by Emma Kostopolus, Video Game Columnist
“Destiny 2” has finally released on PC after being out on console for almost two months, and for thousands of devoted gamers the wait is finally over. The first “Destiny” was a console exclusive, and developers Bungie paired with the online-multiplayer gurus at Blizzard to bring the game to all platforms. In “Destiny 2” the player can divide their time between the main campaign, competing against other players in the Crucible, and exploring the game world via side-missions, now called “Adventures.” I took some time with each aspect of the game, to see the ways the sequel developed out of the original.
My time with the main campaign in the game felt limited, but that’s only because the campaign isn’t all that long, clocking in at only about a dozen missions. The campaign and story expansions were some of my favorite parts of the first game, since they opened up new areas and gave players little glimpses into the lore of the universe. At first, I wasn’t disappointed, because the first few story missions in “Destiny 2” are really, really good. The missions starting off the main storyline feel powerful and impactful in a way that seeks to characterize the second game as more conscious than the first, and sets the sequel apart in terms of narrative prowess. But the major issue of the first few missions gets resolved almost too easily, and then the game goes back to feeling just like the first “Destiny.” This can’t help but be incredibly disappointing, since the beginning of the game held such high promise for a more interesting and unique storytelling experience.
The biggest changes to “Destiny 2” lie in the way the optional side missions function. Instead of small, procedurally-generated missions, there are now multi-part “Adventures” that have some small story relevance. These missions still let you explore the open sections of the map, without feeling as contrived or as much like busywork as the side missions from the first game. While these changes are positive, they’re also metered by the fact you don’t get a Sparrow, the game’s version of fast-travel, until you’ve beaten the campaign, so any exploring you decide to do before you’ve beaten the game is going to have to take the scenic route.
The Crucible, the game’s multiplayer arena, feels very similar to the first “Destiny,” which means it’s still where you go when you don’t want to be having fun anymore. The deathmatch style of the standard Crucible match pits four players against another team of four to see which team can get the most kills, and is still the same old arbitrary slog based on the gear you carry into the Crucible. Fans of the first game’s Crucible (and there are many) will be delighted to see the sequel kept true to the original formula, but there’s nothing new to the arena to attract fans who weren’t already invested.
None of this is to say I don’t like “Destiny 2.” I loved the first “Destiny,” and I’m willing to bet once I’ve leveled my Titan enough, I’ll love exploring the different areas of this game as well. But just starting out in this game doesn’t really do anything to make you glad you’re playing the sequel as opposed to the original. I spent an awful lot of time pining for my super well-leveled Guardian from the original game as I battled my way through waves of enemies with early-game equipment and limited ability options. If you never played the first game, pick up “Destiny 2” and see what the world has to offer. If you’re familiar with the series, however, I’d wait to pick up “Destiny 2” until an expansion or two have come out, to make sure you’re getting enough new content to justify the purchase.