Since Destiny 2 went (mostly) free to play last week, I’ve played quite a bit of it. It’s a bold plan from Bungie since their split from publisher Activision to make basically their entire game free to play with only the latest expansion’s content still behind the paywall. Time will tell if this strategy is going to pay off for Bungie but the early indications are good. Once the initial server & connection issues were sorted and the queue to enter was cleared the game stormed into the Top 5 most played games on Steam. Most surprising of all is that it works and runs really well on my computer which is far from new and far from powerful. Despite that I’m running it on medium settings without any issues at all.
Visually, even on medium settings, the game looks good. I’m particularly a fan of the sky boxes and load screens – I like space and the sky in real life and the virtual versions in Destiny 2 are gorgeous. Mechanically the gameplay is excellent. Movement feels good, it’s the right combination of quick but weighty. The weapons are excellent, I’m still to find and experience the best ones of course but the ones I have used have felt good. Each weapon type is distinct and individual weapons within that have enough variation to keep things interesting; though I’m still trying to find an auto rifle I like and a machine gun too – I haven’t found any of them at all so far. My first exotic weapon is a submachine gun called Risk/Reward. Its special power is that when I take Arc damage (1 of three elemental types) the weapon conducts it and means that, in essence, I can fire continuously without reloading. Needless to say, I enjoy wrecking shop with that.
What I didn’t know was in the game and didn’t expect to like are the bows. If Destiny 2 has taught me one thing it’s that Hawkeye was right all along and damn what the haters think. Believe me when I say there are a lot of haters out there. During a game of Gambit, which is the 4v4 Competitive Co-op mode, 1 guy on my team went on an angry tirade in the text chat because I was using one. He was furious and naturally, the fact we lost that match narrowly was entirely down to my bow use and nothing at all to do with the motes he dropped by dying.
What I like about the bows is their incredible range and damage output. They’re very similar to the snipers but because the bows use primary ammo instead of special ammo they aren’t as limited in their use. Special ammo is in limited supply so you have to conserve it which means you use it less and it has less of an impact on the game as a whole. That isn’t an issue with the bow.
The bows have incredible range with little, to no damage drop off so I can be much more impactful in a supporting role from a distance than when using a sniper rifle. Which is ideal, ironically considering that guys agitation, for a game mode like Gambit. You are fighting off CPU enemies, collecting motes from them to bank at a central point and trying to summon a Boss to kill before another team in a separate arena does the same. I can stay in a central position on the map, pick off enemies to support my teammates and I’m in place to deal with any blockers, the other team sends our way, quickly. If you bank enough motes at once you can send across small, medium or large blockers which prevent the other team from banking their motes until they are killed. So being in a position to take them out before they can cause problems is a desirable thing.
Even during crucible matches, that’s the PvP multiplayer mode, I’ve found some success in using the bow. A single full draw precision hit takes a player from full shield and health to no shield and less than half health. This is ideal, particularly if I’m coordinating with someone, between us we can really dominate in encounters with the enemy. Assuming I don’t fire my arrow into the edge of a ledge or the corner of a wall as I have done several times… nobody is perfect after all.
Neither is Destiny 2 perfect. The main issues being that matchmaking can take several minutes and the quest organisation. There’s a lot of content available to you as a player, an embarrassment of riches in a way, it’s too much for the quest system. You can organise your current quests by newest or rarity and that is it. There are story quests, world specific quests, vendor quests, challenges, exotic weapon quests… there are a lot of quests. Keeping track of them all is really difficult and it’s not difficult to see some players getting buried in this avalanche and never digging their way out. Not much of a complaint though, having too many things to do in a game… for free.
TL;DR There are many quests & Hawkeye was right all along.