–Or get it now on console!! PC won’t get it until 10/24/2017… T. T
If I were to give you one word to describe my experience with Destiny 2, it would be “fulfilling“.
<vlog coming soon!>
It took me a little under a week to complete the campaign and master all Hunter subclasses, even if I restarted a character part-way. Oddly enough, the character I brought back from Destiny 1 made me feel like the intro to the game didn’t fit the Exo race due to the whole intro, but after some thought I decided to kick it with my Exo Hunter like the good ol’ days anyway. 😀
Words of wisdom to those who’ve yet to pick up for PC (or console):
**Pre-order the game for cool freebies! The game is worth it anyway!
- ALL DLC, except the Emotes and Emblems, will be unlocked AT THE END of the campaign, even pre-order Coldheart and Kill-Tracker Ghost shell. (All emotes and emblems are in your hub vault ASAP). They are also obtainable in-game at one point.
- If you have money to get the Expansions out of the way, BUY the DIGITAL DELUXE. (Note that Digital Deluxe is the $100 pack, the $90 pack is Expansion Pass only). DO NOT base it off the emote, emblem and sword, it wasn’t worth it. (You get them all in-game and the sword was post-campaign along with a cooler sword).
- If you are looking to save money or can wait to buy the Expansion Pass, DO NOT BUY the fancy editions and just stick to the Standard edition of the game.
You have been warned. I would have rather spent the extra $40 on silver for bright engrams when I hit Level 20. I would’ve gotten cooler stuff.
Although there were a handful of server issues at launch, Destiny 2 does a great job telling a story, balancing gameplay and adding a nice RNG touch. Flat out, of all historical and sci-fi shooters I’ve put my mind to playing, this one ranks as one of the best storytelling I’ve experienced (contrary to its predecessor who had tons of lore, but a poor way to express it).
Out with the bad…
Let’s start with our take on the controversial changes to Destiny 2. Those changes are end-game pre-order content, consumable shaders and late Sparrow (jet speeder) unlocks.
The first issue is with marketing. We are enticed to pre-order games, in general, due to the freebies we get by doing so. Bungie was no different this time around. The only deviance from most incentives was that most of the pre-order bonuses (Exotic Coldheart Trace Rifle, Kill Tracker Ghost shell) are unlocked after completing the campaign. No what ifs or buts. The Salute Emote is the only exception that is unlocked as soon as you get to the social hub, where it is located in your vault’s collectible tab.
Next on our list is everyone’s favorite topic to argue about during launch: consumable shaders. Bungie, themselves, said that if you keep playing the game, shaders will be abundant.
Shaders are earned through gameplay: leveling, chests, engrams, vendors. We expect you’ll be flush w/ Shaders as you continue to play. (1/4)
— Luke Smith (@thislukesmith) September 7, 2017
Once you hit Level 20 (current max level) each time you fill your bar, you receive a Bright Engram. This is the equivalent of the paid engrams on the Eververse microtransaction store. And almost each engram will reward you with a stack of 5 shaders. I almost always get (my personal favorite) Gold Tracer shader. So, I don’t mind it. I prefer it this way over an infinite, but dyes all gear, kind of setup. This is probably for now to get people to keep playing.
And might I add that shaders apply to all gear? Weapons, speeders, ships, armor! Everything except Exotic weapons, at least. So, yes, I think it’s an okay change.
Last topic to purge out of our system is the late Sparrow procurement! This one is only explained by means of…storytelling! No, really though. There’s a unspoken reason why we really don’t get it early on. Let’s just say it’s due to lack of resources in the beginning and the resources we come by along the way. Rest assured, though, once you unlock it with one character by completing the campaign or hitting Level 20 and getting one in an engram, your other noob characters will have access to them too by means of transferring the Sparrow into the vaults. Pro tip to any 2nd or 3rd characters!
In with the good!
Now that the nasty stuff is out of the way, lets talk about this game already!
WARNING: Spoilers trickling here and there! Watch out!
When I first launched the game on release night, I was stalled by an error saying that the servers were full and I was put on queue for entry. Bad start, indeed? Not quite. This gave way for me to enjoy the wonderfully awe inspiring soundtrack Destiny 2 had to offer. The epicness, the dread or the triumphant symphonies made my skin crawl and emotions stir. I’m glad I got to experience this before being distracted by the game.
30 minutes later, I was finally welcomed by my Destiny 1 characters. (Other than fancy emblems you can only get by completing the Year 1, 2 and Age of Triumph, the only bonus for playing Destiny 1 was importing over the looks of your previous Guardians). As much as Bungie wanted a fresh start, this was a nice little touch they added for what would be a reboot of their franchise in the form of a sequel.
The one single thing you will get as a veteran of Destiny 1 is the lore. The first game was quite forgettable. I never understood what was going on and the handful of cutscenes were too random that I still wonder who and where the Stranger is at this point to this day. Although, we were marinated in the Destiny universe to know about the Traveler, the Guardians, the war of Light and Darkness, the Golden Age, the Collapse, the Fallen, Hive, Taken, Cabal, the humanoid races, the Vanguard and much much more. Being attached to that game will make you feel deeper in touch with Destiny 2. The characters and the story will mean more. But, that’s what we get as vets.
Tell me a story…
At this point, Destiny 2’s story trumps any sci-fi shooter I’ve played to date, even Halo’s first trilogy (which Destiny borrowed heavily from). The characters are memorable. Dominus Ghaul is a convoluted mess of an interesting bad guy. Your character is reasonably a good silent protagonist thanks to your Ghost (too bad unlike D1, your character doesn’t say anything at all). The Vanguard trio portray life and emotion like never before.
The story of redemption and desperation was relatable and engaging to keep coming back for more, and the balance of mixed gameplay to keep things interesting kept me refreshed. There was enough things to do without it feeling too overwhelming and forced to play the campaign in a straight line.
If there is one thing I can say that I wish was present in D2’s plot progression, it’s a way to relive the cutscenes or missions without making a brand new character. Maybe in the form of a lore chronicle or sort.
That being said, I also understand the bias that I came from playing a good amount of Destiny 1 and learning all about the universe at this point, so coming back to it now is a nice blast of refreshing air with a nice tangy twist. But that’s how this is my own experience to share.
A good example to compare between the games in the series is Zavala, Cayde and Ikora; they were stripped of their Light and forced into humility. There is so much more to know and learn about who they really are. Their humanity is brought out in Destiny 2. (I still miss Dinklebot, though…). They were just empty NPCs in D1. Boring and grindy.
The returning voice actors were amazing, as well. After the Light is taken from the returning cast, you can hear the desperation in the proud Zavala’s voice, the weakness in the irresponsible Cayde’s and the loss in Ikora’s condescending voice. These once great vanguard leaders now stand empty with one last life to die with, and their actors portray this very appropriately.
Not to mention Amanda Holliday whose only role was to sell you ships and Sparrows in D1. (Yes, she plays a bigger role in D2). Of course, there are the new characters to mix things up and liven up the universe even more. They are all integral to the whole plot now.
The characters and story this time around simply had a lot more depth to them. The amount of beatiful cutscenes are phenomenal, too, might I add.
The ending for the campaign was satisfying, knowing we were getting at least 2 major expansions in the coming years. Here’s hoping the expansions will bring forth the same kind of service Bungie had delivered with their story campaign in the vanilla game. A lot of cutscenes. A lot of depth. A lot of moments. A great set of new characters. A nice length of story and lore.
But, for now…
Let’s PLAY and LOOT!
The great thing I liked about Destiny’s recipe was it’s mixed gameplay packed in a simple FPS game. I never got sick of shooting all day because there was a ton of different things to do that awarded loot or levels outside of a typical campaign. All of which, tied into one game, unlike other FPS games that segregated their modes (PVP or PVE).
The beauty about all the activities is that they don’t need each other to make a full game. If you are a solo player, that’s fine. If you are addicted to PVP, they have it too. Not one point will push you mandatorily play one mode or the other. They all co-exist well.
The challenge is also balanced. The game is RNG (random drop) item based, so the higher our gear, the better. Of course each piece will have stats and perks to look into. Weapons will have handling and stability to aid your precision (I’ve noticed a lot of difference here coming from a Level 20 to a Level 1), for example. Armor will have benefits to mobility, resilience or recovery. So there’s a little bit of gear management and it’s nice. It adds some depth to a basic shooter game. The way the game tries and beats you is by overwhelming you by sheer number or by enemies with shields, but if you can pick out your targets and eliminate them one by one, you’ll be fine.
Loot is the same, for the most part. There’s a finite amount of cool gear in the game, and the majority is random drops. Some are received by grinding for an engram, which is still random, anyway. The coolest addition to Destiny 2 is that there will always be sure-fire ways to get exotic gear. The campaign and end-game quests. These are the only exception to the RNG exotics. In the campaign, depending on the class, you can choose one of three armors early on and one of three exotic weapons later in the game. Pretty sweet gear too. I ended up using the Graviton Lance exotic pulse rifle all the way through to the end of the game.
I jumped back to Destiny 1 after playing days of D2 and I found that the crafting is a lot less complicated. Instead of finding too many resources to do one thing, D2 makes things simpler. Any infusions costs glimmer and legendary shards. Resource farming in any zone is all exclusively for redemption at the faction NPC who rewards you with an faction engram every 20-30 pieces of redeemables. This was a very welcome change for me. It wasn’t too confusing and literally all over the place.
Let’s play and loot…Together!!
The key to a good Destiny experience is playing with others. I played solo on my Hunter and now I’m playing with a couple clanmates as a healer Warlock. The game gets a lot more fun and bearable in the harder parts with more people. Strikes are your dungeons and that’s fun too. There’ll also be huge raids coming. First of which, is coming this week with a minimum Power Level of 260! Is your fireteam ready?
When random people aid you in your questing or join you in a public event, it always makes you feel nice. It’s a game that passes along good vibes in an MMO-esque scenario.
Let’s play and loot…Against Each Other!?
The Crucible makes a return. Lord Shaxx pretty much trains and beefs up the Guardians in the Destiny universe by means of PVP matches. If you’ve played a PVP or MP game on an FPS, this is the same except it’s Destiny. (lol) As usual, some exclusive gear can be gotten here, but the beauty about Destiny is that there’s always a niche for anyone.
That’s a wrap!
So if you’re on the fence about Destiny 2, get off already. It’s a pretty fun game for anyone interested in FPS games, in general. If you were let down by Destiny 1, don’t let that fool you, they’ve improved a good amount. If you have friends, it’s fun. If you have PC and can wait, buy it on PC. If not, it’s out for consoles already!
If you guys are playing on PS4, hit me up and add me! You know my PSN ID by just looking at my author name here. 😉 (HINT: Sylphrit)
So, stay tuned for some Monster Hunter Stories..err, stories this month, too! Until then, stay tuned and chime in where it counts!!! Meet me at the farm guys (Destiny reference)!