The eagerly awaited Destiny 2 is here, at least for consoles! We can’t wait for the PC version ourselves, but couldn’t resist going hands-on with the PS4 version already to get a taste of what’s to come. Here are our impressions.
The presentation that Bungie gave us about Destiny 2 last month during Gamescom was a good sampler of what was to come – it confirmed our idea that Destiny 2 would have better developed characters, better developed storylines and a more vibrant game world than the first Destiny ever had. As gamers who generally prefer story driven campaigns over random multiplayer battles, this was great news to us.
Without giving anything away in terms of plotlines, Destiny 2’s story mode is indeed far more epic than what we saw before. This isn’t just because of the better developed story components, it’s also because the audiovisual presentation has been lifted to the next level. While the original Destiny was built on a foundation meant to work on Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles, Destiny 2 leaves that generation of consoles behind and the result is a beautifully rendered game world – especially considering the semi-open world structure that Destiny uses. The voice work is also very nicely done, with Bungie opting for some Hollywood talent (including Nathan Fillion) to voice some of the new characters.
Of course, the gameplay tweaks that were introduced with Destiny’s subsequent expansions were well-received and the lessons that Bungie has learned over the years have also made it into Destiny 2. Unlike vanilla Destiny, Destiny 2 has plenty to do inside the game world, making gameplay fun rather than a chore in between the more exciting story-driven bits. Even as someone who’s mainly interested in the story, I found myself frequently entering multiplayer events and felt they enriched the experience by making me feel like I was part of something bigger.
Multiplayer is also where the game’s balancing comes into play better than in its single player portion. While most of the single player stuff can be handled with any character (class), it’s almost required to “play the part” in multiplayer and make use of your character’s unique abilities. This works even in public events, but is of course best experienced when playing together with a few friends. It’s so well done here that Destiny 2 might just sway me towards playing some additional mutiplayer over the next few weeks.
Although superior is nearly every way to the original Destiny, the sequel isn’t perfect. Despite feeling like a massive upgrade, certain aspects feel a tad too familiar. For instance, enemies from the first game are frequently re-used, with not enough in the way of new faces to battle with. Perhaps these are things that future expansions will rectify, but it’s a shame that Destiny 2 has a habit of feeling like an upgrade rather than a sequel at times. This isn’t necessarily true for the story-driven campaign, but it does feel that way when stepping away from that mode – which you eventually will, for obvious reasons. Luckily, despite being familiar, what’s there is also incredibly refined – and there is already a season pass in place that promises more content down the road. We can’t wait… let’s hope the PC releases for the expansions will not be delayed like the main game though – it’s too good a game to have to wait for.