We offer you an analysis in process of Destiny 2, after playing more than fifteen hours to the campaign, reach the level 20, to enjoy the cooperative assaults and of the pvp mode in the Crucible. Prepare guardians for the ultimate defense of Earth.
Why an in-process analysis of Destiny 2 ? Because, before the game comes out, Bungie has only allowed us to play half the campaign, dedicate a couple of hours to the competitive multiplayer and participate in a few rounds. In total there are more than fifteen hours of gameplay, but they are not enough to cover such a release. So, later, when the final servers are started, we will offer our review of Destiny 2 with note .
The Destiny saga is a project of more than ten years. Activision and Bungie (responsible for Halo Combat Evolved ) have joined forces to create a gigantic universe, in which the guardians of the last city on Earth face four extraterrestrial races: Fallen, Hive, Vex and Cabal. It is a very complex world, in which every planet, every weapon and every species has a really interesting “lore”.
Three years ago we enjoyed the first game – on PS3 and Xbox 360, plus PS4 and Xbox One – and the truth is that left us very impressed: Destiny was mixing the mechanics of an FPS and the approach of an online role-playing game, and was set in a galaxy that kept growing. But it also fell short on some aspects, such as the narrative part, and the difficulty in accessing the incursions.
Destiny 2 takes the witness of that great game, with learning accumulated after two years of expansions: The Deep Darkness , The House of the Wolves , The King of the Possessed and The Iron Lords , and a lot of events such as The Proofs of Osiris or The Iron Standard . It is true that as soon as we get to play, we find familiar elements and we have a sense of “more of the same”. But enough to devote a couple of hours to discover that under the surface there is much more than it seems.
A campaign to match
The story mode Destiny can be interpreted as a giant prologue. After all, what matters in the MMO genre is the “endgame”, that is, what happens when we have reached the maximum level (20 for now) and continue to walk the galaxy in search of new challenges and exotic rewards. But in this case, we find a long, varied and well narrated campaign, which improves infinitely that of the previous game. A story in which the secondary characters are well portrayed and the narrative rests on well-kept cinematic.
The trigger of the argument is Dominus Ghaul , lord of the Cabal Red Legion, who leads a devastating attack against the Earth. After a desperate resistance, some guards (among whom we are) manage to survive and start a counterattack. Because if the main theme in Destiny was “becoming a legend” in the sequel that concerns us is “recover the light”. New players can create their guardians with the same editor as the first Destiny, and choose from the same classes: Titan, Sorcerer or Hunter, with unique abilities. Each of them has a new subclass, with a special attack in which we use a shield, a spear or a sword.
The campaign makes us travel the new planets of this sequel: the European Dead Zone of the Earth, Titan , Nessus and IO , as we did in the first game: in the EDZ we fight against the Fallen, in Titan we find remains of the Hive , Nessus is taken over by the Vex architecture , and finally IO is Cabal territory. The structure may also be familiar to veterans: a series of open areas communicated by bottlenecks, combining large plains with claustrophobic tunnels and unexplored structures. So that we do not feel overwhelmed, with too many tasks to do, we have some “guides” in our trip; the representatives of the Vanguard: Zavala, Ikora Rey, Cayde-6, and of course, our spectrum, which is responsible for giving us the necessary information at all times, with an unmistakable ironic tone.
Missions always rely on brutal first-person shootings, but nowadays, platforms zones, final enemies, puzzles and fleeing on different vehicles are much more frequent. It is as if all the things learned after the foray into The Crystal Chamber had been incorporated . The different types of mission are gradually unlocked, as is the list of cooperative assaults for three players, or the “versus” mode in the Crucible (only available after accepting a mission). As we learn to meet different goals, we also go deeper into the options to improve our character.
The system of progress
The level rise was something that we had difficulty assimilating in the first game. The first 20 levels could be overcome in a simple way; it was enough to eliminate the enemies that came our way. But once our guardian had reached the maximum, we had only the option of increasing the level of light, obtaining engrams that had to be decrypted in La Torre (the social space in which the infamous Cryptarch was) and equipping the best weapons and armor.
This is the same system that uses Destiny 2 , but it has been debugged so the experience is not so frustrating. To begin with, the lower level engrams are automatically decoded, and it has given us the impression that the rewards obtained were at a more balanced level with the missions that had to be met. From level 20 we began to receive the exotic engrams, as well as improvements for weapons and armor and shaders, to change their exterior appearance. By the way, all these modifications are applied by parts, not generally to the entire armature.
It is also at this time when we begin to receive new ships and hummingbirds – a flying motorbike – that help us move through this galaxy … and when new subclasses are unlocked for Titan, Hunter and Sorcerer . In this way the depth of the game (and customization options) are much greater than we experienced three years ago with the first Destiny. Instead of targeting a faction, we can get more rewards by doing assignments for secondary characters, such as Devrim Kay at the EDZ, or improving our reputation with the different characters in the Village.
Destiny 2 is a multiplayer experience. We may coincide with other guardians in the open spaces of each planet, and join in with events – normal or heroic – or simply share moments of exploration. But the center of the interaction is the Villa (which comes to replace the original Torre). This is where we can decrypt exotic engrams, receive missions and rewards from the leaders of the vanguard, buy weapons and modifiers … and of course, meet with other guards. Ah, there is also open a post in which to get objects with micropayments (in real currency).
As the game progresses, the Villa’s options are increasing. We can explore to see what areas have opened, with new characters, or play a game in football, in a rudimentary adjacent field. And yet, the interaction between guardians is quite limited. We have different “emotes” to assign to the control crossbar, but it is a very rudimentary system, and we continue to miss the possibility of exchanging equipment, for example.
The best of the game are still assaults and raids ; epic levels that we enjoy in cooperative. On the one hand, incursions (or raids) have overcome their main difficulty. Before it was necessary to gather a group of 6 friends to face tests like the Crystal Chamber, the End of Crota or the Fall of the King. But thanks to the inclusion of clans, we can join a group to enjoy this way – which we have not yet been able to prove.
Matchmaking – the automatic selection of companions – does work in the assaults for three guardians. They are not so complicated clashes (in fact, we can go “in our air” without coordinating our actions with the rest of the group and still succeed) but the feeling is still unmatched.
Battles in the Crucible
The Crucible is the competitive mode of Destiny 2, in closed arenas and with exclusive modes. The different subclasses – with their specials – and the use of heavy ammunition to use a third weapon, give it personality against other generic FPS , although the pace of these confrontations has seemed a bit slow. We have enjoyed a lot on their maps, with a solid design taken out of the campaign and with 8 player modes like Survival (with 8 lives per team), Supremacy (inspired by Call of Duty Underscores) or the classic “deathmatch” search and destroy”.
The Crucible is a good way to train our guardian skills, get exclusive pieces of equipment and quickly level up, but has lost some of its most characteristic elements, such as play lists with 12 players or the use of vehicles on large maps .
Visual and sound section
The truth is that Destiny 2 called for visual improvements screaming. The first game was “burdened” by the fact that it appeared simultaneously in the last generation at the time on PS4 and Xbox One. But this time, the game has been able to optimize for the current machines. Without being any revolution, if you see important improvements in lighting and particles (although the faces are still quite expressionless). Both PS4 PRO and PC and Xbox One X can enjoy the game in 4K resolution, which makes enemies and scenarios look – if we have a television, comatible, clear. But the console and PC versions show an important difference: while the game stays at 30 FPS on Sony and Microsoft machines (also in multiplayer), users of a powerful computer will enjoy it at 60 FPS .
What helps is the art section. The design of the planets (with a double color palette, while in the first game tended to be monochrome) weapons and the interface – which has recovered from Destiny – is flawless. The soundtrack of Michael Salvatori (instead of Martin O’Donell) was one of our major concerns, but it remains at a good level, without achieving the original. In Bungie we have clarified that this time there will be a theme by Paul Mcartney, but that his development has been equally ambitious.
We have the feeling that this is how the original Destiny should have been; everything that he offered us has been improved, although without drastic changes. But we can not put a note, because our experience has just begun (calm, we continue playing throughout the galaxy to offer the definitive analysis).
The game retains a sensational “gunplay”, with intelligent enemies and well-designed weapons. The scenarios are full of quirks to explore and have impeccable architecture, and the multiplayer experience inspired by the MMO gives us epic moments. The navigation is much simpler – thanks to the landing zones spread over each planet, teleportation points and not having to jump into orbit so often – and the campaign seems much more round.
In addition, Destiny 2 missions are much more varied (thanks to the inclusion of Lost Sectors and adventures, along with numerous public events) and the system of improvements is much more accessible. We even say goodbye to the Grimoire, because the “lore” appears included in the game.
Technically it improves the fair, and its design remains impeccable. But inevitably, it has lost freshness, and the experience no longer seems so innovative (at times, we have had the feeling of playing with a new expansion of the first).