'Destiny 2' PC Impressions: Gameplay, Graphics, Controls, Battle.net Exclusivity, And A Later Release?

Destiny 2 made its debut on PC during Bungie's gameplay reveal event Thursday at the Jet Center in Los Angeles, California. The shooter franchise spent the first three years of its life on PlayStation and Xbox consoles. However, Bungie and Activision are attempting to extend the game's community to a broader audience and they are not holding back.

I was able to go hands-on with both the PC and PlayStation 4 Pro during the Destiny 2 gameplay reveal event. The brand new Crucible mode, Countdown, was available to play on the PC along with the first mission, titled "Homecoming."

Battle.net Exclusivity

As big as Destiny 2 coming to PC is, exclusivity to Battle.net is even bigger. As previously covered, this gives Bungie instant access to Blizzard's wealth of networking tools for multiplayer matchmaking and anti-cheat. It's not perfect, but it is excellent and far better than the level of support the game would have received on Steam, where Bungie would be one of hundreds of clients for Valve. A big one, but competing for attention none the less.

Blizzard will continue to manage the network services while Bungie maintains the servers. The downside is any potential for cross-play and cross-save is currently a non-starter.

No Dedicated Servers

On the subject of servers, it is with great disappointment that it has been confirmed Destiny 2 will not support dedicated servers. Would it have been the solution to all of the problems the original game faced with DDoS attacks and lag-switch cheaters? Possibly not, but we'll never know. Hopefully, Bungie will be able to address these issues through other changes.

Screenshot of the Vex in the Destiny 2 Inverted Spire Strike.
[Image by Bungie / Activision]

Gorgeous Graphics

In all honesty, Destiny 2 looks astounding on the PC. The 4K resolution and uncapped framerate serve the game well in both PvE and PvP. Textures on the PlayStation 4 Pro version looked compressed by comparison with the occasionally anti-aliasing issue. The console version still looks and runs great and is a huge step up from Destiny currently. The difference between the two platforms was just obvious switching between the two because PC looks that good.

The 4K resolution and uncapped framerate will come with a cost, however. Destiny 2 was running on PCs sporting Intel i7-7700k processors, NVidia GTX 1080 Ti graphics processors, and 16GB of RAM. How mid-range PCs might look and run is certainly up for debate.

If you have a 4K monitor, you can check out two 4K screenshots of Destiny 2 on NVidia's GeForce website.


Destiny 2 makes the switch from controller to mouse and keyboard rather effortlessly. I found the default settings to be too twitchy during my time playing, but the required mouse sensitivity settings are there to adjust the speed of the mouse movements.

One thing that I did miss playing on PC is the rumble feedback in the controller. This is one area that Bungie got right over many other shooters and I found the absence almost jarring after playing Destiny for three years.

Otherwise, the gameplay feel in Destiny 2 is much the same that exists in Destiny today.

Still, it will be interesting to see how the mouse and keyboard affects the level of competition in Destiny. Headshots can be pulled off with aplomb on consoles thanks to aim assist, but not quite the same as with the PC's default controls. Will this cause differences by favoring accuracy dependent weapons like scout rifles, hand cannons, and sniper rifles? That remains to be seen.

A Titan constructs a shield against enemies in Destiny 2 PVP.
[Image by Bungie / Activision]

All the Options

Games released across PC and console platforms have a bad reputation of shorting the PC platform when it comes to options. Destiny 2 does not fall into that trap yet, as the initial customization options are plentiful and include keyboard remapping, text chat, support for ultra widescreen (21:9) monitors, Field of View slider, and other "detailed PC adjustments," per the press materials provided by Activision.

A Later Release

While Destiny 2 on the PC is very promising at this early date, there is one piece of news potential fans will find disappointing. Bungie is currently listing it as "Coming Soon," with a release likely to come sometime after the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

That's not terribly surprising as consoles are likely the lead platform for Destiny 2 with one of Bungie's partner studios – Vicarious Visions or High Moon Studios – responsible for porting the game to PC. How much of a delay between the console and PC release will be something to watch, however.

[Featured Image by Bungie/Activision]

[Disclosure: Activision provided travel and hotel accommodations to attend the gameplay reveal.]