Plugged In

‘Destiny 2’ impressions — The first week

destiny2

“Destiny 2,” the ambitious first-person shooter from Bungie and Activision, has been out in the wild for a week now. During that time, I’ve been doing my part to return Light to the universe and, of course, collect as much sweet loot as possible.

Though “Destiny 2,” like its predecessor, is largely designed to be played with a group, I have again decided to take the lone-wolf approach to experiencing all the game has to offer. I’ve spent the first week focusing on the campaign and tackling an assortment of story-driven side quests available, known as Adventures. I’ve also lent my rifle to helping other Guardians take down bad guys in large-scale public events — not to make friends, of course, but to collect that lovely loot and level up my own Guardian so that I can continue on my mission.

I’ve not yet finished the campaign, so I’m not going to assign an official score to “Destiny 2” today. Instead, I thought I’d offer up a few observations from my time with my review copy thus far:

The good

Shooting: It should really come as no surprise, but the gunplay in “Destiny 2” is about as enjoyable as I’ve ever experienced in a first-person shooter. Since Bungie is responsible for bringing “Halo” to life, that’s to be expected. In fact, I got an unmistakable “Halo” vibe while battling wave after wave of enemies. There’s a satisfying mix of strategy and chaos at play during most encounters. Never dull, never repetitive (at least not yet), “Destiny 2” is a blast to play.

Looting: “Destiny 2” is constantly rewarding you for your efforts in the form of loot. Whether it’s a new weapon or a rare piece of armor, those glowing orbs that litter the battlefield after a firefight or treasures tucked away in a hidden chest keep me pushing onward and encourage me to explore every nook and cranny of the game world.

Viewing: Holy cow does “Destiny 2” look good! I’ve only been to a few gameplay areas, but each has been stunning to see. Thinking back on the original “Destiny,” I remember its environments being rather barren and bland. That’s absolutely not the case with the sequel as thus far in “Destiny 2” I’ve seen everything from lush forests to a planet whose structures float on giant oceans. I can’t wait to see where else “Destiny 2” takes me.

The not-so-good

Been there, done that: One of the things that irked me about the original “Destiny” was how certain environments were revisited again and again for different missions. This continues in “Destiny 2,” but thankfully not to the same extent. I’ve done my fair share of backtracking through the same dungeons a time or two, but I’ve also discovered hidden Lost Sectors filled with loot by exploring new areas. Hopefully the game world opens up even more the further along I go.

Buried treasure: As I’ve already mentioned, the flow of loot in “Destiny 2” is one of the things that keep me pushing forward. That same pursuit of loot has also exposed one of my pet peeves with games of this ilk: there’s no way to auto-equip new loot as you find it. Look, I understand why some people may not want to upgrade to a new weapon or piece of gear just because it has a higher overall value assigned to it. This is especially true in a game like “Destiny 2,” where weapons and gear can come in different types and with different mods attached. But the option to auto-equip would be nice for those don’t want to spend the time to examine every new item they find in their travels.

With any luck, I’ll wrap up the campaign and the bulk of the side missions by the end of the week. When that happens, I’ll post a full scored review with my final thoughts. Until then, stay safe Guardian.