Destiny 2 on PC is the Destiny We've Always Deserved
Let me start by saying that I’m a PC Gamer through and through. I’ve always been a PC first kind of guy. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t practice the kind of PC master-race superiority preaching that you find on Reddit and other communities. For me, it’s a preference of the controls. To be honest, I’m awful with a controller. I can hold my own against some AI enemies, walk and drive in a mostly straight line, but put me up against hardened controller veterans and it shows immediately; I’m terrible.
I do own one of each of the current consoles, except for Nintendo’s “Look, we manufactured 18 of these!” Switch, but I don’t fire those things up unless there is a console exclusive title, or it gets cold in my living room and the heat is out.
I loved Destiny. I’ve put countless hours into the PS4 version of it. I got a late start to the game, but during one, admittedly alcohol assisted, impulse purchase of a PS4 system and the Taken King edition, I fell in love with it. The grind was a bit much at times, but the desire to get more loot, better gear, raise that Light level, and compete with my pals about who had the better-looking capes was strong. I was hooked.
So that time on the PS4 with Destiny was a little rough for me. I’d frequently back out of jumping puzzles in raids. “Let me know when to rejoin after you’re past this garbage,” was a frequent line heard over PSN chat by my raid mates. They were very understanding and I appreciated that.
PvP was an even worse nightmare for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve got less of an appetite to compete against other humans at the best of times, but having to use a controller and an FOV angle of 60 really tested my patience. I even played with a Xim 4 device for a while, allowing me to use a mouse and keyboard to control my Guardian. While that works reasonably well, it didn’t solve all my issues and just felt a little hacky, so in the end I just sucked it up. What I mean by that is, I went back to a controller and just cursed more frequently.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
When Destiny 2 was first announced, there were rumors that Bungie would include a PC version this time around. It really isn’t that unusual anymore these days. Most AAA titles are available on the big three platforms, and so a dream was born. There had been many times that I had speculated about what Destiny would look and feel like on a PC.
When it was confirmed that a PC version would come, the hopes were high, but I tried to temper my expectations. My only previous PC experience with a Bungie title was one of the early Halo games, and that was so long ago that it could hardly be used as a reference point for how well this might turn out. Bad PC ports are common these days. It seems like every other month a big publisher releases something that ends up being just awful on PC. You don’t need to look any further than the most recent Dishonored release, although I suppose that was last year. Wait, Mafia 3. There we go.
Fast-forward to August 28th, the day of the Destiny 2 beta release on PC. Having already played the beta on PS4 a month earlier, I knew what to expect content-wise. Bungie had released plenty of details on the PC version as well; up to 4K resolutions, unlocked framerates, and lots of customization options. Yet, I was still afraid of giving in to the hype. “What about the FOV? No one has talked about the FOV! Tell me they won’t forget about the FOV! I can’t deal with that potato angle anymore!”
Turns out, Bungie were just holding back. The day of the release it was immediately confirmed that the FOV was customizable as well, from a default 85 all the way up to 105. Good news! Let’s rush home and try this thing out.
After fumbling around with the Blizzard App and an SSD that decided to give up the ghost on the very evening that I wanted to dive into Destiny 2, I finally got a taste. Having spent the previous hour listening to my buddy rave about how good it looks, I was ready.
I would consider my PC to be near the top of the line. I run an Intel i5 7600k, an Nvidia GTX 1080, and a 34” ultra-wide 2K monitor. Loading into the game, my first thoughts were “Hell yeah, it does ultrawide properly!” That is rarer than you might imagine and I was prepared to give Bungie all kinds of leeway with the beta and some of those less than mainstream settings I desire.
There’s No Going Back
I think I stood at the very opening spawn point of the story mission for a good 15 minutes, diving into the key bindings, tweaking some graphics options, and generally setting things up to my liking. “God, this looks f#%&$ing amazing,” I kept saying. Running towards Cabal in the first mission, I felt invincible. “I can see! I can move! Look at me kick their ass! Muahahahahah!” I’m sure my neighbors thought I’d gone insane. But everything just worked. A smooth 100FPS with no hiccups at a 2K ultrawide resolution is something else.
Destiny 2 on PC looks gorgeous. It’s as pretty if not more so than any other comparable triple-A title currently on the market. It performs amazingly well and far beyond what tempered expectations I had from Bungie. My hat is off to them. Perhaps most important for me, however, is that I feel freed. Freed from the shackles of a controller. Freed from the limitations of an FOV that made it impossible for me to react to enemies standing right beside me. I imagine it’s like putting on corrective lenses for the first time having realized you’ve had severe vision impairment for the past three years.
I’m not sure I can go back. This is where things get sad. The PC release for Destiny 2 is set about six weeks after the console release date. Given how well the Destiny 2 PC beta performed, it’s easy to want to say, “Just release it already, come on,” but we all know that won’t happen. So, should I just ignore Destiny 2 until October 24th?
That’s not likely to happen, either. Even if I didn’t want to create content for this site covering Destiny 2, I mentioned earlier that I’m deeply interested in the lore, the stories, the secrets. I’m sorry, but I simply do not have the self-restraint to not spoil the entire game for myself by reading the Raidsecrets sub-Reddit, or generally seeing what people have discovered.
So, I’ll be purchasing Destiny 2 twice. In fact, I’ve already pre-ordered it twice. Does that make me a sucker? Absolutely, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I once purchased Battlefield 3 in triplicate. That’s just me.
Destiny 2 is almost here, on consoles. In just under a week, I’ll be wanting to rip my eyes out while playing it on my PS4. I’m going to want to throw my controller in the trash on a regular basis, and that 55” TV is in serious danger of accidentally falling into the garbage bin down the alley. It’ll be worse this time. It’s worse knowing what Destiny 2 can be when played on a PC. But I’ll get through it. Some way, somehow.
If you only plan to play Destiny 2 on a console, my word of advice to you is: Don’t try it on PC. Ignorance is bliss, and you’ll be happier for it.