Destiny 2: PS4 Review
Developed by Bungie
Released by Activision
Destiny 2 is likely to chew through your time.
Which is no bad thing as we're all well aware how popular Bungie's first iteration of the game was with millions of online players battling it out in a quest to gain light, loot and love.
The sequel takes the good of the first game (of which there was plenty) and builds on those foundations to make an experience of relative success.
It all kicks off in a way that wrongfoots you as your Guardian returns to the Last City to find it under siege from the mysterious Red Legion arm of the Cabal. With the Traveller apparently destroyed, and you facing an uncertain future in a world without light,
it's up to you and your damaged Ghost to try and recoup some of your losses, and team up with other Guardians to restore order to the Galaxy's chaos.
Story wise, Destiny 2 is a more simplistic stream-lined affair.
The assault at the start (which was the basis of the BETA recently) gave a feeling of Nier Automata's gut-punch prologue in terms of you powering your way through a difficult fight, only to have a loss beat you directly in the face and send you down-trodden into the rest of the game.
Yet with Destiny 2, it's an almost galvanising underdog fight back type experience which spurs you on to greater things.
Thrust onto another world with a ragtag bunch of fellow Guardians feeling their own way, the game builds you up as it builds its narrative up.
Various quests propel the single player action along and push you further into the story. But at the same time, the online events and campaigns also feature into what's going on, giving you the chance to detour or avoid.
The gameplay itself feels stronger this time, and the clunkiness of some of the dialogue first time around is missing, but it feels more fluid and natural the deeper in you go.
By setting the game in the European Dead Zone as you begin, the game's more grounded and recognisable feel adds plenty to proceedings. Sure, one of the early missions sees you looking through a church, but it's better than simply marauding through a wasteland desperately shooting at anything around and looking for cover.
It means the setting is more lively and feels more intuitive with cover areas less obvious and a "what would you do in the real world" entering into proceedings.
But one of the earlier frustrations is spawning which can sometimes put you back down in front of a barrage of bullets that then pick you off, but it's a minor niggle that's early into the game.
There's a lot more character in the voicework too - be it Nathan Fillion's flippant tones or your own Ghost, the game feels more vibrant with the time and care which has been thrown in - and it deepens the engagement a lot more.
Granted, it's still about loot (more of which feels more forthcoming this time) but the grind is worth it.
And while the online servers have bizarrely booted players out in the early stages, there are signs that Bungie's doing more to combat this.
All in all, Destiny 2 does ramp up the game and the stakes, but it also takes a moment to deepen the experience, something which some online shooters fail to do.
By adding in a depth and enriching the overall atmosphere, Destiny 2 feels like a definite step forward for the shooter series.