Destiny 2 Review – When Your Light Goes Out the Fun Begins

It’s been 3 long years since the original Destiny launched, and through several expansions, and countless hours of gameplay, it is time to move on to the next game in the series. Can Destiny 2 build upon what turned out to be a great game, or will it fade out like an extinguished candle?

Read on to find out

The first Destiny game introduced us to a gaming world full of exotic weapons, exotic armor, and exotic places. The enemies were countless and some caves even made them seem never ending, but we vanquished them repeatedly, saving the world and the taking out bosses in raids from the Moon to Venus and back. With every expansion, Bungie did a great job of drawing players back in, even if they hadn’t played in a while. For those of us that wanted a weekly taste of Destiny, there were weekly Nightfall events to earn powerful gear and allowed us to spend some quality time with other guardians from around the real world. Now that Destiny 2 is finally upon us, it’s time to make the jump forward into this slightly different but very familiar world.

Destiny 2 can start out differently depending on if you were a D1 guardian or not. For those that played through the first game, you’ll get to walk down memory lane with an opening video that is literally customized to your personal history. It will not only show you where you’ve been, but also remind you of which guardians were there with you. It was an awesome and unexpected way for Bungie to remind you of what happened in the past and recap some of the previous story lines. Our video is below. For those that are new to the series, you are given a brief introduction and then tossed into the game.

Once you are into the game, you are thrown into a heated battle where the Earth and the Tower and are under extreme assault from the Red Legion of the Cabal. As you fight your way towards the three leaders of the Guardians, you learn about who is attacking. All three vanguards from the previous game return, and you’ll get to fight along side them briefly through this opening sequence. Once you’ve battled your way to a garden, a ship picks you up and transports you to a larger ship that you are tasked with disabling. You blast and fight your way to the generators, take them out, and escape back to the outside of the ship expecting to be victorious and a hero once again.

Your expectations aren’t met and you meet the new bad guy: Dominus Ghaul

He is a Cabal warlord and the leader of the Red Legion and strips you of the very thing that makes you a guardian: Your light. Through all 3 years of the original game, you had fought to bring that light level up to be as high as possible, and this guy comes in and takes it all away. His goal is to somehow take the light for himself and you are just standing in his way. With no light your ever constant companion, the little floating ghost, falls to the ground and then falls off of the ship, falling to the surface of the Earth. You end up falling as well and manage to survive the landing, but injured.

The opening sequence storytelling does a great job of tearing us down to almost nothing, first showing us  some of what we had earned and learned previously, and then taking away everything and having Ghaul casting us aside like garbage, weak and powerless with nothing but a damaged hand gun and no ammo. It is an introduction that not only needed to be done, but felt like a rebirth once we started our journey back to being a powerful guardian. Being cast down to Earth, hurt, weak, unarmed and barely able to move, introduces you to a basic human. It goes to show that under all of that armor, behind all of those weapons and bullets, and underneath all of that light, the only thing that stands between us and death is our humanity. This how your journey begins in Destiny 2, and it’s a journey well worth the investment.

For returning guardians, going through the story shows how Bungie must have been listening to our feedback over the life of the original game. No longer is it required to travel to orbit in order to move-on to another location. The Director gives you easy access to all of the available locations and you can even fast travel to points on your current planet. No need to beat a Public Event in one area and then race on your sparrow to the next one on the other side of the planet. You can just fast travel to a location nearest that public event and jump right into it, and it only takes a few seconds to get there. Interplanetary travel will take you a little bit longer, but that is just the nature of interplanetary travel.

Each planet has its own emissary that is there to assist you in not only new quests and missions, but can also give you better gear by trading for tokens you’ll earn on that planet and harvestable elements found lying around. Trading this items in can help you get to a higher level pretty quick and tokens can be found in loot chests and for completing patrol missions and Public Events. Our old buddy Cayde-6 has special maps for sale that can help you find these loot chests, so if you have some extra glimmer burning a hole in your pocket, grab a couple for each planet as they only last 4 hours.

Most of the things we loved about the original game have returned. The weekly Nightfall is back and while the first one was almost impossible due to the new time restrictions, completing it gave us some nice new armor that helped us get ready for the new raid. Regular strikes are back as well and are also a great way to earn new weapons and armor, the items just won’t be as powerful as what you can earn in the Nightfall, which is fitting since regular strikes are considerably easier.

For guardians that love to take out other guardians, the Crucible returns with new maps and new challenges. These PVP games can earn you some decent gear as well, even if you aren’t very good at them, so be sure to try a few of these matches out. The Destiny series has always been about team work, and even when playing PVP, a 4v4 game should have some teamwork involved and shouldn’t just 4 guardians running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Once you’ve completed the main story line, the game is far from completed, and this is what gave the first game so much replayability. Even before the expansions for Destiny, the opening of the first Raid, and then the hard raid, added an immense amount of game time in both preparing for that raid and then working your way through it. With 6 players needed, you can eventually help others working through it for their first time, and teach them what you have already learned, all the while earning even better equipment than what you had. Destiny 2 brings with it it’s own raid and offers the same experience, with even more puzzles and challenges to complete.

Destiny 2 already has two expansions announced for it, no date or content info as of yet, but we know that each expansion will have its own storyline and raid. The game is available on the PlayStation store in three flavors: The basic game, the game plus the future expansions, or the game, the expansions, and some extra DLC. The extra DLC includes a Kill Tracker Ghost that has a perk for the European Dead Zone that alerts you to when a loot chest is nearby, so it has some usefulness. The legendary sword and Exotic rifle are pretty nice as well, but all three of these can only be used once you reach level 20.

Bungie did a pretty great overall job with the original Destiny and laid a great foundation for a new IP. Three years later they release Destiny 2, a game polished so well it eclipses all others in the running for Game of the Year.

Well done BungieI Well Done!


** Possible spoilers in the images below **