Oh, Destiny 2. What can we say about you that hasn't already been memed? The sequel to Bungie's first non-Halo effort has been out for about six weeks now, and finally includes all of the fan favorite content – a raid, a prestige raid, the Trials of Osiris, and Iron Banner – which means it has hit its stride well in time for the PC launch date. And despite all of the complaints I've seen, I have enjoyed the ride thus far. While much of the game's content is a major challenge, sometimes to an absurd degree, and it is still a total grindfest, I find it to be a fantastic follow up to a messy first game.
Destiny set the bar for Destiny 2 almost insultingly low, despite the success of The Taken King expansion, because the product we got at launch was a sloppy thing. So when Destiny 2 opened with a clear villain, intelligible plot, fleshed out supporting characters, and difficult early missions, I was exstatic. Because, let's be real, writing has never been a strong suit with Bungie. They make an impressive shooter, with insanely difficult raids, but story? Not so much.
Destiny 2 has changed all of that. Sure, you still play an empty vessel suited for white knighting the hell out of the galaxy, but thats most western RPGs. Destiny 2 takes the cast of characters, workdbuilding, and gameplay of the first and combine it with a solid story that properly leverages the assets they had in the original. You know, like a sequel should. And now there are even new characters who have backstories and proper character arcs and motivations. I was absolutely riveted within the first few cutscenes. By the time I made it to the first proper mission, I was hooked.
In terms of gameplay, not too much has changed. There are some new specialties and a few abilities have been rebalanced, but Destiny 2 plays just like Destiny in all the fundamental ways. And, all your particular squadgoals aside though, the game is much better at balancing the difficulty of the campaign to match the difficulty of the strikes and raids. Which is incredibly helpful, and flows a whole lot better.
Sure, those first few weeks of Nightfalls were a bit of a shitshow, I'm willing to forgive that since the campaign was difficult as hell to solo. So you actually have a way to "git gud" before making it into the endgame PvP and PVE content.
Destiny 2 is absolutely The game Destiny should have been. And while I miss my bladedancer, I'll live because those first few minutes of the game were just that good.
And hey, at least we got more Cayde-6 in our lives. You can never have too much Cayde.