After a certain amount of damage to the boss, the level’s ground disappears dropping you into a level that will randomly have its ground turn hot and fiery (which damages you). After you damage the boss even more, you drop down to an icy level where the boss makes his/her way around you in a circular fashion as his/her minions try to take you out.
The strike was big, bold and beautiful. The details, especially during the scrapping portion of the map, were breathtaking. The graphical upgrade of the game can be seen through this strike. I’m certainly glad the last generation is finally over.
Anyway, the strike lasted around 20-40 minutes, depending on teammates and stupid decisions.
PlayStation 4 (PvP) — I will let the video speak for itself below. I will add that Countdown, the only PvP game at the event, was simple to follow, but tough when not executed properly. Definitely a game for more seasoned MP gamers out there. Anyway, enjoy me getting my ass kicked.
PlayStation 4 (Campaign) — The exact same experience as the PC version, sans 30 frames. It was still pretty and it was much easier to run through because of the controller, at least for me. Ultimately, it was just as good as the PC version.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with what is in store for gamers with Destiny 2. It was everything I thought it might be and a bit more than expected. Bungie appears to be on the right track with their sequel and some things that may have fallen to the wayside for some people is now back on track with D2. How the final product ends up will have to wait for the September review, but as it stands now, there’s enough to be excited about.