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Best of E3: Destiny 2 is more of the same – but better

Destiny 2 is to Destiny as Halo 2 was to Halo: Combat Evolved.

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“Would you like to schedule an appointment for Destiny 2?”

That’s the type of E3 scheduling request that you click the Google quick-response button that simply says “Yes! I’m looking forward to it!” In all truth, Destiny 2 was the first AAA game that I booked and honestly, I was pretty glad that I did. While critics and influencers have already had an awesome chance to get their hands on the game at the special Destiny 2 press event, E3 was going to be my only shot.

I got the opportunity to see the PVE and PVP aspects of Destiny 2 while at the show in Los Angeles. I can easily report that in many ways, Destiny 2 doesn’t stray far from its predecessor. In fact, Destiny 2′s campaign and multiplayer modes feel much like the Halo 2 to the original Halo: Combat Evolved. I know that’s cheating a bit when we are talking about Bungie, but that really is the best comparison.

The biggest thing that felt like there was a lot of improvement was Destiny 2’s character builds and PvP aspects. During the time I got to play PvP, I drew the short straw and was forced to play Titan. I know that many people like to play Titan, but they should know that they are wrong and the best classes in the game are Hunter and Warlock, respectively. Anyhow, while the Titan was still a clunky, floaty meat-sponge, I also noticed that the Destiny 2 version had a few extra tricks up his sleeve.

My first major surprise when playing the PvP aspects of Destiny 2 was when I charged my super up and performed my ground-pound attack. After I did, I noticed that the super bar was still discharging, allowing me to pound around the room like a rotten toddler that was just told he couldn’t get an overpriced fidget spinner at Publix. Anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in front of my tantrum would find themselves waiting for a respawn. This seemed like a logical response to the Hunter class blade dancer super from Destiny. Taking a look briefly at the skill trees, they were no-longer a simple solution to filling it out as you leveled, it was clear there was some variety in how each character would play.

The next thing worth noting in the PvP mode was that the game mode was pretty damn great. We got to play Countdown, which is an attack/defend mode where one team rushes an objective to plant a bomb while the other team tries to eliminate the opposing team while defending their base from attack. The games were quick and heavy weapons spawned about 30 seconds in, which created a dangerous amount of escalation in the fighting around the bases. Something that was worth noting in the game mode was that when one base was under attack, the other would shut down. This meant you couldn’t actually back door an enemy while they were defending another base or trying to disarm a bomb in their base. The action was frenetic and actually pretty awesome.

“Destiny 2 is definitely the real deal.”

I also had a brief opportunity to play some campaign. Immediately, I felt less like I needed to go from point A to point B and shoot something and more like a full-fledged story that where you played one of the galaxies last hopes. In retrospect, it felt a lot like Final Fantasy XIV’s main story, rather than a generic space shooter. I spent a lot less time playing this than I spend playing PvP,  My other major takeaway here was “HOLY CRAP THE WEATHER EFFECTS LOOK AWESOME!”

The Destiny 2 beta is going on right now, but if you can’t get in, you’ll be pleased to know that as someone that thought the original game was mostly filler and no thriller, Destiny 2 is definitely the real deal.

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Longtime games journalist and Florida resident. I'm a Guinness World Record holder, wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad and husband. I'm here to spread the gospel of video games.

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