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Destiny 2 Review (First Beta Impressions) – Epic Begins Again


The long-awaited and attractive game Destiny 2 will be on sale on September 6th, and according to good tradition, Bungie studio gives the opportunity to try out the console beta before the release. Therefore, those who pre-ordered new items, on the evening of July 18, had the opportunity to be among the first to try out the continuation of the acclaimed game. During the beta testing stage of Destiny 2, the developers presented two tasks from the storyline, provided the opportunity to get through the strike and gave the opportunity to try their hand at two multiplayer modes on two maps.


The enemy does not sleep


A small digression: in the Destiny universe, humanity discovered on Mars a hitherto unseen alien artifact, which was named “The Wanderer”. This relic is a huge ball. The ball, in turn, allowed humanity to enter a new Golden era and begin a full-scale exploration of outer space.

A little later, people found out that the Wanderer has an enemy – a kind of Darkness. It was she who enveloped the entire Earth and destroyed almost all living things on the blooming planet. In order to overcome the Darkness, the Wanderer bestowed a part of his powers on humanity. Thus, the Guardians appeared – a caste of warriors-defenders of humanity.

Destiny 2’s storyline continues the storyline of the original game. The Guardians managed to defeat the Fallen, Vex, Swarm and other factions, including the scouts of the Cabal race. However, now is the time to fight the real invasion fleet of the Red Legion, of which Ghaul is the warlord. This is not a reconnaissance army, but elite squads, whose goal is to capture and take control of the Wanderer in order to completely and completely capture the Earth.

Therefore, at the beginning of the passage of Destiny 2, players are clearly shown the attack of the Red Legion of the Cabal race on the Tower. Most of the scenes are set on the engine of the game and therefore they are shown in real time, thereby demonstrating incredibly beautiful landscapes, powerful special effects and detailed characters. Some scenes are created as CG clips.


Tasks


The first story mission turned out to be dynamic and addictive in the spirit of the games in the Halo series or even Call of Duty. Breaking through the huge debris of the once-reliable fortifications, players are introduced to new mechanics, while simultaneously demonstrating the total destruction of familiar places.

The passage of the mission “Returning Home” becomes the starting point of a new journey in the wonderful world of Destiny 2. Fragments of the passage could already be seen during the presentation of the game and in the official gameplay videos, but only with the release of the beta version can you fully and completely plunge into the first chapter by accepting participation in the battle for the Tower – the Citadel of the Guardians.

There are now two storyline tasks available (the second is called “Strike”, but more on that later). The tasks clearly demonstrate the main advantages of the new game: excellent direction, staging, wonderful presentation, spectacular and vigorous music, the famous “role-playing” gameplay and a high level of epicity. If we compare the beginning of the first part and the second, then we can safely say that the first part is still at an inaccessible competitive height, easily gaining a foothold in the entire market.

However, this does not mean that everything is bad in Destiny 2 – on the contrary. Once again, you can plunge into epic battles, a huge number of explosions, go through spectacular scripted scenes. The beta test neatly brings the players to the beginning of an exciting journey, showing that the heroes lose not only all their strength, but also the “gear” that was obtained with blood and sweat in the first part.


Game modes


In addition to the aforementioned single tasks (missions), two more modes were available in the beta: the first is cooperative, the second is competitive. Co-op is a cooperative adventure called Inverted Spire. Such missions are now nicknamed “Strikes”, although, in fact, are analogous to “dungeons” (dungeons) from the MMORPG. Opponents in strikes are much more dangerous, but the reward for them is much higher.

Passage of strikes in Destiny 2 the beta test was not that difficult, but this is just the beginning. Nevertheless, it is better to pass them in the company of friends. However, even if you have not yet acquired them in the game, there is an automatic matchmaking.

In the competitive mode, as it should be, players are already fighting among themselves. In the beta version, so far only two formats of PvP battles are presented: the first mode is “Control”, the second mode is “Countdown”. The first, in principle, was clear from the very beginning: the mode existed in the original game and therefore is a classic point capture.

As for the “Countdown” mode, it is much more interesting. In its structure, it resembles a bomb laying, as in CS: GO. In other words: the key place where the detonator is located is indicated on the map, so the role of the first team is to activate it, the role of the second is to protect and prevent the enemy team from implementing their plans, respectively. In the next round, the roles of the teams change, so the gameplay is generally repeated again. The winner is the team that gets six points first – it’s simple.


Interesting mix


Destiny 2 is a quality mixture of a classic shooter and interesting ideas from an MMORPG. The game has absorbed the best of the first part and some details of the Halo series. It is played interestingly. Every aspect of the battle, every movement, shooting, and even ammo management – everything is done just the way it should be. There is no place in the game for useless weapons, there are no boring stages so far, during which there is a lull and nothing happens. Even Destiny 2 has just the right amount of ammo.

On the other hand, the new project from the Bungie studio is literally saturated with a variety of role-playing elements. There are three key classes: the first is the Titan, the second is the Hunter, and the third is the Warlock. Each of them has two specializations to choose from. Within the framework of these specializations, you can use certain abilities: a variety of magic attacks, shields, and much more in the spirit of MMORPG.

As for the development system, it was not possible to fully evaluate it, because initially the heroes have a full set of skills in both specializations, for which the beta version allows plenty of shooting from a variety of weapons.

Each weapon and any other item of equipment has a rarity parameter. The more rare an item, the more useful properties it has. In this regard, the approach is the same as, for example, in the Diablo series and any other similar game. Implementation is another matter. Each property will not only affect the final damage per second parameter, but even the outcome of the battle itself.


New subclasses


The basics that were laid in the first part have not changed dramatically in the second – in the same way, the Guardians can switch between three types of weapons, hit enemies close, throw grenades and make double jumps with the ability to plan accurately in the air. However, there were some innovations. A third skill has been added for each class in Destiny 2, and the rest of the skills have changed dramatically.

So, for example, to replace the additional class “Sunsinger” Warlock, the class “Downblade” came, the main ability of which is to throw fire waves from a burning sword. Titan instead of “Defender” got “Sentinel” and now he is proudly dubbed “Captain America”, because now Titan is armed with a round shield and can aim it at others and hide behind. The Hunter’s subclass “Bladedancer” was replaced by “Arcstrider” – using the “ult” he now gets an electric staff and is able to jump on enemies from above, thereby creating shock waves.

The old super abilities of the subclasses have also changed. From “Voidwalker” from now on “Nova Bomb” pursues the enemy, bending around even objects on the map. “Gunslinger” under the ultimate is now able to fire more shots, but the damage will be lower than in the original. “Striker” now jumps and hits the ground with his fist several times in a row, but the radius of damage (shock wave) has been reduced. New types of grenades have also been added. So in general, after the static original, Destiny 2 pleases with a high level of dynamics around.


Graphics


The second part works on absolutely the same engine as the original, therefore, from the point of view of technology, there are no big shifts forward. However, despite this, the developers from the Bungie studio, having dealt with the cargo in the form of consoles of the previous generation, focused on the number and quality of the special effects supplied.

Firstly, the lighting in Destiny 2 has improved by an order of magnitude. The sources of dynamic shadows killed a little, so the bottom line is that almost every room makes you stop and take a screenshot.

Secondly, post-processing has reached a whole new level. For example, the effects of water / rain drops flowing down the screen have appeared. Magic effects look much more impressive than in the original. And in general, what is happening on the screen looks much juicier and livelier.

Thirdly, the designers who worked on the interface showed their perfect sense of style once again. At first glance, it may seem that the GUI is quite similar to the one in the first part, but almost every element of the interface looks much more interesting.

Needless to say, Destiny 2 is a step forward for the series, but not for a graphical revolution. After all, quite a few models and animations simply migrated from the original game, although this is understandable: the game was created for consoles of the weaving generation, and this, in turn, imposes strong restrictions.


Sound


The developers have worked hard on it too. Even in Destiny, the sound design was good, but in the second part, this detail also took to the next level. First, all sounds have been rewritten from scratch. Secondly, now the sound is deeper and richer. Each weapon in the game sounds unique and is not alike in any way. This makes you perceive the game in a completely different way.


Localization


Localization leaves mixed impressions at the moment. The problem is that some names “hurt the eye” – translators use strange descriptions and absolutely also name certain objects. Of course, the main part of Destiny 2 is translated adequately, but sometimes complete nonsense comes across. This is especially true for the names of weapons, clothing sets and even characters.

As for the voice acting, it deserves respect. Sometimes you come across pleasant to the ear “blade of dawn”, “wanderer of the void” and much more. Nevertheless, in a couple of days since the beta test, the phrases “cooperative raid” and “defend our gorge” have become a real meme. It is also worth adding that in some places the font is difficult to read due to the jumping sizes and the discrepancy between the letter spacing, so we can only hope that these problems will be fixed by release.


Eventually


Despite the odd localization in Destiny 2, the beta is a very enjoyable and positive experience. Judging by the episodes that were presented, the authors really took into account all the criticism of the original game and reworked all the details, so we got interesting story levels.

All of the new features provide a pleasant refreshment to the core mechanics of Destiny. It remains only to wait for the release of the game to make sure that the second part will not slow down further. Destiny 2 is an excellent sequel in every way. The game really deserves to be expected. The main thing is that the developers are responsible for the release and do not allow any technical problems with the servers.



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