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Review: Destiny 2 (PC)By Chantiment At 04.02.2018 23:50

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If there's one thing that Destiny 2 succeeds at, it's clarity. The original Destiny was filled with complicated skill trees, upgrade systems, and told a story that was extremely hard to follow if you just went through the main campaign. For better or worse, Destiny 2 has taken steps to make the experience as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.

Like the original, the player assumes the role of an unnamed Guardian, one chosen by the enigmatic Traveler to guard the Light. This time, the story is focused on the invasion of Earth and the capture of the Traveler by a hostile alien faction called the Red Legion. It's a very straightforward narrative, but it's definitely got some memorable characters that help it along, and it is short enough that those itching to jump into endgame content won't feel burdened by it.

Destiny 2 is one of those games where it's probably going to be more fun with a few friends. There are very minimal ways of communicating with other players sharing the sandbox with you without joining a party, and the single-player activities are quite a bit more limited than those available to groups. Raids and PvP almost require some form of speech-based communication, and some of the more difficult PvE events and the challenging Nightfall Strikes benefit from it, as well.

Regardless of how players choose to go about it, Destiny 2 is, like its predecessor, all about the loot. Incremental upgrades to gear are what drive the grindy nature of most of the in-game events and missions, and finding that perfect piece of armour to complete a loadout will have players grinding the same missions for days.

It's a little unfortunate that the later into the endgame it gets, the harder it becomes to progress. In-game, there's a metric called the "Power Level," a level separate from the base character levels that tracks how equipped the Guardian is to tackle various challenges based on the combined power of their current gear. Most of the late-game content requires a base level of around 260-300, and that's not too hard to reach with a little dedicated grinding.

Post-300, though, it can take a ton of time and effort to go up a single point towards the overall level. After the Guardian surpasses that level, most gear they get won't go past their current level, requiring them to grind very specific events, some of which are limited to once or twice each week. It kind of takes the fun out of grinding events, since power is the overall most important component to the gear that drops.

While there is a great variety in weapon selection and armour, the weapons in particular start to feel a bit repetitive after a while. For each major weapon type, there are essentially three combinations of stats it can have, mostly involving rate of fire, and pretty much all non-exotic weapons fall into one of those three brackets. While there are dozens of different rifles to collect, noticing the minute differences between three with the same rate of fire is a challenge.

Exotic weapons and armour can fill out one of three weapon slots, and one of five armour slots. They are powerful, unique pieces of gear that (in the case of weapons, at least) trade a bit of consistency for incredibly strong abilities. Some of them are more useful than others, but they each add something unique that makes chasing them down a worthwhile endeavour.

That's the core of Destiny 2, though, chasing down incrementally better gear. Everything about this game is fun, but there's just not enough of it to keep players invested for the amount of time the game requires them to invest in it. There's so much to love about the world and characters, and the gameplay is honestly a ton of fun, if not a bit lacking in depth right now.

Destiny 2 is a great looking game that's a total blast, for around 40-50 hours. After that, it has a sharp decline in available activities that will keep players engaged. Bungie has a solid roadmap for the coming weeks and months that looks to reshape the game, and there's some fair hope that it will address some of the staleness that's affected it thus far. Despite that, for FPS fans looking to burn some moonlight with their friends, Destiny 2 is still highly enjoyable.

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Final Score
While [i]Destiny 2[/i] has a solid foundation and a robust story campaign, its endgame content feels a little lacklustre. The sandbox doesn't have a whole lot of depth, and plumbing each of the hub worlds for secrets doesn't feel that rewarding. Grinding Public Events, Raids, and Strikes with friends is definitely a lot of fun, but there's a huge disconnect between content being cleared and your character strength increasing. There's still a lot of room for [i]Destiny 2[/i] to grow but, for now, it's still got a few kinks to work out.



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