After a shaky development Bungie released its largest ever project three years ago, and while they created an entirely new genre of Destiny. For the first time, we got a social online game mixed fresh from Blizzard’s Diablo and World of Warcraft. A great online world for players to explore and loads of loot to collect. It quickly became a megahit and created a massive online community that can only be matched by Blizzard’s game. Although the game was criticized for having a short unconventional campaign, there was reason for something big. Bungie corrected many problems through the four expansions and eventually the game began to resemble their original vision.
Destiny 2 gives you a punch in the face from the start, the Red Legion, a Cabal army has attacked Traveler and tower without any notice. Everything is in chaos and we are sent directly into the hot air. Our mission is to defend the city and throw out the invading forces. Everything is not going as planned and we get rid of our Light, the mysterious power that gives us our skills. Absolutely without any special skills, we stand as naked in front of the current threat. We go out on a trip to get back the power and once we get back it will be looking back and reconnecting the band to throw out Garry, forgive Ghaul and his Red Legion and save the Travel and Earth. The trip takes us to three brand new areas, Vex infested Nessus, Sulfur planet IO, Titan and Europe water plans. Unlike Old Russia, which we got to explore in Destiny 1, the European Dead Zone is a more inviting area, with forests, decayed buildings and caves. Everywhere at EDZ there are Cabal forces that have hit camps and use the area as a military base. Bungie has managed to improve significantly the campaign, it is more focused, filled with cutscenes and everything feels very coherent.
Destiny 2 introduces three new subclasses or yes one changes in three olds, Titan’s void class gets a shield that can be thrown away or used to beat enemies in close combat with the best Captain America style. Hunter’s arclass changes from a knife to a stick while Warlock’s sunscreen becomes more offensive with a sword you call out that can fire flames like Titan’s hammer.
But after the game’s campaign it’s all starting out, the entire maps are filled with new activities and a guide helps you keep track of all there’s to do and how far you’ve gotten in the different milestones. On each planet there are additional small missions that fill the game’s lore to get along. On every planet, World Quest takes place in several stages and ends with giving you another quest, but now for one of three exotic weapons. Besides this we find different caves called Lost Sectors that can be explored for loot and the classic Public Events. The difference is now that Public Events is marked on the map so you always know when a new one is on its way and how long it will start. But the biggest change is placing different points on each planet so that you can quickly move between the different areas. All public events are new or converted from the first game to the better. Every event, if you do some things during the event, you can change to a Heroic Event that gives better loot.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, loot. Bungie has made major changes to the game’s weapons and armor. First of all, weapons have been made into three categories, Kinetic, Elemental and Power. In the first two categories replacing Primary and Secondary, we find Autorifle, Scout, Pulse, Sidearm, Handcannon and the new Submachinegun. Kinetic collects all weapons that do not have elements and you can mix as you like, which now allows you to have, for example, two Autorifles one with and one without elements. In the Power category we now find Sniper, Fusion, Shotgun, Rocket, Sword and the new category Grenade to replace Heavy Machinegun. This is a massive change to how to choose which weapons you have in combat. Gone are also randomized perks on arms, now all weapons with the same name have fixed perks. This is an interesting change that Bungie defends in making it easier to balance weapons in the future. But the problem it creates is that now if you get a weapon it’s always the same, it takes away the reason to spend hours doing some activities to get that perfect combination of perks on a weapon. Now there is a pool of amounts of weapons, but it has gone from being an ocean to becoming a little lake. Certainly, you can change elements via Mods on Elemental and Powervapen if you do not have a specific element for an activity, but it does not get the same as before. The days when you sat and played a certain Strike over and over to get that perfect sniper or gun is over.
The most affected of this is the game’s PvP mode Crucible. Now that shotguns, snipers and fusion are moved to Power, the whole game changes, how it will affect Crucible in general will have time to expel.
Another major change in Crucible is that all game modes are now four to four and the maps are adapted to this and it is noticeable. There are now much faster games and less chaos. Everything feels perfectly designed. Some new game modes have been added as Survival, where each team has only eight lives and Countdown, similar to Call of Dutys Search and Destroy. Unfortunately, it is possible to choose which game mode you want to play. Nowadays there are two lists one for more casual players with game modes that do not have equal focus on communication and interaction and a list where the more competitive game modes are available.
Strikes return as activity with more well-designed missions and battles that take place in different phases and make them more satisfying. Nightfall, the special variant of strikes is also found there and puts additional pressure on the players with a time limit. If you do not manage to take down the boss before the end of time, just start over. It’s a very nice change and creates a completely different way to play, no more find hidden places to stand on and nudge the bosses without it’s pure action from start to finish.
The ultimate endgame activity in Destiny has always been the game’s Raids and of course we get a new raid. And only since Destiny 1 came, Vault of Glass has been the raid that I and many with me considered to be the best they made. Leviathan named the raid succeeds in toppling the Vault of Glass at all levels. There is more mechanics and requirements for interaction and communication between players, no one can sit in a corner and just float with. Unlike previous raids, it does not go a bit Boss, go a bit next boss etc. Without there are three different rooms with different challenges to be tackled before meeting the finish boss. Even though the previous raiders had their charm in the various boss battles on the way to the final boss, this feels more like a journey towards a goal.
You could create clans already in Destiny 1 but they did not add any real value more than one affiliation to the paper. Destiny 2 has gone one step further and given the clans a system that makes you feel a bigger community. Everyone contributes to the development of the clan, simply by playing the game together with one or more clan members, thus unlocking various benefits, ranging from more glimmer when opening engrams to more loot from dead Cabal.
Every week, every member of the clan can pick up a special engram if the clan has passed a Raid, played Trials of the Nine (former Trials of Osiris), Nightfall or played matches in Crucible. This means that players who, for example, do not like PvP can also get weapons and gear from those activities. A good system that creates more belonging and everyone contributes to the group as a whole.
Even those who do not have their own clan can now access endgame activities like Nightfall and Raids through Guided Games, a way for clans to help players through the activities and maybe even recruit new members.
With Destiny 2, Bungie builds on his world and refines the additional amount of quality of life changes, a cinematic campaign and less focus on unnecessary grind and activities in abundance.