Where was this game when Destiny originally launched? That's what's been on my mind after playing Destiny 2 on PS4 for about 3 hours last night. This game is miles ahead of Destiny 1. I'd played the Destiny 2 PC Beta, and my impression coming off of that was mixed but hopeful. The game felt that it had progressed and matured, but was still at its core the game that left me frustrated and underwhelmed - just now with way prettier visuals.
I was wrong. That is not what we have been given with Destiny 2. I'd say that Destiny 2 kept what was good about Destiny 1, then went back to the drawing board and came back with improvements to the way players engage mechanically and narratively with the game. The sum of which happens to be greater than its parts. Here are some of my takeaways from my release night play.
Yes, it is still a shooter and nobody does that better than Bungie. But Bungie has done something really smart in Destiny 2 by making patrols more centralized to the campaign experience than they were in Destiny 1.
From what I've seen so far, the map design seems far better than Destiny 1 as well. Dead spaces and transition areas are less just areas for you to cruise through on your sparrow like they were in Destiny 1 and more moments of respite as you move from fight to fight.
The game feels good to play and gunplay is satisfying. Even if we do find a loot cave, there are far more engaging and fun things to do in Destiny 2. Bungie done good here.
OH, BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! DID I MENTION THE NEW SCOUT RIFLE?! BECAUSE THE NEW SCOUT RIFLE.
Yeah, there's a new scout rifle design and it is by far one of the most satisfying weapons I've used in an FPS. This thing is slick. In Destiny 1, I would bounce back and forth between the Villainy (pulse rifle) and Hung Jury (scout rifle). Every scout rifle I have picked up so far has been satisfying to shoot and effective. It seems like Bungie has done a good job of weapon types influencing playstyle. And it's a looter shooter, so indulge me gushing about some loot I really like. Bungie done real good here.
Having played for about 3 hours, I've completed 3 of the campaign missions and spent around 30 minutes on patrol, but so far the narrative of Destiny 2 seem like it was actually figured out before the game shipped, unlike Destiny 1.
So I'm looking forward to continuing my fight in the Destiny universe. It's a tight shooter with beautiful visuals, engaging cooperative play and a decent narrative. Bungie has taken what was good about Destiny 1 and improved on it and they had the intelligence to gut what didn't work or wasn't enjoyable and deliver what so far seems like a fun and immersive.