When it released, the original Destiny offered a fantastic mix of RPG and FPS gameplay, but failed to deliver a compelling story or any real sense of longevity. Now with Destiny 2 less than two months away, developer Bungie aims to not only fixes the mistakes of the past, but carve a new future for this franchise. Despite not answering every concern about Destiny 2, the Open Beta has offered some insight into what players can expect. After playing all three classes and several hours of PvP (Player vs Player) and PvE (Player vs Environment) activities, it’s clear that this game has the potential to be everything we hoped the original was.
The biggest change for Destiny 2 comes in the form of the three classes, (Warlock, Hunter, and Titan) all of which have received some rather noticeable changes. Outside of some rather radical alterations to their Supers, each class now has a universal special ability. These come in the form of the Hunter’s dodge skill (previous known as Shadestep), the Titan’s energy barrier, and a special aura that lets Warlocks buff or heal teammates. It’s clear that Destiny 2 is trying to differentiate their classes and roles more, which was something severely lacking from the first game. Being able to truly support your teammates with a healing aura or impenetrable shield will open up tons of possibilities for how to deal with tough encounters.
When it comes to the actual abilities of said sub-classes, each functions as you would expect them to, but the lack of customization options is concerning. Despite that the full sub-class skill trees were locked for the beta, players still got to look at what these various perks did. Destiny 2’s sub-classes feel more concise this time around, as the customization features feel far more toned down. Whether this more laser focused mentality works in favor of Destiny 2 is yet to be seen, but rest assured that each sub-class is a blast to play. Being able to activate your Golden Gun and incinerate a horde of enemies still feels immensely satisfying. There are also three new melee based Supers, each one serving as a nice, new way to dispose of the various aliens you encounter.
While the Vex and Fallen make a limited return in this beta, the real stars are the Cabal who were perhaps the most ignored enemy in the original Destiny. Fleshing out not only their culture, but units makes them a terrifying foe to deal with. Even though the A.I. is not terribly smart, their sheer variety of different units offers up enough of a challenge to keep fights interesting. Most of this is showcased during the Homecoming campaign mission, which expertly showcases just how the Guardians lost their home and Light. Bungie clearly is aiming to deliver a more compelling plot and the main antagonist Ghaul is already proving to be one of the series most memorable villains.
Users also got a chance to play The Inverted Spire strike which had some fantastic high points, such as fighting in a large quarry while a massive set of drills whirl around everyone. However, the strike was pretty much still just composed of blasting through waves of enemies until you reach a boss. This isn’t a bad thing, but hopefully there is more variety in the other strikes. Where Destiny 2 really steps up its game is in the boss battle, as this three stage fight is not only entertaining but quite challenging. Giving the bosses unique mechanics and abilities helps keep them from coming off as just bigger versions of base enemies,
On the PvP side of things, the 4v4 gameplay works wonderfully and delivers a slightly less insane experience than the original. Having 12 people throwing out grenades, Supers, and other wild abilities lead to some truly unfocused moments, but this shift to a smaller roster is just what Destiny 2 needed. Not only is combat more team oriented, but the Countdown game mode adds a nice sense of strategy to the game. The only real complaint is that Supers charge at an abysmal rate in PvP, to the point where most players will have them right as the round ends. These are meant to give teams a fighting chance at recovering a losing battle, so their extremely limited use is disappointing.
Overall, the Destiny 2 Beta is a more refined, concise, and clearly enhanced experience for veterans and newcomers alike. Despite still having some lingering questions about this game’s longevity, Destiny 2 is already proving it’s more than a worthy successor. Now, if you excuse me I have to get back to grinding for that rocket launcher in PvP.