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Destiny 2 review

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8.9

Great

9.1

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Here it is, at long last, the Destiny 2 review from TiX! I’d apologise for it taking so long, but for those of you who have ever played Destiny or a game like it, you’ll know it can’t be summed up so quick – not whilst also keeping family and other work in order! We settled on doing something a little different for this review, a round-table of sorts. I’d like to thank Dave, Cat and Ady for being my fireteam on this review.
So, without any more delay, let us transmat right to it!
Did you play Destiny 1, if so, what class did you play and did you continue that character in Destiny 2?

Ady

The original Destiny was one of the games that I have put the most hours into, ever. It’s up there with Skyrim and the Fallout games of the world. I didn’t think that would be the case when I started, as like most people after the campaign was completed I was unsure if the endgame content would keep me hooked. Then, as read in my previous article, I discovered the raid and the strikes, and just how much fun the co-op PvE experience was, and I was smitten! I played as a Warlock in Destiny 1, and although I started Destiny 2 as that character to experience the graphical history, I have now rerolled and started as a Titan, as the Striker class looked too good!

Cat

Yes, I played lots of D1, over 1000 hours and did pretty much everything except go to the Lighthouse. I have indeed continued on my original character, an Exo Titan, but not sure if I’ll continue on my original Warlock and Hunter yet, as I would like to see the new customisation options

Dave

As much as I wanted to like Destiny the first-time round, for various reasons, we just didn’t hit it off. I played loads of the beta with Rich, had a blast and pre-ordered almost immediately.After about a week of playing though I struggled to enjoy it at all, we didn’t have much of a fire team together and to be honest I got pretty bored of it!

I was a Titan then and I’ve stuck with a Titan this time around, it compliments my style of play perfectly so there was little reason for me to change, I may start a second class, but that will all depend on time

John

I most certainly did, though I dipped out from time-to-time, returning when new waves of content were launched. I played a Warlock, almost exclusively, after trying the Titan and Hunter during the beta phases of Destiny 1. I carried over all three characters and started out with my Warlock once again. I just feel there is something magical about the Warlock class – no, not just the self-resurrection overpowered magic – that I never felt with Titan or Hunter. At least in Destiny 1.

How was the story?

Ady

Miles better than the original, which wasn’t difficult. Bungie benefitted from having already told the backstory of the Destiny universe, so they could crack on with a tight, cohesive narrative, with a great villain. I wasn’t convinced with the final boss battle, as I had more difficulty getting past the dogs at the start of that final level! Sometimes I had to stop and just take in the world that was going on around your guardian, especially in the later levels. It introduced the vanguards as well-rounded characters which were a huge improvement!

Cat

Destiny 2’s story was excellent… The general experience was much better than Destiny 1, with an easy to follow plot. Including lore within the game was a great touch. I’m interested to see if they can get as much lore into the game as the previous Grimoire system though

Dave

I really enjoyed the story, as a big Halo fan I’ve always enjoyed Bungie’s style of storytelling and unlike Destiny, there was more story in the beta than the whole of the last game! There are some fantastic set pieces in the game and I really enjoyed meeting the different characters during my playthrough.

John

Simply put. Grand. However, this is coming off the back of Destiny 1. The same game which didn’t have time to explain what it didn’t have time to explain – maybe due to the mid-cycle story reboot? As a standalone title, the story of Destiny 2 was above average, with a feeling of a soft reboot. Not so much the universe of Destiny, but the way that the story was going to be delivered to us, the players. No more clamouring around forums, Reddit and the like, looking for answers on who this person is, what the motivation for their actions was. Which, as someone with a little less time on his hands now, is a blessing. However, with the knowledge of knowing I’ll no longer get that random bit of lore from achieving X number of kills, wins or other milestones, I can’t help but feel I have to wait until December for my next fix.

At least there are Cayde’s trinkets to gather from his weekly chests. Right?

How was the Combat/class mechanics? And how did they differ from D1?

Ady

No need to fix something that wasn’t broken!  The gun mechanics in D1 was one of the best you’ll ever get. I wasn’t sure about the change to weapon classes, with Kinetic, Energy and Power all separate, but once you get used to it then it is fine. I’m not too happy with Sniper moving to Power as there’s never enough ammo for it to make it really usable. I went through most of the campaign without really using the Power weapons so there is definitely a balancing issue to be addressed.

Cat

Everything felt a little faster… But overall, the same solid gunplay from D1 is still there… The Titan (I haven’t played the others yet) felt more like the tank it should be. The new Sentinel sub-class is a lot of fun, and I can see myself becoming a Sentinel main in D2.

Dave

If there is one thing Bungie almost always get right, it’s their combat mechanics every weapon feels meaty and the supercharge powers all feel unique, giving me the chance to be flexible with my approach.

John

The combat is refined. Changes to ability types across the board, such as bringing all melee attacks to the same attack point – no more Warlock ranged-melee attacks, as an example. I felt challenged in some areas, and heard/read that others were, too. This felt good, knowing that all classes – at least in PvE – were on an even keel.

The sweeping changes to subclasses, on the other hand, didn’t and still doesn’t feel quite right. Gone are the choices of taking option 3 from line A, mixing it with option 5 from line E. It’s all or nothing from two very split hubs, with each of the two hubs feeling like they are missing the prefix of PvP and PvE. Here is hoping that in future content drops, namely DLC, the freedom of Destiny 1’s talent trees returns in some form.

Did the game feel empty post-campaign? Do you feel there is the content to keep you returning on a regular basis until more content is released?

Ady

So, at the time of writing, I have only just finished the campaign and reached level 20, with my Titan at power level 210. Looking at the map there are still quests, strikes, the raid and other activities on the maps that I haven’t even touched yet. And apart from the main campaign, I haven’t even started to explore Titan, Nessus or IO. Empty? I feel more overwhelmed than empty! Just worried about where the time will come from to enable me to put enough hours in!

Cat

Initially, I felt there was enough to do, but now I’m hitting the higher Power levels (currently 271) I’m struggling as a solo player. I’ve yet had the time to hit the strike or crucible playlists, however. I do really like the Adventures though and feel that Patrol has had the facelift it needed. As someone who spent 11 days in-game time in Patrol in D1, I’m happy.

Dave

I was worried about this at first but in fact, the game really only begins after the campaign in reality. There is just so much to do, which is great for all types of players, casual and hardcore.

Of course, then there is the loot, it’s great, isn’t it? There is something exciting about Legendary items dropping, or picking up engrams, not knowing what you are going to get. I almost obsessed with it now, I’ve spent way too long sorting my shaders for my guardian, he looks pretty badass at the moment.

Whether you are taking part in Public Events, the Crucible, Nightfall’s or Strikes there appears to be something for everyone. I have less time free than the majority of my fireteam, so over time I’ll be swimming in content.

John

As someone who had ample time to play at release – I had 4 days off – I felt I’d be drowning in content for a good month, as I could only put in a few hours per day after that initial burst. I was wrong. Nearly 3 weeks removed, I haven’t logged in for 2 days to do the daily milestone. Why? Because without the powerful engrams from the weekly activities, I get little to no sense of progression.

Yes, I have the raid to complete, but I am sticking by the TiX clan – for better or worse! Love you guys. So, once all other activities are complete, I sit at a power level – nearly wrote light level – that won’t move upwards until reset. There are no weapon rolls, so I can’t go after a set weapon and hope for an uber roll. No set strikes to run for specific gear, and sadly I haven’t been able to run Trials with the clan yet, due to other commitments.

All this being said, there IS a healthy amount of content for players that just want to play and play and play. It most certainly does not feel empty, just more like I am on a motorway without an offramp in view. 

A general overview of your time with Destiny 2.

Ady

Loved it! Great campaign, the gun mechanics are as good as D1, and the Titan shield is incredibly fun to use.

Cat

So far I’m really enjoying Destiny 2 and can’t wait to get into the true end-game content. I’m looking forward to trying the new raid with my clanmates and to see what else Bungie can bring for D2.

Dave

I’m genuinely impressed with Destiny 2 – It’s already on my GOTY list, if I were to have any concerns I’d say it can be quite an overwhelming title at times, as a less experienced Destiny player there is a huge amount to take in with a lot of jargon to deal with, it’s easy to get swept away with the crowd and almost not understanding some of the intricacies of the higher level game. I’ve yet to reach the level that allows me to raid and then to start looking at infusing weapons with one another, I’m constantly having to look at guides and ask my team silly questions.

If you can, take your time with the game, because it’s well worth playing, you will lose all time though!

John

A brilliant addition to the Destiny franchise. A brand new building block for Bungie to work from, with the edges of known space being their limit. It, however, as an FPS/MMO/Shared World hybrid, has to be looked at as such. The Rise of Iron period of Destiny 1 was such a high point, that the changes in systems – be it core or quality of life – will hamper Destiny 2 for some players, for sure. Though, those who didn’t return for The Taken King, will see such an immense game in comparison to their first year or less of Destiny 1, they’ll be swimming in Vex milk for a good chunk of time.

Any major concerns?

Ady

Apart from those bloody Dogs? I have no immediate concerns at all. It appears that the endgame is strong, with loads to do at the moment. My only concern is that the content will become stale and boring over time. Public events seem to be on repeat, at least in the EDZ, so the loot will need to be worth the grind if this is the case.

Cat

A major concern for me right now is grind fatigue. I’m already starting to see that settle in, but thankfully I still have other things to keep me busy for the moment. I still have my other two characters to run through the dozen hours of base content.

John

Nothing I didn’t mention earlier, your honour.

The standout moment of your time with Destiny 2, so far?

Ady

The campaign was one of the best FPS shooters I have played, and in recent years its up there with Titanfall 2. I love the fact that the vanguards play more of a role, and they are characters with their own stories now, rather than vendors in the tower. Cayde 6 in particular with his story mission with Failsafe. But the standout for me was the social space reveal at the end of the campaign. A nod also has to go to Tess at the farm who’s line roughly similar to “Do you think an apocalypse is enough to stop Eververse” is a great social commentary on in-app purchases.

Cat

Standout moment? Hmm… Just how different and epic the last few missions felt. Without going into spoilers too much, it didn’t feel like “traditional Destiny”, and more like a Halo-injected Destiny, with some incredible set-pieces…

Dave

There are some moments towards the end of the campaign that really was fantastic, typical Bungie, so much action mixed in with a fabulous soundtrack, I really didn’t want it to end.

Aside from that, just being able to join up with your mates and do whatever we feel in what is a fascinating world with masses to discover.

John

Failsafe!

Finishing the Rat King quest chain with TiX clan members. No spoilers here, but if you have done it, or when you have, you’ll understand the chest ache from the intense action and drama on service. It’s not easy, is it?

Thanks to Activision and Xbox for supporting TiX

Summary

Fireteam round-table
8.9

Great

I am a father, a husband and a spartan. I started out gaming as a blue hedgehog, then I traded in my racing shoes for a gender-neutral space suit. From there it was a blur, I lived through fantasies that were not so final, landed on universe ending rings, and more recently I have defended Azeroth from Orcs. Lots. Of. Orcs. Oh, also, whose foot prints are these?