The first Destiny was a console only affair, an affair that I did enjoy but I felt the limitations that the hardware gave. The moment Bungie announced that Destiny was to get a sequel and then also get a release on PC, I was overjoyed. We got it much later than the consoles, but details. Destiny 2 is here on PC and I have my grubby hands all over it.
Platform Reviewed: PC
Platforms Available: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October 24, 2017
This review is based on a review code provided by Activision.
Read our review of the PS4 version here.
A word of warning: this is a PC guy’s view of Destiny 2. While I did play Destiny 1 on the PS4, I did not fully enjoy the experience. Destiny 1 is a good game in its own merit, but shooters on a console never felt as smooth as an experience as playing on PC. It did setup quite a wonderful and mysterious post-apocalyptic earth. Destiny 2 on PC has the smooth fluidity that one expects from the platform and it goes together with the rest of the game.
Unsurprisingly the game is still one massive grindfest, it is a MMO-like game with loot and shoot mechanics. Not as goofy as Borderlands and not filled with super space ninjas like Warframe. Grind is a subjective matter, some love it, some hate it, but I do like a good grind. This is perhaps that marketing term that some individuals like to use. Does Destiny 2 have a good grind? Personally yes. While it is that mix of random loot giving random loot, there is an odd satisfaction when building up characters to be ready for the upcoming end game content.
The sequel also has an improved story with actual meaning and agency. In the first Destiny, you were pretty much a watcher, your actions sure saving the City, your home, one way or another, but everything was vague. It did not also help that you were being ordered around by people who did not seem to do anything but order you around. You are, after all, everyone’s favorite Guardian. Destiny 2 decides to throw everyone out from their comfort zone with the first ever major loss the City has. The major characters are just all likable; and while you rarely fight alongside them, the cutscenes show that they are as in the fight as you are. I would have appreciated a big set piece with everyone there, but maybe that is for the expansions or Destiny 3? There is also a good amount of side-quests off to the side.
Beyond the main story, the other activities like Patrols, Strikes, Nightfalls and Raids return. Patrols are chores that the characters requesting them should be doing, but for some reason are not doing. That was even made into a joke in-game. Strikes are 3-man dungeons. Straightforward kill all the bad guys in the level and then pray to RNGesus for good loot. Nightfalls are hard difficulty versions of Strikes. The Raid is not available on PC yet, but it’s a 6-man end-game dungeon.
Content-wise, Strikes and Nightfalls are pretty repetitive and are not efficient for grinding. You arguably get better rewards doing Crucible (PvP) over running a Strike or Nightfall mission. This may not be an issue to some, but considering that half the chunk of end-game content is dungeon based, this is a big problem.
Speaking of Crucible , why are matches only 4 vs 4? Where are my bigger game modes? The multiplayer component is still great, but I just want my Halo-like battles with vehicles. That aside, Crucible is that other chunk of end-game that players work towards or are at. It has a good skill curve with the mastery of different weapons along with learning how to aim with them. Destiny has never had hit-scan weapons, so properly leading your target is key. The map layouts and variance are good, with each map having their own unique but similar flow. I do appreciate the thought that Bungie maximized what players can do. This is when you pair it with keyboard and mouse controls, and an uncapped frame rate. Everything feels so good. It is just that natural order of shooters being at home on PCs.
Alas though, we do have a problem. The nature of PCs mean that a lot of people have very varying setups and builds. This leads to possible performance issues, but when I find it odd that frame rates tank hand in the open PvE world. I would often see frames hovering around 50 FPS to 80 FPS on my system. I could not exactly pin down the issue, but my hunch is that it has something to do with loading different gear set-ups that players have or some form of memory leak. Not only are there some performance issues, there are also reports of players being banned without any explanation. Cheating in an online game is wrong, but to have it as a policy to ban without evidence just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
That aside, Destiny 2 is a good fun game. I do hope Bungie decides to release more content in between major DLC expansions, but they seem to have learned from their first folly. You may experience some performance issues on PC and there is a bit of a roulette going on with the anti-cheat. I would not let it stop you from purchasing another wise amazing game that should have been on PC in the first place also. Destiny 3 please come to PC also.