There’s a lot to say about the long-awaited “Destiny 2,” which launches on Wednesday on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
But first, before we say anything else, let’s just marvel at how pretty it is.
Since I started playing “Destiny 2” on Tuesday, I’ve been repeatedly struck by how gorgeous it is. Beyond the sweeping vistas that impressed in the first game, there are tons of little details in the world of “Destiny 2” that make it feel alive.
It’s got a real sense of style that comes across in everything from quiet moments like the one above to massive firefights with dozens of enemies.
Even the new armour looks fresh, and reflects the state of the in-game world:
I’ve been taking screenshots constantly while playing “Destiny 2” on PlayStation 4 — here are some of the coolest things I’ve seen.
From the first moment of action in 'Destiny 2,' the game is a looker. It's a gruesome picture in the wake of an alien attack -- the impetus for your journey of rebuilding and revenge -- but a pretty one nonetheless.
From some of the earliest scenes, 'Destiny 2' plays with contrasting colours to highlight important moments. This one, for instance, where you first meet a returning character is particularly impactful.
There's also a excellent use of shadows for dramatic impact. In this scene, you're running past the citizens of The Last City -- the city that's currently under attack -- and they're huddled together in fear.
When you do finally get outside, there's plenty of breathtaking imagery to gawk at. This massive alien cruiser firing missiles isn't a cutscene -- this is in-game. I walked past that and stopped to take a photo.
After this point, I'm showing images from the first few hours of 'Destiny 2' -- beyond where the beta's intro mission ended. If you don't want any of that spoiled, turn back!
After meeting a very unfriendly alien named Ghaul (the gall of that guy!), your Guardian is left to sneak through the ruins of The Last City to safety. While harrowing, the walk is very pretty.
Here's a downed jet, for instance. You're essentially walking through a battlefield, except it's the last human city on future Earth.
Little touches of what the city was before its destruction are still scattered around. Whatever this sign was, for instance. This is what I'm referring to when I say 'Destiny 2' has a sense of style. The art on this sign is fantastic!
You also just get a sense of the naturalistic environment that the game's civilisation existed in. Between that almost jungle feel and the sense of danger in the air, this area makes for a great opening setting.
Upon escaping the city, the world goes from urban to mountainous. There's snow on the ground, animals all over the place, and a gloriously impressive sun.
Though 'Destiny 2' still leans a bit too heavily on outright exposition to move the story forward, there are smart moves toward environmental storytelling. Stumbling upon a camp of slaughtered Guardians -- each looking distinct -- is a moment where these moves are exemplified.
Without going too into 'Destiny 2,' there's one more area I'd like to showcase: the European Dead Zone. It's a gorgeous mix of futuristic and old world.
The streets of 'Trostland' are full of classic architecture alongside bizarrely modern/futuristic technology. This church, for instance:
There are moments like this that look like 'Fallout' almost. More than just pretty, there's a sense of place here that didn't exist in much of the first 'Destiny.'
Up front, 'Destiny 2' identifies the insane-looking monsters that are the enemy. You will not feel guilty poppin' a cap in these dudes.
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