Title: Destiny 2
Format: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Price: Starting at $59.99
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: PS4/Xbox One: September 6, PC: October 24
The Grade: A-
Destiny 2 Haiku Review
There’s a new big bad
Better than Destiny 1
Bigger and better
What is it? The newest iteration of the popular first person action game, “Destiny,” which came out in 2014. In “Destiny 2,” humanity has fallen to the brutal Red Legion, led by Lord Ghaul. Gamers will explore the galaxy, collect weapons, loot like mad and acquire new combat abilities as they face enemies and reclaim what they’ve lost.
Highs: “Destiny 2” is a natural evolution from the first “Destiny.” It takes all the things players like about the first game, and replaces most of what didn’t work with something that makes more sense.
The story element of “Destiny 2,” a weak spot in the first game, is now a strength. Lord Ghaul gives players a legitimate antagonist to face off with. Not only is your enemy menacing, but the journey to overcome your adversary carries more weight because the mission is clear and characters are more relatable. Helping players to learn more about the “Destiny” universe are Adventures. These short missions consist of stories that are much more useful than the first game’s system which required players to go online and look things up.
“Destiny’s” multiplayer evolved over time, starting out barebones and then eventually becoming more diverse. In “Destiny 2” players can still play the story campaign solo or with friends, and strikes and raids are back. But there have been quite a few other changes. The Crucible is now 4v4 PvP, previously it was 6v6. It also has a new mod called Countdown, where players plant a bomb at an enemy base and defend it until it blows up. There’s a new clan creation feature and the ability to create guided games so you can have your clan play together to take on raids, strikes and other activities. Warlocks, Titans and Hunters also have new subclasses that gamers are sure to enjoy trying out.
Other improvements include a more useful inventory system, a strong soundtrack, stellar voice over work (Bye, bye Tyrion Lannister!), an enhanced reward system, a longer story campaign, and a stunning visual presentation.
Lows: Do you remember the Sparrow? It’s the cool speeder bike-type machine you can ride around to get places quickly. You won’t get that until you complete the campaign and even then they’re hard to find. Get ready for long stretches of walking/sprinting.
While “Destiny 2” is a significant improvement from “Destiny” and addresses many of the original’s flaws, it still plays like a “Destiny” title. This latest game is an evolution, not a full reconstruction. This is a good thing as most aspects of the first title worked, but there are still other inconsistencies (play can get repetitive, enemy variation hasn't developed much) that linger. Not that any of these issues seriously hampered my experience.
The Grade: I enjoyed the original “Destiny” when it first came out but its deficiencies eventually proved too great for me, so I left the game for greener pastures after a few months. I could tell that was going to happen pretty early. I don’t get that same vibe from “Destiny 2” after playing the game over the past week. With so much time between titles, I was apprehensive about jumping back into the “Destiny” universe but after playing this latest version I found my concerns to be unfounded. A more immersive and complete experience, “Destiny 2” is exactly what fans of the series were hoping for.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.