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Feature Article

Destiny 2 Review In Progress

Our thoughts so far.

I've spent around 20 hours playing Destiny 2, covering the majority of the story missions, dozens of side activities, a Strike, and a handful of rounds in the Crucible. I still have a lot more to go, and I'll be documenting my progress over the next few days as I play more. So far, Destiny 2 builds on the original in smart ways that make me excited to keep playing.

My first impression of Destiny 2 was that it was barely distinguishable from the first game. The things I loved about Destiny--the exhilaration of nailing a precision kill, the satisfaction of shooting each weapon--and things I didn't like as much, namely its inherently repetitive nature. But the more I played, the more I noticed that some of Destiny's other problems have been fixed.

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I haven't finished the main story yet, but so far it's a clear improvement over Destiny's much-maligned storytelling. Like the beta, Destiny 2 begins with an attack on The Tower by a Cabal faction called the Red Legion. But rather than being thrust into situations with little to no context, as was so often the case in Destiny, each mission of the Red War arc has objectives that make sense within both the mission itself and the grand scheme. Locating a missing Cayde-6, for example, is important to the fight against the Red Legion, since he's a powerful Hunter. But fighting waves of Vex to get to him also makes sense, as he's trapped in a Vex teleporter, and that small bit of context makes that moment feel distinct from others where you're killing the same enemies.

Your Ghost also does a better job of introducing you to enemies like the Fallen and Vex, provided you didn't port your character over from Destiny (in which case the dialogue is supposed to be different, though we haven't tested it yet). Destiny has some fascinating and complicated lore, and giving you the foundation necessary to understand it works in Destiny 2's favor.

That goes well in tandem with Destiny 2's new-and-improved Patrol zones. There are four new destinations: Earth's European Dead Zone, Nessus, Titan, and Io. When you touch down, you have many more options for what to do, and it's surprising how far that goes toward breaking up the repetition. You can do a regular, quick-and-dirty Patrol, or you can embark on a longer Adventure, completing a series of objectives for better rewards. There are also the new Lost Sectors, which are essentially dungeons that forgo structured objectives for bosses and loot chests.

Both Adventures and Lost Sectors take you to far-flung areas of the map and often include a healthy bit of backstory. Because of that, it feels like you're doing something of substance, rather than a series of menial tasks. One Adventure had me setting up comms for refugees of the Last City, which then led me to fighting off a horde of Fallen that were jamming the signals. It felt more important than just killing a Fallen Leader in some random area of the map with no purpose other than to get XP and a bit of loot.

My favorite change, though, is a small one that greatly impacted how I play. The old weapon categories--primary, special, and heavy--have been replaced by kinetic, energy, and power. Weapons are sorted a bit differently, and what were previously primary weapons can show up in both your kinetic and energy slots. Kinetics have no special attributes, while energy weapons can take on the arc, solar, or void energies and are better for taking down enemies' shields. For me, this meant switching my weapon more often based on the situation and using weapon types I never used in Destiny 1. I already loved the feedback loop of Destiny's shooting and spongy enemies, and that small bit of variety made me love it even more. (This is subject to change the more I play, however.)

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Of course, all of this still feels like Destiny. The new social space, the Farm, is functionally the same as the Tower in the original. Finding loot and switching out your old gear still takes up a significant portion of your time. Enemies have been tweaked, but they're not wildly different, either. That's not necessarily bad, but it also makes me wonder if I'll see Destiny 2 as a sequel, rather than a half-step forward, the longer I play and the more I grind and repeat.

Because my time with the game began prior to launch at a Bungie event, I am starting fresh at launch like everyone else. After I've caught up to my previous progress, I can finally look forward to finishing the campaign and seeing how the story wraps up. Of course, I also need to spend a significant amount of time with Strikes, the Crucible, and eventually the Raid. In short, there's a lot of Destiny 2 left to play before I can deliver my final review. Until then, check GameSpot every day for a brief look at my progress and thoughts on Destiny 2 as I go.

Disclosure: Kallie played Destiny 2 at a three-day event in Seattle, WA organized by Activision. GameSpot paid for travel and accommodations.

Kallie will be posting further updates in a Review Diary as she plays through the game.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

kallie

Kallie Plagge

Kallie Plagge is GameSpot's Reviews Editor. She loves Pokemon, anime, and Grunt Birthday Party.
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Avatar image for gabomtz19
gabomtz19

Little by little I am losing credibility on this website. It is a pity that in the end there is no objectivity, and as a journalist it really gives me sadness that they are expecting $$$ to give a high rating, or maybe a low if they do not get it. It is credible that they took 3, or 4 days to give a rating, but there is no game in the world that requires more than that. I will definitely change to a medium with journalistic values, an honest and objective site. And if this is not true, it really seems like, so your job is below our expectations. Dont do "good" things that give a bad impression.

Avatar image for boodleout
boodleout

10 days later...

$$$

Avatar image for greebe55
greebe55

@boodleout: Gamespot and IGN seem to be taking forever....whats the beef

Avatar image for thegoodhustler
thegoodhustler

give it a score already, how long do you need to review a game that is bascially just shooting stuff and thats it

Avatar image for Yams1980
Yams1980

They gotta wait till activision's check clears. Once gamespot gets their money, they'll give it an 8 or 9.

They aren't gonna do shit till they get paid. So far gamespots been banking it in with Destiny money, you seen all the constant "news" storys they do for them? that is money in the bank.

Avatar image for methos5001
methos5001

@thegoodhustler: I was just thinking the same. I'm pretty sure you can get a pretty good idea about a game after about 10 hours of play.

Avatar image for IMAHAPYHIPPO
IMAHAPYHIPPO

@methos5001: Seeing that all of the launch content hasn't been released yet, I'd say it's a good idea to wait for that. The raid launched today, with a few more things coming this week.

Avatar image for death_burnout
death_burnout

It is only marginally better. The ways in which it is the same are ultimately damning. I wish they would lean into the MMO side of it more, if next to all of Destiny 1's content were accessible through this game, it would go a long way to making this feel truly epic in scope. The zones are still pretty small and content still feels finite. The shooting is amazing but still the same and spread once again too thickly. I appreciate the story so far, but it feels like Destiny has lost some of its mystique.

If anything I'm most baffled at the lack of any Codex or lore menu. To abandon the Grimoire system entirely instead of actually putting it in the game this time. That's just flat out stupid.

Avatar image for Angryduck67
Angryduck67

It sort of feels like Destiny: We're sorry about the last one edition. It's basically the same game, but every single part is better, more accessible, and not obscured behind layers of quests and events that trigger other events and other quests that are hidden within quests and treasure chests with strange names you can never figure out how to open without Googling it and super-valuable rares you can only get from a vendor on weekends so you miss out on an amazing gun because you had to visit your wife's parents that weekend...yeesh.

I'm sure at some point Des2 will have many of those things, but at least you can track them on a map this time around. I can't believe how much a map adds to this game.

If you are on the fence about it, honestly I recommend taking the dive. This game is just about everything Des1 was supposed to be, and the rewards pipeline is actually decent, you can get exotic level armor just a few hours in. And the classes are more refined and interesting, more emphasis on team buffs and even healing. I'm giving the Titan a go and the void-tank is much more versatile this time around, you can create your own cover that reloads your weapons for you and heal/buff your team by getting melee kills.

The combat is still satisfying and has a great texture. The art direction and music are as excellent as ever. You never really have to go to orbit for anything anymore. It's kind of like the biggest quality of life patch improvement ever, but you gotta pay 60 bucks for it....well, at least it's fun this time without needing a year of expansions and polish.

Avatar image for Dragerdeifrit
Dragerdeifrit

I might pass on this, monster hunter stories comes out on friday and seems like the better game overall. I Enjoyed destiny 1 for a while, but this game don't seem to improve unto anything..... in fact it probably has even less content than the original destiny when it first came out.

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Arguyle

after the first 3 lines of this review, you know its not good. End of story for me.

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chopsbenedict

This review is actually pretty good and to the point before being finished. Unfortunately the #1 thing everyone I know had a problem with in the original was the boring grind, which is clearly not different. Polishing the good parts of your game and leaving us to wallow in months of repetition isnt okay in my book, they have fixed what wasnt broken and left the gaping maw of a lack of content in.

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MetalGasm

Game is a scam. You will be grinding in this game as much as you did the last one. This is the same shit as before with a few minor tweaks. Don't believe the hype. This is not an MMO. MMO's have content and let you go anywhere. This does not.

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Gaminsincepong

@metalhead2174: I seem to be enjoying it very much.

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Warhearted

@metalhead2174: This is one scam that I can't wait to dive into. The PC version can't launch soon enough.

Avatar image for Kdwag2079
Kdwag2079

@Warhearted: yep!!

Avatar image for Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

Have barely touched it, only about 2 hours in, but my feelings so far are mixed. The gameplay is still excellent an the familiar tackle of various objectives on the map are fun, but I fear this game will suffer from a similar fault with the first. It's better, but Bungie still seems to be approaching this from the wrong angle. This should be an MMO through and through with a hundred hours of content at least. From the look of it, there's probably not much more than 40, maybe. The first game gave me a good couple of months of content before I got bored and dropped it. Maybe this will be better, but they really should strive to give this franchise the kind of life that MMO's have. The tools are all there. The gameplay is great, co-op is excellent, the story seems drastically improved this time around. They just need far more content to keep the life of the game up.

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Kdwag2079

@Pierce_Sparrow: I don't know man, MMO's are dead, I like the idea of 40-60 hrs, with the idea of coming back for strikes..

Avatar image for swimbearuk
swimbearuk

Just wondering about importing characters.

Wasn't there multiple characters in the original?

Can you import them all?

Is it free?

Do you still have slots for creation of new/different characters?

Do you need the original game disc, or does it just locate the save file and work from that? I've long since sold my copy of Destiny, or loaned it and gave it back.

Avatar image for Tekarukite
Tekarukite

@swimbearuk:

When I started last night, I had 3 characters already to go, based off characters I made in Destiny (1). I didn't have to do anything, they were just there at my character select screen. They did not have any special gear or powers.

There are only 3 character slots so if I want to make a new character I'd have to delete one.

Avatar image for swimbearuk
swimbearuk

@Tekarukite: Are there still 3 distinct character classes like in the original? i.e. is 3 slots enough for each of the different classes in Destiny 2?

Did those characters transfer with anything at all, like xp, or are they just an empty shell? Can't remember much about what Destiny characters had in their arsenal, or how customisable they were, so any details are appreciated?

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Wretch1d

@swimbearuk: Shell, its just the appearance and class, there is room enough for one of each class three but you get sub classes in game

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Gaminsincepong

97 friends online. 62 playing D2 lol

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MetalGasm

@gaminsincepongGet new friends.

Avatar image for gaminsincepong
Gaminsincepong

@metalhead2174: gained 6 new ones so far. Not bad.

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Midna

Really enjoying it so far. Can't wait to dive in to it more.

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ali_manslayer

it looks fun, but no chance I am getting this at launch, considering how Activision do their business I am pretty sure a lot of content has been left out as DLC

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Creepywelps

@ali_manslayer: Of course they left stuff out, it's an mmo essentially.

Avatar image for Mogan
Mogan

@ali_manslayer: Content wont have been left out as DLC, DLC will have been planned from the start. The studios making Destiny 2 content will have known since the early design phase that they're making a game for September and then the two Expansion Pass DLCs for winter of this year and spring of next. And no doubt more expansions beyond that.

There's a reason Activision brought in multiple studios to make Destiny content; they've got a real regular cadence of DLC releases all planned out for this game.

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ali_manslayer

@Mogan: They are releasing DLC along with the PC release, which is 6 weeks away. This is clearly content that conceivably had no reason being DLC, other than the fact that want to charge extra money for a little bit more game, and this will continue until they milk the fanbase dry.

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Mogan

@ali_manslayer: What DLC are they releasing alongside PC?

Avatar image for ali_manslayer
ali_manslayer

@Mogan: My bad, the dlc is actually coming near the end of the year

Avatar image for Mogan
Mogan

@ali_manslayer: Yeah, that's that first expansion in the pass.

Avatar image for Fanfasnight
Fanfasnight

Great . How about talking about the fact that alot of people that have ps4 pro cant play the game becuase its freezes at the first mission. Great for a game review right??? You guys love talking about non important stuf do an article about that

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
ZmanBarzel

@Fanfasnight: It's tough to factor something that didn't happen to you into a review (or in this case, a review in progress).

Avatar image for Fanfasnight
Fanfasnight

@zmanbarzel: yes you are right. Im just talking about the fact that its happening to so many people and not even sony or bungie are doing anything about it. And for what understand its a hardware problem. When it comes to the review i played on my original ps4 and i like it so far. Its a bit recicled but good

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Gaminsincepong

@Fanfasnight: mines fine.

Avatar image for Mogan
Mogan

@Fanfasnight: Don't you think Bungie would have made sure that didn't happen at their big Destiny 2 event?

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Milknweed

@Fanfasnight: Got a pro and haven't froze on me guess im lucky.

Avatar image for Whiskey3romeo
Whiskey3romeo

I put way too much time into Destiny 1 and enjoyed it for the most part, but 4v4 PvP is a dealbreaker for me.

What rubbish. I wont be spending a dime on Destiny 2 or any future installments unless they come up with a more robust HALO style PvP with vehicles and big team battles.

Avatar image for WetVein
WetVein

@Whiskey3romeo: Yeah, driving a Warthog around (with a buddy on the gun) in a big team battle is probably the most fun i've ever had in online multiplayer :)

I've never cared for swat style 4 v 4 at all. But i guess we're in the minority :(