Destiny 2 Xbox One Review

October 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Features, Reviews, Xbox One

Publisher: Activision  Developer: Bungie  Genre: FPS/RPG  Players: 1 -8  Age Rating: 16+

Other console/handheld formats: PS4


The original Destiny was regarded as a great game, which isn’t surprising considering the pedigree behind it: Bungie, the developer that brought groundbreaking FPS Halo to the world were responsible for the game. The fact of the matter is that all eyes were on the FPS pioneer to deliver, which made the game being released with less content than perhaps it should have been all the more disappointing.

All the above has been consigned to history of course, with Destiny receiving extra content, including some meaty expansions. All of this kept people playing, and some have clocked over 1000 hours with the game, which of course suggests that it became a bit of an obsession for some. Now that Destiny 2 is here, it’s set to happen all over again, but without the early lack of content that blighted the original game.

Destiny 2 once again has you choosing from one of three classes, and then creating your character with a basic amount of options. Choosing from the Titan, Warlock or Hunter class, each one is very different from the last, with their own abilities, upgrades, perks, and subclasses. Even without the rest of the content in the game, the different classes once again gives the game longer legs.

Recently, those who have completed the campaign have been allowed to enter the Faction Rally. This brand new special event lasted for a week and allowed players to pledge their allegiance to one of three factions, and the winner was the faction with the most Faction Tokens at the end of the rally. The Dead Orbit faction came out on top this time around.

Like the original game, one of Destiny 2’s greatest pulls is finding new armour and weapons for your character, which increases your power level and alters you cosmetically. Many of the tasks in the world will result in you finding new pieces of armour and weapons, and there’s also rarer legendary and exotic stuff up for grabs if you are able to accomplish some of the tougher things in the game. You also earn XP and level up in RPG fashion, with the level cap once again being set at 20, although the game has been designed in a way that makes grinding all the more tolerable in regard to both the XP and the power level. All of these things will keep many coming back for more, and hours and hours later they’ll still be playing.

Destiny 2’s 10-12 hour campaign is a well crafted one, and now with an improved story that is a lot more interesting in terms of depth and content. Saying all the latter, the narrative still isn’t exactly up to scratch, as it can be a little confusing as to what is actually going on. In a nutshell, Dominus Ghaul and his Red Legion fleet launch an attack on the Last City (which of course acted as a hub in the original game), capturing the Traveller, scattering characters all over the universe, and draining the light, which isn’t great for the Guardians of course. There’s obviously a universe of great depth here, but it just isn’t explored thoroughly enough to truly satisfy. When it comes to playing it though, and considering who is involved and how experienced they are at making an FPS feel utterly fantastic to play, the campaign is full of action and takes place in diverse, sizeable and masterfully designed environments.

Other than the campaign, there’s Adventure side missions to be found in each open level, which are really quite substantial in both story and gameplay content, and there’s also public events which have players teaming up to do various things, simple patrols which reward you for doing very little, and also going off and doing some exploring in the environments can result in finding some powerful loot, which is often hidden away in Lost Sectors in each environment. After completing the campaign, there’s also plenty of end game content, which will keep many playing. The intense strikes make their return, and the weekly Nightfall Strikes, as well as the first raid come available once reaching the required power levels. The puzzle heavy Leviathan Raid is the first Destiny 2 Raid and is one that is intricately designed, and proves itself as a fantastic start for the games challenging Raids. Notable this time around is the fact that Raids and Nightfall Strikes have now been opened up to a lot more players thanks to the new Guided Games feature, which allows a single seeker player to team up with a clan when a slot is opened up for them. While the waiting times can be lengthy, at least this means that players without a clan won’t have to necessarily miss out on some of the content in this sequel.

Whatever you are doing in Destiny 2, a weekly Milestone system gives the game some form of structure, encouraging you to try out every single part of the game at some point, and when you complete these milestones, the reward is of course new loot. There’s daily challenges as well, and you’ll also receive rewards by completing these. Yes, Destiny 2 is a hugely rewarding and consuming game without a doubt, and an intended short session of play can easily turn into a long one.

The Crucible competitive multiplayer modes once again make their return of course, and while there’s nothing truly different or remarkable here, the excellent 4v4 gunplay means that things always remain fun, and it’s always nice to take your powerful character into these competitive arenas. Like the rest of the game, these competitive modes are also very rewarding, and milestones and challenges tie in with this portion of the game as well.

Whatever planet you are on, doing specific tasks for certain characters will earn you reputation tokens, which can be given to said characters to eventually earn weapons and armour. It really is a rewarding game.

Bungie must be commended for the upgraded visuals on show in Destiny 2. The game really does look incredible, and I must also praise the level and art designers for their expert use of colour on the different planets that are present in the game – they have even managed to make Earth interesting. The sizeable levels also have you going through damaged towns, caves, dark forests, ship interiors, and more, and they’re definitely memorable places.

Where Destiny 2 does falter is in its lack of new character classes as well as enemy races, and things can also feel slightly repetitive once you have seen most of the content, and some of the said content just isn’t very interesting to do over and over again. Other than the aforementioned things though, this is easiest the far superior game in the series when compared to the original at the same point in time. There’s definitely reason to keep playing for longer, which means that Bungie have learnt from their earlier mistakes with the series.

Yes, Destiny 2 at the beginning of its life is a lot more impressive than what Destiny was at the start of its own life. There’s a whole lot more to do in this eager to please sequel, but it’s now up to Bungie to keep on delivering the quality content, and hopefully content that will once again have players keeping coming back for more and more. Only time will tell, but Bungie have a winner out of the starting gate this time around, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the game will evolve over time.


9/10


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