From the moment Destiny was released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in 2014, gamers from the PC community have been pleading with Bungie to bring the game to their native platform. They mainly talked about how gorgeous the game would look running at 60 frames per second, and how intuitive the controls could become if translated onto a mouse and keyboard. Unfortunately, Destiny never saw the light of day on PC. With Destiny 2, however, Bungie is working to bring the experience to PC with all the same features and tight controls players have come to expect from the console version of the game.
This week, I attended Bungie and Activision’s gameplay reveal event for Destiny 2 at the Los Angeles Jet Center, where we got our first real look inside the new world players will be diving into this September. Like the audience back home, we saw a series of cinematic trailers, developer documentaries, and a campaign gameplay demo presented by the game’s director Luke Smith. Then, following the presentation, we had the opportunity to play the game on PC.
Based on the areas of the game we could play at the event, I’m happy to say that Destiny 2 feels just as good as PC players hoped it would, and I can’t imagine going back to the console version of the game after experiencing what the PC version has to offer.
During my time with Destiny 2 on the PC, I was able to play through three different activities:
- The first session put us through the very same gameplay demo everyone saw on the reveal stream, featuring the Guardians fighting back the Red Legion throughout the Tower.
- The second put us into a new strike called “The Inverted Spire,” where we fought back hordes of Vex and Red Legion Cabal on the newly introduced planet of Nessus.
- The third pit us against each other in a new competitive PvP mode, “Countdown,” where two teams of four fight to protect or arm bombs to win rounds. The first to win six rounds claims victory.
How Does the Game Perform?
The first thing I noticed playing Destiny 2 on PC was how smooth each of the demos felt; it was running at a steady 60 frames per second throughout the entire experience. No matter how chaotic the battles got onscreen, there wasn’t a drop or hitch the game suffered through, although it was using a medium preset, running at what appeared to be a 4K resolution.
While what we played was locked at 60 frames per second, Bungie staff confirmed that the final version of Destiny 2 won’t be locked at all, which means that players will be able to push as many frames as they’d like depending on the power of their personal rigs.
How Do the Controls Feel?
From a control standpoint, Destiny 2 feels like a completely different experience using a mouse and keyboard because of the precision they offer compared to a controller. Weapons like the Scout Rifle, and my personal favorite, the Hand Cannon, felt easier to aim and execute critical hits with due to a more manageable kick, inspiring me to change my entire combat approach from the usual strafe and shoot to a much more agile and aggressive one. It was certainly a more challenging way to play but much more rewarding than holding back and picking enemies off from a distance.
Are Controls Customizable?
Thankfully, Destiny 2 also allows players to completely customize key bindings, which is a good thing considering that some of Bungie’s default choices feel a little weird compared to other shooters available on the PC. I loved having the ability to use number keys to swap between my weapons, and more importantly, I was able to navigate Destiny’s standard menus much quicker by simply clicking instead of dragging a cursor around with an analog stick.
I only had the chance to experience a tiny piece of what Destiny 2 is planning to offer on PC at launch, especially considering that we only got to see the game running on the medium-quality preset and have plenty of options locked in the demo we played.
Naturally, we’ll see more as time goes on, and the beta releases to everyone this summer. But for now, Destiny 2 on the PC is off to an extremely promising start.Photos via Activision, Nicholas Bashore