Destiny 2 has been enjoying a very successful launch since it landed on consoles back at the beginning of September. But it;s taken an extra long time to debut on the platform that the original really should have too. Bungie let loose Destiny 2 on PC early last week, and it bring with it a host of improvements to one of the best feeling shooters ever created. And if you assumed Bungie would take the easy route with bringing it to an entirely new control scheme, you’d be sorely mistaken.
The first thing that is immediately clear is just how good Destiny 2 feels to play, and thanks to Bungie’s extra work on the for PC the experience ports nicely from controller to mouse and keyboard. being able to whip your Scout Rifle onto the head of a Dreg with much more precision doesn’t lose the sense of utter bliss when it all executes in motion. And even if there’s still a slight tendency to snap to certain parts thanks to some (reduced) auto-aim, you still feel more in control than a dedicated controller could ever give you.
But even if you like to bring your gamepad over to the PC version, the game is accommodating. Switching between the two is as easy as pie, with the game detecting which is plugged in and currently being used at any time. Destiny 2 makes good on its promise to replicate the experience in this regard too. Auto-aim is ramped up to the same levels that it is on console, and the juiciness of it all just falls into place as it really should with all PC ports. It’s remarkable when things work this well, but it shows how dedicated Bungie is to their shooter craft.
All of this would mean nothing if performance couldn’t match the experience Bungie wants you to have. Thankfully, Destiny 2 runs exceptionally well, even if you’re not touting the best hardware out there. For my own purposes I ran the game using a GTX 1080Ti and a Core i7-6700K, which allowed me to crank the settings to their limits and beyond. The game locked at 60FPS even with the render resolution cranked up to 200% (effectively downsampling a 4K image), which is something I can’t say for most modern releases of this ilk.
Scaling things down is easy enough thanks to the wide range of options on offer. Draw distance, shadow resolutions, v-sync, texture detail, filtering and more all feature on the settings screen, which is again a not standard with all console to PC ports. Special care was taken to ensure scalability here, and just a few tweaks to some settings could easily have you shooting up to a locked 60FPS. Even if you can’t, the silky smooth 30FPS of consoles is certainly easily attainable and perfectly accommodating for a game designed with that in mind.
What does change is some of the balance, thanks to the increased response times and frame rates. Bungie already stated that weapon and gear balances (in terms of numerical values) weren’t going to be changed between PC and console, which does mean that certain weapons might feel better to use when compared to console.
Hand cannons, for example, make a big impact. Popping off heads in either PvP or PvE is suddenly a lot easier, making their effectiveness far higher than on Xbox One or PS4. This changes the way you might view Scout Rifles and Auto Rifles in PvP, as an entirely new bracket is suddenly far more viable than the month strong meta might have suggested. It’s surprising if you’ve already grown accustomed to the flow of firefights on console already, but an entirely new space to explore if you’re new to the game.
Chat functionality is improved too, thanks to the ability to type full messages to a chat window for teams and Fireteams. That said, the way Bungie has chosen to display them is odd. An indicator will flash in the right of your screen, indicating that an unread message is waiting. To even see the message, you’ll need to tap Enter, which is one step slightly too many if you’re entrenched in a serious firefight requiring some keen communication. It’s probably easy to suggest that voice chat is preferred in these situations in the first place, but for something that crucial to communication it seems like a strange choice.
In addition, Destiny 2 doesn’t play nicely with in-game overlays that come from third-party software, which lead to the confusing mess of banning events that occurred when the game launched. Any tools such as FRAPS, MSI Afterburner and more will have their overlays disabled in-game, leaving you to rely on Destiny 2’s own framerate counter that can be enabled from the settings menu. It might be more of a Battle.Net hindrance than the actual game, but locking these tools out completely takes away from some players preferred experiences, and limits their ability to monitor the game effectively.
They’re slight blips on what’s an otherwise exceptional PC experience, even if it meant waiting a few more weeks to get in on the action. As with the console release, new modes such as the Raid and Prestige shots at Nightfall will roll out in the weeks to come, after which PC players will get DLC day and date with their console counterparts. The first Destiny might have never come to PC, but if the quality of this port is one way to make up for it, it’s worth it.
Last Updated: October 30, 2017