PLOT Survival of the fittest in space.
RATED T for Teen
DETAILS PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC; $59.99
BOTTOM LINE An out-of-this-world sequel.
Newcomers to Destiny 2 will discover the same core precepts that have kept others engaged for years. Hundreds of years in the future, humanity’s fate has been reshaped by a powerful alien entity, spreading our reach across the solar system. A later inexplicable collapse has left a scattered people scrambling for survival, guided and protected by deathless Guardian warriors. The fiction seamlessly melds fantasy and sci-fi tropes into a richly imagined setting. Gameplay features remarkably taut FPS gunplay enhanced with seemingly magical powers. Your character grows in power alongside friends that inhabit the same public playspaces, and they join you in all manner of integrated exploits.
The first Destiny offered large open planetary destinations with little narrative context. The biggest change to gameplay is a welcome reorganization of those destinations into compelling spaces for exploration, punctuated by clearly marked sites for blistering battles beside other players. Mini-dungeons called lost sectors provide a sense of discovery. Public events are easy to find and even feature fun heroic variants for those in the know. And a bevy of excellent new story quests and adventures extend the narrative potential post-campaign, revealing the story of these locations and their characters.
Crucible play has been overhauled in substantial ways, and moment-to-moment combat feels more competitive. Teamwork is highly valued in every mode, and encounters take a split-second longer to conclude, with fewer one-shot kill options on the table.
From the new and intense Countdown game type to returning modes like Control, every Crucible match type demands that players move and play in different ways. The decision to force players into one of two playlists, quickplay or competitive, rather than let them choose their preferred mode, is perplexing.
Quibbles aside, this is a fantastic follow-up to a wildly popular formula, and one that no other developer has come close to equaling in sophistication.
— Game Informer Magazine (TNS)