While I’ve been hyped about Destiny 2 for months now, I was ready to shrug off the PC version of the game. Sure, it might be cool to play the game on PC for the first time, but clearly after three years on console, that was clearly going to remain my primary platform.
Now, I’m not so sure.
The Destiny 2 PC beta is simply stunning. I cannot get over how much I’ve been loving the past day of the game on PC, and even with a late release, two months after the console version, I am not ruling out the possibility that PC may end up being my “main” Destiny platform when all is said and done.
I’ll get to the PC-specific bits in a minute, but first, one other primary reason I’m liking this beta so much is because of the changes Bungie has made from the console version to this one.
While there was a lot to like about the original Destiny 2 beta on consoles, specifically mission design and hints at a more in-depth story component, there were aspects of it that…just felt off. That just didn’t feel like the Destiny we’ve been playing for years.
That’s changed. The biggest difference you’ll immediately notice is that Guardian PvE damage has been increased across the board. Previously, many enemies felt like you were chopping down trees with how much damage they could soak up, but now? Most enemies fall much, much more quickly, similar to how the game has played for the last three years. Some enemies are still beefy like minibosses and I swear Cabal Gladiators actually saw their health increase, but for the most part, clearing “trash mobs” is a lot better than it was in the original beta, and you’ll feel the right amount of “powerful” as a result.
Other changes are welcome as well. While I’m still not sold on the new “dual primary” loadout idea, the increased power ammo changes are live, and I found I was able to use my sniper/shotgun/grenade launcher a lot more often than I was previously, more like it was a secondary weapon again. I’m not sure if this solves the loadout issues completely, but it certainly helped, and generally, I found ammo to be a lot more prevalent all around when I used to be flat-out running out in the Strike boss battle.
Your super now charges faster as well. I got three, maybe four supers in a Strike when before I had two. You will get a super in PvP now, probably two if you play well, which is a stark change from 70% of people getting one at the very end and 30% going without the whole match previously.
Lingering issues? The only two I’ve noticed are that your grenade cooldown is still very long, but the increased damage helps alleviate that, and there’s gear to reduce that cooldown to come. And though I heard there were changes to Hunter to make them more team-friendly, I haven’t noticed those in action yet, and the class skill remains really selfish and not-great compared to the others, in my opinion. But overall, the positive changes dramatically outnumber the lingering issues. Destiny 2 finally feels great, not just passable.
Onto the PC specific stuff, even after playing Destiny for three years on console with a controller, the transition to mouse and keyboard is almost flawless. Point and click headshots with scout rifles and handcannons feel amazing. Movement with WASD and shift and spacebar works just fine, and I actually prefer how sprinting feels in this format. My only complaint is that I don’t like the default melee/class skill key bindings, and I may have to figure out a better place for those than awkwardly hitting C/V.
But past how the game controls, it’s how the game looks and plays on PC. It’s gorgeous. Not that it looked bad on my 65 inch 4K on PS4 Pro, but man, it looks fantastic here and is so, so smooth with the increased framerate. I don’t have the most beastly PC gaming set-up on the market, and I’m not at terribly techy guy when it comes to this kind of thing, but playing at 1080p with 144 fps, I’m just loving it. Framerate is so important for games like this, and to see it able to be increased to this degree on PC has just been fantastic. Combined with the fact that playing shooters with a mouse and keyboard generally means better accuracy and more fluid control and yeah, I can see myself making the switch to PC permanently.
Will I? I’m not sure yet. Two months is a long time to wait for the PC release, and I will have to play the console version to death during that time, I just don’t have a choice. But after that, once DLC starts releasing for console and PC at the same time, maybe I will switch over.
No, this isn’t like Overwatch where the console version is barely passable on console while the PC version is the clear winner. Obviously Destiny still plays great with a controller in hand. But I have been genuinely shocked how easy it is to dive into PC, and how natural it is to play the game in that format. Combine that with great visuals and a silky smooth framerate, and man, it is quite the tempting package.
I’m blown away by this beta, and if you read my writing regularly, you’ll know I’m not impressed easily. The changes from the console beta are exactly what the game needed, and how well this runs and plays on PC is a total gamechanger. If your computer can handle it, you’re definitely going to want to give it a shot.