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Lifewire / Kelsey Simon
Fun in moderate doses
Lots of items and guns
Destiny 2 is a graphically beautiful sci-fi-inspired first-person shooter with a lot of entertaining content, including both player versus player and player versus environment.
We purchased Destiny 2 so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Destiny 2 is an online multiplayer first-person shooter similar to traditional online multiplayer role-playing games. With stunning graphics and a multitude of gameplay modes, players will find hours of content as long as they’re willing to grind through the repetition. We played Destiny 2: Forsaken Legendary Edition on the PC, reviewing its plot, gameplay, and graphics.
At the moment, Destiny 2 requires you to download the Battle.net Download Manager. You’ll need a Battle.net login to set up the manager before you’ll be able to download the game and launch it. However, this might not be the setup process much longer. Announcements have been released stating that Destiny 2 is going to be moving to Steam on October 1st with Destiny 2: Shadowkeep.
After launching the game, you’ll get to pick what class you want to play: a Hunter, the more agility focused classes; a Warlock, the class most able to regenerate health or power; or a Titan, the tankier of the three. You’ll have a variety of customizations you can make, like your characters race, eye color, and gender, after which the tutorial will begin.
At the beginning of Destiny 2, a lot of worldbuilding is thrown at you, and if you never played the original Destiny, a lot of the names won’t be familiar. When you boil away the details, the general premise of the game is that the Last City has been taken by the Red Legion. This is where the Guardians, the protectors of the solar system, are located.
The Red Legion want to claim the Guardian’s light, or power source, as their own. You’ll face the Red Legion’s leader, get beaten down, and wake up injured. You’ll struggle away until you meet your Ghost, an AI drone sent to help you. Together you’ll find the Farm, the first place where you can accept missions and meet up with others online. You’ll have to go through a few more tutorial missions before you can play with friends, but soon enough you’ll be traveling the solar system and fighting a variety of bad guys.
The main story missions are enjoyable and far above average plot-wise when it comes to first-person shooters.
Destiny 2 took a lot of care (and probably money) to hire some amazing voice actors, including Nathan Fillion and Nolan North. The dialogue is well written, and the banter between characters is quite enjoyable.
Overall, the plot is thoughtful and well developed, although for us, sometimes all the details could get overwhelming. If you’re a sci-fi fan, it probably won’t be hard to keep up with all the world-building details, but even if you aren’t, you can still enjoy when your Ghost and a crazy AI system argue, or when Cayde-6 makes awkward jokes. The main story missions are enjoyable and far above average plot-wise when it comes to first-person shooters. Side missions obviously won’t have the same quality and tend to be more grindy. Even if you aren’t into the plot, you can zone out during cutscenes and still find things to enjoy in the graphics and fun co-op gameplay.
Destiny 2 has a lot to offer when it comes to gameplay, including player versus environment and player versus player content. The core of the game is built around PvE experiences, where you and your fire team (the friends you invite to your party) can travel to different locations and play through a variety of events, including story missions, lost sectors, quests, adventures, patrols, public events, strikes, and raids.
Destiny 2 has taken a lot of time to develop quality PvE gameplay, with modes you can do by yourself with randoms and ones requiring a full squad.
The story mission gameplay will move you through the game’s main plotline. Adventures are side-missions where you fight against enemies that roam the map. Public events are events that spawn enemies, allowing for random players to fight together with one goal, which can be a fun way to meet new people. Raids come into the gameplay later, and are for full fire teams and are more difficult than the average PvE modes. Destiny 2 has taken a lot of time to develop quality PvE gameplay, with modes you can do by yourself with randoms and ones requiring a full squad.
While the PvE is the game’s main focus, there are also a variety PvP game modes. This includes gameplay in the Crucible, which is four players against four on different maps either in games of control, deathmatch, or bomb defusal (think similar to Counter Strike: Global Offensive). There is also a game mode that combines PvE and PvP, called Gambit, which was our favorite PvP experience.
Gambit particularly felt like a unique mode that we haven’t seen before, and again, puts four players against four. But instead of teams fighting each other, each team will spawn on their own instance of the same map and you and your teammates must work together to kill enemies as quickly as can. Enemies will drop motes, which you will then collect and deposit. The catch is you must hurry to beat the other team, which is doing the same. Portals will open to allow you cross over to the other team’s area and attempt to kill them and in effect, slow them down. Once a certain amount of motes is reached, a boss will spawn, and whichever team can kill their boss first wins, best out of three.
Destiny 2 does a lot to offer you unique ways to level up―because ultimately the game is about grinding your way up and finding the best guns and armor. This is to be expected from a game originally inspired to be a shooter version of big MMORPGS (massive multiplayer online roleplaying games). It also has a variety of expansions, which depending on which version of the game you purchase, you will gain access to.
It’s nice to have a game where you can flow through a well-written plot with great graphics and simply kill without too much thought.
Thankfully, the shooting in the game is smooth with most guns and fairly fun. It’s nice to have a game where you can flow through a well written plot with great graphics and simply kill without too much thought. That said, most players can only enjoy the repetitive gameplay so much, which is why this isn’t a game we’d recommend binge playing. Instead, spread it out with a few hours here and there to help break up the repetition and grind.
The visuals of Destiny 2 were one of the main things that drew us into the game. There are a lot of shooters that claim to have great graphics, but Destiny 2 really does. The different locations you travel to each have a stunning visual, with details in the distance that can’t be ignored and call for you to stop and take a moment. You really feel like you are transported to different worlds while you play this game, and there’s little about the graphics we’d criticize.
The characters are also well designed and look great. Destiny 2 allows you to have a lot of character customization, which is expected for any MMORPG. The character races look visually different than the standard elf and orc, the guns have different effects, and enemies look unique. Overall, the graphics of Destiny 2 are of high quality, adding a strong element to the game others can’t compete with.
On September 17th, 2019, Destiny 2 went free-to-play and moved from Battle.net to Steam.
Right now, Destiny 2: Forsaken costs $25. On September 17th, 2019, Destiny 2 went free-to-play and moved from Battle.net to Steam. Extra content such as expansions will be available for purchase, but still, it’s best to play the game for free on Steam. Then you can figure out if you want the extra content or not.
There aren’t any other multiplayer online first-person shooters out there quite like Destiny 2, but there is one that comes to mind as being similar―Warframe. Warframe is a free-to-play, co-op third-person shooter. It has a similar feel to Destiny 2 with its sci-fi shooter themes, and does include the same grinding and leveling that is present in Destiny 2. However, it is a third-person shooter rather than first, so you will be looking from outside your character as you play, rather than playing as them. If you like the first-person shooter aspect of Destiny, and enjoy PvP, you might also take a look at Apex Legends, a battle-royal shooter. That said, Apex Legends is much more competitive than Destiny 2, so if you aren’t a fan of PvP, it won’t be the game for you.
A game worth playing, but wait until it’s free.
We enjoyed Destiny 2 more than we expected to. The graphics are stunning, the voice acting is well done and the plot is well written. With a multitude of gameplay modes, there’s always something to do, and you can do most of it with friends. But the game can get repetitive, and considering it’s now free-to-play our advice is to just download it then see if you want to pay for the DLC.
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