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Destiny 2

Score: 92%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Bungie Software
Media: Download/1
Players: 1, 1 - 4
Genre: First Person Shooter/ Online/ RPG

Graphics & Sound:

Bungie has struck again with another hit title, this time in Destiny 2. The game is fun and addictive, and draws a lot from the original but also increases its story, gameplay, and audio/visual fidelity.

Generally speaking, Destiny 2’s visuals look pretty good. I wouldn’t call them the best on the market by any means, but they certainly get the job done. Player models and alien species characters look great, but I was more impressed by the excellent usage of effects and particle systems in Destiny 2 to help drive the visuals up a notch. The cutscenes that were sprinkled in to drive the Campaign storyline looked great as well.

Equally appealing is the audio in the game. In fact, with lackluster audio, the intensity of the battles wouldn’t feel the same. Thankfully that isn’t the case here. The background music intensifies as you approach and fight in certain areas, and the constant spraying of gunfire and lasers will keep you on your toes.


Gameplay:

Destiny 2 has you in control of one of three Guardian classes (Titan, Hunter, Warlock), and you are the last protectors of Earth. Different alien species have invaded, with one in particular wreaking havoc by stealing the Light of the Guardians. It is up to you to travel to different areas, including different planets, to regain the Light (also referred to as "Power" in Destiny 2). The main antagonists in the story are the Cabal, with their leader, Dominus Ghaul, charging the way for destruction.

Destiny 2 is built on the backbone of its predecessor, Destiny. Like the first foray, the gameplay elements in this second outing heavily revolve around leveling up your character to help progress, but even more importantly, leveling up your armor, weaponry, and Light. Your character will max out at Level 20, but loot and power will continue to flow. Bungie has apparently upped the quality of the mission-based portion of Destiny 2, however, and I can speak to the story being relatively interesting, although short in the grand scheme of things. [Disclaimer: I had only previously played Destiny for an hour or two via rental, so have researched the differences online as well.]

Campaign missions will have you jumping from planet to planet and can quickly get your adrenaline flowing. That is probably what I enjoyed most about Destiny. Sure, there is the (limited) social aspect of the always-online persistent world where you can see and join other players in the same game, but I truly enjoy the single player aspect as well. Alien waves continue to come when you get to certain areas, and respawning is limited in scope in others, which drives the difficulty even further. There are a lot of intense moments that will certainly keep your heart pounding.

Destiny 2 does, however, rely heavily on the multiplayer aspect to keep gamers coming back. There are cooperative and competitive modes that include players joining forces in Events, Strikes, and Raids, as well as Player vs Player 4-on-4 matches, respectively. Because Destiny 2 requires a whole lot of powering up, however, be ready for the game to suck a whole lot of hours of your life.


Difficulty:

The Campaign will have you jumping from planet to planet taking down the Cabal and other alien races, but the gameplay really isn’t all that difficult as you start out. If you are new to the series, as I am, however, you may quickly realize that you can’t simply play through the Campaign levels and expect it to continue along the same level of difficulty. The enemies ramp up fairly quickly.

As you approach and enter each area of the Campaign, there is an indication of the recommended Power, for example, that you should have before attempting the mission. If you don’t actually level up and power up your character, some of these stops on the Campaign can be downright hard, or even next to impossible. For those in the know, though, there is an easy solution that makes the game’s difficulty somewhat plummet. All it takes is time. Jumping into side missions (Events, Raids, etc.) will help you reach the much-needed power and surpass that of your enemies, which changes the whole landscape of battles.

Events and other multiplayer missions have a variety of scope. Some, for example, have the online community battling super-powered bosses all together and others you may cooperatively take on one of the story’s missions with increased difficulty. Player vs Player matches, of course, depend heavily on the human competition.


Game Mechanics:

For the most part, Destiny 2 plays like a dream. The control scheme follows standard FPS keyboard and mouse layout, and you can alternatively use a gamepad. I highly recommend using the keyboard/mouse, however, for the more fast-twitch response time and accuracy it yields. That said, there was one thing that did bother me about the default keyboard layout. In the heat of battle, it was far too easy to hit the "F" key instead of the "C" key (to punch/melee attack). In this case, the "F" key is bound to the Supercharged Attack that can take a while to replenish. On multiple occasions, I wasted this powerful attack when it needed to be saved for more powerful boss battles, all because I attempted to melee the hordes of aliens that approached. Other than that, the controls were very fluid and responsive in action.

Destiny 2 is a powerful game not only in terms of graphical prowess (I loved the ability to play with my 3-monitor setup!), but also in its ability to draw players in and keep them there. While the Campaign is fun and the story enjoyable, it really only represents a small portion of the game and I look forward to continuing to build up my character and enjoy some multiplayer gaming in the months to come.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows XP SP2+, Pentium or AMD Athlon X4 – SSE2 instruction set support, 6GB RAM, AMD R7 260X – NVidia GTX 550 Ti 2go, 40GB HDD, DirectX DX9 (shader model 2.0) capability, Any sound card, 720p-1080p resolution
 

Test System:



Windows 10 Pro 64-bit; Intel Core i7-5930K CPU @ 3.50GHz; 32GB RAM; nVidia GeForce GTX 980, Xbox One Controller

Related Links:



Windows ELEX

 
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