E3 2017: Hands On: Destiny 2 (PS4, 2017)

My overriding impression of Destiny 2, admittedly accrued from a period of only thirty minutes, is that it is very similar to the original Destiny. This assertion will be cause for either concern or elation depending on how much you already like Destiny. 

Fans of Destiny already know that the game’s real pleasure comes from its highflying PvE raids. Putting together a fireteam of your friends and working together to blast your way through tough AI enemies in hopes of hoovering up sweet, sweet loot drops has kept a significant percentage of both my Xbox Live and PSN friends lists occupied since Destiny‘s launch in 2014.

So when I sat down to play Destiny 2 at E3, I wasn’t expecting to play the game’s PvP multiplayer. Very little about my session was explained actually. No-one told us what our game mode was before we jumped in, I couldn’t see anywhere that told me what my class was (though the player next to me eyeballed my avatar and told me I was playing a Titan) and it took me a minute to realise I could actually change up my weapon load out if I wanted. There wasn’t even comms chatter so we could communicate as a team — the tech was there, but none of the headsets had mics. But the most crucial part of understanding why I was somewhat dismayed to have to play the PvP multi is that, when it comes to FPS multiplayer on a console, I suck beyond the telling of it.

We played six rounds of some kind of charge diffusal gametype (again, it was never actually explained to me what it was we were supposed to be doing) and, despite my adding nothing but pure dead weight to the team, we managed to win three of them. I think I killed one guy across all six games and it was a total fluke. Given a bit more time to practice, I may have begun to enjoy myself more but really all I became was frustrated.

There was enough in that multiplayer session for me to get a good idea of how the game will work however. Bungie is already proving that they know how to build a console shooter better than anyone else — the guns feel solid, the shotgun in particular feels like being hit by a train, the movement is still very fast and springy with jump jets allowing you to add some verticality to the fight and your grenades, melees and supercharged moves are all right where they should be.

While I would have preferred to sit down with the game in a single-player or co-operative setting with proper comms, this was a decent taste of things to come. If Destiny is already your thing then you’ll be pleased to know that Bungie seems to be cooking up more of exactly what you want.

The author is reporting from E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Accommodation in Los Angeles provided by Ramada Hotel West Hollywood. For rates and booking, click here.