Bungie’s release of Destiny 2: Forsaken this week brings large, sweeping changes to the entire game, not just the new expansion content being added to the endgame. While Destiny 2 has had its share of issues and drama during its first year, Forsaken seeks to bring the same positive changes and increased number of users to the game that the original’s The Taken King did for its predecessor. With all these changes being made, is now a good time to pick up the game for someone who hasn’t played Destiny 2 yet? I made the jump to play for the first time and let you know what I run into, in our Destiny 2 Noob Adventures series.
While the complete edition of Forsaken comes with a single level boost to get right into the expansion content, I know many people (myself included) want to experience the story at least once, so we are starting from scratch for this series. I bought the original Destiny at launch, and only played for a few months before I gave up, so I had a few characters in my login screen that were brought over from the original. I had a quick memory show up, but I’m assuming those who were more accomplished would see their raid achievements in this section. I made a new character since I didn’t know if they gave any sort of advantage to using a previous one. After the requisite 30 minutes of choosing just the right hair style, I started as my Awoken Warlock.
Starting from scratch threw me into Ghaul’s raid on the Last City, which felt like a fun way to pull the player into the story regardless of what your previous knowledge of Destiny’s lore is. Even if you’re the type who doesn’t care much for the story, the tutorial looks great in 4k and is awesome to immediately start mowing through giant enemies and feeling like the savior. Until Ghaul kicks you off his ship to your impending doom, of course.
The tutorial experience can range from helpful to frustrating, depending on how far into the game you’ve come. Tutorial notes will pop up and cover the bottom part of your screen, which is expected at the start when you’re just learning the game’s controls and systems. I’ve had multiple times where the tutorial screen would pop up in the middle of a firefight and hide the bottom part of my HUD, though, leaving me to fight blind or try and run away to complete the tutorial and go through the menus it instructs you to. While the weapon system has changed from the 3 slots being based on ammo type to Kinetic, Energy, and Power, at level 15 I still have no idea what the difference is between the three. Starting the game gives you both a Kinetic and Energy weapon that uses primary ammo, and a noticeable oversight in the game’s opening experience sees the player get a sniper rifle to learn how to scope down enemies in a distance, but the sniper uses secondary ammo. At this point, no secondary ammo has dropped as I didn’t have a weapon that used secondary ammo equipped, so I can’t snipe the enemies as intended and just had to rush them. While I will most likely be looking up differences in weapons to learn them, I’m well past the stage where I feel that I should know what the categorizations for the weapons are and why they are done that way.
I went into the game expecting to be able to just follow the story and keep leveled up to where I should be, but Destiny 2 is modeled more like a traditional MMORPG in that you will need to do some side activities along with your story missions to keep your level up to snuff. I didn’t hit any hard restrictions until a few hours in, which led me to start exploring the map, learning about the game’s adventures (Destiny’s version of side quests) as well as the events that you can take part in for gear and exp. Breaking up the monotony of running through story missions solo and getting into group quests was a blast, and I had received a fireteam invite after a few where I got to tag along for awhile and have partners to do whatever objectives or bounties we ran into. As the usual noob experience, seeing higher level players with cool moves I don’t have access to yet or armor I’ll get to earn in the future, you get more motivation to keep playing as well as loot left and right to keep you going. This all wouldn’t have been possible without the game’s scaling system, meaning that I could team up with higher level players and still be an effective teammate, though this may be frustrating at level cap when going back to visit an old area.
I haven’t had a chance to try either the Crucible, Destiny 2’s PvP mode or Gambit, the newly-added mode that sees 2 teams of players racing through what looks to be a mini-raid to see who can finish it first. I’ve been busy floating around open world areas to find secret chests and running down world events, but I’m looking to jump into it as soon as I’m ready to get my confidence crushed.
I’m having a real good time playing through the opening levels of Destiny 2 so far, and while I haven’t hit the expansion content yet, I’m enjoying playing through the early story and tripping over loot left and right. I sure hope nothing happens to Cayde-6 though, I’m growing fond of him.
Note: Our Xbox One copy of Destiny 2 was provided by PR.