During the course of E3 2017, we managed to get some hands on with Bungie’s upcoming Destiny 2. However, this wasn’t just some hands on with the PS4 or Xbox One version of the game. No, instead, we finally got to experience the PC version of the game and it was simply glorious. As we lined up and waited to be lead into a room that was full of custom PC’s, we were not prepared for what awaited us.
Along the room was several PC’s, all outfitted with Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti’s, as well as Asus ROG 4K monitors. For those who aren’t familiar with PC gaming, those are some of the best pieces of hardware you can get right now in regards to PC gaming. As we took our seats in the room, along with other members of the press, someone from Bungie started laying down the rules for our session. In a nut shell, we couldn’t touch the settings, or look at what was in the PC. Basically at that point we were directed to do nothing until someone started Nvidia’s Shadowplay. This was used to capture the footage. Once that was done, we were free to play the game.
Upon starting the game, we were dropped into the opening cinematic for the game. I’m sure everyone has seen this one by now. Once that was finished up, the real fun started and we were able to start blasting some heads. Right off the back, I noticed that the game, even at 4K and high settings, that it was very smooth. I didn’t see any slowdown, no dropped frames and the game looked damned good. Even with the Cabal on the screen and plenty of particle effects, the PCs ran the game without a hitch.
During this session we were able to play through the opening campaign. This has you defending against the first onslaught and allowing the innocents on the tower to evacuate. After that, we moved on to see what happened to the Speaker. This took us further into the mostly destroyed tower, while along the way we were treated to several scripted events. At the end was a pretty simple boss fight, and shortly afterward the player is taken via spacecraft to the Cabal mother-ship. It was our turn to take the fight to them.
The game already looked amazing, but once I landed on the mother-ship and noticed the lightning and rain effects, it was that much better. The rain would wash up on your helmet visor, with droplets clouding your vision. It was really impressive. After dispatching the Cabal, another boss fight started up. This one had a bit more health, but was no more of an obstacle than the last. Still, I was captivated by how detailed the character looked as the fight progressed.
Sadly, once that was over, a door opened and a section that required some careful jumping opened up. Reaching another set of doors, the game gave way to some unknown figure that was shrouded in darkness. After some taunting from this figure and a menacing laugh, the game went to black and the demo ended. I happened to be finished before several others, so I took the time to look around the room at the other players. Everyone’s face was giving off the same telltale look; the little time we had with the game was amazing.
Things to take away from this is what either Bungie or Vicarious Visions has done a great job with the PC version. The controls were tight, the visuals were fantastic and I was left wanting more. Even at 4K, the game ran smooth, so I have zero doubt that the game will run just as well at 1080p and 1440p. Being realistic, 4K is a nice place to be at but most PC gamers simply don’t have the hardware to experience like we just did. Eventually we’ll all get there, but not just yet.
It was also really nice to finally play Destiny with a keyboard and mouse. Dare I say it, the way that it really should have been played as. Sure, the controller scheme works, but as a PC gamer at heart, I dislike using controllers in a FPS game. Those very same sentiments were echoed through out E3 2017 by multiple press, industry and attendee who played the demo.
One thing is for sure, I really didn’t want to stop playing Destiny 2. I’m already eager for some more hands-on, so I can’t wait for the demo to be released publicly.
Destiny 2 releases for PC on October 29th, 2017. Nearly two months after the console version, but I’m not to worried anymore. From what we played, if the delay is to make this game look and play even better, then it’s well worth it.