In 2018, my son and I started playing Destiny 2. In 2018, I posted an article outlining how Destiny 2 had fallen short of our expectations. To summarize, the opening mission was too long, the story was boring, sniper rifles were inaccessible, and PvP wasn’t fun. But when my Stadia Founder’s Edition came in November, my son found his interest piqued when I played again.
Stadia? On my PlayStation website?
It had been two years, and he found himself pulling up a chair, watching me shoot Fallen Dregs. And then I explored a new mode (new to me, not new to Destiny 2): Gambit. Touted as a PvPvE mode, Gambit has two player teams race to summon and kill a boss. You can send “blockers” to the enemy side and one team member can invade the opposing side at stages throughout the match. I was having a lot of fun. So much, that my son asked if he could play Destiny 2 with me again. Since we bought it digitally on the PS4s, I downloaded the 90 GB monster on both consoles and we started it up the next day.
Cross save between PS4 and Stadia is pretty cool. But we quickly discovered that performance on the PS4 is atrocious. It’s still locked to 30 FPS. My son saw how it ran on Stadia and compared it to how it ran on PS4. I gave him my Stadia Buddy Pass and we got it running side by side on my two 4K monitors. It was glorious.
New Light and Destiny 2’s Changes
Destiny 2 shifted to a free-to-play model, and while the Stadia version includes all of the DLC and even some optional content, the PS4 version we bought those two years ago does not. But that doesn’t matter—we have it on Stadia now. We played Gambit, and then we played some Control in Crucible. I was happy to see that Crucible was 6v6. One of my primary complaints at Destiny 2’s launch was Crucible was 4v4.
Another favourable change was the weapon system. Now, Sniper Rifles can be Kinetic, Energy, or Power, meaning you don’t need to wait for rare Power Ammo to use your Sniper Rifle. My son, who had wanted to use Sniper Rifles 2 years ago, finally can. And with Stadia’s 60FPS, Sniper Rifles feel a lot smoother to use.
The new free-to-play model allows players to explore all of the game’s destinations through experience gates, rather than story gates. And it seems characters created before New Light get access to those areas by default, as my son and I both have them all opened. This is a welcome change for a kid who still doesn’t care about the story and only wants to play.
Unfortunately, he’s not very interested in shooting NPCs these days. He likes player vs player. We bought him Fortnite’s Save the World campaign last Christmas, and he stopped playing it quickly. He went back to fighting players and that’s all he wants to do now.
Get ready to wait…
On both PS4 and Stadia, we found we had to wait far too long for strikes, Crucible, and Gambit. We give the kids time limits on their gaming sessions to limit how much screen time they have, and my son starts looking at the clock, counting the seconds and minutes he sits there waiting. Other shooting games, like Fortnite and Apex Legends, have virtually no wait times at any point in the day.
I think this is what will ultimately keep him away from Destiny 2. I can’t even use the old saying, “Good things come to those who wait,” because nothing about Destiny 2 is better than any other game he plays. It’s a largely unremarkable game. It has fun moments, but any game will have fun moments. Destiny 2 fails to deliver consistently fun moments throughout gameplay, and that is usually because the fun moments are interrupted by long waits.
Skip it on PS4, maybe play on Stadia
Sorry Bungie, but Destiny 2 just doesn’t have anything I can’t get elsewhere. If you are a new Stadia owner, there might be some value while you wait for the library to expand. But this is PlayStation Compass, not Stadia Compass, and compared to the rest of the PlayStation library, Destiny 2 just doesn’t have any weight. Apex Legends and Fortnite are also free. Paladins and Warframe, too. Play any of those instead of Destiny 2.