Destiny 2 – The world may be over, but you still have your buddies
The farm is a strangely confined central hub early on
Some of the lighting and shadow work is absolutely remarkable
When powered up, you can unleash super-attacks.
Bungie is never afraid to keep interesting things in the distance.
ONE OF THE BEST GAMES never to come to PC, Destiny captivated console gamers as they repeated the same few co-op missions, plus a PvP arena, in search of slightly better guns and armor, handed out with a strong dose of random number generation.
Destiny 2 picks up where the first left off, but if you haven’t played it, that doesn’t matter. There’s enough of a recap, and it’s all nonsense anyway. A giant baseball came to Earth, and made everything groovy, only for aliens to show up, and start a war. Now Earth is down to one city, and it’s up to Guardians—that’s you, and there’s a lot of you—to defend it. However, in an unusual twist, the aliens won, the source of your powers —Light—was removed, and the remaining Guardians are holed up on a farm in the cheerily titled European Dead Zone. And, of course, you find more Light.
Destiny’s hook is its seamless spanning of single- and multiplayer. Story missions and Patrols can be played alone, Strikes need three, and Raids require six—the biggest of them asking for tight communication and planning. But despite coming through Blizzard’s Battle.net, this is a Bungie game, and Bungie made Halo. So you get a huge dose of gun fetishization, each presented as much as a bundle of stats as it is a shooting machine. Damage numbers fly off targets to underline weapon differences, and the chunky weapon models buck and kick.
Outside of guns, the game is beautiful, and sounds amazing, too. Environments gleam, the lighting a masterclass in its art, and the camera clever enough to linger on long-range vistas. Skies, in particular, are worth dwelling on, while the soundtrack swells and intensifies with the action. Your character’s walk is a slow, purposeful one, and once you’re able to use Light, the feeling is one of controlling a colossal badass.
Badasses come in three races, can carry three guns, and there are three classes. You are sorted into a sub-class, and continue to improve your character as it gains XP and levels up, unlocking new skills and attacks, as well as reducing cool-down timers.
None of this, however, can mask the repetitive nature of the proceedings, as you fight many of the same enemies (who even come through portals and from dropships to harass you as you’re walking around hub areas) in the same ways (shoot through a cloud of grunts to reach a shielded captain who you must defeat to get the loot chest he’s sitting on). Strikes and Raids are the core of the game, with the Crucible arena a way of displaying your skills—player stats are balanced out—in teams of four. And it’s this co-op nature that sets Destiny apart, that makes the repetition acceptable. After all, it’s not really repetitive if you improve every time, and finally get a slightly better gun on the sixth try, is it? -IAN evenden
+ DESTINY Lush visuals and sound; constant loot crawl.
– DENSITY Repetitive nature; paid-for expansions already available.
RECOMMENDED SPECS Core i5-7400 3.5GHz or Ryzen 5 1600X 3.6GHz, 8GB, GeForce GTX 970 or AMD R9 390.