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Destiny 2 First Impressions: A Much Improved Campaign Experience

Destiny 2 is upon us, and like most of you reading this you were probably impatiently waiting in the online queue to get into the game’s world once it went live across the various wold time zones. The delay to get your adventure started definitely spoiled a bit of Destiny 2’s launch, but when you did get in the experience was worth the wait. To me at least, because we finally have Destiny with a real deal campaign, and to someone like me that’s everything. Without a world to care about, or characters to get behind, it doesn’t matter how many excursions you can go on with friends. You’re just blowing away canon fodder in that scenario, but now — with Destiny 2’s fleshed out campaign — you’re getting a deeper dive into the world and its characters, which will go a long way in making everything you do in the game feel like it has an impact on the narrative you’re crafting for your own Guardian.

I’ve only played through the first hour and a half or so, but that’s all the time I needed to realize that I’ll enjoy Destiny 2 much more so than the original. I went ahead and recorded a gameplay video to feature my first impressions, and to give those who don’t have the game yet a peek behind its curtain. I wouldn’t say there are massive SPOILERS contained, but you should still proceed with caution. You can check out the video below, or read its script if you’d rather go old fashioned.

Hey now Guardians, Matt Heywood here to provide first impressions for Destiny 2, which is now out in the wild and ready for Guardians to consume.

Please note that there will be spoilers for the game’s opening hour and a half, light at that, but proceed at your own risk.

Outside of a lengthy queue to get into Destiny 2 at launch, my first few hours with it have been extremely enjoyable and enlightening. Let’s just hope the wait to join the game is much less than at launch, because it took most of us close to 30 minutes to get into the game.

With that being said, everything else I experienced within the first hour and a half performed flawlessly. The frame rate was stable on the Xbox One, and the visuals looked mighty nice. I do think the One S console’s ability to up the resolution to 4K helps, even though I understand that it’s not even close to being true 4k. I can only hope that the game looks even better on the One X when it ships later this fall.

For most of the first hour and a half you will spend your time playing through a mandatory campaign section to setup this sequel’s narrative.  You start by importing your old Guardians, or starting a new one. If you do use an old Guardians he or she will be stripped of all the loot and light you had in Destiny 1, so you’re only getting your character’s appearance back really.

Although, when you first start if you did choose your old Guardian, you’ll be treated to a recap of your Destiny 1 accomplishments organized by date and with whoever you were with when you achieved certain in-game milestones.

That’s about the only tie to the past you get, as the game’s opening sets the stage for you to lose all of your light and powers, essentially stripping you bare.

If you played the demo then you’ll be familiar with the opening segments of the campaign, but I can confirm that you do get to play sections that weren’t in the demo, and they definitely provide more insight into the attack on the tower and the traveler itself.

This opening does a great job at setting the stage for the game’s campaign plot, which will entail you regaining your powers and helping others to overcome the Cabal Red Legion leader Ghaul, who literally kicks your ass and every other Guardians’ ass into oblivion while capturing the Traveler and extinguishing the light it provided to the Guardians to give them their powers.

Just like that you are reduced to a plain jane humanoid with no special powers and only a beat up handgun. This is when Destiny 2 truly begins, as you must set out on a brand new adventure and explore new environments and worlds as you try to regain the power you need to take down Ghaul and the Red Legion.

This is also the point where you meet other survivors of the attack, who aren’t Guardians, but humans who have lived outside of the Tower in the Last City.

You’re eventually led to the Farm by Hawthorne, who is a new NPC quest giver that runs the game’s new social area called the Farm.

The Farm is just that, it’s an old dilapidated farm where players can mingle and dance merrily with each other, as well as get new quests and items. If feels much smaller than the Tower, and of course it’s much more chaotic looking thanks to its run down state.

You also get access to a ship when you first reach the farm, which enables you to start going out on campaign quests, but not others quite yet.

You must first complete the last mandatory story quest before the game’s world fully opens up. This entails you going out to an area that has a shard of the Traveler in it. It’s almost calling to you, so through a vision you and your Ghost head over to it.

After battling through a few random Cabal and their killer dogs you will find the shard of the Traveler, and as you may have guessed like I did while playing, this is how you get your light back.

With your powers restored you put them on display to learn your new super move, and then it’s back to the farm to start Destiny 2 proper.

So after getting your light back and returning to the farm, the full Destiny 2 experience unlocks. You’ll have other players at the farm doing what Guardians do, dance and/or point. It’s all about emoting. But you can now also continue the campaign, or start playing through the public events with other players. I should add that at this point you can also play the campaign in co-op.

That’s as far as I made it in my first jaunt with Destiny 2, and I completely enjoyed what Bungie had to offer in this game’s opening segments. Visually and audibly this game is top-notch, and it will definitely look even better on the PS4 Pro, PC, and eventually the One X. The gameplay feels familiar, but new thanks to the extra polish this sequel has over the original. And the campaign is already more engrossing than any bit of story content that was featured in Destiny 1.

It feels like there is a real story with real stakes and players on both sides of the coin. You feel like you’re fighting for something and someone rather than just skipping around the solar system exploring random areas and getting narrative fed to you through offline Grimorie cards. To me, that’s what is going to set Destiny 2 apart from its predecessor, and why I’m feeling a burning desire to get back into the fray to see how the narrative plays out.

Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for our full review, which will probably drop next week after Team EB fully dives into what Destiny 2 has to offer.

Stay tuned for our full review, which we will complete once Team EB fully immerses itself into all that Destiny 2 has to offer.

 

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Tags : Destiny 2
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he's not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB's Star Wars Time podcast show.