Sponsored By: Me
Time Destined: 4 hours
Not as good as Duke Nukem Forever, but better than I expected.
When I fall for the buzz around a game, it usually ends badly. My earliest memory of it is Warcraft 3, which got rave reviews at the time, but off of which I bounced like a superball on the Moon. It was the first in a long line of disappointing critical darlings for me, but I won’t bore you with the gory details here. (I’ve got whole other articles for boring you.) The interesting question is: Why do I keep falling for it?
Destiny 2 is one answer to that question. After weeks of hearing people turn cartwheels over the sequel to what was, by many accounts, the biggest disappointment of 2014, I decided to take the plunge and sought my Destiny on the way home from work. They had it at Gamestop.
Though not my favorite first-person-shooter, nor even my favorite loot-based first-person shooter, Destiny 2 is darn good.
Part of that opinion might be the fact that I’m playing it with my kids. My son helped me design my Guardian (a female Exo Warlock with green skin and purple spark-plugs on her head), and my daughter has been my personal ghost, egging me on to the next story beat from her place at my side.
I’m counting it as an educational experience, because it’s teaching them words like “acolyte,” “legionary” and “headshot,” as well as some player names that I’d rather they didn’t learn about. Ah, fatherhood.
I’ve played a lot of first-person shooters in my life – on console and on PC. One of the reasons I was attracted to the hype around Destiny 2 was how everyone keeps telling me how amazing Bungie is at making shooters, though I’ve never had any first-hand experience with them. I can sort of see how they got that reputation, which seems to derive from the philosophy that generous auto-aim makes controller-based first-person-shooters fun. They’re not wrong about that, even if the PC Snob in me is a little uneasy with the idea of a multiplayer shooter that has an aimbot built in.
Not that I need to aim much. I haven’t played any other character classes, but as a warlock I can pretty much punch anything to death in one or two hits. I can’t adequately describe how satisfying it is to join a public event where a bunch of players are struggling with a Fallen Captain, only to have me stride in and punch him in the face and make him drop a loot chest. It saves time, saves ammo, and makes me feel like a tough cookie. It helps that my health pretty much regenerates constantly too, so wading in and punching things works for most situations.
So generous auto-aim, overpowered melee and regenerating health – It would seem that Bungie games get a lot of praise for their action because their action is incredibly easy. This is not to say that I haven’t died in the game, but usually death comes at the hand of falling off of something (usually during a platforming level) or by having an enemy dropship land on me. (You can be the toughest cookie in the world, but when a spaceship drops on your head, you crumble like a Chips Ahoy.) Death in combat has only come once or twice, and only from trying to tackle something too far above my level.
This is one of the limits of the TLDP format, by the way. I’m sure the game gets harder later on. It would have to. But for right now I’m enjoying being able to wade through hordes of enemies, punching them with my special warlock fists that cause them to catch fire and explode.
Bungie is right. Playing on Easy is super fun!
Will I Follow my Destiny?
Oh my, yes. It’s a loot-based shooter, after all, and loot-based shooters are my bag of chips. Borderlands, The Division, Minecraft – if I have to make decisions about what will fit in my inventory, I’m all over it.
Plus, my son really wants to see me punch the Big Bad in the face with my Flaming Warlock Gauntlets (+2 to limericks).
Can a game where your power level is called “light” be the Dark Souls of FPSs?
I’ve put around two hours in, and I have to say I’ve played more challenging first-person shooters. Heck, I’ve played more challenging FPSs that start with the letter D.
But as much as I love Doom, Destiny 2 has something that Doom doesn’t have: When you shoot bad guys, little numbers fly out of their heads.
So no, Destiny 2 isn’t the Dark Souls of first-person shooters. It doesn’t have to be. It’s just a good time, and that’s more than enough. Why, you might say it’s destined for greatness.
Well, I might say that, but you know how I am.