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Review: Destiny 2 (PS4)
Destiny 2 in the game database
Review: Destiny 2 (PS4)

Saying that Destiny 2 is the most anticipated premiere of this year is like saying nothing at all. Destiny was carried by a wave of expectations after fierce marketing, but unfortunately – it didn’t quite make it for the release. Due to problematic development process the game was simply poor in terms of content. Luckily, Destiny 2 doesn’t repeat the mistakes of its predecessor.

Reviewing games that are represented by likes of Destiny 2 is a pretty unfulfilling task. The text you’re reading now will be a bit outdated half year from now. In a year – it will practically lose its value when Bungie completes some of its plans for post-release support. Besides, faithful fans of Destiny would get sucked into the game no matter what it would be like, since they were able to spend tens of hours on the previous entry, in spite of the lack of meaningful content and virtually nonexistent plot. I spent, for my online games standards, quite a lot of time with Destiny myself. However, I started (reasonably) with The Taken King, so I was dealing with a year of development and new (awesome) content. By reviewing Destiny 2 I have the opportunity to start the adventure with this title from scratch and ... fortunately, I feel almost the same as when I was in contact with The Taken King.

Destiny 2, right from the beginning, offers us so much diversified content that aside from the plot missions we finally have something to do in Bungie’s world. As in Destiny, we go from the orbit to one of four planets, where we can move freely. In Destiny 2, however, the locations have grown tremendously – not only on a macro but also on a micro scale, offering places with unique design and locations overloaded with details that add to the places’ character. Bigger locations are filled with side quests that can be activated at any time without returning to the orbit (finally!), several types of patrols (quick and short missions with less satisfying rewards), and on top of that, rebuilt public events. In Destiny they were simply ignored – too easy and without specific awards they couldn’t possibly attract anyone. In Destiny 2 someone clearly made an effort to create more variety and better rewards – if we’re able to activate the Heroic version, and this usually requires completing some additional objectives from us. Public events rotate at several points on the map, so we have the impression that something is always happening in the surrounding world.

Bungie has also catered to people who like to be in search of treasures in games with more or less open worlds. There are also miniversions of dungeons in which, after a brief exploration and a boss fight, we can open a chest with a randomly assigned treasure. There are many locations like that on each map, and all of them are to be used several times, so we’ll never feel that there’s nothing to do in the game – at least for PvE.

Obviously, Destiny wouldn’t be itself if the maps weren’t covered with many interesting secrets, but this time, apart from the fact of being hidden, they sell us bits of the world’s history and what may await us in the near future. This idea is a reaction to the critique of Grimoire's previous card system, which was in charge of the narrative back then. Now we have everything inside, so the cards were dropped. This isn’t particularly painful, although we lost access to the extensive statistics of our gameplay and minor bonuses like bigger chances of getting better items from a given enemy race if we kill X of them during the game. Destiny 2 is filled with such design decisions. Anything that didn’t function very well in Destiny, got pretty much thrown away from Destiny 2, instead of being improved. A good example is the change in skills and additional equipment perks.

Let’s be honest – Destiny was never an elaborate title when it comes to the freedom to create your own Guardian builds. We chose one of three skills in a given category in one of the three subclasses. The key was the to make the Fireteam complement each other. How is it in Destiny 2? Generally – very similar. The grenades and jumps stayed the same, but there’s a new option of putting a small or greater energy barrier, as well as choosing one of the two development paths. These offer four skills presenting different game styles. None of the paths are permanent, so we can switch between them. Therefore Bungie decided they won’t fix something that isn’t broken. They mixed everything, and in the end, the effect is similar. Bigger changes affected the extra perks in the equipment. These got ... thrown away, at least in a way that we know it. Earlier we had some influence on what features will be vital for a weapon or armor. Here everything is predefined, so a given – let's say – rifle will offer the same set of abilities regardless of who uses it. To compensate, we were given the option to install selected modifications, but again – only one for each weapon. Is this a worse solution? Not necessarily. But surely an easier one, because no one in Bungie had to work very hard with the balance in the reduced in numbers PvP.

Yes, PvP shrank to eight people, which is constantly criticized. After playing the beta version I didn’t really know what to think about this decision. After a few hours with the full version, I know this much: this move has forced the creation of good Fireteams. One worse player and we almost always get our asses kicked. It’s hard to escape the impression that this decision was dictated by releasing Destiny 2 on PC and the desire to expand into the market that’s loosely connected to e-sport, where 4vs4 is to provide more excitement. Because it is like that in theory and sometimes in practice. Fights are more intense, often shorter, which naturally increases the interest of potential viewers. In the multiplayer, besides smaller number of players, there’s also a new mode with disarming bombs, but just like I didn’t like it in beta, I don’t like it here as well. The rounds in it are just too short, and if I have to play with others, then I prefer to spend more time in each round. What hasn’t changed is fortunately the maps design, which are exceptionally good. Maybe they don’t offer such views like those from Destiny, but it’s not bad and everything is still ahead. Although it’s a pity that Bungie (or maybe Activision?) has once again decided that PvP maps will be closed behind expansions for which we have to pay extra.

The plot. Its lack (or rather its terrible depiction) was incredibly criticized right after the nonexistent post-game of the first entry. Bungie has improved a lot with the release of The Taken King and Rise of Iron, but a shadow of concern before the premiere was creeping around my head. The studio didn’t really disappoint me, but I’m also far from amazement in their direction. Generally speaking, when I compared Destiny 2 and The Taken King, the expansion to the former looks better in this respect. The totally wishy-washy antagonist would be guilty of that. Ghaul, the Cabal leader of the Red Legion, was portrayed from the beginning as the one who would break the Guardians. Unbeaten, spreading fear in his enemies ... yeah, right. Ghaul is called a cosmic potato from the beginning, which makes sense not only because of its appearance. His charisma equates to the charisma of a boiled potato, which is a tremendous disappointment after the interestingly performed start of the game. A bump, loss of Light, poor prospects with hundreds, if not thousands of dead Guardians ... all of that in order to return immediately (at least partially) to the state from before the attack in the third mission. I hope that further plots will be developed in a smarter way. Just like the montage of cutscenes with gameplay, because sometimes I felt like something was missing and I watched a montage that was directed by an amateur. Which negatively affects the reception of even a good story. Just like the Polish version of the game. The translation itself isn’t bad – yes, some lines are translated in a way that ruins the meaning, but it was managed to maintain the right style and sense of humor.

With many changes, fortunately, the basics remain untouched. We’re still dealing with a lighter version of MMOFPS, which primarily focuses on playing with friends, but not forgetting loners without the company to play. Gunplay has remained unchanged and is still great in every aspect. Even changes in weapons... defend themselves. The division of "normal, extra and heavy weapons" has been changed into kinetic, energetic (ideal for opponents with shields) and heavy. There are new types (grenade launcher, which is much better than in the beta version, or fusion rifle) and fit in perfectly. Running around in search of patrols and public events, completing more Assaults, and tedious grinding to hit the highest level of the Light is still a bit addictive and fun. I was also worried about the soundtrack (the ones from Destiny and expansions really appealed to me), but after a few hours I let out a sigh of relief. The compositions are different, more varied, but equally good.

As I mentioned, I don’t need to persuade the veterans – they’ll play anyway. And the new players? They can easily try – they won’t miss any content until the first expansion, which is planned for December.

Finally, I have to mention the presence of microtransactions, which don’t affect the game to a great extent (cosmetics and modifications that we still get in the normal game), but as a fierce opponent, I am outraged by the fact of adding them, for which we pay a full price. Therefore they land in the cons (but without affecting the final rating).

Destiny 2
Out rating: 8.5/10
Destiny 2 does not disappoint. Bungie expanded their idea for MMOFPS with a lot of new content. With untouched shooting mechanic, beautiful sights and soundtrack - it's surely worth playing.
  • Pros
  • Very pleasant shooting system
  • Big locations where we can finally do something
  • Quite well varied missions
  • The visual aspect
  • Soundtrack
  • Cons
  • Giving up on some elements present in Destiny
  • Dull antagonist
  • Microtransactions
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