How is Destiny 2's PC Version?

Destiny 2, Bungie’s epic MMO-Shooter-Thingie first dropped for consoles last month, and since then those of us who really, really suck at FPS on gamepads have had to stare through the fence, envious of all the space adventures console-based Guardians got to enjoy. Finally, after a lot of praying and a bit of waiting, it’s finally here on PC.

Bungie stresses that Destiny 2’s PC build is not a port; it was developed alongside the console versions as part of a “One Design Build” vision of parity between every platform. That hasn’t precluded it from having some impressive options menus on-par with some of the best PC exclusives, though with a few caveats.

Graphics wise, it has all the basic features, like full resolution options (and borderless windowed mode), anti-aliasing modes, and texture quality, which can be seen in full in the video above.  But it also has some more advanced features such as an impressively wide FOV range, chromatic aberration, render resolution (up to 200% your normal dimensions) and film grain. For those with displays that can make use of them, there are also HDR and 21:9 (ultra-wide) support available.

Control settings are equally comprehensive, with options for controllers (although, as it is a Battle.net exclusive, getting the Steam Controller to work with it can be a bit arduous) and mice alike. A lot was made before launch of the game having aim-assist, something that just isn’t needed on a keyboard and mouse set up, however, this is also adjustable and hasn’t been a problem for me in normal play so far.

 

  • Up to 21:9 resolutions
  • HDR
  • Chromatic aberration
  • Almost full key-mapping support
  • Multiple colourblind modes

One place Destiny 2’s PC options slightly falter is in its key mapping. Most functions are there and fully rebindable (although the lack of secondary binding is disappointing), but I did have conflicts with the game and my Nvidia GeForce overlay both making use of the F1 key. It turns out that’s one of the few things that can’t be changed, meaning I had to go and faff about with GeForce instead to avoid accidentally opening my character menu whenever taking a screenshot.

There are some neat accessibility options, such as altering subtitles independently from overall language settings and a whole host of colourblind modes. However, I have seen other games – even in the same MMO-shooter genre such as The Division – offer much, much more in this regard.

For a brand new AAA game developed for PC in 2017, the recommended specs are surprisingly low. 8GB RAM, an Intel i5 or Ryzen R5 1600X and a GT970 or AMD R9 390 are all you need to get it running at a playable framerate. On stronger systems, that means Destiny 2, on the whole, runs like an absolute dream while also being one of the best-looking games on PC at the moment.

For those who can benefit from it, framerate is not capped at all, so those with 120Hz or above screens will be able to squeeze every frame they need out of it. Bar a few of the more complex areas, such as Titan’s constantly-shifting terrain, I enjoyed a constant 60FPS (with the lock turned on) regardless of how much action was going on on-screen. And even in those few dip-prone areas, I never saw my framerate counter drop below 45, and generally averaged out at around 55-58.

  • Unlocked framerate
  • Reasonable recommended specs
  • Doesn’t work on AMD Phenom II CPUs
  • A few minor dips on my GTX 1080 Ti

There is an exception to all of this, and that is AMD Phenom II systems. While old in hardware terms, and technically below the minimum spec of an AMD FX-4350 or higher, Phenom II is still a widely used processor in many gaming rigs. Not many games outright refuse to play with a Phenom II, but reports suggest that Destiny 2 is one of them, causing crashes. Weirder still, those problems weren’t present in the PC beta for the game. If you’re using a Phenom II, caveat emptor.

The biggest problem I have found with Destiny 2’s PC release so far is, bizarrely, in its anti-cheat policy. The game forbids most kinds of third-party overlay from working, including programs such as Discord, Mumble, OBS, Xsplit, MSI Afterburner, and Fraps. Considering programs like Discord are pretty much essential when playing co-operative games with friends, and Fraps and Afterburner help monitor hardware without providing any in-game advantage, banning them altogether is nonsensical at best. Fortunately, it looks like GeForce Experience works, otherwise, this article would’ve been without any screenshots!

But those few niggles are just that. For a game that has been developed with symmetry between all three major platforms in mind, Bungie has done an astonishing job. It looks superb (I’d say it even gives current standard-bearer The Witcher 3 a run for its money), runs amazing, and has a good array of settings. Bungie certainly hasn’t lost its touch in the 16 years it’s been away from PC.

Review code was provided for the purposes of this PC report.

OS: Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 64-bit

CPU: Intel Core i3-3250 3.5 GHz/Pentium G4560 3.5GHZ or AMD FX-4350 4.2 GHz

CPU: GeForce GTX 660 2GB/GTX 1050 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB

RAM: 6GB

Storage space: 68GB

OS: Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 64-bit

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.4 GHz/i5-7400 3.5 GHz or AMD Ryzen R5 1600X 3.6 GHz

GPU: Nvidia GTX 970 4GB/GTX 1060 6GB or AMD R9 390 8GB

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 68GB

OS: Windows 10 64-bit

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 4.0 GHz

GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

RAM: 16GB

Installed on an NVMe SSD, run at default settings shown in video above.

Joe is LPVG’s resident hardware nerd. If it’s overpriced and has gaudy RGB lighting, he’s probably drooling over it. He loves platformers, MMOs, RPGs, hack ‘n slashers and FPS, with his favourite games being Mirror’s Edge, Left 4 Dead, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Oblivion and Dead Space. Don’t ask him about his unhealthily large Monsters Inc memorabilia collection. Seriously, just don’t ask…

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