Is Destiny 2 worth playing in 2021?

Lloyd Coombes

Destiny 2 has been around since 2017, and it’s gone through big changes. But is it worth playing Destiny 2 in 2021?

I’m often asked, as someone that plays a lot of it, if Destiny 2 is “good yet”, or if it’s worth jumping into four years into its life cycle. While developer Bungie has had some missteps along the way, it’s clear that Destiny as a franchise is here to stay.

While many would argue it was the first “games as a service,” with all of the negativity that can bring (lots of DLC, being the main issue), it’s also arguably one of the few to do it right – and even then it’s taken until Bungie found its stride in the last year or so to make seasonal content worthwhile.

So the question remains, then…

Should you play Destiny 2 in 2021?

Destiny 2 Shadowkeep image showing Guardians on the moon

It’s a big question and one that can be broken down into multiple parts. Are you a completely new player? Then while Destiny 2’s FPS combat and MMO-style abilities are still great fun all those years on, there’s a dearth of content here thanks to Bungie wanting to shrink the game’s overall file size.

That’s a shame because only a year ago you’d have had a full campaign (The Red War) to shoot your way through, as well as a couple of expansions worth of content. Now? You’re more or less dropped into free roam with a few questlines to follow and no real direction.

That can be mitigated by buying an expansion or two, though, so if you like what you find then it could be time to open your wallet for Forsaken, Shadowkeep, or Beyond Light (all of which are included in Xbox Game Pass on console, in case you were wondering).

If you’re returning from early Destiny 2, then good news – if you do happen to have the DLC, you’ll find plenty to do. Players can run PvE and PvP content, Trials of Osiris is back, and despite getting a bad rep from the community, this writer still happens to enjoy Gambit.

Dipped out in Destiny 1? Then you’ll find Bungie has finally got its act together with storytelling – although primarily in the last year. Characters first introduced back in 2014 now have more depth, and over the years we’ve built our own Avengers-style set of heroes with their own personalities.

Changing of the seasons

While Bungie’s early attempts at seasonal content were nothing to write home about, the team has begun stuffing each one with a sizeable chunk of story content. In the last three seasons alone, we’ve gone toe-to-toe with a Cabal Empress, hacked our way through the Vex network, and are now setting about cleaning up the Shattered Realm.

Each of those three-month windows has been revelatory, and it’s the first time Destiny’s story has rivaled its gameplay as a reason to log on. There’s still a lot of technobabble and no shortage of exposition, but with the improved sense of character noted earlier, it feels like a grand space opera where you get new pieces of story content each week.

That’s set to continue with the upcoming Witch Queen expansion, but even in the six months or so prior you’ll find plenty to do – and all of it can be played with friends, too.

Cover art from Destiny 2 Forsaken showing Cayde 6 being carried

More work to be done

That’s not to say Bungie doesn’t have work to do. Compared to the generous amount of content previously available for free-to-play entrants, the current slate seems more than a little lacking. While rumors persist about Forsaken being added to bulk up the free-to-play content (and it would offer a huge amount of things to do), there’s been no confirmation from Bungie as yet.

Despite that, though, it feels like Destiny 2 is only getting better. In fact, it’s in the best place it’s ever been, with anti-cheat on PC, massively improved storytelling, and not one, but three huge expansions still to come things are only likely to get better.

Destiny’s bizarre combination of expansions and vaulted content can make getting in the door a bit of a pain, but there’s also nothing quite like it. And with Lightfall and the Final Shape still to come after the Witch Queen, it appears it’ll keep on going.