Thursday, September 07, 2017
"Destiny 2" Review
"Destiny 2" marks the latest summit in a long climb that started three years ago with the release of its predecessor. After more than a year of hype, the ambitious MMORPG/FPS hybrid missed some of its lofty goals. With its reputation hanging in the balance, Bungie doubled down to not only correct its shortcomings, but overcome them in significant ways with a series of game-changing updates that not only advanced what was there, but reinvented the game, streamlining rough spots and adding new characters and lore.
In many ways, the sequel is just the continuation of that momentum. Rather than a hard break between releases, the follow-up is the latest reinvention in a long, winding path to heights unseen.
New classes, weaponry and realms to conquer are the main aspects that separate "Destiny 2" from its predecessor. Not only does the sequel match the promise that fans have long expected from the franchise, it surpasses them in every significant way. Silk-smooth interfaces -- including the welcome addition of a map system -- facilitate loadout swapping, multiplayer sessions and loot collection and upgrade application. Nagging legacy issues, such as clunky travel, have been fixed up with the elimination of orbiting animations and the addition of fast travel.
Fans who decried the original release's lack of accessible lore will be pleased with the countless channels through which Bungie fills out the backstory. Character and world development is at the forefront of the Destiny journey in its current state. Heroes are still largely blank slates, to allow players to infuse their own personality and motivations into the design and attitudes of the avatars. You end up joining the writing team in a way, as you carve out a place for your hero in the ever-expanding universe and the winding paths it leads you through.
For those who own both the Xbox One and PS4, "Destiny 2" is a smarter pickup on the latter, better-selling system, thanks to timed exclusive content that will pump through the system, as well as slightly (at least until the Xbox One X releases) sharper and smoother visuals. PC gamers will have to wait until Oct. 24. Switch devotees, sadly, will be left out in the cold entirely.
No matter the system you choose to continue your "Destiny" journey, you're in for a treat. This is not only one of the most polished and content-rich shooters at release, but it promises to continue along the upward trajectory Bungie has mapped out for the series. It's a game that is already amazing and promises to get better year by year.
Publisher provided review code.