Let Your Light Shine Through – Destiny 2 Review
Destiny 2 has been out for two weeks now; characters have been leveled, strikes struck (hah) and raids, raided (I can’t stop). How does it stack up to its predecessor? Will it stand the test of time as MMO’s should? Has it fixed everything the first missed? Find out after the jump!
To answer the last question, yes, it does. The team at Bungie listened to nearly–if not every–concern its community lodged against Destiny. For me, this is a big thing; At first, I enjoyed my time with Destiny, but as time passed, I found myself more and more frustrated with the model. The mission formula was so repetitive and tedious, I would dread having to do any bounties and patrols. Reputation for the Vanguard was nothing but a pain, and don’t even get me started on the RNG for loot drops.
Destiny 2 amended these, and many more, complaints from the community. Bounties were absolved into daily challenges, which effectively streamlined the grinding process. Reputation is much easier to obtain, as nearly every activity drops respective NPC currency for each planet. And loot, while still RNG, has been refocused and redesigned to drop loot based off your equipped gear AS WELL as your bags; this means the odds of receiving the same loot, at least from engrams, is less common than it once was.
Like I said, nearly–if not every–concern was amended. Bungie has always done well to listen to the community and once again, they have. That being said, the game does miss the mark on some things.
Perhaps the largest complaint I’ve heard/seen, is once again, the narrative. It starts off well enough. A powerful Cabal leader, Dominous Ghaul blitzes the Last City in a wild offensive that–literally–strangles the Traveler, and with it, every Guardian’s Light. Effectively rendered powerless, the Guardians must find a way to defeat Ghaul as mortals. Be that is it may, mortality won’t last long for you, the player. This is where the narrative begins to fall–our struggle without Light lasts for maybe 15 minutes, and the best part is, the other Vanguard NEVER get their own back. Somehow, we were the only Guardians to reacquire our powers and were selfish enough to keep it to ourselves.
This may seem nitpicky, but hear me out. The narrative places the main conflict on the Cabal incursion to forcibly take the Traveler’s light. In so doing, the last bastion of humanity is nearly wiped out. But, as fate would have it, you are lucky enough to find your Light and thus make this genesis null and void. While Ghaul is still a force to be wiped from existence, the entire struggle is made less…well, struggly. It does not feel as dire as it should.
However, I am pleased we have a narrative at the forefront and while I gripe about the impact of the narrative, I did still feel like I was fighting toward a goal, which is something the first one lacked.
I have also seen the community discuss the effectiveness of completing strikes; their apparent loot drop rate is much less that of say, a heroic public event and some believe either the strikes need buffing, or the public events nerfing. Or both. Personally, I would rather the public event drops stay as they are and the strikes be buffed.
That being said, the game offers the same quality we can expect from Bungie in the way of gameplay. Solid and tight controls, snappy target acquisition, and crisp graphics. Sound has also been improved, most notably, the score. The Farm and Nessus hold my most favorite parts of the soundtrack. The Farm features a soothing melody–as it should–while Nessus offers a solitary operatic from a highly gifted soprano in one section of the map, and in others, a fortissimo of orchestral madness. The juxtaposition is poetic and masterful.
All-in-all, Destiny 2 bolsters the good from its predecessor all while changing the bad. Bungie has listened to the game’s expansive community and came together with a solid game with very few flaws, of which, are fairly easily to overlook. I give Destiny 2 a