Note: this review has been written after finishing the story mode, as such there is still a lot more to be discovered in the game, and there is also likely to be new material added later.
Destiny is the sequel to Bungie’s 2014 online-only multiplayer first-person shooter video game. Obviously most people who are interested in Destiny 2 will be those who played the original game, but actually this sequel is very accessible for new player. Whilst your character’s designs from the first game can be brought over, none of your gear or levels can be, and that’s because most of the systems have had a little bit of an overhaul. The gameplay is still very much the same, but character classes and weapons categories have been changed up. This means that new players will be able to join on a level playing field with those who played the original game.
One of the biggest improvements that Destiny 2 has made over the first, and all of it’s expansions, is including for the first time a truly interesting and e grossing story. The original story in Destiny was utterly forgettable, and whilst The Taken King expansion did offer something a little better, that too in the end was fairly underwhelming. The two big differences in the Destiny 2 story are the inclusion of Destiny’s first great villain in Dominus Ghaul as well as finally giving its brilliant voice cast a chance to shine. The three main NPC leaders of each class, Zavala, Cayde-6, and Ikora are all far more involved in the story, and you get a much better sense of their history as characters through their dynamic, and the brilliant voice work from Lance Reddick, Nathan Fillion, and Gina Torres. The character of Ghaul is the first Destiny villain to have a clear motive in the franchise, and we are given some little hints of his backstory to just help flesh this out. His scenes with The Speaker, voiced by Bill Nighy, are some of the coolest scenes that I have seen in video games.
Outside of the story mode pretty much everything you will remember from the first Destiny returns. The Crucible (PvP), Raids, Strikes, and bonus mission (PvE), and all the random patrol Public Events return. There are some minor changes to these, including allowing forms of Matchmaking for Raids, meaning that players without huge networks of friends playing the games will be able to take part in them. At this early stage it appears as though modes such as The Trials of Osiris haven’t returned, although it is possible that this or something similar will be added at a later date, as Bungie kept updating the original Destiny.
As far as new maps and worlds go, every map is technically very new, although most feel like updated and improved versions of the original. We go to a different part of Earth, as well as new astral bodies Titan, Nessus, and Io. Nessus and Io both feel like reworking of the later planets from the original Destiny, although both look far more beautiful and vibrant. The big change is Titan, somewhere that is very different from the Moon in the first game. Instead of a big planet Titan is based around a series of large platforms in an ocean meaning that it feels like a very different environment to anything else in the history of the franchise.
If you were someone who really did not enjoy the original Destiny then I don’t think that this sequel will change your mind at all. But for fans of that first game, Destiny 2 is a great addition to the franchise. The small changes they have made make a big difference to improving the game for fans. And the much improved story means we should be even more excited for Bungie’s future updates to the game and the future stories that will be told in the universe.