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Game Review

If you played 2014's Destiny, you pretty much know what this shooter franchise is all about. It features a deep-space setting; "shared world," MMO-lite player interaction; and vast, raid-and-loot, first-person combat offerings. Destiny 2 is, well, more of the same—with a good dose of next-gen fine-tuning tossed into the mix.

The first thing I should note is that if you never picked up the original game, it won't make a huge difference when it comes to the new one's story campaign. It'll just feel like you missed an intro or two. So let me introduce you.

Immortality All Around

Destiny 2's gaming universe focuses on a planet-sized orb called The Traveler that has offered a large group of multi-raced good guys the benefit of its godlike "Light." This Light is helpful in a number of ways. But in the case of a specialized class of warriors called Guardians, it amounts to something close to immortality. (Which is particularly helpful in a gameworld where you get shot down over and over.)

That's important background info, but Destiny 2 quickly rips it all away in any case. In the opening moments of the game's story campaign, we meet a cruel brute name Dominus Ghaul. He and his Red Legion invade the good guys' Last City, wrap a power-sapping harness around The Traveler, separate the Guardians from their Light source, then smash and scatter everything else. Ghaul's purpose? Why, to figure out how to tap that immortality producing Light, of course, and become the most powerful indestructible conqueror in the universe!

Cue maniacal laughter.

As one of the last broken-but-still-moving Guardians, you and your small robotic sidekick (called a Ghost) must find a way to reconnect with the Light. After a series of missions, you'll have to resurrect the remnants of the Guardians and figure out how to fight back against the dreaded Ghaul and his ilk before he makes his deathless deadly dreams come true.

It's All in the Questing

That may sound like pretty typical save-the-universe sci-fi game fare. And it is. But Destiny 2 makes that story dramatically immersive through creative quests, compelling dialogue and a steady stream of character and equipment upgrades that advance the plot in exciting ways.

Your Guardian character will fall into one of three classes: a heavy hitting Titan, a quick-moving Hunter or a magic-lobbing Warlock. And once you've finished the single-player story campaign, you can move on to online multiplayer battles. These include a variety of team-based missions and player-v-player raids.

But Destiny 2 also offers that "shared world" form of multiplayer gameplay that I mentioned above. It offers an opportunity to team-up with other online players while you're still working your way through the single-player storyline via the Public Events feature. They're scattered across the game's vast world maps, and you can join one of them with other players online at a moment's notice.

Public Events battles can include giant mechs duels or face-offs with the landing armies of baddies, among other things. It's a way of stepping aside for a bit to get a sense of the game's multiplayer action and to grab a bit of extra loot before you dive back into the next solo campaign mission.

D2 is T, Too

Like the original game, Destiny 2 is also a T-rated first-person shooter. So even though the body count can mount up during combat, this sci-fi shooter's death-dealing steers clear of gore.

That said, this is definitely a shooter. Players can loot hundreds of different pistols, assault rifles, grenade launchers, machine guns, shotguns and missile launchers from fallen enemies and treasure caches. And you're constantly swapping them in and out of your personal arsenal as you blast away at the marauding beasts and robot foes that come your way … and then fall with a scream.

Trigger-pulling and frenetic battles are the name of the game here. And even if they're not gory, they can indeed feel pretty intense at times. Not Call of Duty-intense, mind you, but still fast paced and explosive. The vast variety of weapons you employ and bullets you expend, all on your own, would abundantly arm a good-sized infantry unit or two in the real world.

On top of the game's nonstop combat, some odd spiritual darkness creeps into the game in the form of "soulless" enemy creatures and references to dark rituals. A few light crudities pop up in the dialogue, too.

Like I said, Destiny 2 feels a lot like its predecessor—only with a bit more polish. Which is probably exactly the bullseye Activision was aiming for.

Positive Elements

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Record Label


Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC




September 5, 2017

On Video

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Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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