To say Destiny has seen a significant amount of success would be an understatement, but there were undeniable flaws with the game that did stunt its popularity at times. A confused plot that was mostly filled out with cards you view online, a lack of content in the vanilla version of the game, and confusing systems were among its many reasonable criticisms. Fortunately, out of the gate Destiny 2 fixes most of these problems in style.
Destiny 2 tells the story of the Dominus Ghaul – a Cabal emperor – who wants to claim the power of the Traveller, a godlike being appearing as a giant white sphere on earth. He does this through an assault that captures the Traveller in a giant forcefield stopping the Traveller’s power getting out. As the Traveller provides the light to the guardians – which is where they source their regeneration power – this cripples the guardians resulting in many being lost in space, and the few left on earth hiding out. Your guardian finds some light and manages to attain pieces of your power back as you venture on to spur the guardians forward to save the Traveller, stopping Dominus’ more devastating plans.
The big change here is the incorporation of a solid campaign, worthy of any single first person shooter that is concise, fun and interesting to follow. There are many breaks in the story, which allow for some local exploration or side missions to be completed but the story is present until the end, and can be happily enjoyed even if someone doesn’t enjoy the online aspects of the game. Though following the story will give you touches of other elements such as the crucible – multiplayer PVP – and strikes – multiplayer PVE – which Is enough to introduce you to these modes, it won’t force you to play excessive amounts.
If you play the story through to the end, and any little dabbles of other missions or Public Events, it is likely you will hit the level cap of 20 by the end. This is great because Destiny has always locked more advanced content away behind the level 20 cap, so most players are likely to hit level 20 easily making it more open than Destiny.
They have scrapped the light system for a similarly designed power system. The light system was a way to see your strength after the level cap with the upgrades of weapons or armour. This has been replaced with a similar power system which is a number by your character’s name that from the start increases as you get stronger and equip better gear. It’s the same system, but simplified making it more accessible for new players.
Each planet has been given a faction leader which you can use to level up and get great gear from. This is gained by finding loot boxes, completing side missions and Public Events as you earn planet specific tokens. Giving these tokens to the faction leaders levels you up for that planet which allows you to acquire legendary gear. Until you hit level 20 you can’t claim this gear, but it is easily worth the wait.
An example of a strong upgrade is the introduction of a regional map which makes navigation infinitely easier. This has allowed story and side missions to be started in the environment without being lost in the wilderness; also, more importantly it has given a warning for Public Events. Public Events are fun short side missions which happen randomly in the maps where for example there may be an enemy mining site, or high powered enemies which occur around you even if you don’t partake. These are unique though not new to Destiny 2, but thanks to the map you can see where Public Events will take place in the next couple of minutes so you can get in the mix in time which has increased involvement in the events making them significantly more fun. Each of these events also have a trigger where if you do something specific it becomes a heroic quest, which inserts a harder enemy and even better loot.
The Strikes, Nightfall and Leviathan Raid are all awesome as well. I am not going to into spoiler territory as they are worth going in blind and enjoying the action unfolding in front of you. But I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, easily matching the first games ones.
There is so much content in the game, but I’d be amiss to not mention other elements. The soundtrack is fantastic, which fades in and out as action appears doing a significant job of adding or removing tension as needed. The game is also stunning with some beautiful alien landscapes, but more importantly above all it plays so well. Like the first game, the gameplay is perfect, the shooting is easy to use, and feels fantastic, which makes it so much easier to want to dive back in to play a few missions here and there.
9/10 – Destiny 2 still feels like it could use some more post game content, which I expect will come, but looking at the value for money it’s easily worth its price of admission. A solid campaign, a lot of tweaks and improvements on the first game, and the excellent gameplay should make anyone turned off by the original Destiny happier this time round.