Destiny 2 finally makes it onto PC and things couldn’t be better for the game when compared to the console brethren. The essential gameplay of the game hasn’t changed from the console version, which means you still get the same type of content and the same adventures. The campaign is still enthralling, even after going through it a third time, and the additional content outside of it is very much intact. If you want to read a complete breakdown of the gameplay itself, then please let me refer you to my PlayStation 4 review, which is the size of a bible. Otherwise, you will just be listening to a broken record and it will unnecessarily drown out why you want to purchase the PC version.
I will spoil my opinion of the gameplay for you right from the start, as I still stand behind my 9.8 score of the title of the initial gameplay. For me, it’s about the experience of playing a game with my closest friends, even though there is a lot of repetition in it currently, and it still is a fun experience, at least for me. I know gamers demand more, especially on the PC side of the tracks, but this reviewer enjoys short stints of fun with friends. The PC version of the game will be given the same score because the content hasn’t changed. The PC upgrades make a more visually appealing difference than the console, but the core gameplay still remains the same, which is far more vital to me than to most reviewers out there.
That said, this review of the PC version will focus on PC elements of the game that stand out. I know there are some important categories, especially in regards to 4K/HDR/Framerate, so the focus will be solely on those elements. Without further delay, let’s get it started.
I reviewed this on a machine sporting a NVIDIA 1080 card, which was pushing above and beyond 60fps during gameplay. It was also reviewed using a 4K/HDR-ready monitor, which showed off a lot of visual glory from the gameplay that wasn’t previously seen in the console version of the game. Those upgrades really do make a difference in terms of quality with Destiny 2. Being a console guy for the majority of my life, I hadn’t fully been able to appreciate the differences PC version of games could make until this game. Games are born on the PC and are dumbed down to the console, so it would make sense you’re getting the top-tier of the bunch when you play a title on PC. This is the case with Destiny 2. It’s a gorgeous game to see in motion. The higher resolution and frame rate options seriously separate it from the field when compared to the console versions.
Bungie certainly could have dialed things in, given a hungry PC audience what the console audience received to make things fair and not leave out one group versus the other, but they did a few things to ensure PC experiences were still the superior gaming experience. I’m sure they wanted to give PC folks a reason to keep playing Destiny 2 and I think they did. The first big thing they did is unlock the frame rate, which allows you to go above and beyond typically locked fps, though the end results depend on the hardware you’re reviewing it on. I know that we tried to push the 120 frames during the beta version of Destiny 2, but the 1080 card spat that out poorly. The sweet-spot for us was just a little above the 60 frame mark, which looks gorgeous in motion, though I know more reviewers out there had better success with better hardware (120+ fps in some instances). I’m not a huge frame rate sort of reviewer, as I honestly don’t give two-shits about if a game is 30/60fps (as long as it isn’t 15-25 fps, we’re golden), but seeing it all in motion certainly makes D2 look and play more fluidly. It makes me want to rebuild our machine at work and push the fps to the limits for the game. I was highly impressed on how much beauty comes out of a nice, high frame rate. It put my PS4Pro to shame.
Take the frame rate and mix that with 4K/HDR capabilities, which are a setting in Destiny 2’s options menu, and you have a visual match made in heaven. I know how good 4K/HDR can look when done properly and Bungie did a great job with offering up this option and making it worth your while. Again, Bungie certainly could have dialed things in and not extended that visual ceiling out for the PC version, but they pretty much gave enough space for everyone to experience Destiny 2 from common to exceptional. If you have the capabilities to show off the game in 4K/HDR, then by all means use those capabilities. It’s a visual wonder that does benefit from the upgrade.
Now, as for this mouse and keyboard thingy. I do realize that I’m the odd-reviewer out here, and I hold it against me before I hold it against Bungie, but wow it’s an odd experience. When I attended a Destiny 2 event back in May, the first thing I was scheduled to play was the PC version of the title. I sat down, looked at the mouse and keyboard, then looked helplessly at the other reviewer next to me. He stared back and we both understood, without speaking a single word, that we cut our teeth on consoles and this whole PC keyboard/mouse thing was for the birds. Humor aside, that same event I did finally understand, once I got the schematics put in front of me on paper (you get slower at understanding things when you’re older), why someone would use the mouse/keyboard to play a first-person shooter on the PC. It’s certainly more comfortable, especially the Destiny 2 scheme, and it make sense with the keyboard layout. Everything felt like it was in the right place with my fingers and it took about 3-5 minutes to get comfortable with it. By the end, I was actually preferring the PC route of gameplay versus the console route. I finally understand why someone would purchase a weighted mouse that had flexible button configuration. It was enlightening and a moment of zen for my gaming senses.
Of course, I was ruined after that with console controllers and with my first initial amount of D2 gameplay during the PS4 review process, but I never forgot how comfortable it felt to play with a mouse/keyboard. It was odd, but it works well and Bungie did a good job scheming it.
Overall, Destiny 2 on the PC is visually and control-wise a far superior version of the game when compared to the console version. The same content exists for both, but the visual flexibility/beauty and control comfort completely goes to the PC. If you have the means to dig into it on the PC, then you should go that route. If you don’t, the console version works just as well.