Finished the campaign with my Titan Saturday evening. I am going to be as spoiler free as possible about content but the below does hint at the ineffectiveness of the story for me.
The story is no ESO(which had me enrapt and engaged as I progressed) and more cut scenes, skippable or not, do NOT equal more story. Weirdly there is less story it appears than there was in D1 if you managed to read even some of the Grimoire and they almost appear to contradict/walk-back or outright act like some of the story of D1 never happened. Maybe I am too close to this chapter to see how it all ties in to the lore and universe overall right now but it appears this campaign was an odd hiccup that ALMOST created some narrative issues going forward except for the bit of handwaving they do at the end.
The mechanics of the gameplay are top notch and I, while not being a traditional gamer and not having played a bunch of stuff, cannot tell you who implements shooting aliens in the face and guns that feel good any better than this. The way the game plays is a benchmark. The gun designs so far aren't the wonder they were in D1 but a few things have felt above and beyond, even lowly Blues.
That all being said, when I finished the final story mission, which followed a tradition dating back to D1 of "That's it?" with respect to the final encounter I had done all the Adventures on each planet except Nessus. I think there was six or seven(one now that I did them last night) of these mini missions left to do there.
The Challenges for each planet reset every day so you will have three new things to do on each planet each day which includes but is probably not limited to Looting a Lost sector, killing x number of particular combatants and looting supply caches of specific combatants, etc. Think of Challenges as Patrols Plus if you are familiar with D1 Patrols. Patrols are back but they don't appear to be necessary except to maybe activate while doing something else. I didn't pay attention to if they are giving rewards of a certain nature to a vendor or if they are just XP farms.
If Adventures are mini-missions then Lost Sectors are micro-missions. Lost Sectors are marked on your map but I suggest not doing them until they are listed as the Challenge of the day for that planet because otherwise you are actually blowing all the content away and not spreading it out. There are a bunch of Lost Sectors so tying them to the Challenges will mean you have new stuff to look at for several weeks. And when(if?) they do begin to rotate then you will have likely have forgotten what the area of the Lost Sector looked like so that is good.
The story missions do not remain on your map like they did in D1 once you complete them. There does not appear to be a Heroic Story Mission of the day as in D1. Now you will visit a representative to do a selection of what are called Meditations which, at this time, appear to be the replacement for the Daily Story mechanic. There are three available at a given time and as of now it appears these three will change with the reset as they are not rotating daily. Doing them gives you rep tokens and the chance for better engrams/gear. Not having a daily mission to do every single day on three characters brings the "workload" down from 21 missions to 9 for the week as a whole which goes a long way towards making D2 less of a second job. Being able to tackle one character every other day will be helpful.
I played enough Crucible to know that the 4v4 works like they intend it to but I would still rather have five other people to socialize with than three. I am hoping Iron banner retains 6v6 because of my next point.
Did the Nightfall and was able to complete it and the social aspect of the game is still there. If Bungie did anything right they made a game that has the best gameplay and mechanics that you want to share doing with other people. Our clan has already hit Level 2 and we have gotten engrams for Crucible and the NF for other people who may not get those kinds of rewards week in and week out. I like that. Many D1 conversations revolved around what if there was a Raid mechanic where I could gift my armor or weapons to someone I was in that activity with or a clan member and this so far seems like a good meeting point between ideas that were thrown around and where we are.
Final verdict if you're on the fence? Get the game. Meet some people you don't know and have some fun a few hours each week. Make "friends" over those mics. The story isn't going to blow your socks off but the game play overall, the mechanics of the NF modifiers and hopefully the Raid will. Vault of Glass and King's Fall were unbelievable gameplay and social times that were a lot of fun. Crota's End not as much but the social aspect of beating and climbing and being excited for your friend who has done this raid 50 times and finally got that weapon was fantastic. I don't imagine things will take that long anymore with the smarter loot system but the social aspect should shine on regardless.
Right now I see you easily getting your $60 bucks worth out the game. Hell, I could see you getting a console+games worth out of your money. The first DLC does not come out until December. Hard Mode Raid drops in October or November I believe. Ask me again in October if I still feel the game is worth it. I may have a better view because when I hit max light I can always fall back to Overwatch.
But as of right now, if you don't have it and have been wanting someone to help nudge you to it? Take it from someone who thought Bungie was gonna fuck this up. They haven't yet. Which might be damning with faint praise but I can fairly say you'll enjoy the social aspect of shooting aliens in the face enough to warrant a purchase.
*EDIT* Amos and Zhukov, I'm looking at you with some of these recommendations to get the game.
Edited by TzuDohNihm - 9/11/17 at 12:07pm