Destiny 2 is a vastly superior game compared to the original. Here’s 5 reasons why;
I’d waited for months, bought it at midnight and ploughed through it in a week but when I finished the original vanilla Destiny, I was left feeling disappointed. While the “gunfeel” and combination of FPS and MMO were unrivaled at the time, the non-existent plot, overly repetitive “Go here, kill that, get some loot” play cycle and obvious wasted potential meant that it fell well short of my expectations. I gave it a 7/10 in my review and even that felt generous. I didn’t return to the game in any meaningful way either, even when everyone was telling me the expansions drastically improved the game. I booted it once, got overwhelmed with new plot activities that meant nothing to me because I’d been away for so long and closed it down again.
It was with trepidation then that I approached Destiny 2. I didn’t expect to like it, given my feelings towards the predecessor, but to my surprise (and to put it bluntly) it’s fucking great. Bungie have really stepped it up a gear with a sequel that improves upon almost everything about the original. While we’re busy working away on a Review (It’ll come when it’s ready. No bullshit ‘review in-progress’ here) I wanted to share, for people like me who weren’t won over by the first game, some spoiler free reasons why the second is vastly improved and why you should give it a chance. Without further ado, here are 5 things Destiny 2 does vastly better than its predecessor…
Plot & Character Development
The first 3 hours of Destiny 2 have more storylines and character development than the entirety of Destiny 1. In the original, you were fighting against aliens for “reasons” and an obscure reference to “darkness” which, in the end, was as disappointing as when your Snickers bar gets stuck in a vending machine. In the sequel, the villain is given a name, a face and motivations. The game then gives the player’s Guardian mountains of impetus to take this antagonist down. These roles evolve as the game progresses in pretty interesting ways too. If you were disappointed by the plot – or lack thereof – from Destiny 1, you’ll be hard pressed to feel the same about Destiny 2.
Mission Design & Variety
“Go Here”, “Uh Oh! Better kill these aliens” and “Let me scan this thing while you fight off that wave of enemies that are coming” are the 3 mildly different types of mission in Destiny 1. Bungie have vastly widened the mission variety and design for Destiny 2. Sure, a lot of them are still just fetch quests or kill boxes but the framing around them means that repetition doesn’t set in. Turning one enemies weapons on another enemy during an ambush, the new “adventures and venturing off the beaten track to search for heavily protected Lost Sector loot crates really mix things up in ways that Destiny 1 just failed to do.
Soundtrack & Art Direction
I’m happy to admit that the original Destiny was, at the time, very visually and audibly appealing. This isn’t an aspect that I expected to improve much in the sequel. Boy, was I wrong. Bungie has chosen locations and events that let the imagination of their art teams go wild. And go wild they did. Destiny 2 finally looks like the concept art images that we all fawned over back in 2014 and I have literally said “wow” a handful of times while playing. The new art direction is joined by hours of new music and a score which gave me spine-tingles the first time I heard it. The combination of the new orchestral theme song and a more varied, organic art direction makes Destiny 2 far more inviting than the overriding cold sci-fi of the first.
On the face of it, the Destiny 2 UI looks remarkably like that of the first but there have been a plethora of little tweaks and changes which vastly improve its usefulness. Timers have been added to the map and UI to show when timed events will start and how long they have left. Everything is quicker and more responsive. Short messages don’t linger on the screen for long periods. While it might not seem like much, the UI improvements mean you can cram more actual game play into a session without having to mull around in menus for 20 minutes.
Confession time – I was a big fan of the Drinklagebot. Not because he was a better voice actor or better for the part than Nolan North. Not at all. Far from it, even. It was because at least with an unenthused Drinklage delivering the corny lines of dialogue, it inadvertently added some humour to the proceedings. Thankfully, the writing is much better in Destiny 2 and Nolan North makes the most of the improved script for the Ghost. Neil Kaplan brings his best Optimus Prime voice to the part of Dominus Ghaul, giving the villain a lot of character in the process. Bill Nighy finally gets to express his full range of vocal talents as the Speaker, delivering some really powerful lines. Zavala is once again voiced by the excellent Lance Reddick with a deeper, emotional role here. Nathan Fillion, Cissy Jones, Sumalee Montano & Gideon Emery all put in fantastic shifts too. The tl;dr version – There’s hardly a bum line of dialogue in the whole game.