When it comes to MMOs, I have little to no patience when it boils down to “grinding” and “leveling”. The mere fact that when you need to level up your character you have to kill dozen or thousands of enemies before you could probably get your next quest available. This is definitely why I didn’t buy Destiny in the first place because I didn’t want to waste my hard earned greens – and time – for something I might even set aside after a couple of hours. However, this is not the case with Bungie’s sequel – Destiny 2.
After I dived into the open beta last month, the Crucible matches were fun and honestly challenging. But that’s not what Destiny 2 is all about, no, you get into something bigger than plainly shooting your way in – or out. It’s something where you can partially relax at times, be trigger happy, and also have fun with your friends who also plays Destiny 2.
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platform Available: Xbox One, PS4, PC (October 24, 2017)
Release Date: September 6, 2017
Price: $59.99 (with micro-transactions)
This review is based on a review code provided by Activision and Sony.
Just before I start, here’s a full disclosure: I have never played the first Destiny game. This review is going to come from a newcomer’s perspective – so don’t expect any comparisons.
With that out of the way, Bungie has never failed to impress me with their first-person shooter titles and that’s all thanks to their Halo games; and that goes the same for this one. Destiny 2 (and also Destiny 1) borrows a lot from their previous franchise – the shooting mechanics, the flow, the atmosphere, and even the soundtrack. Which is why I got the gist of Destiny 2 right off the bat because it feels somewhat like Halo (again, I haven’t played the first entry). It felt like home, a game where I’m not drooling because of confusion – a familiar place, to be exact.
Destiny 2 covers almost the same aspect from the Halo games – especially Bungie’s approach to its lore. The story is easy to follow, and you can find your way through the interweb for its lore (and the first Destiny’s plot) if you haven’t played the first entry. While the story is not as impressive as Halo, Destiny 2’s narrative is apparently greatly written. If you ever think about getting the first Destiny game just for the sake of understanding Destiny 2’s story, fear not, it’s not as puzzling as you might expect.
In the beginning of the game, you start off as a powerful Guardian in the Homecoming level in order for the game to guide and teach you the ropes, then you’re handed off as a struggling Guardian after the monstrous Red Legion, Ghaul, severely breaks you and throws you off board from the Tower. Here is where you start to fight and grind your way back to the top.
But before you start, you have to choose from three classes: the Titan, the Warlock, and the Hunter. Each of these classes have 3 distinct subclasses for your advantage. You can be the Titan Sentinel and make use of its dome shield to protect your Fireteam; take advantage of the Hunter Arcstrider’s Combination Kill that regenerates your health after a melee kill; or support your Fireteam with the Healing Rift ability of the Warlock. One good note to add, you can freely switch to any subclass anytime you want – even if you’re in PvP or PvE.
While for those who are new and started directly with Destiny 2, one thing you have to keep in mind is that there are no class-specific weaponry unlike those other MMO games out there. This decision gives the game more balance, especially in PvP, in which players will have to learn their subclass abilities.
In the PvE side of things, the level progression of your character is, somewhat, fairly quick. Bungie lowered the level cap to 20 (this might possibly change, I have a gut feeling). I’ve finished main quests in just almost two days – and that’s with some side-quests and public events I took. The endgame is where everything gets enjoyable – but also kinda dull in the long run. Nevertheless, what keeps you engaged in Destiny 2 are the random patrol missions, challenges, Strikes, Nightfall and public events for loots to obtain. However, the 12 Strike missions are not properly looped in random as I get to have the same Strike mission twice (acceptable), even worse – thrice.
I already got to the point where I’m already receiving the same sets of gear and rarity before the Leviathan Raid began today. I took a lot of Strike missions just to get the chance of getting those sweet exotic gears, yet, I apparently ended up with the same crap; and it already feels repetitive. I decided to be engaged with PvP matches more often since the experience was enjoyable and still get those loots.
What I’m actually disappointed about is the exclusion of a matchmaking option for Nightfall and the Leviathan Raid. While it’s understandable that the Leviathan Raid needs precise and constant teamwork as it’s more difficult, Nightfall reuses the same missions from Strikes but with a 10-minute mark time-limit and stronger enemies. I’m not sure why Bungie didn’t include a matchmaking option even for Nightfall. To simply put this in, it’s a bad game design by choice.
Talking about PvP, this mode is called Crucible, and it is not available from the get-go. There are two modes: Quickplay and Competitive. You have to complete a mission first where you have to reclaim your powers before you’re catapulted to the arena with other players. What I like about Destiny’s PvP is that it negates all gears stats (as well as the character’s level) – that includes armors and weapons – to give players that fair chance of winning. Unlike other MMOs where you need to get all exotic or legendary gears in order to win in player battles, Destiny 2’s approach is perfect for its PvP mode. Other side note to add, Bungie apparently bumped down the numbers from 6v6 to 4v4 to give way to its competitive approach, which is a bummer because 6v6 can still be competitive – it’s not that utterly disappointing, to be honest.
While the roadmap has been set this month for Destiny 2, there’s a lot of things to do when you’re just kicking everything off from the start. For a person like myself who is not easily impressed with MMOs, it seems that I find Destiny 2 quite endearing actually – especially when you’re playing with your friends in Strike Missions and even a lot more in the Leviathan Raid.
Destiny 2 might not be a perfect MMO shooter, but it is one engaging experience if you give it chance. Well done Bungie, you never fail to disappoint.
My Titan character is already at 272 Power Level at the time of this writing.