Hands on with Destiny 2: I already have a new favourite weapon

Friday, 19 May 2017 08:40 GMT By Matt Martin

The Riskrunner drags me back in.

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So many games struggle to get the crunch and weight of combat right. I want to feel threatened, I want to triumph through gritted teeth. Destiny 2 has that.

I have a new favourite gun in Destiny. That makes me happy. The Riskrunner submachine gun spits bullets with a little upwards recoil. It’s easy to compensate for, and most importantly, enemy heads pop off when the lead makes contact. I took down a couple of new enemy types like the Gladiator despite their bulk and intimidating, relentless stomp towards me. It feels good to be back.

To say Destiny 2 is more of what made the original so good is disingenuous but there’s a lot here that’s feels so familiar in all the right ways. The Dawnblade subclass for the Warlock has an active Super that completely destroys anything in its path and provides precious seconds of domination. You know once it’s gone you’ll be back to strategically flipping through your arsenal and picking off enemies, slowly building your Super back up as you dodge and sprint, taking cover from assaults, hoovering up ammo and surging forward with the sights up.

I loved every second of Destiny 2 so far mainly because it’s still got that shit-hot feeling of deadly gunplay. It sounds simple, but so many games struggle to get the crunch and weight of combat right. I want to feel threatened, I want to triumph through gritted teeth. Destiny 2 has that.

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The campaign mission Homecoming that you will have seen from this week’s reveal is a slick mix of old and new. I’m happy to return to The Tower even though it’s been torn apart by a devastating attack, defending your old stomping ground as the Red Legion continues its relentless push. Seconds later you’re seeing new parts of the city previously hidden tantalisingly close but always locked away. Minutes after that and you’re running across a speeding battleship as its cannons boom, wind and rain spatter against your face and rockets rain down on your position. Keep moving, keep pushing forward, keep firing. Oh, by the way, it looks beautiful on PC and pretty tasty on PS4 Pro too.

New weapon classes – kinetic, energy and power – should provide some interesting loadouts and hopefully a little less frustration, so you can wield two hand cannons if that’s your jam. Energy weapons are designed for enemies with shields and other Guardians using their Super, and I could feel a difference between those and your standard kinetic weapons.

Those new submachine guns are welcome for the pure speed at which they fire and quickly became a favourite for me. The grenade launcher humbles any Guardian who goes up against it.

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The Inverted Spire Strike also felt familiar, as you dance between complete failure and glorious victory. Playing with two strangers wasn’t a problem because the rules are the same as they ever were – you work as a team, rez downed Guardians, concentrate fire on the adds and slowly chip away at the boss.

This particular Strike threw in a floor that either burnt us or disappeared completely to keep us on our toes but we pretty much nailed it within 20 minutes with only one restart.

New PvP mode Countdown perhaps wasn’t the best way to demonstrate the all-new focus on 4 versus 4, with rounds only taking a few minutes at most. Players either defend or plant bombs and it’s unforgiving for those that aren’t co-ordinating. My team got completely torn apart in almost every round. I was never a big PvP fan in Destiny and Countdown hasn’t done much to change my mind.

I dropped out of Destiny shortly after Rise of Iron but picking up Destiny 2 today it all came back. I’m ready to get obsessive all over again.

We can’t judge the game too deeply at this point and there’s a lot of questions that will only really become clear once we’re all hours into Destiny 2. It’s certainly addressing some of the major problems with the original game, from clans to what to do with the end game.

Adventures – 15 minutes side missions with loot rewards – should liven up the drab Patrols of old, and Lost Sectors are designed purely for those that like to root around behind every rock. Again, loot and enemies are your rewards for curiosity. It’s a shame we didn’t get to try those today, but they might prove to be an interesting addition if Bungie treats them like as part of its weekly reset.

Bungie has done a great job with its first big reveal for Destiny 2. The hype on the show floor in LA today was real, the crowd air punching and freaking out to the point of parody. But there were also no complaints about what’s been shown far – a tease of a what looks like a delicious campaign, the teamwork and comradeship of a Strike and an unforgiving multiplayer game. I dropped out of Destiny shortly after Rise of Iron but picking up Destiny 2 today it all came rushing back. I’m ready to get obsessive about Destiny all over again.

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