When I first started downloading the Destiny 2 beta and saw a hefty 15 GB download my initial thought was that this would be a long few days of playing missions and PvP. Yet the beta is small, containing two Crucible modes, the multiplayer, and two missions. The first mission, Homecoming, intros the game and then the Inverted Spire strike.
For those who want the simple answer to the always puzzling question, “Should I buy the game?”. Well if you like Destiny, then odds are you will like Destiny 2. My first impressions are that the game looked and felt like the original, I am curious where the story goes after Homecoming as it did set up an interesting plot.
Now let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from the beta.
Say what you want about the game, but the guns in it have to be some of the most creative and most aesthetically pleasing. The big addition for me was the grenade launcher. It was fun to shoot around in multiplayer and gave a certain satisfaction seeing your enemies fly through the air (often times I would completely whiff in PvP, but the times I connected felt all that much sweeter).
You then have the usual array of submachine guns, shotguns, hand cannons, snipers, etc. They all feel useful, no one weapon type feels too overpowered or too weak. The shooting overall is refined, rewarding skilled players. It plays like the shooting from the first Destiny game, well it is exactly like the first game but more on that later.
I have always been a firm believer that graphics in a video game matter for about one minute. A game can be very pretty but if there is nothing in those well-designed skyboxes then the game is useless.
Destiny 2 is very pretty. Homecoming was one of the most visually appealing levels I have seen in quite some time. Cayde, Ikora, and Holiday were all involved in the level making it feel as if it would not just be the player going from point to point shooting enemies in this game. I do worry that the level was just another blockbuster level to draw in gamers until a false hope for a better experience in the story mode from the previous title.
This may just be a personal preference but unless your main character is silent for a reason, see BioShock, then there is no reason to make your main character mute. It was almost laughable towards the end of Homecoming were your Nolanbot is kicked off the edge of a ship and tumbles down to the ground.
Obviously, this should be a semi-emotional moment as that is your companion for the game, yet all you did as the main character was reach forward in some awkward manner and everything just felt a bit off. There should be some depth to your character, sure a silent protagonist could help players project onto them.
After how the first Destiny was panned for its lack of story, bringing back a silent protagonist was the wrong move. Making matters worse, Nolanbot seems to have cashed it in like Dinklebot did.
Half of the lines from the missions were bad puns poorly executed. It felt like it was supposed to be funny but it was just bad. The idea of Nolanbot being the main means of exposition in what should be a 10+ hour game will leave gamers dreaming of wizards from the moon.
Some will see this as petty, others will completely understand. I do not want to have to wait minutes in between abilities. It absolutely ruins combat flow when I am in a tight spot and could use a grenade or the Warlock’s healing bubble. Nope, I used those about 2 minutes ago got to wait for them to recharge.
Seriously this was archaic in the first game and the return was not welcomed.
The Inverted Spire
I saw someone praise the level for having such intricate things as platforming and a boss that had such deep mechanics that it warranted several playthroughs to master.
Maybe I got a different mission but I got a point to point linear level where you go from one spot, shoot some people, and then face a bullet sponge boss. There was nothing complex about it.
The main mechanic for the boss was that the floor disappeared a few times and I had to hit the A button to make sure I didn’t die from exploded knees on impact. Anyone who thinks that platforming in a first person view is good, needs to be checked out.
After Homecoming impressed me, this brought back memories of all the boring levels that Destiny had. I would have liked to see an early level in the game showcasing the story. We all know how the shooting works, we all know about the Vex. Give us something more than a watered down raid here Bungie.
This got placed here not because it was a horrid level, it was just bland and boring. It reminded me of the things I hated when playing Destiny. Bad writing, boring gameplay, and a boss that presented no challenges except for having enough ammo.
You could splice the Inverted Spire into Destiny and no one could tell a difference. It feels and looks exactly the same and trying to sell this off as a new game seems a bit insulting.
This is just a beta so in no way can this represent the whole finished product, but for me, this did not do enough to sway skeptical gamers to buy Destiny 2. The level design and guns are pretty but too many nagging issues from the first game seemed to have carried over.
*I played the beta on Xbox One*