There are few games we’ve sunk as many hours into as Destiny. The game had some flaws: the story was convoluted, the gameplay felt repetitive and the levels were pretty limited (at launch at least). Still, the game was graphically impressive with terrific music and fun gameplay. The real hook, though, was the loot system and the promise of greater armor and weapons kept us returning to replay missions over and over. After launch, Destiny would revamp much of the game and add lots of additional content, but it knew how to hook players right away. The promise of random loot makes the most mundane missions fun to replay. Destiny 2 seems to follow in the footsteps of the original, which is good, but I hope we can be forgiven for hoping for a little more.
Don’t get us wrong, there’s a lot to love here. I don’t think any shooter does rapid combat as well as Destiny does. Battles feel somehow both brutal and slick, and swapping out guns on the fly still works really well. The subclasses seem more interesting this time around also (the Titan’s abilities in particular will be fun to explore; but we still enjoy the Hunter and Warlock). The story seems to get a lot more attention than we saw in the original. What seems really exciting is the amount of variety we see in the levels. The original game was mostly (almost entirely) all about running from one end of the stage to the other. Here we get some environmental hazards and destructible locations that makes the stages fun to play through. The more involved design holds promise; we’re anxious to see where the game designers go.
Still, it’s hard to see much innovation here. We still have the same character classes and many of the same enemies. We take the point that a lot of smart people have made that sequels aren’t going to be as big an improvement graphically as we’ve seen in previous years. Still, it seems like there is some room for expansion here. We could have some new classes, or new weapon types, or even new enemies. We’re also not immediately in love with our companion (as much fun as Nolan North is, we still miss Peter Dinklage). It’s hard to argue that much needed to change; Destiny was one of the best cooperative shooters we’ve played and the loot kept us coming back. Still, from what we played, the sequel looks more like a DLC expansion than an all new title. Maybe the Beta is keeping some things secret until the launch, but I’m not sure why they wouldn’t show any major changes to players now to get them excited for the release this fall.
We were planning to buy the game before the Beta and playing the Beta certainly didn’t change our minds. The game is an excellent shooter and one of the best cooperative experiences out there. It is a relief that the elements of the game (excellent shooting and a variety of loot) are still here. The new story looks interesting if a little familiar and we’re happy to see all the returning voice actors. Of all the games we’re looking forward to this fall, Destiny 2 is definitely the surest purchase we’re going to make this year. But we’re still hoping that the game has a surprise or two up its sleeve for its September release.