Title: Destiny 2
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Activision
Release date: 5th September 2017
Tl;Dr: Gear up, Guardian – this time, they did it right!
Price: £40/$60
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

When Destiny was announced, I was one of the first to hitch a ride on the hype train. Bungie, the devs from Halo had decided to release a new IP – count me in! I pre-ordered the game and even arranged to be “ill,” for release day. The game arrived, and I practically forced it into my Xbox, then played it solidly for 7 hours.

Then I completed the game. I’ve never been quite as shocked and frankly disappointed as that.

When I found out I would be reviewing Destiny 2, I prayed to the gaming gods that Bungie had learned from this. That a game had been made with more lore, more gameplay, and just more Destiny. The gods answered me.

My gun is bigger than your gun!

Destiny 2 starts us off as a Guardian, an undying protector of the Traveller, which is a giant globe full of godly power called The Light. If you played the first Destiny, you are able to use the same character created before; this was a nice touch to allow a seamless transition from the first game to the second. But what shocked me the most was the inclusion of cutscenes! ACTUAL FULLY ANIMATED AND FULLY VOICED CUTSCENES! In the first game, actual cutscenes were very few and very far between, which was a little disappointing. Thankfully this was rectified, and cutscenes galore were bestowed upon my awaiting eyes.

The story is a simple one, but just by the fact there is an actual story given to us I am happy. The city, humanities last beacon of hope against the tide of evil has been destroyed, the Traveler has been taken and the Guardians have lost their light. You are a special Guardian however as for some odd chance you have managed to keep your powers and now is the only thing stopping humanity from finally fading. It is you who is tasked with taking the fight to those who have already claimed victory over humanity and proving once and for all that Guardians are a force to be reckoned with.

One thing that did stick out to me while playing Destiny 2 was how similar playing it felt to playing the original game. The majority of the enemies were the same, the player abilities for the most part were the same and also the weapons used were surprisingly the same. It really doesn’t feel like Bungie changed anything to do with how the game is actually played, which was never the issue with Destiny in the first place. The original game played well, it was just everything else that was disappointing. In a way I do feel a little sad that Destiny 2 is not the first game in the series. If Destiny came out originally and it was just like this, well, it would be a phenomenal start to a franchise, instead of an over hyped, ok at best shooter.  It is still very refreshing to see Bungie has seen their mistakes from the first game and addressed as many as possible.

Another issue that Bungie have addressed is the lore of the Destiny universe. In the first game, pages upon pages of well written, world building lore was available for players to find.  The only problem was that the lore wasn’t available in the game; to find out the stories behind characters, enemies, or even planets, you would have to download the companion app or go online to read it on the website. Okay, the app and the website still remains, with its tide of lore not actually seen in game. But! Destiny 2 does go to great efforts to tell you quite a great deal about the game and its many, many items.

There is never such a good feeling as lightning sticking a nasty enemy that really, really needed a lightning stick.

It really makes me happy that Bungie have changed so much in this much anticipated sequel. I would completely run out of review space if I decided to list all that had been changed. Sadly this is not a perfect game, and some elements that irked me in the first Destiny have slipped through the cracks and made it into number 2, mainly the trademark Destiny grind.

I guess in its FPS state, I always find it difficult thinking of Destiny as an MMO game. Yet in its MMO typical grind state, it becomes all the more apparent. After I complete a particularly awesome main mission, complete with cutscenes and actual plot progression. I get myself ready and geared up for the next thrilling chapter in the story, only I discover much to my chagrin that the recommended level for the next mission is more than two levels higher than I already am. Not only that, but many little missions pop up on the map that serve as my stepping stone for the next levels, those missions almost always translate to “kill bad guys, move onto next place with more bad guys to kill, before facing the biggest bad guy.” Needless to say they get old, very fast.

We WILL go into the room and we WILL kill the badguys!

Despite a few flaws in its design, Destiny 2 does serve as a step in the right direction for a game series so so close to greatness. It does play and feel pretty much exactly the same as the original game but it is all the changed made around it that makes it so much better. I have enjoyed my time in this sequel and I will probably continue my grind for days and weeks to come. I hope the Traveler lights the way for me.

The Good

  • Destiny lore is actually talked about
  • The world is actually explored

The Bad

  • Still suffers from the Destiny grind.
  • Microtransactions (nuff said)
  • Story is a little too short

Family Focus – Destiny 2

Tyranny is rated PEGI 16+/ESRB Rating T for Teen for blood  and violence. Not as graphic and gory as many of its FPS brethren, this is a good one for the teens.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code of the game provided by Xbox UK for the purpose of this review.