Bungie Studios released the first open-beta of "Destiny 2", and with both NVIDIA and AMD providing optimized graphics drivers specific to the beta, we decided to put it to the test across our wide selection of graphics cards, which has recently been augmented with AMD's RX Vega series.
When it came out in 2014 riding on a Trans-Siberian hype train, Destiny was disappointing to those looking for story-driven world-building before diving into the online multi-player arenas. The RPG shooter lacked any story content to live up to the otherwise grandiose production design. The studio responded to some of that criticism by padding it with some world-building content through subsequent DLCs. Even though the first two efforts on that front - The Dark Below and House of Wolves - were anemic steps towards integrating a more meaningful story, September 2015's The Taken King managed to drive home a cinematic story with much more soul than the vanilla Destiny game. It was with that expansion, and Rise of Iron, Destiny's last expansion before its announced demise, that Bungie started taking real steps towards a true story-driven, persistent world. Enter Destiny 2.
Destiny 2 appears to give the franchise a greater degree of alignment with the newfound craze in hero-based online shooters, but rather than going all-out Overwatch, its approach is more akin to Quake Champions. The class-based character-progression has seen some cosmetic and even somewhat functional changes from the original, and PvP and PvE will make up the bulk of the gameplay. The plot involves our heroes, the Guardians, regrouping and recovering from a strategic defeat at the hands of the Cabal. It's up to you to fight across worlds without light, and to bring the fight back to the invaders.
Bungie has completely revamped Destiny 2's solo experience, with an actual exploration, solo-play scenario with public events and heroic objectives, secrets to discover, and what Bungie calls Adventures, where characters will give you missions that prompt you to explore the environment and get to know their own struggle. There will also be four new areas to explore - Earth's European Dead Zone, Io, Titan, and Nessus. Loot is paramount to this game, as Nathan Fillion's Cayde will tell you over and over again: new activities such as treasure maps or hunting down Lost Sectors, dungeons that contain dangerous bosses and special loot, will be available for your enjoyment. Competitive multiplayer features a redesigned 4v4 system with multiple modes for the, well, most competitive of you.
"Destiny 2" is based on the same in-house game engine as the original, as Bungie vouched for its future-proofing through the several additions to the game franchise. The game takes advantage of DirectX 11 and can be highly taxing on your hardware should you decide to crank up your eye candy, of which there is plenty - and I mean plenty - to be had. As you'll see in the screenshots we compiled on the following page, while it may not be the most beautiful-looking game ever, there's enough in the art direction and production design for the game to look great in 2017. Bungie has long been known for their painted backgrounds and skyboxes, and these make a stunning show of themselves in the higher resolution of the PC version of the game.
We tested the game through our selection of 14 performance-thru-enthusiast segment graphics cards, which includes AMD graphics cards based on the "Polaris" and "Vega" architectures and NVIDIA ones based on "Pascal" and "Maxwell". The game is tested across three key resolutions - the most common 1080p (Full HD), 2K (2560x1440 pixels), and 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160 pixels).