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cover-Destiny 2

Monday, September 25, 2023 9:16:07 AM

Destiny 2 Review (Garrus)

Been thinking about how to make this review in the most objective way possible as i've spent way more time than the average player (5.4k+ hours on steam, plus probably around 2.5k+ between PS4 and XBOX) here. I'd love to recommend this game but it is simply not possible.
From an in-hands perspective, this is a magnificent game with probably the most polished and satisfying gunplay and abilities in the entire market. Nothing comes close and that's a fact.
The work that the teams in charge of combat, audio, music, art and visual design have done here is one of the best in the business.
Now, despite that, the game has gigantic issues that are hard to overlook once you spend a meaningful period of time with it:
1.-Addiction development
Bungie has designed the gameplay loop and its systems to develop an addictive behavior on the playerbase. It is heavily incentivized to play the game on a daily basis, or at least on a weekly basis, as it uses FOMO (Fear of missing out) to convince you about staying.
"If you don't play this activity on this period of time, well...tough luck, this reward will come back when we decide it will come back". This leads the player to plan their life around the time frame Bungie deems convinent to provide said rewards. You can't openly say "well, today I'm gonna grind this activity to get this weapon/material" if that activity or reward isn't part of the weekly rotation.
You are not the owner of your time.
If you don't care about having a competitive edge on PvP or a must-have gun or piece of armor for PvE if you use LFG methods, this point will become irrelevant as you can play the activities that you enjoy at your pace instead of feeling forced to do so.
2-"You're gonna be here...forever"
Most of the seasonal content, if not all, is set to be delivered to the playerbase on a weekly basis until it wraps up. The issue here is that Bungie wants you to log in weekly for around 5-8 weeks if you want to keep up with what's going on but the content is so scarce that, in reality, the story could be finished in a day and the activities could be completely mastered in a week if the playerbase had the option so they could freely go play something else.
The live-service model has its good and bad things as it ensures the game will be frequently updated with new stuff every 3-4 months but it can also feel like the game has no end. For instance, The Final Shape would feel way more important if the game wrapped up there, but it's been confirmed there will be more stories and content after it but won't move on to a new game, like a Destiny 3 or something like that. Everything will keep happening on Destiny 2.
3-Schrödinger's reward system: Loot is plentiful but it also isn't. Some of it can be deemed as must-have...but it also doesn't matter
Crafting, in theory, was a great concept as it was meant to be a way to alleviate issues with RNG simply denying people of the loot they were chasing after countless grinding sessions.
Now, the problem with its implementation was the addition of enhanced perks back on Witch Queen's release. This created a butterfly effect that has:

Made the loot chase completely die since once you get the pattern/blueprint of a gun, every future roll of it will be immediately discarded as there is no chance of improving it.
Made activities like Raids only need to be completed a handful of times to get the specific loot you want and then you can completely stop doing them, which is unfortunate as it is the best content the game provides but, at the same time, RNG exotics like Vex Mythoclast or Touch of Malice make said content frustrating as you get only a handful of tries to get them per weekly reset.
Made actual endgame guns from Master Raids, Master Dungeons and Grandmaster Nightfall unable to compete with the crafted guns with enhanced perks, becoming completely irrelevant and devoiding these activities of any meaningful possible rewards, Artifice Armor is not worth the time unless you REALLY want to minmax.
World loot is now worthless with no chance of having some hidden gems pop off like how the Cartesian Coordinate fusion rifle or the Truthteller grenade launcher did.
General Play like Strikes or Crucible grant close to nothing other than a handful of glimmer. Their loot will mostly come from focusing engrams at the Tower.

With that being said, the loot doesn't matter because...
4-The game has never been easier, and it will continue down that path
The latest subclass reworks and exotic armor tuning has trivialized most of the game. Bungie's response to this has been making endgame bosses with overshields, immunity phases and health gates, meaning most encounters will be unnecessarily extended even if the player/fireteam knows what they're doing.
In the past, extending an encounter meant the player/fireteam screwed up at some point but now it is expected.
5-The core game has been neglected beyond belief
Vanguard Ops, Crucible and Gambit have received the least amount of general changes since the seasonal model was implemented back on Shadowkeep. Proof of this is the removal of several strikes and maps from both Crucible and Gambit, the addition of only 3 maps to Crucible after almost 4 years, the addition of Seasonal Battlegrounds to Vanguard Ops that are balanced around seasonal bonuses that no longer exist and complete, utter lack of attention to Gambit in any shape or form.
The weird part of this is that these 3 are the main population retainers and Bungie expects you to be there ad nauseam yet they're ignored.
The current Game Director has promised to change this, and if that happens, it would be massive for the playerbase.
6-Bungie aggressively wants your money
The amount of loot a season has normally is more prone to be in Eververse instead of the endgame. This said loot is also massively more appealing and also thrives on FOMO. The worst part of this is that prices are really high, as there will always be people willing to pay whatever it is necessary to "look cool". Since these people exist, Eververse is non-negotiable and no consumer-friendly changes will be made on it. Ever.
7-The game is held together by papier-mâché, macaroni and vibes
The technical side of the game has seen some of the most egregiously awful server downtimes and game-breaking bugs I have seen in the past 2 years. Tech issues happen everywhere, but when this is coupled with how the game is designed, if you miss out on a desired reward because of these issues, it leads to massive playerbase disappointment (see: The Craftening and Server Instability preventing people from getting the Igneous Hammer hand cannon in Trials of Osiris between Sep 15th through Sep 26th, 2023)
If NOTHING said above deters you from playing this game, you could actually have a good time that is even better with friends but there are too many pain points for me to keep wasting my time on it.