There are three camps of Destiny players. The first still play it to this day, bore through the grind, were the among the first to finish the Raids and are proud of their Guardians.
The second lost interest in the base game but found their passions reignited by the robust expansions packs like Destiny: The Taken King.
The third, like us, missed the boat entirely, saddened by Destiny’s lack of sci-fi story, not enamoured with the original grind and certainly not willing to buy the DLC.
Well, Destiny 2 is trying to capture all those players, especially those who dreamed of a Destiny 2 PC port and are actually getting one – even if it is a little later than console players.
And thankfully, from what we’ve played so far, the Destiny 2 offering might just win them all over.
We got the chance to sit down with the Destiny 2 PC build at E3, courtesy of Nvidia, before trying our hand at of the new multiplayer modes for the game, known as Countdown.
But the story mode is what really impressed us. We got to play through the Destiny 2 opening mission – ‘Homecoming’ – which saw us fight alongside the Vanguard as the Tower burns to the ground after the initial attack from the Cabal on The Traveller.
Seeing the social space from the original game reduced to a smoulder has some rather sentimental meaning, even to us lapsed Destiny fans. Thankfully, even in on fire and in ruins the game looks absolutely stunning, especially experiencing it in 4K and at 60fps via the Destiny 2 PC experience.
The view of the moon-like Traveller being grabbed by a tentacle of some Cabal ship may be distressing but when the game looks this grandiose and glorious, it’s easy to be distracted. And it’s clear that Bungie is making a concerted effort to make this single-player not only more cohesive but more emotional.
It might have a touch of the opening scenes of a Call of Duty about it, but we’re already far more invested in the Destiny 2 story than we ever were with the first game.
The grandiose of those opening cutscenes doesn’t stop when you take control either. Combat is sliced together with high octane moments of enemy drop ships swooping in overhead, Warlock Vanguard Ikora leaping atop an enemy warship and literally punching it into submission.
And surprisingly, the moment we were flung into combat, the keyboard and mouse setup that feels so foreign for Destiny really came into its own, making dodging, jet-packing and blasting enemies an even more intense experience than it is on console.
It helps that we were playing as one of the new Guardian subclasses, the Warlock Dawnblade. Its Super Attack gives you the ability to turn into a flame-shrouded being with an equally flamed sword. The camera even shifts to the third-person perspective, letting you see the damage you’re wreaking with your sword and ranged fire attacks.
Other new Guardian subclass super moves include a Captain America-esque shield for the Titan and a lightning whip for the Hunter, but we didn’t get a chance to trial these during our Destiny 2 PC demo.
Playing on PS4 though, we got to try out the new multiplayer mode, Countdown, which is a new 4v4 mode where the attacking team attempts to set off a bomb at one of a few specific locations on the map, while the defenders rush to defuse it.
If you’re taken out, you’ll have to wait for your teammate to revive you, and if all members of your team are downed, the other team automatically wins – no respawning for you.
The result is a mode that’s incredibly fast-paced, with maps tight and small to encourage regular head to heads. But if you’re a Destiny novice, or at least out of practice, it’s not the best mode to ease you into Bungie’s next game. It’s definitely not a mode for beginners just working out how everything functions, it’s a mode that prioritises skill, agility and Guardian knowledge, which is always tricky when you’re playing with someone else’s.
Is Destiny 2 any good?
From what we’ve seen of Bungie’s next game, and not just the impressive Destiny 2 PC offering, the team has a potential winner on its hands. The campaign is visually impressive and incredibly immersive, even from those opening moments.
The gameplay feels far more balanced and we’re incredibly excited by the new Warlock Dawnblade subclass. Sign us up for September 8.
Destiny 2 is available on Xbox One and PS4 on September 8, with the PC version launching a little later on an undisclosed date.