Bungie has released the next-gen versions of Destiny 2 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PlayStation 5
I played Destiny 2 for the first time a few months ago, after it went free to play on PC, and it looked fantastic. 2160p, HDR and a solid 60fps (capped by the display) gave it a crisp, vibrant image, and it was super smooth. On even a modest PC with an RTX 2060, I can push 100+ fps at 1440p with all of the settings cranked up to Ultra.
The only thing I didn’t like was having a lot of the content locked away unless you purchased the DLC. Some of this content was old now and I didn’t fancy spending a lot of cash on expansions when I hadn’t even finished the legacy content. (It turns out this was a wise choice, as they’ve taken out a lot of the content from the expansions, but that’s a story for another time.) So, when all of the DLC expansions were added to Game Pass, I thought I’d give it a try on the Xbox One X.
Boy, was I disappointed.
For all of the capability of the GPU in the Xbox One X, it is hampered by a 7-year-old CPU. Despite significant overclocking, it creates a bottleneck that destroys any chance of hitting 60 fps in CPU dependant games like Destiny 2. As a result, Destiny 2 on Xbox One X plods along at a pedestrian 30 fps, and it’s a jerky, grainy, blurry mess in comparison to PC.
Like many others, I’ve been waiting eagerly for the Xbox Series X|S (and PS5, if you’re lucky enough to get hold of one) upgrade to drop. Well, it’s finally here, and it’s a significant improvement.
The first thing you’ll notice is how smooth it is now. This makes a huge difference in how it plays. Destiny 2 is a fast-paced game, and it benefits hugely from the bump up in frame rates. It’s not just smoother, though, you can see improvements across all aspects of the image quality. Anti-aliasing has removed the flickering across finely detailed objects, shadow quality and draw distance has been cranked up, and it is running at 4k now. I’m not going to say it’s as good as the best PC’s, but it’s at the point where any differences you can see are so subtle as to be largely unnoticeable.
Xbox Series X and PS5 can handle 4k60, while Series S runs at 1080p60, however, Series X and PS5 players can opt for 120 fps when playing Crucible matches, albeit at slightly reduced graphics settings.
Everything loads in so much faster now, too. Let’s face it, mechanical HDDs like in the Xbox One X are sloooooow. When I moved from PC (with a decent SSD) to the One X, the loading times were painfully slow. When you’re fast-travelling around constantly, or jumping between worlds, having to wait what is often well over a minute sucks. On the new consoles, Destiny 2 loads in so much faster, and while it’s not exactly instant, it’s short enough that you don’t start drumming your fingers on your desk.
I’m loving the improved graphics and loading times, but my favourite new addition has to be the FOV slider. Stock Destiny 2 on consoles runs with a 75° FOV, and although it makes everything big and bold, it also limits your peripheral vision. In a wide-open environment with enemies coming from all sides this is a hindrance, to say the least. For me, the ideal range is a FOV of 90-95°, and the next-gen upgrade handles this with no noticeable slowdown.
Between these upgrades, there’s very little difference between the PC and console version. Destiny 2 is finally playable without looking like a janky mess, and I’m going to be happy to play all of the new content through Game Pass. This is definitely one of my favourite next-gen upgrades so far.
The only thing we’re missing now is mouse and keyboard support. Bungie, make it happen!
Hawkmoon Exotic Hand Cannon from original Destiny and Prophecy Dungeon also returns
“As part of Season of the Hunt, returning from the original Destiny is the fan-favorite Exotic Hand Cannon Hawkmoon. Work with Crow to reclaim and restore this storied weapon.
Return to the realm of the IX with the Prophecy dungeon. Face hordes of Taken and manipulate reality to solve intricate puzzles alongside fellow Guardians. What was once above is now below. And what was once Light is now Dark.”