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Tuesday​ ​September​ ​5th,​ ​2017.​ ​The​ ​day​ ​before​ ​Destiny​ ​2.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​genuinely​ ​struggling​ ​to​ ​keep my​ ​composure​ ​out​ ​of​ ​sheer​ ​excitement​ ​for​ ​the​ ​game.​ ​I​ ​haven’t​ ​been​ ​that​ ​excited​ ​for​ ​anything for​ ​a​ ​long​ ​time​ ​and​ ​I​ ​doubt​ ​I​ ​will​ ​be​ ​again​ ​for​ ​a​ ​while.​ ​​I am​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​sticking with​ ​it​ ​until​ ​the​ ​next​ ​big​ ​game​ ​drop.

I​ ​sat​ ​up​ ​until​ ​midnight​ ​waiting​ ​for​ ​the​ ​little​ ​timer​ ​on​ ​my​ ​PlayStation​ ​to​ ​hit​ ​zero.​ ​Killing​ ​time​ ​on Reddit​ ​and​ ​looking​ ​at​ ​the​ ​forums​ ​I​ ​realised​ ​something.​ ​The​ ​hype​ ​this​ ​game​ ​generated​ ​isn’t huge,​ ​it​ ​dodged​ ​a​ ​metaphorical​ ​bullet.​ ​It​ ​had​ ​just​ ​the​ ​right​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​trailers​ ​and​ ​live​ ​action shorts​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a​ ​buzz​ ​for​ ​the​ ​game,​ ​but​ ​without​ ​the​ ​No​ ​Man’s​ ​Sky​ ​levels​ ​of​ ​suicidal​ ​hype. This​ ​led​ ​to​ ​the​ ​community​ ​as​ ​a​ ​whole​ ​anticipating​ ​the​ ​launch,​ ​anticipating​ ​more​ ​Destiny.​ ​This lack​ ​of​ ​over-excitement​ ​led​ ​to​ ​a​ ​pleasant,​ ​quiet,​ ​buzz​ ​waiting​ ​for​ ​the​ ​game​ ​to​ ​drop.

As​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​the​ ​timer​ ​hit​ ​zero​ ​I​ ​started​ ​the​ ​game​ ​up​ ​with​ ​high​ ​hopes​ ​and​ ​a​ ​heavy​ ​heart,​ ​at​ ​the thought​ ​of​ ​all​ ​the​ ​memories​ ​me​ ​and​ ​my​ ​clan​ ​have​ ​with​ ​Destiny​ ​1.​ ​Rather​ ​quickly​ ​my​ ​heart sank​ ​when​ ​I​ ​was​ ​presented​ ​with​ ​a​ ​screen​ ​explaining​ ​how​ ​I’d​ ​been​ ​placed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​queue​ ​due​ ​to the​ ​servers​ ​being​ ​full​ ​(I​ ​assume​ ​everyone​ ​on​ ​GMT​ ​pressed​ ​the​ ​button​ ​at​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time.) Expecting​ ​a​ ​long​ ​wait​ ​time​ ​I​ ​put​ ​my​ ​controller​ ​down​ ​and​ ​went​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​drink.​ ​But​ ​the​ ​game loaded​ ​after​ ​about​ ​only​ ​a​ ​minute​ ​of​ ​waiting.​ ​Hats​ ​off​ ​to​ ​Bungie.

The​ ​game​ ​immediately​ ​greets​ ​the​ ​player​ ​with​ ​a​ ​recount​ ​of​ ​their​ ​actions​ ​throughout​ ​Destiny up​ ​to​ ​this​ ​point,​ ​showing​ ​your​ ​achievements​ ​and​ ​the​ ​fireteam​ ​you​ ​completed​ ​them​ ​with.​ ​Nice Touch.

The​ ​game​ ​drops​ ​you​ ​down​ ​in​ ​the​ ​mission​ ​‘Homecoming’​ ​which​ ​most​ ​people​ ​played​ ​during the​ ​Beta,​ ​the​ ​mission​ ​hadn’t​ ​changed​ ​and​ ​still​ ​serves​ ​as​ ​a​ ​fantastic​ ​tutorial​ ​mission.​ ​I​ ​was surprised​ ​to​ ​find​ ​that​ ​about​ ​an​ ​hour​ ​into​ ​the​ ​game​ ​it​ ​just​ ​opens​ ​up.​ ​Completely.​ ​Side missions​ ​and​ ​Public​ ​Events,​ ​Crucible​ ​and​ ​Patrols.​ ​All​ ​becomes​ ​available.​ ​Even​ ​this​ ​early​ ​on the​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​content​ ​blows​ ​Destiny​ ​1​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​water.

Gameplay​ ​is​ ​still​ ​silky​ ​smooth​ ​with​ ​gunplay​ ​and​ ​ability​ ​uses​ ​being​ ​seamlessly​ ​integrated​ ​into one​ ​smooth​ ​momentum​ ​build.​ ​There​ ​is​ ​nothing​ ​more​ ​satisfying​ ​that​ ​gunning​ ​down​ ​crowds​ ​of minions​ ​until​ ​a​ ​boss​ ​spawns​ ​and​ ​gets​ ​a​ ​face​ ​full​ ​of​ ​devastating​ ​nova​ ​bomb​ ​without​ ​getting​ ​a second​ ​to​ ​retaliate.​ ​Guns​ ​feel​ ​satisfying​ ​and​ ​the​ ​abilities​ ​all​ ​still​ ​feel​ ​meaty​ ​and​ ​powerful. Bungie​ ​nailed​ ​the​ ​main​ ​bulk​ ​of​ ​the​ ​gameplay.​ ​Once​ ​again.

Although​ ​usually​ ​overlooked​ ​the​ ​music​ ​and​ ​level​ ​design​ ​in​ ​this​ ​game​ ​have​ ​the​ ​most​ ​perfect relationship​ ​I’ve​ ​seen​ ​in​ ​a​ ​game​ ​for​ ​years.​ ​Whether​ ​it​ ​be​ ​an​ ​all​ ​out​ ​last​ ​stand​ ​battle​ ​with badass​ ​guitars​ ​and​ ​orchestral​ ​music​ ​or​ ​a​ ​serene​ ​walk​ ​with​ ​light​ ​piano​ ​and​ ​strings.​ ​It’s​ ​just perfect.​ ​The​ ​music​ ​this​ ​time​ ​also​ ​feel​ ​distinctly​ ​less​ ​Halo​ ​like​ ​and​ ​instead​ ​leans​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​more towards​ ​the​ ​game​ ​Sci-Fi​ ​roots,​ ​with​ ​music​ ​often​ ​sounding​ ​like​ ​the​ ​soundtrack​ ​to​ ​a​ ​Philip​ ​K. Dick​ ​novel.​ ​Not​ ​quite​ ​on​ ​par​ ​with​ ​games​ ​like​ ​The​ ​Witcher​ ​3​ ​but​ ​it’s​ ​still​ ​a​ ​big​ ​improvement over​ ​the​ ​forgettable​ ​OST​ ​of​ ​the​ ​first​ ​game.

The​ ​first​ ​game​ ​spawned​ ​many​ ​memes​ ​regarding​ ​the​ ​horrendous​ ​story,​ ​or​ ​lack​ ​thereof,​ ​and​ ​it becomes​ ​apparent​ ​very​ ​early​ ​on​ ​that​ ​Bungie​ ​have​ ​attempted​ ​to​ ​atone​ ​for​ ​their​ ​sins​ ​and​ ​have based​ ​the​ ​game​ ​around​ ​a​ ​cinematic,​ ​story-driven​ ​campaign.​ ​The​ ​story​ ​follows​ ​our​ ​guardians and​ ​their​ ​struggles​ ​to​ ​regain​ ​their​ ​light,​ ​and​ ​powers,​ ​after​ ​Cabal​ ​leader​ ​Ghaul​ ​steals​ ​them.​ ​A basic​ ​story,​ ​to​ ​be​ ​sure,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​attempts​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​some​ ​interesting​ ​themes​ ​such​ ​as​ ​the​ ​fear​ ​of death​ ​and​ ​the​ ​implications​ ​of​ ​a​ ​fall​ ​from​ ​grace​ ​and​ ​how​ ​it​ ​affects​ ​different​ ​people.​ ​The storytelling​ ​is​ ​done​ ​fairly​ ​well​ ​with​ ​no​ ​crazy​ ​exposition​ ​dumps​ ​like​ ​the​ ​first​ ​game​ ​had,​ ​but​ ​it’s not​ ​perfect.​ ​Large​ ​plot​ ​holes​ ​and​ ​an​ ​overall​ ​short​ ​story​ ​length​ ​lead​ ​to​ ​the​ ​game​ ​struggling​ ​to find​ ​its​ ​feet​ ​at​ ​times,​ ​much​ ​the​ ​same​ ​as​ ​The​ ​Taken​ ​King​ ​did.

Something​ ​that​ ​really​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​be​ ​mentioned​ ​is​ ​the​ ​fantastic​ ​way​ ​Bungie​ ​approached​ ​the game.​ ​The​ ​first​ ​game​ ​took​ ​itself​ ​very​ ​seriously​ ​and​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​being​ ​slightly​ ​silly​ ​in​ ​the execution,​ ​but​ ​this​ ​time​ ​round​ ​they’ve​ ​cut​ ​the​ ​melodrama​ ​with​ ​constant​ ​humour​ ​and tongue-in-cheek​ ​jabs​ ​at​ ​the​ ​player,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​first​ ​game.​ ​Comedic​ ​naming​ ​such​ ​as​ ​a​ ​super weapon​ ​named​ ​‘The​ ​Almighty’​ ​and​ ​the​ ​brief​ ​inclusion​ ​of​ ​Cayde-6’s​ ​pet​ ​chicken​ ​named ‘Colonel.’​ ​The​ ​self​ ​aware​ ​nature​ ​of​ ​the​ ​humour​ ​adds​ ​to​ ​the​ ​game​ ​in​ ​spades​ ​and​ ​got​ ​quite​ ​a few​ ​laughs​ ​out​ ​of​ ​me.

At​ ​the​ ​time​ ​of​ ​writing​ ​this​ ​the​ ​raid​ ​(Known​ ​as​ ​Leviathan)​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Trials​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Nine​ ​game mode​ ​have​ ​just​ ​dropped​ ​and​ ​both​ ​of​ ​the​ ​popular​ ​end​ ​game​ ​activities​ ​have​ ​impressed​ ​both new​ ​and​ ​old​ ​players​ ​alike,​ ​with​ ​returning​ ​veterans​ ​like​ ​myself​ ​admiring​ ​the​ ​slight​ ​tweaks​ ​and changes​ ​that​ ​have​ ​been​ ​made​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​them​ ​fresh.​ ​The​ ​new​ ​twisted​ ​and​ ​beautiful social​ ​space​ ​tied​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Trials​ ​of​ ​The​ ​Nine​ ​adds​ ​an​ ​element​ ​of​ ​Eldritch​ ​Sci-Fi​ ​with​ ​bleached white​ ​backgrounds​ ​and​ ​technicolour​ ​architecture.​ ​The​ ​new​ ​raid,​ ​on​ ​the​ ​other​ ​hand,​ ​is​ ​the complete​ ​opposite​ ​with​ ​extravagant​ ​gold​ ​designs​ ​covering​ ​the​ ​walls​ ​and​ ​floor​ ​of​ ​the​ ​planet devouring​ ​Leviathan​ ​ship.​ ​The​ ​raid​ ​adds​ ​a​ ​fresh​ ​spin​ ​on​ ​the​ ​typical​ ​raid​ ​formula​ ​with​ ​a​ ​heavy focus​ ​on​ ​teamwork​ ​and​ ​communication​ ​often​ ​splitting​ ​the​ ​team​ ​up​ ​and​ ​relying​ ​on​ ​two​ ​people to​ ​pull​ ​the​ ​other​ ​four​ ​through.​ ​The​ ​raid​ ​was​ ​one​ ​hell​ ​of​ ​an​ ​experience​ ​and​ ​well​ ​worth​ ​the grind​ ​to​ ​reach​ ​the​ ​entry​ ​requirements!

I​ ​have​ ​to​ ​say​ ​I’m​ ​impressed,​ ​they​ ​really​ ​have​ ​pulled​ ​the​ ​cat​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bag​ ​here.​ ​Concerns about​ ​the​ ​game​ ​being​ ​a​ ​reskin​ ​have​ ​turned​ ​out​ ​to​ ​be​ ​false,​ ​with​ ​enough​ ​new​ ​features​ ​to keep​ ​the​ ​game​ ​fresh​ ​and​ ​fun​ ​the​ ​team​ ​over​ ​at​ ​Bungie​ ​have​ ​delivered.​ ​We​ ​got​ ​what​ ​we​ ​asked for​ ​with​ ​this​ ​sequel​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​turned​ ​out​ ​to​ ​be​ ​fantastic.

Despite​ ​the​ ​high​ ​praise,​ ​it​ ​isn’t​ ​all​ ​sunshine​ ​and​ ​rainbows.​ ​The​ ​game​ ​still​ ​has​ ​it’s​ ​fair​ ​share​ ​of issues​ ​and​ ​problems.​ ​When​ ​being​ ​made,​ ​Destiny​ ​2​ ​has​ ​obviously​ ​placed​ ​a​ ​heavy​ ​focus​ ​on fixing​ ​the​ ​major​ ​issues​ ​of​ ​the​ ​first​ ​game,​ ​with​ ​this​ ​heavy​ ​focus​ ​however,​ ​an​ ​enormous amount​ ​of​ ​the​ ​smaller​ ​issues​ ​have​ ​slipped​ ​back​ ​through​ ​the​ ​net.​ ​Shoddy​ ​writing​ ​and​ ​plot convenience​ ​is​ ​still​ ​rampant,​ ​with​ ​age​ ​old​ ​machinery​ ​sputtering​ ​to​ ​life​ ​after​ ​you’ve​ ​shot waves​ ​of​ ​enemies​ ​defending​ ​the​ ​ghost​ ​whilst​ ​it​ ​opens​ ​a​ ​door,​ ​for​ ​the​ ​fourth​ ​time​ ​in​ ​twenty minutes.

Although​ ​it​ ​is​ ​a​ ​positive​ ​that​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​story​ ​this​ ​time​ ​around,​ ​it​ ​isn’t​ ​a​ ​very​ ​strong​ ​one.​ ​With the​ ​entire​ ​game​ ​consisting​ ​of​ ​collecting​ ​the​ ​missing​ ​vanguards,​ ​bringing​ ​them​ ​home,​ ​and taking​ ​back​ ​what​ ​the​ ​Cabal​ ​took​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Guardians.​ ​All​ ​well​ ​and​ ​good,​ ​but​ ​that​ ​really​ ​is​ ​all that​ ​happens,​ ​no​ ​dramatic​ ​twist,​ ​no​ ​heart​ ​wrenching​ ​deaths.​ ​Nothing.​ ​Just​ ​a​ ​bland​ ​tale​ ​of revenge.​ ​The​ ​cut scenes​ ​do​ ​however,​ ​look​ ​fantastic​ ​and​ ​are​ ​a​ ​noticeable​ ​improvement,​ ​both graphically​ ​and​ ​story​ ​wise.​ ​Still​ ​no​ ​‘Last​ ​Of​ ​Us’​ ​though.

Whilst​ ​the​ ​game​ ​is​ ​great​ ​comparing​ ​it​ ​to​ ​the​ ​first​ ​game,​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​you​ ​peel​ ​back​ ​the​ ​surface layer,​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​the​ ​same​ ​issues​ ​show​ ​themselves.​ ​Despite​ ​this,​ ​I​ ​do​ ​like​ ​the​ ​game,​ ​quite​ ​a​ ​lot, and​ ​I’m​ ​excited​ ​to​ ​see​ ​where​ ​Bungie​ ​take​ ​the​ ​game​ ​next,​ ​and​ ​whatever​ ​happens,​ ​I’ll​ ​be​ ​on board.

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Xander Mackenzie

Started gaming at age 6 playing halo and crash bandicoot on the original Xbox, graduated up to the 360 and promptly fell in love with the elder scrolls, ever since then I've been playing every RPG I can get my hands on, and have no intention of stopping! XBOX : lordgrumpycat PSN : lordgrumpycat

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