Best Answer: Yes, remains a stellar first-person shooter (FPS) on console and PC in 2021. However, the game isn't without some issues. The game overall is also in an excellent place right now, with a lot of rewarding content available to dive into, tons of great weapons and armor to chase after, and plenty of options for builds. The story is better than ever as well thanks to excellent character writing and the use of several effective storytelling mechanisms. The new and returning player catch-up systems could still use some work, but recent improvements have made getting into Destiny easier than ever.
What is Destiny 2?
Destiny 2 is a free-to-play looter shooter that combines the traditional shooter experience with elements from RPGs and MMOs. In it, you play as a Guardian, a once-dead human resurrected by the Light of a paracausal being called the Traveler. The Traveler has given us the gift of the Light so that we can defend ourselves against forces that would otherwise annihilate us. We accomplish this by going on campaigns to eliminate emerging threats, running Strike missions against enemy factions, and launching Raids in which Guardians push deep into enemy territory to take down extremely dangerous bosses. Guardians also often sharpen their skills by battling each other in The Crucible, and Guardians who like fighting the enemies of humanity while also going up against other Guardians will find Gambit enjoyable.
As players engage with these activities, they'll get new weapons and armor (some of which may even be Exotic, which is the rarest type of gear in the game) that they can make use of. Each weapon and armor piece will come with different perk and stat rolls each time they drop, bringing variety to gear and allowing players to hunt for rolls that suit their playstyle.
These drops will also steadily increase your Power Level as you equip or infuse them into your current gear until you reach Power Level 1,270. From this point onwards, Powerful and Pinnacle gear are needed to climb further. Powerful and Pinnacle drops can be earned from almost every activity in Destiny 2, and opportunities to earn them will reset each week (Tuesdays at 1 p.m. ET).
Players can choose between three different classes: Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks. Titans are a frontline class with a focus on durability, Hunters are swift and agile and feature an emphasis on mobility, and Warlocks can weaken enemies and heal allies. Each class has 10 different subclasses that you can choose from and switch between at any time, giving you lots of options.
Presentation-wise, Destiny 2 is immaculate, featuring countless gorgeous environments, excellent visual effects, quality animations, and an incredible soundtrack. Destiny 2: Beyond Light even introduced weather effects with the release of the frigid moon of Jupiter, Europa. The developers have confirmed that there are plans to utilize weather effects in future locations as well. Destiny 2 also features the best gunplay I've ever experienced in a shooter, and no other games have even come close to beating it.
The New Light experience
Getting into Destiny 2 in 2021 has never been easier. While it had previously been difficult for new players to get in on the action, Bungie made the process much better by adding in a series of "New Light" quests that new players can use as a tutorial (returning players can obtain these quests from the Quest Kiosk in The Tower). These quests introduce players to the basics of Destiny 2, including general combat, abilities, loot, game modes, and characters. Overall, the New Light quests provide a good introduction to the game, though the fact they only feature the Hive means you won't understand much about the other factions like the Fallen or Vex when you step into the full experience (you can find plenty of community resources for learning, thankfully).
Another big improvement that Bungie made during Destiny 2 Year 4 was the decision to reduce how much the Power Level cap rose with each new season. Previously, new seasons increased the cap by 50, but now they only raise it by 10. This makes it much easier for players to reach the endgame from the 1,100 Power Level floor that new players currently start at.
The developers also recently added a Timeline to Destiny 2's in-game menu that lets you review the events of previous expansions and seasons to learn about important plot and character moments. It's disappointing that this Timeline currently doesn't extend to the events of the first Destiny, but the feature is nevertheless great for new players that need to be caught up to speed on the story.
Bungie has also ensured that new players have ways to acquire a decent arsenal right off the bat so that they don't feel like they're ineffective compared to kitted-out veterans. There's a selection of weapons and mods sold by Banshee-44 and Ada-1 that resets daily, and every weekend, an NPC called Xur arrives in-game and sells Exotic gear that new players can collect.
Overall, while it isn't perfect, the new and returning player experience in Destiny 2 is much better than it used to be. It used to be really frustrating to try and help my friends get started with the game due to how obtuse it was, but the game is significantly less confusing now.
The current state of Destiny 2
On the whole, Destiny 2 is in a great place right now, though it isn't without a few issues. All of the PvE content on offer these days is high quality, and each new season adds in some fresh pieces of content that shake things up. For example, Season 14's Expunge activity was a fast-paced platforming romp through the Vex network, while Season 15's Shattered Realm missions were slow and exploration-focused with an emphasis on some light puzzle solving. Bungie has even committed to keeping these activities available for awhile after each season ends, which is great.
Chasing after new gear is also a lot less frustrating than it used to be thanks to Umbral Engram system, which allows players to spend an easily-obtained currency to target farm seasonal specific weapons and armors by "focusing" Umbral Engrams earned throughout gameplay. It would be nice if more options were added so that target farming gear from the general world loot pool was easier, but I digress.
The developers have also put in a lot of work to make Destiny 2's endgame feel more rewarding in recent years, and it shows. Every Nightfall, Dungeon, and Raid can drop excellent weapons that make overcoming these difficult activities worth it, and players that take on pinnacle endgame challenges like Grandmaster Nightfalls, Master versions of Raids, and Trials of Osiris PvP will often be rewarded with special Adept versions of weapons that have better stats and a slot for powerful Adept mods (also earned from these activities). The endgame is also simply fun. It's a blast to take advantage of Destiny 2's excellent build potential and create a loadout that you can put to the test in challenging content.
In my mind, there are only two big issues with the game right now. The first is that Destiny 2's PvP hasn't gotten new content in a long time, which can make it feel stale. The constant influx of new weapons and Exotic armor pieces helps alleviate this somewhat by shaking up combat, but the lack of new maps and game modes is still strongly felt. Thankfully, Bungie is planning to focus more on PvP in 2022 and beyond, committing to new maps and modes annually. The PvEvP Gambit mode is also in need of some love, and the developers have confirmed that new maps will be added to it eventually. Important balance changes to Gambit are also expected to come at the start of Season 16 in 2022.
Secondly, the free-to-play experience is lacking. Currently, you need to purchase expansions to experience any kind of Destiny 2 campaign content and most of the game's Dungeons and Raids. Many seasonal offerings like new activities also require purchasing season passes. The content you get access to with these expansions and season passes is absolutely worth the money, but it is unfortunate that free-to-play players don't get much beyond Strikes. I think Bungie should offer some of the content from older expansions like Forsaken and Shadowkeep for free as newer ones come out.
What does the future hold for Destiny 2?
Even though Destiny 2 is an awesome game right now, everything Bungie has shown us about Destiny 2: The Witch Queen and beyond indicates that the future is even brighter. The expansion, slated to release Feb. 22, 2022, is bringing players a new campaign to experience (complete with a Legendary mode that's more rewarding), a new location to explore, a new Raid, a weapon crafting system, and a new Glaive weapon class.
Throughout Destiny 2 Year 5, Bungie is also looking to overhaul each of the Light subclasses so that they're as complex and nuanced as the Beyond Light-exclusive Stasis subclasses are. The developer also has two Dungeons and a reprised Raid from the original Destiny in the works, and it went on record to say that starting in 2022, players will never go more than three months without a new Raid or Dungeon. Players can also expect smaller pieces of new content in each of Destiny 2 Year 5's four seasons, much like Destiny 2 Year 4.
Beyond 2022, we know that the Destiny 2: Lightfall expansion is likely coming in 2023, while Destiny 2: The Final Shape is planned for 2024. The Final Shape will conclude the "Light and Darkness Saga" that has been building up since Destiny's original 2014 release, while future expansions and seasons will focus on brand new stories.
Overall, the future of Destiny 2 sounds absolutely incredible. It's clear that Destiny 2's recent successes are enabling Bungie to make the game bigger and better than ever before, and I can't wait to see what's in store. The Witch Queen sounds like it's going to be amazing expansion, and the fact we're getting new Raids or Dungeons every three months on top of new PvP content annually is fantastic. I've never been happier to be a Destiny player, and if you've never tried the game out, there has never been a better time to jump into what is easily one of the best Xbox shooters available.
Survive the Truth
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
Take back the Light
The upcoming Witch Queen expansion features the sinister Savathûn and her brood of Light-wielding Hive, which will undoubtedly prove to be the most challenging foes faced by Guardians yet. Players can expect tons of new loot, enemies, locations, and more.
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