Arts

The Light Shines Brightly With Only a Bit of Darkness Showing

“Destiny 2” Fixes its Predecessor’s Mistakes While Preserving its Fun Roots

By Matthew McKenna

“Destiny 2” continues its quest with players fighting off the Darkness as Guardians, either as the warrior Titan, the space mage Warlock or the rogue Hunter, and is one of the best shooter games this year so far. It offers up new armor, weapons and places to explore, but like all great games, they have their flaws.

After players make their mark in Bungie’s first “Destiny” game with their Guardians, if they had played it, everything seems safe with only lingering threats to deal with.

That all changes when a faction of the Cabal Empire known as the Red Legion launches a surprise attack on the Last City on Earth. Their leader, Ghaul, captures the Traveler and takes away everything from the Guardians: their powers, loot and their ability to be resurrected by their Ghosts.

Left defenseless, the player’s Guardian and their Ghost—voiced by veteran voice actor Nolan North—must find a way to retake their power that was given to them, find the Vanguard members who have scattered across the Solar System and defeat Ghaul before he claims the Traveler’s light as his own. Fairly straightforward.

“Destiny 2” is one of those games that has a lot of great elements to it, but has a few downsides.

With everything being taken away from players, such as the hard work they put into obtaining loot and leveling up in the first game, it sounds like a character that has amnesia from the very beginning and must learn everything he did in the past all over again.

But that isn’t to say the game isn’t fun. “Destiny 2” focuses more on its story compared to its predecessor. Every mission you do is involved with the story and has a mission reacting to the previous mission, allowing it to not feel repetitive.  

Obtaining new weapons and armor is also part of the fun as there are more rewards to obtain after completing missions, random boss battles and public events.  

The additional fun part of restarting from scratch is regaining your abilities, using them is part of what makes the game fun as well as the new leveling up system which makes it easier. “Destiny 2” offers up new subclasses for each type of Guardian while also keeping old ones.  

For the Titan, there’s the Sentinel subclass which replaces the Defender subclass from “Destiny.”  Players wield a void shield that they can use to bash enemies away and toss them like Captain America. The Striker class is still playable and it is pure fun slamming the ground with Fists of Havoc and shoulder charging enemies.

Hunters gain the Arcstrider subclass which replaces the Arcdancer subclass. The Arcstrider uses a staff made of arc energy—lightning and with great agility kills enemies with style. Gunslinger also makes a return and allows players to act like a cowboy of the wild west.

As for Warlocks, Dawnblade subclass swaps the Sunsinger subclass. Dawnblades will float in the air with wings made of fire and send flaming swords down on their enemies. Voidwalker also makes a return to “Destiny 2,” allowing people to send a bomb of energy and make enemies explode.

To unlock the third subclass, players must find relics that will eventually unlock a quest that will allow them to obtain their final subclass.

Aside from the story, the other strongest aspects of the game are the visually stunning cinematic cutscenes, world building, weapons and especially the supporting NPC characters.

Some of the new places to explore are the Farm which is equivalent to the Tower, the European Dead Zone on Earth, the moons Io, Titan and Nessus. They all offer up new and more beautiful environments filled with vibrant color and expand the lore of the Traveler and the universe.

With the supporting characters, players are able to see how the Vanguard Guardians react to having their light taken away, showing their vulnerable side and their power that they have been taking for granted for a long time, opening up to each personality.

Like the Taken King DLC, Cayde-6—voiced by Nathan Fillion—steals the show again with his witty and humorous dialogue along with random moments that allow ease during a dire situation.

One of the newest characters known as Hawthorne, voiced by Sumalee Montano, isn’t a Guardian and views the world differently than from what the Vanguard see it as, offering a fresh and different perspective on things.

Even the main antagonist Ghaul, voiced by Neil Kaplan, is a strong character. He’s a more fleshed out and complex in-game villain than previous enemies where players had to research the lore outside the main game.

Firing the weapons feels so satisfying when unloading its magazine on various enemies. The weapon system has changed from the first game as well. The weapons are split up into three different categories: kinetic, energy and heavy. Kinetic is standard bullets, while energy is a bit more powerful and is really useful for taking out enemy shields. Heavy is self-explanatory.

Strikes and patrol missions make a return with the new addition of challenges that help progress your character.  There have been no raids which will be expected to come in the future and will sure to be a blast.

“Destiny 2’s” version of multiplayer—the Crucible—adds to the fun, but instead of six on six battles, it’s four on four.

The weakest factor of this game is that there are hardly any new enemies of the Darkness for players to face. Meaning it’s still the Fallen, Hive, Vex, Taken and the main antagonist, the Cabal. The only difference players will see is their design.

Overall, “Destiny 2” fixes its predecessor’s mistakes with a more central and grounded story, fleshed out characters, new weapons and leveling up systems, and of course offers up fun and exciting combat. This game is worth at least four out of five Cayde-6’s chickens; a must buy.

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