In “Destiny 2,” players act as a Guardian, a solider tasked to protect the galaxy from darkness and to defend the light.
Image from Xbox.com

This fall, video gamers will find a new reason to love multiplayer in “Destiny 2,” the newest game from developer Bungie. The series started in 2014 with “Destiny.”

You play as a Guardian, a soldier who has literally been brought back from the dead by a sentient planetoid called the Traveler. As a Guardian you can choose from one of three classes with various abilities: Titan, Hunter, and Warlock. Your choice of class has no impact on the story. Your mission as a Guardian is to protect the galaxy from darkness and defend the light. Without spoilers, as a Guardian you go around the solar system defending the last city on earth by fighting various factions that either want to destroy the Traveler or take its power. “Destiny 2” continues this over arcing story.

One of the most often mentioned criticisms of the first “Destiny” game was its bare bones story, relying on multiplayer quests and public events to keep players invested. One of the promises Bungie made was to improve the story to make it easier to follow. In certain ways they kept this promise, but unfortunately in other ways the game still plays exactly like its predecessor. The campaign of “Destiny 2,” a quest called “The Red War,” much like the first game in that it is too short. It could easily be completed in a weekend with time leftover to play some multiplayer matches.

At this point the decision whether or not to buy “Destiny 2” entirely depends on the type of gamer you are. While the road to the big boss fight may not even take 20 hours, it is not necessarily the end of the story. Aside from the standard player vs. player, “Destiny 2” also features several cooperative game types. While adventuring in any of the four free roam areas of the game you can come across any number of public events. These events take no more than five or six minutes and any other player in the area can join in, or you can run away at any point if you feel the event is too hard.

The next game type for cooperative play is called Strikes. These are quests that usually end by fighting a mini-boss that might have a loose connection to the main story. For these Strikes you are connected with two Guardians at random or you can team up with two of your friends.

The last game type is called the Raids. These challenging and often long missions require six players, have no markers to guide you through the level, and require high level gear if you want any chance of surviving.

The hardest part about the Raids for me was that the game does not match you with five other Guardians who were trying to do the Raid at the same time; you actually had to collect five of your friends to do the Raid with you. Fortunately this problem has a solution. While still not matching you with players in the new game, the “Destiny” companion app does have a page where you can recruit players to join your team or find teams to join.

“Destiny 2” is currently available for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Microsoft Windows.
Image from Xbox.com

For me “Destiny 2” is still a solid game. When you charge into combat you have a wide first-person view so you don’t get distracted by empty space or trying to do some special move that simply looks cool, and not being able to see behind you may add some stress in single player mode. It will also make you appreciate any player that joins you on your guest. Outside of the heat of battle you get locked in a third person view, allowing you to take in the environment of the casual areas, and take pride in your customized character while he or she wears the rare armors and weapons you worked so hard for.

While I personally prefer long open world games like “Assassin’s Creed” or “Mass Effect,” I understand why “Destiny” is set up with a shorter story and an abundance of side quests. Once you are finished being the hero of the main story, your character falls back into rank with the reset of the countless Guardians of Earth, so how else would a group of mostly lone wolf warriors protect humanity. By roaming around fighting whatever evil they come across with the occasional team up with close friends to take on larger enemies.

The only real bad thing that I have to say about the game is that access and customization to your personal vehicles and certain multiplayer activities, like Strikes, are locked right up until the last mission of the game. So if you want to jump right into the cooperative games as soon as they’re available, have fun walking, you will be doing a lot of it.

While it does make sense in the story for most of that stuff to be unavailable, it forces you down a certain path in a game that prides itself on freedom.

When all is said and done, playing “Destiny 2” is still a fun time, and continues to be the sole reason I pay for access to multiplayer.