Prior to the release of the original Destiny, many have believed that it was going to be ‘the game’ of what was then known as ‘the next generation’. But after months of relentless hype, the belief has turned into an expectation of an absolute, and once Destiny has launched, it could have only garnered widespread disappointment. As the hype train has inflated Destiny so much, that no matter how good it could have been, many would still find it underwhelming. However, title’s actual state was much worse than anybody could have predicted. And ultimately, many have regarded Destiny to be a critical flop.
The original Destiny might have been an underwhelming piece of software, but Bungie, the developer of the title, has learned a lot from their shortcomings. And with years, and numerous expansions, Destiny has come around and became the game it should have been at launch. However, even with all the patches and add-ons, Destiny is nowhere near as successful as its successor, Destiny 2.
Destiny 2, unlike the original, is a complete game – in every sense possible. From co-op, through multiplayer, all the way down to its narrative component, it is an accomplished game. It is literally overflowing with content, as it possesses countless hours of missions, side-quests, quests, adventures, strikes, and much more. And they’re not just there for the sake of existence, as each and every in-game activity has narrative related justification, and best of all, they all make sense. And if that’s not enough, all in-game activities are always related to one another.
At the beginning, right after completion of the introduction, players are dropped on earth in order to recover their light. And once all is said and done, and the light has returned to your guardian, you’re allowed to freely explore the European Dead Zone (EDZ). And as soon as you step outside of the church, which is the safe-zone of this particular area, you’ll stumble across Fallen who possess an odd glow. And at that point, most will assume that their glow is just a side effect of the events which have occurred at the beginning. However, the story behind their state unravels throughout the entirety of the campaign.
With each and every planet, and mission, players will learn more about the behaviours, and nature of all the in-game enemies. And throughout, it is explained that Fallen are a race who seeks progress through scavenging. And as the game continues, players will stumble across numerous missions which involve Fallen and their sinister activities. And by the time the player returns to the EDZ, he/she will know that their glow is not accidental. And with that realisation comes a mission which explains what their eerie blue glow signifies, and how the Fallen have come to acquire it.
To surprise of many, Destiny 2 is a surprisingly deep title. As storylines, for factions, races, and individuals continue throughout the game. And by the time one enters the final third of the main story, which may take from 10 to 30 hours, he/she will know more about the world of Destiny, than from hundreds of hours with the original.
The narrative expansion is not limited to just the activities themselves, as with Destiny 2, Bungie has also introduced, and in some instances re-introduced a diverse cast of characters, which allows the title to create a singular coherent world, that in a way, feels real. All in game NPCs constantly interact with the player as well as with each other. And some of them, such as Cayde-6 and Fail-safe, are a joy to listen to, whether when interacting with directly, or when listening to conversations of which they might be a part of.
By the time one is served with the final credits, he/she will be familiar with each and every character, and will know their personalities, motives, and their personal story – inside out. And all this turns the otherwise stale narrative tools, into genuine personas, which many will strive to get to know better. Addition of such incredible characters also disallows formation of monotony, as even though some missions may include similar objectives, the narration makes them all feel unique. And in turn, it shapes the otherwise senseless and mind-numbing grind into an enjoyable adventure, which spans over tens, if not hundreds of hours.
Story-wise, Destiny 2 is an exceptional game, there is no doubt about that. But at one point or another, the said missions will come to an end. And yes – they can all be replayed, in exchange for better rewards, but add no new narrative content to the experience. And in a way, this is where Destiny 2 really begins, as with the end of the story, the hardcore portion of the title is unveiled, and it’s the part that many have been waiting for. As in reality, Destiny 2, just like the original, is all about that grind.
With the end of the story, and all the side-missions, player is given the access to absolute exploration of all the in-game locales, access to The Crucible, but most importantly, he/she is finally allowed to participate in strikes, and most importantly raids. And for the fans of the original, Raids and Strikes are what really matters, as these two activities are the only way to garner the end-game loot, outside of the PvP multiplayer.
As of today, after playing the title for about four days, I have managed to achieve the soft-cap of level 20, and my Hunter currently possess 280 units of power/light. And at no point did I grind, for engrams, or other items. Everything that I currently own, including nineteen exotic items, I have found through standard gameplay. Meaning that I found myself on the verge of achieving the pre-raid cap of 300 power/light, without having to grind. And by the time the raid launches on thirteenth of September, I will surely hit the pre-raid 300 units of light.
While playing Destiny 2, I never felt like I had to grind for anything. And that’s because Destiny 2 is simply a joy to play, and the previously menial tasks, result in big pay outs. Completion of strikes gives you coins which can be exchanged for weapons, and same goes for patrols, loot chests, and other planetary events. And each and every week, in addition to nightfall strikes, Destiny 2 will also serve all the players with numerous tasks which will grant one access to both exotic, and legendary items, which guarantee an upgrade. And even if one runs out of things to do him/herself, Destiny 2 made sure that one will always have something to do, as this year-round the title offers players additional tasks and challenges, through clans, meaning that the ‘grind’ never stops.
Ultimately, the co-op component of the Destiny 2 is not only enjoyable, but also breathtakingly impressive. Every single issue, which existed within the confines of its predecessor is gone. The game is rich in narrative, and underlying lore, and the otherwise senseless grind has been streamlined to a point where it is barely noticeable. And if one is not a fan of co-op adventures, he/she can also earn all the required in-game items through the aforementioned crucible, which as mentioned before, plays a big part in Bungie’s newest creation. In fact, not a bad word can be said about Destiny 2, as it is simply incredible. However, the Crucible suffers from numerous latency related issues, and is not as enjoyable as one would expect it to be. And in the grand scheme of things, the Crucible feels rather sloppy in comparison to the rest of this rather brilliant title.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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