Straight out of the gate Destiny 2 doesn’t meet my expectations for a sequel to this franchise. There I said it. Like a holiday you don’t really want to be on. Sure, you aren’t at work or school but you see it as a missed opportunity to do exactly what you would like to.
First the positives. The opening mission that Bungie showed, Homecoming, looks to be a large step up from the story telling of most definitely the original game and even The Taken King. Much more cinematic, characters with a personality with more in depth interactions between them. Showing the player these characters that we’ve seen for three years going into battle instead of standing in the same place pretending to be important.
The changes to the weapons is also a great step. Instead of a Primary, Special and Heavy weapon, we now have a Kinetic, Energy (both acting like Primaries) and a Power weapon (snipers, grenade launchers, shotguns etc. One huge problem with Destiny in PvP was the focus on Special weapons above Primaries. Running around with a shotgun for example with almost unlimited ammo and one shot kills. Whats so ‘special’ about that? These changes are a result of Bungie unable to balance the weapons in competitive play.
Bungie seems to be taking PvP more serious with the sequel. The Crucible as it’s known as is now 4v4 across all game modes. Power weapon ammo is restricted to one player who picks it up as opposed to all players receiving it who are near it in the first game. The focus back to Primary weapons is a step in the right direction and long overdue. Bungie seems to be pushing for Destiny 2 to become an esport but how this will be is unknown. Can they balance all the weapons without constant nerfs and buffs all the time?
Now let us check out the negatives much of which has been spoken of a large amount already.
Two inclusions I was hoping for were dedicated servers and 60FPS gameplay neither of which Bungie achieved. This, in 2017, not to have even one is pathetic. Lets start with dedicated servers.
When dedicated, local servers are available to players they provide a much better experience than the alternative which is P2P. And that P2P in Destiny has been nothing short of craptacular. As players have left the game, the matchmaking struggles to find games where all players have solid connections to each other. In Australia this is made even worse. Constantly paired with players from all over the world, games can often have several players teleporting, bullets and melee attacks not registering, unable to pick up ammo and thats without the people using lag switches.
This sequel needed dedicated servers to truly bring it to the next gen systems especially since it won’t be appearing on last gen consoles. But no, what we will have is Bungie again trying to tweak their network code and matchmaking just as they did on the first game. Be prepared for frustration and the same problems to rise again.
The major problem is frame rate. With so many shooters running at 60FPS on consoles these days it seems pure insanity to leave this game at 30FPS. Now, Bungie has said these current consoles can’t run it at 60FPS (including PS4Pro & Xbox One X) and all I say is it stinks more than those worms on the Dreadnaught would. Giving reasons of too many particle effects and AI overheads is ridiculous. Unless Bungie rewrote all their AI instructions than I’m anticipating the same brain dead, dumb, patterned enemies as we’ve seen thus far.
Why not use a dynamic resolution if need be? Scale down the effects? If Bungie wishes for this to be an esport than 60FPS should have been of paramount importance to them. Yes, the PC version is at 60FPS but Bungie will struggle keeping those players with no dedicated servers.
These two issues are why many view this sequel as simply Destiny 1.5.
So will I be buying this game? Probably, but I want to see how much content is in the game at launch. I can’t shake the feeling that Bungie missed the opportunity to really deliver a sequel to make Destiny haters really take notice.
Instead, many players will see it like ships in Destiny 1.
Pointless and unnecessary.