Destiny 2 Xbox One Review

If this is what we can expect from the franchise Destiny 2 marks a new beginning of something extraordinary.

By Grayshadow, Posted 07 Sep 2017

Destiny's debut was messy. Before The Taken King expansion's launch Destiny was heavily criticized for having a shallow story, lack of meaningful end-game content, and repeating mission structure. Thankfully Destiny 2 is none of those things, everything that was wrong about the first game has been fixed. The single-player adventure sets the stage with large-scale battles and high stakes, by the end of the adventure Destiny 2 will have you hooked. Even after my 7th Strike mission, I found myself coming back to obtain the best possible items for my Guardian and test my skills against other players in the Crucible. Destiny 2 is everything that the franchise needed and more.

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Destiny 2 begins with a bang, literally. A Cabal raid, a band of military-industrial aliens, led by Dominus Ghaul and his army called The Red Legion have invaded Earth to capture the Traveler. The invasion is a success and the Guardians have been forced from their home, stripped of their powers, and now scattered around the solar system. Your job is the reunite all surviving Guardians in an attempt to save the Traveler and regain the Traveler's Light.

The story is a definite improvement from the first game but that's because the first game lacked one. With the exception of Cayde -6 and an AI with a double-personality called Failsafe most of the cast have generic personalities. Antagonist Ghaul is quickly forgettable thanks to his generic back-story and boring personality, he was just another bad guy I had to kill.

It's clear that Bungie listened to the criticism regarding Destiny's story. Grimoire cards have been removed and the information is given through wonderfully designed and well-voiced cutscenes. You're not expected to know anything about Destiny to play Destiny 2 but Bungie has included a special prologue for those who played the original, even the chance to upload your previous character's profile.

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Players can choose from 3 classes: Titan, Hunter, or Warlock. Each class has 3 subclasses that change how the class plays while complimenting the class's unique fighting style. Titans are heavy tanks that take the front line and can produce heavy defenses such as shields and barriers. Warlocks are excellent for crowd control and Hunters can deal massive single-target damage. Each subclass has a unique Super attack that charges based on your performance and absorbing Light Orbs from Guardians who perform their own Supers.

Guardians are equipped with rechargeable 3 abilities that include a grenade and 2 skills tailored to a specific class. For example, Warlocks can create healing or damage wells and Titans can generate barriers. The added 3rd ability makes these classes stand out more than the previous game.

Destiny 2 is meant to be played with friends and finding the right combination that complements each team can be the difference between success and failure. However, Bungie has included subclasses that make playing alone manageable and entertaining. Even when playing alone players can interact and fight alongside other Destiny 2 players, however, this ends when entering a mission-specific zone.

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Destiny 2's mission structure has changed for the better. Missions and side-missions are given to the player within the environment, with side-missions being activated by interacting with a sword within a specific area and main missions being given by NPCs. Destiny's infamous missions structure of heading to a point and defending it from waves of enemies has been refined. Bungie has included a lot of variation in both the side and main missions that made the rewards of completing each one the cherry on top of this rich adventure.

Destiny 2 is separated into 4 zones that are vastly bigger than anything from the original game. Each area is peppered with loot chests, enemies, hidden dungeons, public events, and much more. Environments come with helpful quick-travel destinations and are meticulously designed with tunnels and hidden areas that reward players with resources and other goodies. The soundtrack is one of the best I've heard from Bungie regardless if I was fighting or exploring in each of these areas the music kept me engaged with each situation. 

Those who played the first game will instantly recognize most of the enemy types which can be disappointing. Most of the enemies in Destiny 2 are recycled adversaries from the first game, some with minor changes. New types of enemies were rare and mostly offered attacks copied from another race. 

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Destiny 2 maintains the same equipment system from the first game. Players choose a primary, secondary, and powered weapon to carry along with a helmet, gauntlets, chest, legs, and accessory. Engrams have been altered, with most being automatically decrypted when gathered but some remain encrypted and must be unlocked. This shift eliminates a lot of the randomness of the first Destiny looting system for a more reliable reward system. 

This time around a sharing system has been included from launch. Player's can swap gear between other characters using the game's Vault. However, it's a shame we are still limited to 3 character slots and those looking to replay the game with a full roster will have to delete one. 

Once players hit level 20 gear Light values contribute to their Guardian's level. This shifts the focus from killing enemies to gathering loot, encouraging me to step from moving down hordes of enemies to dedicating time to cooperative missions called Strikes and difficult Public Events.

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Strike Missions are cooperative specific missions where up to 3 Guardians take on the most deadly challenges. Currently, there are 6 Strike missions available and they're chosen by random. No Heroic option is available at the moment but as they stand the strike missions offer a lot of reasons to come back to Destiny 2.

The Crucible has returned but has been modified from the original system. Now all modes are 4v4 and limited to 2 options; Quickplay and Competitive. This means you cannot pick your favorite mode or map and must rely on chance. It's also vexing seeing no Deathmatch option.

Maps are large when compared to other games with 4v4 designed maps. This promotes teamwork over lone wolfs since players can get separated easily and picked off by experienced players. Powered ammo packs are the biggest draw in matches since they're all timed and seen by everyone when one is about to appear you can expect a large fight. 

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The frustration and disappointment that engulfed me when I first played Destiny quickly dissolved after playing through Destiny 2. The missions are varied and the desire to constantly upgrade my Guardians with the best loot kept me coming back. The story is a massive improvement from the first game but falls short due to mediocre characters and a standard plot. If this is what we can expect from the franchise Destiny 2 marks a new beginning of something extraordinary.  

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Destiny 2

88/100

Platform(s): Xbox One
Publisher(s): Activision
Developer(s): Bungie
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Sci-fi, Online Role-Playing
Release Date: 2017-09-08

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