The first Destiny was a whole lotta buzz for a core game that felt incomplete. While the fundamentals of the gameplay were great, the ‘end game’ content before the DLC was released felt lifeless and hollow for most outside of hardcore fans. This year brings back the Bungie buzz as a new Destiny fills our eye holes and titillates our thumb gymnastics. Knowing that the DLC supposedly ‘filled in the gaps’ for what was wrong with Destiny’s initial release, does Destiny 2’s core game reach par for greatness?

Without being overly analytical the quick answer is YES! The sum of all parts from Destiny’s original DLC are everpresent in this sequel. You’ve got your strikes, raids, 3 new sub-classes, exotic weapons, and story that actually isn’t something you have to skip out of boredom. Most players from ‘year one Destiny’ will notice that Destiny 2’s action feels a LOT more condensed. You hit the ground and finding the action isn’t hard. The map brilliantly lays out secret dungeons, special loot chests, upcoming public events, as well as your standard icons for all things Campaign, Adventure, Patrol, or otherwise. In other words, you won’t have to constantly replay story missions to grind and level up your gear. Honestly, for most would played the first Destiny, that improvement is almost enough. But wait! There’s more!

Is it just me or do the classes seem like Storm, Hawkeye, and Thor?

A big part of playing a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game is ‘grinding’. This term means that developers purposefully make repetitive tasks a part of the game experience in an attempt to extent the lifespan of the game. Most times grinding is for experience points so that your character can become more powerful. In Destiny, the grinding is for you to get better gear. This gear is what makes you more powerful rather than the experience points. In Destiny, as you completed tasks, you would get gear that you would have to take back to ‘The Tower’ in order to identify what you got. That meant long loading screens and finding the appropriate person in The Tower in order to see if all that adventuring and grinding was worth the time. Most of the time it wasn’t. Destiny 2 has remedied this by allowing you to see almost all of the gear you find immediately. The only things you need to identify back at ‘home base’ are certain bonuses you’ve achieved. Bundle that with more ways, outside of redoing story, strike, and raid missions, to get loot and you actually have a Destiny 2 game that is fun to play!

Now, for those who don’t like grinding, you probably will still get annoyed. Playing Destiny 2 up to power level 265 will happen relatively quick (especially after completing story missions). I’d say a good 20 hours or maybe even less of gameplay will get you there. Once you are there, ‘endgame status’ appears where you must grind through raids, strikes, public events, and Crucible Missions (PvP) in order to gain ‘good gear’. Still, with a good group of friends, that status can be a lot of fun.

Let’s face it. Destiny 2 looks great, plays great, and finally IS great! Well done Bungie. Let’s see what goodies the DLC adds to the mix!