The opening to Destiny 2 is one of the best I've ever seen in a game.
Not only is it fun to play, but it does so much in the space of an hour that it's pretty overwhelming. It acknowledges the time you've spent on the first game, manages to give you a credible excuse for stripping your character back down to level 1, raises the standard of level design and is full of breathtaking set peaces.
More importantly though, by the time the intro finished I cared about Destiny 2
's story more than I did throughout my hundreds of hours with the first game. I felt excited about what was ahead of me and fully confident that this wasn't going to be just more of the same. This was a step up.
Comparing the first hour of Destiny 2
is night and day. Perhaps it was the shaky development that made Destiny
feel slightly sterile. What's clear from the get-go with the sequel is that Bungie now have a clearer idea of what a first person shooter with an MMO sprinkle should be and the confidence that comes from that shines through in every aspect of the game.
The story campaign is the biggest step forward I've experienced so far. Destiny
lacked variety and although the gunplay carried you through to the end, repeating missions was a necessity and after a while the story missions became a chore. Here, they're packed with things to do with later environments introducing far more vehicle-based combat areas.
It feels as though Bungie has been inspired by its past as well as a few more recent games. Shades of Doom and touches of [i]Halo
combine to make a main campaign that is worth playing even if you don't want to get into the levelling up of the later game.
There are also parts of missions that weave in and out of social areas, allowing you to be distracted by a public event before heading on to your objective. Later in the game challenges are introduced, asking the player to play in different ways to keep things fresh or focus on things other than just running through kill rooms, blasting away without thinking.
It's quite incredible how much everything has been improved this time around. I can imagine the meetings the developers had while working on it. A reflection on what worked and what didn't and how the stuff that didn't hit home last time could be brought in line with the rest of the game.
From little things like reducing the busy work of constantly going back and forth to the tower to the way it avoids dropping you into a grind, everything is set up to remove the work and keep you playing. It has a better understanding of what its audience wants and how to get them there without losing interest.
You'll be seemingly flipping to different game modes without questioning it as it constantly chucks new missions and challenges your way, and while you're working on something you'll no doubt get distracted along the way.
I've already got lost down a rabbit hole a number of times when planning to run some strikes with friends. We'd usually head off to one of the planets to have a quick stab at a public event but eventually spend an hour activating adventures, running patrol missions or clearing out lost sectors.
That's mainly due to the fact that exploring planets has been vastly improved. There's so much to do there now and the worlds feel more alive than they did in the first game. Adventures are short missions, usually with a boss at the end that are more fun to play than the main story missions in Destiny
. Lost sectors are areas of the map filled with enemies that once cleared give you access to a loot crate.