The original Destiny was one of the main reasons I bought an Xbox One. There was something about that game - a certain Phantasy Star Online-ness that made me just KNOW that I'd love the game. And I was right. At a time Destiny was what I'd dubbed my "snow game." That is, the sort of game that I'd fire up if I had an unplanned day off due to a snow storm or some other unforeseen event and could dwindle away the hours guilt-free. Destiny WAS my snow game. But now Destiny 2 has come along and basically improved upon everything. It's got to now be about as perfect as a game like this could be. It's just now November as I write this, and I feel rather confident that Destiny 2 will remain my so-called GOTY.
Destiny 2 is so good in fact, that I'm not really ready for it to end. I'm about three-quarters through the story, but I've intentionally slowed down my progress. I'm in no real rush to see the credits roll. Instead, I'm happy to come back to the game between other games. Maybe that means playing some still unresolved side-missions; maybe it means hitting up public events; or maybe it just means roaming around aimlessly shooting aliens in the friggin' face. Whatever. It doesn't matter. I just love the world, the atmosphere and the guns.
Speaking of side-missions, it's a testament to how fantastic this game is that I'm playing all the side-missions. In any other similar game, I'd simply rush toward the ending, hitting up nothing but story quests. But Destiny 2 is far too compelling for me. I feel the need to clear out any little marked piece of map. Basically, I want Destiny 2 to just keep on going. Sort of like how I feel about Skyrim - there are some games that I want to know are just continually there for me, even if that means putting off "finishing" them for as long as I can.
There's just something about this world. It's totally the kind of sci-fi that I fall for. But it's also everything together: the character designs, the environments, the music... it's actually kind of hard to explain what makes a game like Destiny 2 so great. I guess I could say it's "everything," but that's pretty vague. And what I really mean is that it's a bunch of teeny tiny things. Maybe it's better to say that everything is just right. This comes down to the physics of a jump, or the ease in which you might switch to your third weapon slot - say a sniper rifle - and zoom in and make a headshot killing a witch while effortlessly swapping back to your main rifle and taking out another enemy in the foreground. This may sound so pedestrian in a 2017 shooter, but I tell you that when done as smoothly as this, it's like ballet.
When a game "just works" this well, it makes everything so gratifying. Switching weapons feels good; firing them and recoiling feels good; movement feels good. And then there's the loot. Oh dear goodness, the loot! Not since Diablo III have I been so compelled to pick up every last item I could get my grubby mits on. And really, the loot is an area where I think that Destiny 2 has far surpassed Phantasy Star Online for me.
I'd be remiss to not mention the multiplayer here. It is so easy - and perfectly possible - to treat Destiny 2 as a single-player game. Which is to say that you can totally ignore other players. You can choose to not join a clan. You can pretend your buddy list doesn't exist if you really need to. But the way it weaves in multiplayer is brilliant. Other players are just around, and they feel totally organically part of the world the same way an NPC would. I've had plenty of times where a bunch of randos meet up and take down a public event and then head their own ways. Other times I've joined clan-mates for some difficult section, and then also head our own ways while staying in the same group. In this way we remain in the same persistent world while only crossing paths sporadically. It just feels awesome.
Y'know what? Maybe that's my thesis. Maybe that's all I really need to say about Destiny 2: it just feels awesome.