This article is part of our Personal Playthrough series.
Many fans of gaming, especially first person shooters, find a home on PC. You can run it at a higher framerate. You can crank the graphics up to 11. You can use a mouse and keyboard for higher accuracy (unless you’re like me and can’t aim with a mouse to save your life). It has all the makings for a wonderful gaming experience. To all you PC gamers out there, I have a proposal for a new game to try out for probably the first time.
Now, hear me out. I’m going to need you to ignore the saltfest that is Reddit and any other negative Nancys out there. You know why?
Because Destiny 2 is a great game. Does it have problems? Sure. But what other persistently online world doesn’t? Let’s not forget that World of Warcraft has been pronounced more times than I can count over the game’s 13-year history. Even today, if you go to the WoW subreddit, there are numerous posts harping on certain perceived negatives of the game. That’s just par for the course.
When it comes to Destiny 2, you have to know of what you’re getting into before you dive in. That’s why I’m here. I will be your sherpa into the world of Destiny 2.
Temper your expectations
While a game like WoW has just about infinite replayability due to the sheer size of the world and gameplay systems, you simply can’t come into Destiny 2 expecting that level of replayability. What you can expect, however, is an immersive gaming experience that will last you a good 150-200 hours before you feel as though you’ve hit a wall.
After going through the story, the true portion of Destiny 2 will open to you: the dreaded endgame. This can mean many different things depending on what games you’ve played before. It could mean boring, grindy, or anything else in between. When it comes to Destiny 2, it means trying to reach a power level of 305 on any one of your three characters. Admittedly, however, once you hit that level cap of 305, there isn’t a ton of things left to do.
This brings me to my first counterpoint against the naysayers out there. Sure, you hit a pretty hard wall in the form of that level cap. Getting to that point, though? That’s where the true journey is. And make no mistake, it’s a long journey. This is why it's wise to take the Reddit and Twitch chat proclamations of a broken game with a massive, massive grain of salt.
It should be no surprise at this point that I am a huge fan (read: fanatic) of this game. Because of that, I have poured an obscene amount of hours into the game over the month and a half since the game released. To be exact, I have played 165 hours. Sounds like a lot, right? It certainly is. But even with that much time put in, I haven’t reached that cap on all three of my characters.
That is why people shouting from the rooftops about a lack of endgame content are a bit overwrought. Those proclaiming such extremes are in the top 1 percent of players in this game that have exhausted the game of its content. The game is not infinitely replayable. There is a stopping point of sorts where you run out of things to do. But that won’t come for quite some time. The best part of this whole issue for you new PC players is that by the time you hit that cap, the first DLC will probably be just a couple weeks away. This means you won’t really have to worry about a “drought” of content for very long before the game gets an adrenaline shot of new content to consume.
As long as you go in with the above expectations in mind, you will be fine and will have a great time.
Thus far, however, I’ve been mainly focusing on the non-competitive side of the equation. That’s only half the game, though. For all you competitive folk out there, keep reading.
Crucible is the place to be
Okay, I may be overselling this just a bit if I’m being honest. There is no ranked play in Destiny 2 currently. There is nothing similar to that of a Prestige Mode in Call of Duty. What we do have over in the world of Destiny 2, however, is Trials of the Nine.
This is a competitive PvP mode that rolls around every week from Friday until the weekly reset on Tuesday at 5 a.m. ET. You have one of two modes that are randomly available to play across a single map (usually*). You have Survival which sees each team start with a limited number of respawns, and the first to deplete the other team of lives gets the win. The other mode is Countdown, which is essentially Search & Destroy from Call of Duty or Bomb Defusal from CS:GO. (Pro tip: the defusal timer is waaaaaaaaaaay longer than you would imagine, so focus on killing the planting team first before going for the defuse.)
On top of that, you’ve got Iron Banner, a rotating game mode that shows up every month or so. It has special gear to collect that is only available through this mode, and trust me when I say that you WILL want this gear. PC players will also get the benefit of taking part in the second Iron Banner of the second game’s history, which means you get a better loot system than console players had the first time around.
Apart from those modes, there’s the regular old Crucible that is always available. There, you have Quickplay, which gives you a variety of modes that come in a random playlist, and Competitive, which contains the two modes above that I described in Trials of the Nine.
While this side of the game certainly isn’t as fleshed out as the PvE side is in terms of overall ways to play, the game has still only been out for a month after all. The first game didn’t get private games until two years after release, so just give it some time. More will certainly come in time, which will satiate all the needs of competitive players.
*While each Trials in the life cycle of Destiny 2 has only played out on a single map, certain weeks in Destiny 1 had rotating map selections.
Just have fun
At the end of the day, Destiny 2 is another great game put out by Bungie. After making one of, if not the, most iconic franchises in gaming history with Halo, Bungie could have just hung up their dev kits. Instead, they set out to make an ambitious franchise complete with a 10-year lifecycle. While the initial release of Destiny saw heavy criticism from all sides, it was a game that evolved immensely over time. There is no reason we should expect anything different here from Destiny 2.
You will get a great story that is well-paced and laid out, which is something the first game couldn’t claim. You can collect plenty of nice loot. You can destroy lives in Trials of the Nine with your friends. You can defeat the evil Emperor Calus in what is possibly the best raid in Destiny to date.
You can have fun.
If you go into this game with that in mind, I promise you* won’t be disappointed.
*This is not a legally binding promise. Should you not enjoy your time with Destiny 2, you cannot sue the author. But feel free to blow up his Twitter with salty tweets.