To say that Destiny shares opinions is a euphemism. The reception of the public became polarized among those who hated the game - for having been frustrated by their poorly executed narrative, intense repetition of concepts, and an unfair business model; and those who found in the game a sense of community and a pleasurable experience shooting aliens.
However, love or hate, the shooter won its sequel - and it was only a year after the last expansion. With expectations and mixed feelings, it remains to be seen whether here we find more of the same, a total redemption of all the mistakes made in the previous title or something completely different.
A more palpable plot
Newcomers forgive me, but it is inevitable to make comparisons. If the universe created by Bungie before seemed frustratingly confusing and full of vague mentions about things we never saw, in Destiny 2 the plot is presented in a more palpable and admissible way.
Be it the personification of a flesh-and-blood villain who thinks and has motives, be it in the attempt to create empathy for characters that in the previous base game were simple NPCs who delegated missions.
The story is not perfect, far from it. The text is permeated by clichés, inconsistencies and structural problems. The villain Ghaul is more interesting than any other enemy seen in Destiny and his expansions, but he is wasted when in 80% of his appearances he is in a room, having superexpositive conversations and monologues that at the end of the campaign contradict everything that the character ends up doing .
There is also a waste of the excellent quality cutscenes that are restricted to the same environment, in which two masked characters make great efforts to convey emotions, not to mention that they are conditioned to a bizarre transition with the Red Legion logo.
Trying to humanize
On the side of the good guys, there are other holes and problems, but there are a lot of hits as well. The speeches of the charismatic Cayde-6, the leader of the hunters, are among the most fun and entertaining. And certain moments with Ikora expose the new reality of the guardians, mingling the courage to rescue the Traveler to the terrifying risk of dying permanently in a more ... human way.
Destiny 1 completely ignored the meaning of the word "humanity" while Destiny 2 at least tries to address the principle - even if it does not have 100% success in it. In the first moments of the game, when I ran away wounded and vulnerable from the City, I thought, "They finally understood."
But minutes later the guardian's original condition - which from one expansion to another has become a mute char that makes faces and mouths - returns and you are just a killing machine with no personality again.
Destiny 2 missed the opportunity to show the suffering of the people of the City. All we know about this people is in the claims of the new Hawthorne character, but I do not feel anything for these people because the game simply does not show me their suffering, chaos, helplessness and despair. I just wish Bungie had remembered her work with the New Alexandria invasion in Halo Reach.
Beautiful world, plastic world
Surrounded by incredible art direction, players find Destiny 2 a lightweight graphics upgrade, with better textures, effects, lighting, and screen elements. The game explores better the power of the current consoles and is even more beautiful in this new chapter. However, it's a shame that this vast open world is as alive as a fake movie scenario.
On maps, all you find are enemies and spoils. There is nothing trying to make the world where you are a living place. And that, unfortunately, talks a lot about the Destiny franchise: the only way for the player to interact with the world around them is by shooting and looting.
Do not think it's an exaggeration when I say that Destiny 2's song does most of the work. Even the most mediocre moments are incredible, packed with exciting and well-arranged themes, they become grandiose.
They are so good tracks that they can overcome the impeccable original soundtrack of the previous game, showing that Michael Salvatori, even without Marty O'Donnell, his longtime colleague, manages to be one of the best composers in the gaming industry.
Nice to shoot
If there is something that Bungie always did well they were mechanics of shooting and that does not change in Destiny 2. The fluidity of the first game returns, with a new ability for each subclass and some changes in the weapon system.
Primary, Secondary, and Heavy are now Kinetic, Energetic, and Powerful. Now, what goes in each space ends up changing a little, due to a reorganization of the items and the arrival of submachine guns and grenade launchers.
Swords, which were introduced during the Destiny expansions, are present, and shotguns are rarer. Anyway, the use of weapons remains satisfactory, although the system of progression of the game forces you to give up some that you really like after a short time.
New missions, old enemies
The gameplay is unfortunately limited by the absence of new races of enemies. Decays, Vex, Beehives and, of course, the Cabals are back. But except for a few inclusions of new classes, the player is forced to shoot for dozens of hours on the same aliens in which he spent dozens of hours shooting earlier.
Fortunately, there is more diversity in the structure of the missions in the new game. If Destiny's missions used only one or two formulas, in Destiny 2 the objectives are more dynamic. In addition to the campaign missions, the sidequests, now called "adventures", are back; patrols; the robberies
Not counting public events, you can do while you are completing other of these missions. During the time I played in the first week of October to do this review, the Leviathan Incursion was not yet available, but as you may know: the raids are back as well.
Grinding for the more casual
The Destiny 2 content is reasonably more diverse, which ended up causing the feeling that the campaign this time had more content, even though the average time to complete the main story is almost equal to that of the original game.
If grinding, which is getting to perform tasks repeatedly to level up and get items, was a terrible problem in Destiny 1, the variety in Destiny 2 missions makes it seem like the route is less - or less boring, at least. There is a lot to do.
In the collection of spoils, the infamous "loot", changes and improvements were also made. The engrams work differently and on items knocked over by enemies and found in chests ... veterans, lovers of intense repetition and difficulty getting items from Destiny 1, may be frustrated at how practical it was to get good weapons and armor here.
In addition, the sparrows, which are the vehicles that came by default in Destiny 1, now need to be purchased. While on the one hand it's cool to find a really useful item type, it's strange Bungie's decision to leave foot-long gamers on gigantic maps that were clearly meant to be explored in vehicles. Because, look, you only get a sparrow after completing the campaign or reaching level 20.
Classes with unique abilities
Now, a very positive change in Destiny 2 has been how classes become differentiated. It was a frequent criticism of the first game that the three classes did nothing special. But this time, the Hunter functions as a batter, diverting from enemy fire; Titan creates a barrier to protect the team and Arcane gives a boost of damage to nearby teammates.
The changes could have been less subtle, but it's already a good start to create momentum in the squad, making each member have a unique role. Oh, of course, there are new subclasses, with new supers, as well as the return of some subclasses of Destiny 1.
Destiny is an essentially multiplayer franchise. Even if playing alone in Destiny 2 is less tedious than in the previous game, your potential for fun is only really enjoyed in a group.
In PvE, Bungie attempted to facilitate by putting the clan system inside the game and another system called Guided Games, which helps you find colleagues for the Robberies and Raids.
PvP, still happening in the area known as Crucible, but brings some curious changes. It is no longer possible to choose the game mode, they appear randomly, including the new "Survival".
What you can do is choose between two playlists: Quick Game, which brings a less restricted matchmaking and modes for those who are not exactly looking for a super serious experience; and Competitive, which has a matchmaking based on the skill of each player, and which brings only two modalities.
Personally, I found Destiny 2 PvP more enjoyable than the first game. In part because the classes give a whole new dynamic to the fighting. It is important to note that teams of six players have been reduced to four. This made the matches less chaotic, but I missed them in a way that behaved larger teams and vehicles.
Better or worse than the first?
Destiny's most enthusiastic will always say that we've forgotten something. I could speak of the absence of space battles so well used by Bungie in Halo Reach; or to criticize how the narrative fails to approach the concept of light and darkness, without conflict or shades of gray; or comment on how the Treva, the most important enemy of Destiny 1 that we never got to see is even quoted in the new plot; or the controversial inclusion of microtransactions and cosmetics that are spent ... But the truth is that it is impossible to mention everything in a single text or video.
A casual player could easily confuse Destiny 2 with a new expansion of the first game, but it's fair to say that the sequel corrected many mistakes of the original game - fewer mistakes than it could, but corrected.
The important thing is to know that Destiny 1 emerged as a frankenstein of concepts that wanted to be both an FPS and an MMORPG and ended up being neither. And incredible as it may seem, it was not Bungie or Activision that seemed to have solved this identity crisis, but the fan community itself, which somehow became fond of the game and showed that it has room in the market.
Destiny 2 remains an experience that is not going to appeal to all audiences - it's definitely not for me - but most of the destinymaniacs who have invested hundreds of hours in the first one will probably love it.
If the appalling business model used in the previous game, with expensive expansions that limited the access of players who did not have all the DLCS, is not applied, Destiny 2 has a good chance of being what its predecessor should have been.
"Destiny 2 has changed little, but it has a chance of being what its predecessor should have been - as long as future expansions do not spoil it."
-Table more palpable than in the previous game, with more credible characters;
-More mission formats, leaving the campaign less repetitive;
-Grinding less tedious;
-Gameplay fluid and responsive;
- One of the best original soundtracks of the last years;
-Definent art direction;
-Adjustments in classes, giving each one a more unique role.
- Potential waste in narrative;
-Lack of new races of enemies;
-Lack of differentiated modes in PvP, such as vehicle battle;
- Still very similar to Destiny 1; lacked the boldness to bring to the sequence more radical changes.