First person shooters made by Bungie hold an extra special place in my heart. A large chunk of my teenage years was spent playing Halo 1-3 with my friends late into the night while I built a soda can pyramid and demolished some microwave nachos (Don’t worry, I turned out alright). While the original Destiny had some innovative ideas for how a console shooter could evolve over time, it turned me off with its half-hearted campaign and vague upgrade system. Destiny 2 smooths out many of those rough edges, making for a gratifying, albeit very familiar feeling sequel that’s going to have me hooked for a long time.
Numbers are what make it difficult to put the controller down in Destiny 2. Shooting down alien baddies has an extra layer of enjoyment with the immediate stats that emerge from each kill. Numbers spring out from their bodies, rewarding you with experience points that level you up and bright engrams drop with a mystery weapon and gear that’s revealed once decoded which also helps increase your power level.
There’s an underlying whimsical feel to Destiny 2 that I adore. You start to notice it when you play co-op with friends and interact more with the online side of the game. Style is a huge trait with all players’ Guardians (the name of the game’s characters) and comparing your sweet looking cape with your buddy’s ultra-rare chest armor is just ridiculous in the best sense of the word. Your fireteam assembles at the social space known as the farm, and it’s here where you buy new weapons and check out your newest gear. Once your team is ready to go, the decision on what kind of crazy space misadventure to go on is up to you.
One of the biggest head-scratchers about this game is the lack of enemy diversity from the first game. Nearly every creature you come across in the campaign is a creature I spent dozens of hours mowing down in the original Destiny. They have a few different mannerisms, but it’s baffling to me that the developers essentially hit copy and paste for the enemies’ character design.
The campaign is a huge improvement over the last game’s, and it’s the perfect place to hone your skills, although after completing the 10-12 hour story mode, you’ve only scratched the surface of what this game offers right now and will offer in the planned expansions. The current cap level is 20 for your ranking, but power level is where the grinding for new weapons and gear comes into play. The goal power level right now is 260-280 so that you can play the game’s raid. For reference, when I ended the campaign I was around 160. Power slowly increases as you unlock better weapons and gear making for many more hours of grinding through side missions and patrolling planets for more loot.
Destiny 2 is two things, increasing numbers and looking good doing it. I can’t recommend this game enough for both new players and players who were sour towards the last game. There’s still some improvements to be made on the game’s enemy variety type, as well as the amount of planets to explore, but Destiny 2 feels like what Destiny set out to be, putting Bungie back on top.