Destiny 2 is the complete game fans wanted in Destiny 1’s launch. It is the proof that Bungie took in the feedback they received with every Destiny iteration and DLC. You have a story that doesn’t feel tacked together or rushed. It actually makes you want to listen to the conversations and banter. You have a class restructuring that doesn’t seem to give any one play style the edge (for now at least). You have a gun system that keeps PVP matches flowing, with all instakill weapons being sorted into a more elusive category.
The implementation and organization of the various modes also saw improvement. Quests tell you where to go and how to get there clearly. Public events show up on every planets map, indicating where they are, when they are starting or whether they are already underway. Just show up to a public space and tackle Vanguard enemies with other guardians that happen to be roaming the area. Or just select a story quest, track it, and land in the nearest quick-travel area for easy navigation.
The main and side missions were fun to complete and play through. Character voice acting was on-point and interesting, creating the perfect backdrop for even your side missions. As Destiny 2 continues Destiny’s general mold of the “the game starts once you beat it”, the ride through the campaign didn’t at all feel like a chore-ridden drag. I actually found myself wanting to play all the side missions just to get the full serving of the single-player and PVE content. Don’t want to play the side missions by yourself? Just invite two of your friends and play through to your hearts content.
Trials of the Nine even takes brings down some of the gripes found in Destiny 1’s Trials of Osiris. A flawless card consists of seven wins instead of nine and you receive powerful rewards even on successful yet non-flawless run. It is definitely more welcoming than Trials of Osiris, where you only acquired “lesser” versions of weapons that were only obtained when your team had a flawless run. If not pulling your own weight is sort of your thing, then rejoice as the now four-man team model allows for easier carrying by Trials “sherpas” and players of the like.
Best of all, character subclasses both old and new feel generally balanced. And that’s something I expected Bungie to struggle with early, given the see-saw patches that were applied during the first Destiny’s life span. Aside from seemingly 80% of the world using the Exotic scout rifle, MIDA Multi-tool, the gunplay itself still felt balanced. Hand cannons seem to have taken a back seat in my PVP experiences, where my peers and I didn’t really feel like any current hand cannon was worth the time. However, Bungie has shown over the years that they closely monitor things like these, so I anticipate a “balancing” patch coming down the line fairly soon.
Bungie’s close monitoring gives the players that bode of confidence that they care about the lifespan of Destiny 2. With Destiny 2’s presentation, execution, and overall fun, that’s bound to keep players around for quite a while, especially with DLC in the horizon. Destiny 2 is a success story of a game that you need to give a try. It’s my personal game of the year, with only two months to go before we’re in 2018. Definitely check out Destiny 2 for yourself here!
† Destiny 2 review copy and non-rfmag tagged screenshots provided by Activision PR.