Destiny, Bungie’s first game after the Halo series, launched with a myriad of complaints, many of which were resolved in the game’s relaunch with The Taken King expansion. Thankfully Destiny 2 doesn’t fall victim of the same issues, instead, it’s everything that the first Destiny should’ve debut back in 2014. The story can fumble due to boring personalities but thanks to strong mission design, an addicting loot system, and a phenomenal soundtrack Destiny 2 pushes the franchise to new heights.

The Story

Destiny 2 takes place after the events of Rise of Iron, with the Guardians lamenting on their past successes and looking forward to a new journey. Unfortunately, they’re attacked by a Cabal army, an industrial-military race, calling themselves The Red Legion, led by an ambitious leader called Dominus Ghaul. After taking the Traveler prisoner and stripping the Guardians of their Light it’s up to you to save the solar system, rescue The Traveler, and lead the remaining Guardian against The Red Legion.

Most of the game is focused on defeating The Red Legion but it gives all the enemy races enough screen time to make themselves known in each of the game’s four zones. You’ll fend off attacks from the Vex, Hive, and Fallen but for the most part, they’re shoved into the background once you finish with them.

Players have the chance to visit four different areas, Earth, Titan, Io, and Nessus. Each planet is wonderfully designed and distinct from one another, each peppered with public events, side missions, and Lost Sectors which work as mini-dungeons. After completing the 7-hour campaign there are Strike missions, with harder versions called Presitage difficulty, and future raids that will test the most dedicated Guardians.

This doesn’t mean that Destiny 2‘s story is perfect. Destiny, even with The Taken King and Rise of Iron expansions, set a low bar for the game’s story content. It’s a massive improvement from the original game but the main antagonist and most of the supporting cast are one-dimensional. Ghaul simply wants to prove himself as the best for being considered weak and most of the supporting Guardians are cliche characters such as the defeated warrior trying to find purpose and the heroic leader attempting one final push. With the exception of Cayde-6 and his AI program Failsafe, the rest of the characters were forgettable.

Gameplay

Destiny 2 plays mostly the same as the original game. Players will choose 3 classes that include Titan, Warlock, and Hunter. Each class comes with a brand new sub-class along with the 2 classes from the first game. Titans are juggernauts who absorb damage and create powerful defenses, Warlocks work as excellent crowd-control and supporting other Guardians, and Hunters can deal heavy damage. A new aura ability has been added to each class to make them feel more distinct and varied. For example, Titans can place temporary barriers and Warlocks can create healing or increased power auras for a finite amount of time. These temporary boosts help distinguish each class and make having a varied team essential in the harder challenges.

Everything you remember from the D1 is in here too. Each sub-class comes with unique melee attacks, grenades, and Super attacks. Each ability, after being used, must charge before it can be used again. Since grenades are powerful options that can easier wipe out a squad of enemies using them efficiently is paramount, especially considering their slow recharging rate. In later levels, there will be gear that will help you to recharge them faster but it usually isn’t until you reach level 20.

Weapons and leveling haven’t changed from the first game much either, it’s still an effective system. Players earn experience by completing missions and killing enemies until level 20. Afterwards, your power is measured through Light and you earn Light based on your gear. To prevent players from simply equipping the best gear possible Guardians are limited to using exotics, the most powerful items in the game, to one weapon and one armor piece. Players must use the infusion system, which is combining similarly Light powered items, and take on harder challenges to gain the most powerful items in the game. Destiny was about grinding and Destiny 2 is more of that. However, in Destiny 2, the grinding doesn’t feel as stagnant. The Adventures are long and feel like a big side quest and that there is some kind of point to them. Public events are fun and can even be challenging. Destiny is an RPG of types and there is a grind to it. If you don’t like grinding this game may not be for you.

Players can carry 3 weapons; one primary, a secondary, and a Powered weapon. Each one uses a specific type of ammo that must be scavenged from fallen enemies. Weapons range from your standard pistol and rifles. Powered weapons have shifted from the last game. Now previously considered primary and secondary weapons such as the Shotgun and Fusion Rifle have become powered weapons for a better balance, especially in the competitive field.

Weapon modification is available but limited. You can boost the power of weapons using modifications but for certain guns, you might not be able to change their sights, which is upsetting if you like a weapon but hate the sight. Legendary and Exotic weapons have the better mods and additional mod slots.  Bewildering is the new cosmetic system, which is limited. Players are given a finite amount of cosmetic items (such as shaders) and once used must be replaced. Players can buy more using real-world money and get Bright Engrams, which are random loot boxes full of cosmetic items, but it’s confusing why I can’t use the item indefinitely. However, you don’t quite run out of these quickly, but if you love certain color on your Guardian you may be upset later on when you run out of that shader.

To prevent things from becoming monotonous missions have become varied and dialogue changes. Gone are the bland mission structures of Destiny, instead the game mixes together objectives with locations that would go unnoticed. Strike missions, although follow the same pattern and are meant to be played multiple times, offer different dialogue based on your actions. For example, Cadye-6 in one instance may commend you for taking a risky chance and in another make a joke about your Ghost triggering an alarm.

Last But Not Least

What brings the entire game together is the soundtrack. Perhaps one of Bungie’s best work each track is paired with the right moment. Whether is heading into the final boss or attempting to escape a near-death experience each track helps amplify the atmosphere. I cannot stress enough how good the music is to this game, it really grabs you into the game and to experience should really be using headphones. Also Bungie but it all on YouTube for free.

The Crucible, Destiny 2‘s competitive arena, has undergone several changes from the original system. Now all modes are 4 v 4 matches and everything is linked to either ‘Quick Play’ or ‘Competitive’. This means you cannot choose any of the 5 modes or 8 maps. This may change over time because Bungie likes to give fans something new to keep the game fresh. Of course, this is only theory so don’t quote me on that.

Maps are massive and it’s easy to get lost but Bungie has implemented a way to encourage players to focus their attention on specific locations. Power weapon ammo is scattered across the battlefield, all with timers that appear on everyone’s HUDs. When one is about to spawn you can expect a firefight since these ammo caches can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Players can get gear pick ups from finishing out matches, which encourages you not to rage quit. Also, weither teams win or lose you will get credit for playing can transfer it to the Crucible AI in the tower. As you level him up you will receive, and be able to buy, better gear from him.

Overall

Destiny 2 sets a brand new momentum for this franchise. The highly addicting loot system had me coming back constantly in search of new gear for my Guardians and the diverse planets kept me searching for hidden sectors. The story was bland but a massive improvement from the original game’s nonexisting story. However, once finished with the game’s campaign I found myself heading right back into battle in search of powerful loot for hours.

Destiny 2 Review
The Pros
  • More Story Content
  • Addicting Looting System
  • Diverse Mission Structure
The Cons
  • Bland Characters
  • No Competitive Match Specific Options
  • Shallow Weapon Customization
8.5Overall Score
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About The Author

Adam S
Sr.Staff Writer

Every year I earn another extra life and discovering new disappointment knowing that Mega Man Legends 3 will never release. For the rest of my day, you can catch me scoring achievements on Xbox One, collecting trophies on PlayStation 4, and playing way too much Metroid Prime and Super Mario Sunshine. Team GameCube!