Bungie’s monumental loot-shooter sequel is all Light on the night
Bungie’s pride and joy is back! But the question is: it worth buying into a second time? We’ve been hard at work shooting aliens, grabbing loot, running strikes, and levelling up, and we’re ready to give you our final score.
“On ocean-dominated moon Titan, frothy waves gather and roll to the horizon”
You might have played Destiny for five hundred hours. You might have played it for five. Or you might never have played it at all. How do you design a game to accommodate such sharp spikes in player familiarity? This is the task Bungie faced in following up its 2014 massively multiplayer shooter, and the developer has risen to meet it. Whether this is your introductory handshake to the series, your returning embrace, or the wary glance you cast at a spurned lover, Destiny 2 returns every gesture simultaneously like a multi-armed social savant.
Your Guardian might not be happy with the change, though. After city-sized sphere the Traveler bestowed freaky powers on he, she, or it in the last game, they begin Destiny 2 effectively reset. That means zero Light level and loot, although you can choose to import an existing Guardian’s cosmetics. Dominus Ghaul is to blame, a posh alien rhino in a Gundam suit who steals your Light and makes you all normal (for 20 minutes, anyway) before pledging to crack open the Traveler like a Kinder Egg, then blow up the sun. There’s even a short spirit-questy bit in which you and hovering companion drone Ghost follow an eagle up a mountain, all sad and reflective about not being magical any more. Ghaul’s invasion offers the perfect opportunity to start afresh, and with awesome new classes available (twirl a staff! Sprout fire wings! Throw a shield like a certain patriotic captain!), it’s one you’ll relish rather than rue.
Destiny 2 comprises of four key parts: a planet-hopping campaign you can quite happily play on your own; self-contained Strike missions that let you buddy up with two mates; time-intense Raids for larger teams (unavailable at time of writing); and 4v4 competitive mode, the Crucible. These parts intertwine throughout several gorgeous hubs spread across the Solar System from which you can pick pursuits without pressure. There’s Earth’s European Dead Zone (EDZ), with its forlorn town squares and forgotten highways forking through sun-dappled glades; the milky lakes and chalky monoliths of Nessus; cheddar-yellow Io sitting under the spectacular glare of Jupiter; and ocean-dominated moon Titan, where frothy waves gather and roll to the horizon. All are wondrously picturesque locations packed with secrets to find, natives to fight, and roaming player-controlled Guardians to join.
Heart and solar
However you earn new weapons, gear, and experience is entirely up to you. You might choose to plunder dungeon-like Lost Sectors, for instance. Just make sure you’re levelled appropriately – one underground EDZ Cabal den contains a grenade-launching Centurion who insta-kills us at least 20 times. Thankfully