Destiny 2: would you manage to unite the survivors?Published January 15, 2021
Destiny 2 is a free-to-play shooter game developed by Bungie in 2017. Do you want to face the game where the last city in the world was destroyed? Where the survivors were scattered throughout the galaxy? Your goal is to unite them again. Are You ready?
Destiny 2 is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game that stands out from the crowd due to its gameplay and focuses on maintaining an on-going narrative. It has gone through many changes as a game throughout the years, thanks to how much Bungie listens to the player feedback. One of the biggest changes includes going free-to-play from initially being a paid game.
Perhaps the most consistent thing about the game is how often it is updated, as it is always receiving new expansions that add content, locations, and story missions. So, is the game still worth your time in 2021, or has it gotten stale over time? Let’s answer that question.
A shooter that is an RPG-looter in disguise
The game mainly plays like a raid shooter in which you either play solo or team up with your friends and explore as much of the game’s world as you can to find the perfect loot. The playable characters are known as ‘Guardians’ who have unique powers that can be utilized in combat, and that also includes cool weapons that greatly vary from each other. There are also role-playing elements in the game, such as customizing your characters and upgrading their several skill points and the weaponry that you use.
The game is divided into two modes, which are the PvE (co-op) and PvP (player vs. player), with the latter being called the ‘Crucible’ mode. The PvP mode is not dead by any means, but all of the traction mainly goes to the PvE mode because Bungie’s mode actively works.
In the PvE mode, you can play the story missions, go around for loot, and join clans that are going away for a raid at any time. The servers work incredibly work, and that honestly is a great element that elevates the overall experience. Shooting is fun, trying out all the different abilities is wildly entertaining, and of course, like most games, if you play the story missions and raids with your friends – that automatically makes your experience a whole lot better.
However, when it comes to looting, it can get rather grindy and something that many people prefer doing alone so that they don’t get burnt out with their friends. Thus, the players prefer saving the best content for their friends instead of calling them over for every loot hunt.
A focus on the story
One of the main things that set Destiny apart besides its combination of genres in terms of game mechanics – is its consistently on-going storyline. The game launched with a lot of story missions to be completed and featured voices from some well-known talents, such as Lance Reddick and Peter Dinklage.
Surprisingly, even though Destiny 2 is an online-only game, the story is quite compelling to follow. The characters have personality and are well-written, the story events are intriguing and even hype you up at times, and some of the over-arching storylines meet worthy conclusions.
With most of the major expansions, the game receives more story content that players can get into. Despite being released with such long pauses and throughout the years, it has not lost its touch and always leaves players wanting more. This is one of the criticisms it often receives – the fact the content always ends too soon, and all that is left is the endgame.
A whole new experience
One of the most consistent things about the game, as previously mentioned, is the fact it keeps receiving new content and gameplay changes. Starting from the implementation of the free-to-play model and the release of the Shadowkeep expansion – the game almost felt different to players when they first logged in.
It was one of the biggest expansions the game ever saw, and it added tons of story missions, raids, and loot to obtain. This included the introduction of concurrent storylines that play out as events rather than the expansions’ main campaigns, which was a great way to keep the game fresh.
But the most useful change to come was the fact the game’s infusion system was overhauled and became a bit less grindy, allowing players to upgrade low-level gear with more ease. The armor customization was also improved drastically, letting it feel more like an RPG game than ever before.
And as of late 2020, we also saw the release of the most recent expansion – Beyond Light. It added an exciting story campaign to play in and a new raid that fans and critics alike have been very well-liked. But the biggest change is neither of those things, it’s what the new bits of the story meant for the gameplay aspect of things.
The guardians (playable characters) finally dig deeper into the game’s dark side of things, which gives them all-new abilities to use, namely the power that lets them freeze their enemies and then crush them before they even get a chance to fight back. This not only is a great opportunity that will affect things to come – but gives players new ways to play the content that existed before this expansion too.
Bungie knows how to keep the game alive, and Destiny 2’s flexibility is one of its greatest strengths.
Masters of presentation
Bungie knew how to make Halo look cool for so many years, which has translated over very well to Destiny 2. The game is gorgeous to look at, and every new location that it adds is vastly different from the other. Whether it’s the desert or the snowy parts of the land – it’s all very fun to explore and nothing short of a visual treat.
The characters and their weapons look really cool too, and most of the abilities lead to very neat visual effects. The game’s presentation is immaculate and makes you feel cool to be a part of its world.
This carries onto the story missions greatly, as the direction and writing are particularly good at times. At one point, a cutscene of the game nearly became viral on the internet and was called one of the coolest death scenes that we’ve seen in gaming.
While it always looked and played very fluidly on PC, the consoles were a bit behind in those aspects. But with the release of the next-gen ports, the game is as beautiful as ever and runs very smoothly on consoles too.
A few mistakes
No game is perfect, and neither is Destiny 2. While the developers generally listen to the player feedback, there are a few things that always linger in the dark no matter how many years of a break you take.
The reason I did not get into the Crucible (PvP) mode sooner was because I wanted to save it for this part of the review. The game’s PvP mode truly feels like a neglected child because of how it’s usually the only thing that is never overhauled or fixed within the game. It has many balancing issues. And the game has a few elements that nearly feel pay-to-win as they allow the players to level up faster than others if they’re willing to pay some real-world cash.
With the recent update, the aforementioned balancing issues are at an even worse point because of the freezing powers. Players hardly get a chance to fight back if they get frozen by an enemy, and before you could make a comeback, the match just ends. The ability does not fit into the game whatsoever, and the fact the developers haven’t tried to balance it out just acts like the last nail in the coffin for the Crucible mode.
Another issue that Bungie hasn’t improved that much so far is the fact it is too grindy. As I said, the grind was slightly reduced with the Shadowkeep expansion – but that still isn’t enough considering how quickly you run out of missions to do. And the same raids can only be fun so many times to play with.
All you’re left with, in the end, is the looting. And the fact it takes so long to get to the best parts of everything just burns many players out, leading them to quit the game and only come back occasionally. With the new free-to-play model, balancing out the monetization is even harder to do because there is no entry-level fee anymore, and not everyone buys all the expansions that come out. So, the future of this aspect is tough to determine.
The game’s destiny
Destiny 2 is a very entertaining game that acts as a hybrid of genres – and surprisingly pulls the feat off. With a focus on narrative and fun gameplay, you’re free to roam a world with characters that have personality and, hundreds of hours of fun are guaranteed whether you’re a loner or with friends.
However, it is easy to get burnt out in the game once you play it enough… and you will find little reason to log back in until a new expansion throws in some new story chapters and raids to beat.
- Great presentation
- Well-written narrative
- Fun with a variety
- Seamless matchmaking
- RPG mechanics that keep you busy for many hours
- Playing with friends elevates the experience, but playing alone is rewarding too
- Constantly updated with new content
- Free-to-play, available on Steam
- The PvP mode is neglected
- The fun parts of every expansion are usually behind a paywall
- Balancing issues in several aspects of the game
- Too grindy for its own good after you play all the unique content