5 Improvements Destiny 2 makes over the original
The game you've been looking for
The story is legitimately great
This for me was the deal breaker in Destiny. I understood that the main aspect of the game was the community and the loot, but without a narrative hook, it was hard to care about either. Why were we Guardians, and why did it matter if we had better armor/guns? Destiny really struggled to answer those questions. Destiny 2 deftly weaves this into its gameplay, and it instantly makes for a better experience. The setup of the game is such: The Last City is gone. The Traveller has been captured by Ghaul, the Dominus of the Cabal’s Red Legion. He believes it was a mistake to bestow humanity with the Light, viewing them as a vastly inferior species. It is up to the Vanguard and the Guardians to rally any troops and resources they can to stop him.
Destiny 2 gives you something to fight for, meaning that leveling up your Guardian and tricking him out with better gear means something. To go from being left for dead to becoming an unstoppable force is both the story and the gameplay at the same time. Ghaul is also a sympathetic and complex villain, something that Destiny was sorely lacking.
Side note: I highly recommend watching this video to catch yourself up on the lore and story of Destiny before jumping into the sequel.
Side missions are no longer fetch quests
Destiny compromised quality for quantity. Whilst there were a wealth of patrol missions to attempt, you’d have a hard time differing them from one another. For the most part, they boiled down to “kill X amount of enemies and grab Y amount of materials.” For what purpose? I don’t think anyone actually was able to answer that. In Destiny 2, you’re attempting to rebuild from this devastating attack, and therefore there’s a story reason to want to acquire resources. But the game goes beyond that. The new side missions, known as Adventures, offer unique experiences.
For example, an early side quest involves the standard “kill X enemies/collect Y resources” foundation, but turns it into an actual, well, adventure. Since the Guardians are without their Light and humanity is on the defensive, the leadership decides to turn the Cabal and Fallen on each other. The mission has you killing Fallen and collecting audio recordings to craft a message to antagonize the Cabal. You then lay a trap for them, and watch as hordes of Cabal pour into attack only to be absolutely decimated by you and your explosive trip wires. This has now created a lasting antagonism between the Fallen and Cabal.
How everything works is more clear
There’s a lot going on in Destiny 2, just like there was with the original game. However, when Destiny initially released it did an extremely poor job of explaining how its systems worked. This added, again, to the lack of understanding a player had as to why anything was happening. This time around, things like reputation and upgrades are easier to comprehend, and as a player, you feel like you’re actually accomplishing something.
Public Events are addicting
Public events were meant to be the pinnacle of what Destiny was about; a seamless online world where you’d stumble upon an altercation with other players and have to band together to overcome it. Despite this being such a heavily advertised experience, public events were extremely infrequent to come by. There were third-party trackers, albeit unreliable ones, that you could use in order to determine the time and location of public events. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? It was.
Which is why I’m happy to say public events are almost perfect in Destiny 2. Not only does the game tell you when and where they’re taking place, but you can seamlessly travel between worlds without having to waste time jumping into orbit. They’re also way more frequent. The mark of a public event on the map is so enticing, I find myself time and time again putting whatever mission I’m on to the side to partake in one. Knowing the precise details of a public event means that there is without fail other players to assist you, which is good as some of the events can be overwhelming. Finally, the unique hook of Destiny has been realized in its sequel.
More people are playing
This was never a fault of Destiny, considering it was one of the biggest game launches of all time, but it does make for a better experience regardless. There are vastly more PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones on the market now than three years ago, meaning there are more players to jump into the game. And it shows. The Farm, the new hub in Destiny 2, is vastly more populated than the Tower ever was. This also goes for the rest of the game, resulting in a world that feels much less sparse. So even if you’re soloing the game you still get a feel of that multiplayer experience, and it opens up opportunities to make some online friends to tackle missions and Raids with.
These were the biggest standouts in terms of improvements that Destiny 2 makes, although there are a few other quality of life upgrades. There are also some detractors still, especially the fact that you’re no longer given a Sparrow to zoom around in off the bat. But overall Destiny 2 is in a lot of ways the game Destiny always hoped to be. Let us know if you’re enjoying the game, and if so, what your favorite improvement is!