I feel absolutely privileged to be at the Destiny 2 gameplay reveal in LA today. Then I realized that literally everyone in the gaming press and influencer world is here, and realized “Holy sh*t… we’re finally getting Destiny on the PC.” I’ve spent my morning with both the PC version’s demo Strike, and the PVP, with my Campaign session coming later today. The Inverted Spire is the first new group content we’re getting hands on with, and I must say, Destiny 2 feels right at home on PC.
Below is a shot of the controls on PC. Before we get going into how the Strike felt, let’s focus on this. There’s only one big thing missing from the PC settings so far – no FOV slider seemed present. Otherwise, the PCs at the event were running at 4K on Medium settings, without being able to change the settings. Even on Medium, D2 looks as good as its PS4 forebear, so I’m wondering just how slick it will be when it comes to higher tier PC settings. It can use Ultrawide resolutions as well, uncapped framerate, etc. Master Race?
The Strike began simply enough. You’re on the surface of Nessus, the planet where Cayde went after the fall of the Tower. The Cabal have landed here too, and in typical fashion they’ve awoken something terrible below the surface. Up front, I didn’t get to finish the Strike. For those unfamiliar, Strikes in Destiny are the “dungeons” in MMO terms. They’re scripted, group encounters, where some of the best loot can be obtained (the best is reserved for Raids).
Immediately, one of my biggest problems with Destiny 1 seems addressed in D2. PVE mobs are not bullet sponges. They die, they die fast, and you feel powerful because of it. Some of the elites take more hits, sure, but that’s expected. What’s unique in Destiny 2 is that you can make your loadouts more robust by putting the three different energy types on the same loadout, and swapping between them with the 1,2, and 3 keys. So you don’t have access to just 3 weapons, essentially you’ll have access to 9 at any given time (including the special ammo).
Graphically, the Inverted Spire is impressive. You start high above the ground of Nessus, and work your way down into the pits of the world itself. By the time you reach the inside of the planet, the Cabal are using machines to drill deep into the planet. Awakening some nasty new doglike wildlife that looks kind of like the Zerg, merged with hounds of hell.
I can’t stress enough, if you didn’t like Destiny’s gameplay before on console, it hasn’t changed much here. The same three classes are available – Hunter, Warlock, and Titan. But everything’s dialed up to 11. Bigger worlds, more weapons, more skills, more quests, more PVP modes. The Strike is a great tease of what’s to come for group content in Destiny 2, but I’m most excited to explore the new worlds, which seem like actual zones of content now, not just a place to grind patrols on end.
On the PC, Destiny 2 feels absolutely solid. Controls are tight, gunplay feels good, and the only thing I’d like to tweak is the FOV. Even on Medium, Destiny 2 is going to be one of the best looking MMOs to date. Having this game built into the Blizzard Launcher and tied into Battle.net makes it even more likely that cheating and hacking will be fought off, and the PC audience will be potentially even bigger than the console versions.
In a lot of ways, Destiny 2 feels like a redo of Destiny 1. It’s no longer hampered or held back by the old consoles. It’s learned tons of things about community and getting players together in-game (Clan Support, finally! Matchmaking finally!). It’s actually on the freaking PC, too. Even when they announced that months ago, I didn’t expect much more than an OK port. But this feels custom built for the PC audience, to be honest. Like D1, the UI is right at home on the PC, but it’s actually THERE now. The big questions left for me are this – will there be a solid story? Will the lore and the grimoire be in-game? Will there be enough content to keep people playing long after the campaign is complete?
For now though, Destiny 2 is looking stellar, plays great, and it’s pretty clear that it’s going to dominate the news and gaming talk for all of September when it launches. Put it on your radar.