I’ve put scores of hours into Destiny 2 on PS4, and also a few more hours recently into the PC port. While there’s a lot of fun to be had on the console version of Destiny 2, it definitely feels limited in comparison to the better PC version. It’s not too often I get to write about a superior PC port for a multiplatform game, so this is a breath of fresh air.
For starters, the PC version looks better than the PS4 Pro release, running at High settings on my GTX 980-powered desktop. This manages to keep it around a mostly stable 60fps, which feels a whole lot better than the 30fps limit on consoles. It’s funny because the long time to kill, particularly in PvE, and slower movement compared to other shooters feels like it’s been matched to a core 30fps play style.
Still, everything feels a whole lot more fluid, faster, and responsive at higher frame rates. The fact that you can expand the field of view beyond the blinkered console version also helps, particularly in Destiny 2’s PvP Crucible mode. Hell, it’s handy during the majority of the PvE gameplay, too, as you feel you can keep an eye on a larger area, rather than having to flick back and forth to make sure nothing has slipped by on your peripheral.
That said, the AI is just as dumb on PC as it is on console: it’s the kind of parity I was expecting, but is also a missed opportunity. The bad AI is particularly unfortunate on PC because of how easy it is to pull off headshots. The guns I’ve used all have predictable recoil, and even though it varies between weapons, it doesn’t take long to adjust muscle memory to keep almost every shot at head height. There’s no accuracy bonus for aiming down sights, either, so most of my PvE time and, uncharacteristically, a lot of my PvP time has been spent firing from the hip.
It’s likely partially a mental trick of the higher frame rate, but the escapability feels a lot more emphasised on PC. On console, weapons have varying degrees of aim assistance, which range from generous to ‘is that player hacking?’. On PC, aim assistance is in the bin, which means your ability to land consecutive shots is of utmost importance in PvP. It also means that slides and jumps can be used more effectively to break the aim of an enemy that gets the drop on you… not that they should, if you know how to use the radar.
Running across an enemy’s crosshairs is also a viable risk/reward tactic on PC, which isn’t as rewarded on console because of the aforementioned aim assistance. Despite some questionable matchmaking as it relates to skill (and potentially region) and the drawbacks of Destiny 2’s hybrid P2P model, I was still able to hold my own in Crucible with lowly default weapons. I honestly wasn’t expecting this to be the case, and it’s good to see that it feels like skill is more rewarded on PC than it is on console.
Those familiar PvE missions are made all the easier with mouse aiming, and it means it feels like Destiny 2 on PC is more respectful of the player’s time, assuming you have accurate aim. Y’see, towards the end of my time with Destiny 2 on PS4, I would weigh up the time it would take me to travel between missions, combined with the loading times, and I’d find that I’d talk myself out of doing stuff that was too far away.
On PC, I’m blasting through missions, whether it’s repeating the mostly forgettable campaign, or taking part in the more interesting side quests and lost sectors littered around each new world. The improved loading times help, too (SSD installation FTW!).
It’s not so much that Destiny 2 is a must-play game—it’s a flawed first-person looter albeit with an incredibly addictive gameplay loop—it’s just that, for the first time in recent memory, it’s a PC port that was well worth the wait for those eager to play the franchise for the first time on our beloved gaming platform. If you plan on playing Destiny 2 and have yet to take it for a spin, you’d do well to play it on PC.