Before I review Destiny 2, I feel it necessary to say I hated the original Destiny. When it was first announced, it offered the promise of combining a multiplayer shooter with elements of an MMO, redefining a genre. What launched was a shallow, rinse-and-repeat exercise in grinding, with the random chance of being rewarded for your efforts. So, when Destiny 2 was in development, I had no intention on playing it. I reluctantly did; however, as a friend assured me that my various issues from the original Destiny were addressed. Destiny 2 is far superior to its predecessor, offering a richer, more rewarding “Destiny” experience.
Aside from looking and sounding better (which one naturally expects with sequels), Destiny 2 has a rich, story-driven campaign. While Destiny 2 continues the “story” loosely established in the first game, it does so amazingly well. No more Grimoire Cards, no more gaping plot holes (or absence of a plot in general), no more Bounties (a.k.a., mind-numbingly repetitive grinds yielding no proper reward). In addition to a proper story, your supplemental missions (strikes, patrols, etc.) don’t feel like “busy work” and actually have purpose. The characters have more robust personalities. I went through this game with a solid idea of who I was, what I was doing, where I was going, and why I was there.
Certain mechanics have also been vastly improved for Destiny 2. Consumable items such as glimmer, coins and shards are easier to come by. Many of the Engrams you pick up are now auto-decrypted, cutting down on trips to the Cryptarch (with the exception of Exotics and some Legendaries). Speaking of loot, the in-game loot mechanic is vastly different, in that people actually feel rewarded for their time & effort. In the original Destiny, two players could play 10 hours apiece, each obtaining considerably different loot. The problem was, while one was receiving legendary & epic gear, the other would receive lesser common items. This left many people feeling unrewarded for their efforts, and why a number of people gave up on the original game. In Destiny 2, the system was reworked so that while still random, everyone can now advance at a similar rate with similar rewards for similar efforts.
From the overall look to the tighter shooting mechanics, from a fuller & richer story-driven campaign to a revamped loot-drop system, to a better looking & sounding game – Destiny 2 is an enjoyable, rich experience that made me glad to have given the franchise a second chance.
By: Redbox Writer, Clint Thiele