Thoughts on the Destiny 2 beta

I’ve been trying to stay fairly in the dark about Destiny 2 since its announcement. While the original wasn’t able to live up to my expectations, it was a decent game with great art direction and solid gunplay. The endgame grind would eventually kill my interest in the game, but I don’t regret my time spent in Destiny. I wanted to be genuinely surprised by Destiny 2, to see what sort of crazy new ideas Bungie could come up with in the past 3 years. Apparently, not a whole lot. But why rock the boat? Destiny 2 comes off more as an expansion that a full-fledged sequel, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Right off the bat, I can say that I’m not a huge fan of the Beta’s format. Instead of letting us experience a small portion of the game as we would on day one, we are given a predetermined level and legendary equipment. I understand why Bungie decided to go this route, as most people going into the beta know exactly what to expect from the game and want to jump straight into the Crucible.  But as someone who was mostly invested into Destiny for its PvE, it’s unfortunate that I can’t just kick back and explore the world at my own pace.

Destiny 2 envoirnments

The environments in the original Destiny were beautifully designed yet barren. As we move through the wrecked tower in Destiny 2, we get a glimpse of a much more lived-in world, with NPCs hanging around and frequently meeting up with other characters. Hopefully, this is extended over to the other areas we visit in the full release. If this is what I have to look forward to, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Individual perks have gone away. Instead, opting for simplified skill trees. This is one area I just can’t get behind. The old system of picking individual perks worked well. Yeah, people would just run a few specific builds, but it wasn’t necessary to adhere to those builds to have fun. It would have been so much better if Bungie added more diversity to individual perks for more unique builds, instead of throwing out the system altogether.

Destiny 2 03

I honestly love most the changes to the PvP. The competitive multiplayer in Destiny always felt a little too chaotic and claustrophobic for my liking. Bringing it down from 6v6 to 4v4 is a definitely a welcomed changed. I’ve seen a greater emphasis on teamwork, instead of the everyone running around like its god damn Call of Duty. The slow cooldowns are annoying, but we have to remember that this is an earlier build. Those values can be changed by the time the game comes out, so just relax. I might just end up spending a lot more time in the Crucible than I thought I would.

When it comes down to it, what disappoints me most about Destiny 2 is that Bungie seems to have played it so conservatively. Why not add dual wielding? Or primary melee weapons? Maybe another class? There are so many crazy possibilities, yet Bungie opted to refine the experience, instead of adding on to it. It isn’t a big deterrent, but it would have been nice to see Bungie take more risks.

Destiny 2 01

At the very least, what we’ve seen so far is promising. The story missions look like a considerable step up, and I was pleasantly surprised by the Crucible. At this point, Destiny is what it is, and as I’ve learned, you shouldn’t expect it to change drastically. Destiny 2 probably won’t convince anyone not already on board to try it out. But for those of us who’ve stuck around, there is a lot to look forward too.

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