Star Wars Rebels: Season 4 Episodes 3-4 (Television Review) – Saw Gerrera vs. Mon Mothma Delivers

Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels started off in a great way with ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and, thinking back, I think I underappreciated how great it was to get two episodes back-to-back. Obviously, the more Rebels we get, the better. I’d love to watch the whole season right now but that is not going to happen so getting to watch two episodes last week instead of one is fantastic. The good times seem to be continuing because the next instalment of Season 4, titled ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, was also a two-parter.

Clearly, the focus of this episode would shift towards the formation of the Rebel Alliance and I was excited about this. It was a great opportunity to strengthen the links that this television show has with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: A New Hope. Moreover, with Saw Gerrera returning, I was eager to see this character continued to be developed. I was also very intrigued to see what state the Rebel Alliance was in at that time because, as we know, the Rebel Alliance as we saw it in the Original Trilogy is not formed at the time this episode takes place.

Captain Rex and Rebels on Yavin 4 in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

Certainly, there is still division within the Rebel Alliance about how the fight against the Empire should be waged in terms of the methods used and how far they should go to overthrow the Empire. Having both Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma in this episode of Star Wars Rebels was a great way to showcase this clash in styles when it comes to what the Rebel Alliance stands for and how it should fight.

My Thoughts on ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’

‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ was a very good continuation of Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels and what really impressed me in this two-parter was how well it dealt with the meaning of the Rebel Alliance. As I mentioned above, part of this purpose of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ was to showcase the contrast between Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma and their belief in the direction that the fight against the Empire should be fought.

Mon Mothma listening to Saw Gerrera on Yavin 4 in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

This was done brilliantly in a scene between the two where Saw manages to rattle Mon Mothma who has always been portrayed as being a calm presence. To see Mon Mothma take Saw Gerrera’s words to heart to such a large degree was fascinating to see. Indeed, seeing Mon Mothma label Gerrera as a criminal rather than a rebel showed how much Gerrera’s words affected her and, to be honest, she is not wrong.

Certainly, we saw a glimpse of Gerrera’s mentality towards war in Rogue One and he did not seem to have much of a moral compass or a limit to how far he would go to defeat the Empire. I have also been reading books such as Guardians of the Whills and Rebel Rising which give further insight into how Saw has no boundaries and will do whatever it takes to bring the Empire down. This itself is driven by guilt and regret for the death of Stella, his sister, and the loss of his home planet of Onderon to the Empire.

Members of the Rebel Alliance on Yavin 4 in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

Saw and Ezra

These events changed Saw and they really came to the forefront in ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, especially as it was a parallel with what Ezra was dealing with in this episode. Indeed, Ezra wants to liberate Lothal from the Empire and he was taken in by Saw’s ability to get things done and strike at Imperial targets. In the first part of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, an Imperial relay station was the target and the hijacking of Imperial cargo stored on a civilian vessel was the target in the second part of this episode of Star Wars Rebels.

The approach that Saw Gerrera took in this episode showed both his willingness to fight the Empire and the contrast in style that he has with the Rebel Alliance under Mon Mothma. Yet, it also showed how he will do anything to hurt the Empire, even if it means betraying Ezra and Sabine which he eventually did. Moreover, he showed a complete disregard for the prisoners they found and all of this led Ezra to the point where, while he sympathised with Saw about the loss of Onderon and his own way in fighting the Empire, he finally decided to side with Mon Mothma’s approach to fighting the Empire.

Saw Gerrera, Sabine and Ezra in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

I appreciated that Ezra came to this decision as it is proof of his development and maturity as a character. Still, he still acts like an idiot sometimes and that was evident in this episode of Star Wars Rebels. Instead of completing the mission at the Imperial relay station, he was clowning about and trying to impersonate an Imperial officer. By doing this, he jeopardised a mission which could have helped the Rebel Alliance gain an important advantage over the Empire.

Return of Kallus

Still, that is a small nit-pick and it did not take away from how well ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ dealt with the meaning of the Rebel Alliance, the methods it should employ when fighting the Empire and the way that Saw Gerrera continued to be developed as a character. I also liked that Agent Kallus appeared for the first time in Season 4.

Kallus, Ezra and Hera in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

I am so pleased that he is now a fully-fledged member of the Rebel Alliance. His arc in Rebels has been great to watch and episodes in Season 3 that dealt with his story such as ‘An Inside Man’ and ‘Through Imperial Eyes’ were very good. Now, he is back in Season 4 and he has a cool look now as well. Indeed, some fans of Star Wars Rebels are now referring to him as “Hot Kallus”!

Ties to Rogue One and A New Hope

Nonetheless, Saw Gerrera was arguably the main focus of this episode and he was one element of many in this episode of Star Wars Rebels that strengthened the ties that this show has with Rogue One and A New Hope. Seeing Mon Mothma and Wedge Antilles were nice tie-ins to the film series and we also returned to Yavin 4. It was great to see this iconic location in an animated form. It was awesome to see Y-Wings and to have Bail Organa make a cameo appearance was cool given his role in Rogue One which itself made me appreciate this character to a much larger degree than I had before.

Death Troopers in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

Before Rogue One, Bail Organa was not someone I really liked or cared about, largely because the Prequels are awful. I always associated Bail Organa with those films and the part he played in them but seeing Bail in Rogue One, reading about him in the novels and the appearances he has made in Star Wars Rebels has helped me come around on this character. Instead of groaning about his appearances, I enjoy them because his character has been executed in a much better way than it was in the Prequels.

Yet, the ties to the film series that were my favourites were found in the second part of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’. While Saw, Sabine and Ezra were on their mission to hijack Imperial cargo, they ran into Death Troopers and there was a mention of Jedha which could only mean a couple of things; the cargo was of importance to Director Orson Krennic (who also gets a mention in this episode) and it had to do with the Death Star. Indeed, this turned out to be the case when we saw that the cargo was a giant Kyber crystal.

Kyber Crystal in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

Kyber crystals were used to give the Death Star the power to destroy planets and to see this episode of Star Wars Rebels have so many links to the events of Rogue One and A New Hope was brilliant. I mentioned in my review of ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ that I expected Season 4 to move towards and have strong links with the events of Rogue One and A New Hope. ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ is absolutely a great step in that direction. The only question I have from this episode is how and when did Saw sustain the horrendous injuries that we see he had in Rogue One? Hopefully, we will find out in the future.

Star Wars Rebels: Season 4 Episodes 1-2 (Television Review) – A Mature Season Premiere

To say that the wait for Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels has been difficult is an understatement. A big reason why the wait was so unbearable is because Season 3 was, for me, the best season of this television series. If you read any of my reviews for Season 3, you will know that I consider that season to have some of the best episodes, best character moments and, in Grand Admiral Thrawn, the best villain we have had in Star Wars Rebels.

Moreover, I believed that the finale of Season 3 set up Season 4 in such a brilliant way that it could successfully accomplish many feats. These include, but are not limited to, giving us closure to the uncompleted story arcs from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, closing out the journeys of Kanan and Ezra as well as tying into the film series. Indeed, before I watched the two-episode premiere of Season 4, titled ‘Heroes of Mandalore’, I was expecting this season of Star Wars Rebels to have an abundance of links with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: A New Hope.

Kanan and Hera in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

I could not wait to see what was in store for this season and to have ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ focus on Sabine and, obviously, her home planet of Mandalore really excited me. Indeed, episodes in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels that focused on Sabine and Mandalore such as ‘Trials of the Darksaber’ ranked amongst the best episodes of that season and of Star Wars Rebels in general. I hoped that ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ would be on the same level of quality as those episodes.

My Thoughts on ‘Heroes of Mandalore’

‘Heroes of Mandalore’ was an excellent start to Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels and I was very impressed with how the tone of this season feels much more darker and serious than previous seasons. As I said earlier, the focus was on Sabine in ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and we see how her troubled past with the Empire comes back to haunt her in a big way.

Sabine in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

The reason for Sabine and other characters such as Kanan, Ezra, Chopper and Fenn Rau to be on Mandalore was to rescue Alrich Wren; Sabine’s father. This itself was a mission approved by Mon Mothma (or, as Saw Gerrera may see it, an “errand” rather than a mission). In the process of rescuing her father, Sabine has to deal with the fact that the Empire used the weapon she built when she was younger to kill Mandalorians.

The weapon, known as The Duchess, wiped out a lot of Mandalorians from Clan Wren by using their own armour against them. They were turned to dust in a matter of seconds and it made for some quite striking and mature imagery, especially as I initially believed that Sabine’s mother, Ursa Wren, and Sabine’s brother, Tristan, had died.  This did not turn out to be the case but I was shocked and also pleased that the show went so far in its depiction of this event.

Bo Katan and Sabine in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

I also liked the fact that Mandalorian Armour, which is sacred to all Mandalorians, was what made The Duchess so effective; what was once their strength now became their weakness. To see how Sabine reacted to this heart-breaking situation was proof of how far Star Wars Rebels has come in terms of its maturity and depth.

Return of Bo Katan

Moreover, it demonstrates how much Sabine has been fleshed out and grown as a character throughout the run of this show. Obviously, this situation was incredibly tough to take for both Sabine and for those around her which included a returning character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This was Bo Katan. In my review of ‘Legacy of Mandalore’, I mentioned how I believed that Bo Katan would be the ruler that Sabine sought to find. This leader would unite the clans of Mandalore against the Empire.

Sabine and Bo Katan in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

It was therefore interesting to see that Bo Katan initially rejected the offer of leadership and ownership of the Darksaber. I liked Bo Katan’s role in ‘Heroes of Mandalore’, especially her relationship with Sabine which was not plain sailing. Indeed, learning of Sabine’s role in the creation of The Duchess infuriated Bo Katan who believed this to be an act of cowardice that went against Mandalorian culture.

In fact, I would argue that a huge strength of ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ was how it dealt with the ideas of what it means to be a Mandalorian. Themes such as honour, freedom and history are essential to the culture of Mandalore and to get more insight into this fascinating culture was great to see. Bo Katan is the embodiment of these ideals which made it even more satisfying when she embraced her role as leader and wielder of the Darksaber at the end of ‘Heroes of Mandalore’.

Bo Katan wielding the Darksaber, Sabine, Ursa Wren and Mandalorians in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

Comedic Moments

There were other highlights too. For instance, even with the brilliant mature, darker moments that were in this episode, humour is essential to what makes Star Wars Rebels such an enjoyable TV show to watch. In ‘Heroes of Mandalore’, a lot of the comedic relief came from Ezra whose struggles with his jet pack made for some very funny moments that included crashing into a TIE fighter with awkward grace.

It was also cool to get a cameo from Thrawn in ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and his cameo was devoted to The Duchess and how he focused on the artistry of the weapon. From what we saw of Thrawn in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels and in the book Star Wars: Thrawn, his appreciation of art is key to his character and it was cool to see his take on what made the weapon so special.

Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

Overall, ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ was a great way to start Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels. It successfully established the tone for this season which seems to be much darker in nature while still having the moments of comedic relief that make this show so fun to watch. I am really excited to see the future episodes build upon what was established in ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and for this final season of Star Wars Rebels to close out the main story-lines in a fulfilling way.

Blade Runner 2049 (Film Review) – A Sequel That Surpasses The Original

Blade Runner 2049 is a science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and stars Dave Bautista, Ana de ArmasSylvia HoeksRobin Wright, Mackenzie DavisCarla JuriJared Leto, Lennie James, Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. This film is a sequel to the cult classic Blade Runner and it is set thirty years after the events of the original film.

The story focuses on K (Ryan Gosling), a replicant blade runner who discovers the remains of a once-pregnant replicant; Rachael (Sean Young). K must fulfil his mission to find the child and eradicate all evidence related to it. This eventually leads him to discover that the child is linked to missing blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford).

My Knowledge and Expectation of Blade Runner 2049

I must make a confession. Up until a couple of weeks before its release, Blade Runner 2049 was not a film that I was desperately craving to see. This was down to one reason; I had never seen Blade Runner in its entirety. Consequently, l lacked both the emotional connection that many film fanatics have for the original and anticipation for the sequel. I knew I had to watch The Final Cut of Blade Runner before I watched Blade Runner 2049.

Ryan Gosling as K in Blade Runner 2049

So, five days before I was going to see Blade Runner 2049, I watched Blade Runner and, while I do not see it as a masterpiece, I liked the film. This was especially true of the cinematography and the score which were fantastic. Still, what prevented me from loving the film was a story that, to me, lacked a little bit of purpose and a relationship between Deckard and Rachael that I did not buy.

I did believe that, if I liked Blade Runner 2049, then it could potentially improve my opinion and appreciation of Blade Runner. Moreover, it is unlikely that a better director could have been picked to helm this film in the form of Denis Villeneuve. Certainly, he is quickly becoming one of the best directors that is working in the film industry today and he is building an impressive filmography. Indeed, Sicario was arguably the best film that I saw in 2015 and Prisoners was a great film that really left an impact on me.

Still, while Villeneuve is an extremely talented director, he has made films which fell below the lofty standards that Sicario and Prisoners established. For instance, while I liked Arrival, I came to eventually feel that it was a bit overrated and I did not like Enemy at all. Still, despite this, Villeneuve has done enough brilliant work with Sicario and Prisoners to make me extremely confident that he would do a tremendous job with Blade Runner 2049.

Ana De Armas as Joi in Blade Runner 2049

Additionally, he had an extremely talented cast to work with. Certainly, Harrison Ford is a legendary actor and Robin Wright has more than proven herself to be an accomplished actress both in films and television. Both Jared Leto and Ryan Gosling have also impressed me as actors. Leto was brilliant in Dallas Buyers Club and Ryan Gosling made all the headlines with his role in La La Land.

Yet, it was in films such as Drive, The Ides of March and The Big Short where Gosling really impressed me as an actor. With all of this in mind, I had a lot of hope that Blade Runner 2049 would be a great cinematic experience. I also took the time to watch the three short films that were released prior to the release of Blade Runner 2049 and I thought they were all very enjoyable and interesting. I was sure that they would elevate my appreciation of Blade Runner 2049.

My Thoughts on Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is a phenomenal film and it accomplished a very difficult feat in being a sequel that surpasses the original. Truly, this is a near-flawless film which equals the best aspects of Blade Runner and improves on others. I mentioned above how the cinematography and the score in Blade Runner really impressed me. The same can be said for Blade Runner 2049. This film is a visual masterpiece that perfectly captures the essence of the lived-in world that was established in Blade Runner.

Dave Bautista as Sapper Morton in Blade Runner 2049

Every shot is so beautifully crafted and artistic that Roger Deakins, the cinematographer, is an absolute lock to get an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography. I will go even further than that. If Deakins does not win the Oscar for this film after being nominated thirteen times, then there truly is no justice in this world. Hans Zimmer also delivers a great score for Blade Runner 2049 that recaptured what made the music that Vangelis composed for Blade Runner so brilliant.

Across the board, the performances in Blade Runner 2049 are amazing. No one took me out of the film with poor acting. Leto, Gosling, Armas, Ford, Bautista, Wright, Hoeks; they all delivered. I have been very impressed by how far Dave Bautista has come as an actor and, in his short role in this film, he gave a performance with a lot of depth. I really want to see him in many more films in the future because I think he will get better and better as time goes on.

Ryan Gosling gives a great performance as the lead character and continues to go from strength to strength as an actor. I hope that the performances given by Ana De Armas and Sylvia Hoeks are breakout performances that propel these two into stardom. I had seen little of these actresses before this film and they were big surprises. They were very captivating in their roles.

Farm set on fire in Blade Runner 2049

Harrison Ford

Another surprise was how little Harrison Ford’s role in Blade Runner 2049 was. Indeed, Harrison Ford was only in the third act of the film which threw me off guard. I was kind of expecting Blade Runner 2049 to rely on Ford for a good majority of its run-time but, in the end, I was perfectly happy with the role he played. He was brilliant when he was on screen and the smaller role that he had allowed the other cast members to shine.

As I said, the whole cast were great and helped to tell the story in this film that itself was a perfect continuation of Blade Runner. The premise of Blade Runner 2049 was fantastic. I had no idea about the plot of this film before seeing it which made the revelations that occurred throughout this film very impactful and shocking.

The premise of this film as well as the surprising revelations were huge factors in why I was much more connected to the story in Blade Runner 2049 than I was in Blade Runner. I was enthralled and engaged with this story from beginning to end and I would say that the strength of the story in this film is the main reason why I believe that Blade Runner 2049 is a better film than Blade Runner.

Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049

The Minor Flaws of Blade Runner 2049

Still, as much as I have praised Blade Runner 2049 and stated that it is a near-flawless film, I have some minor issues. For one, while I was enthralled with this film from a story perspective, I do feel that this film could have been trimmed by 5-10 minutes as some scenes did go on for a bit longer than they needed too.

Yet, my issue with that was always negated by the fact that I was also enthralled from a visual perspective. I never got bored while watching this film as there was always something for me to admire. Another small issue that I have is that there was no scene in Blade Runner 2049 as memorable or iconic as the “tears in rain” monologue that was delivered by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) in Blade Runner.

However, Blade Runner 2049 is a consistently better film than Blade Runner so that was not a big deal. Watching this film was a wonderful cinematic experience. It is competing with Wind River as being the best film that I have seen so far in 2017 and it is competing with Sicario in regards of being my favourite film directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Ana De Armas as Joi and Ryan Gosling as K in Blade Runner 2049

I would be stunned if this film does not get a bunch of nominations at the Oscars. Surely, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography nominations are forthcoming? This film is brilliant and I hope that you get to experience Blade Runner 2049 where it deserves to be seen; on the big screen.

Rick and Morty Season 3 (Television Review) – The Best Season So Far

Rick and Morty has quickly become one of my favourite shows that is currently airing. I reviewed the first and second season earlier this year after binge-watching the show on Netflix and it was very entertaining. Rick Sanchez is one of the funniest characters that I have ever had the pleasure to watch and I was expecting more of the same wacky humour in Season 3.

Additionally, I was hoping for this season of television to be much more consistent in terms of quality. Even though I really liked Season 1 and 2 of Rick and Morty, there were some episodes that were underwhelming. I was eager to find out whether Season 3 could be the best season of Rick and Morty so far.

Rick Sanchez in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 1 The Rickshank Rickdemption

My Thoughts on Season 3 of Rick and Morty

The premiere of Season 3, titled ‘The Rickshank Rickdemption’, was actually released back in April and it immediately became my favourite episode of Rick and Morty so far. This made it even more agonising that I had to wait until the end of July before I could watch the next episode. Still, while difficult, the wait was worth it. For me, this is the best season of Rick and Morty that I have had the pleasure of watching.

As a whole, Season 3 felt like a step above the previous seasons in many regards. For one, the animation was superb. You can see why it took such a long time for this season of Rick and Morty to be made judging from how far the animation has come from Season 2. This was particularly evident in ‘The Rickshank Redemption’ as well as ‘Pickle Rick’ and ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’.

Rick Sanchez Mulan Sauce Gif in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 1 The Rickshank Rickdemption

Moreover, ‘Pickle Rick’ and ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’, along with episodes such as ‘Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender’ and ‘Rest and Ricklaxation’, proved how brilliant the comedy in Rick and Morty really is. These episodes were hysterically funny, especially ‘Rest and Ricklaxation’ and ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’. For me, those episodes cemented this season as being the best so far. I was nearly crying with laughter while watching these episodes.

The Brilliance of Rick Sanchez + A Darker Tone

Rick Sanchez was at the heart of all the brilliant moments during this season. Truly, he is becoming an iconic television character both from a comedic perspective and from a dramatic perspective too. Indeed, Season 3 had a much darker and serious tone compared to Season 1 and 2. We have seen how Rick and Morty is not afraid to address serious issues in the past and Season 3 is no different. Certainly, a common theme that was prevalent throughout this season was the issue of Beth and Jerry’s divorce.

Rick Sanchez in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 3 Pickle Rick

We see how the divorce has impacted both Morty and Summer and I appreciated that, even with all the crazy adventures and events going on this season, the divorce and the issues within the family were always present. It helped to ground the show when it needed to be grounded. Additionally, ‘Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender’ dealt with the relationship between Morty and Rick in a way which blended comedy and drama in a seamless way.

Still, the most dramatic moments occurred during ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’. I mentioned how I regard that episode as being one of the funniest but I also feel that, at the same time, it dealt with some very heavy stuff. The focus of this episode is on the redevelopment of the Citadel of Ricks and, in many ways, the episode was a commentary on our own society. This was especially evident during a speech made by a Morty who was running for President. The speech drew a lot of parallels between the divides present in the Citadel and the divides in our own world.

Rick and Morty Breakdown Gif in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 6 Rest and Ricklaxation

Evil Morty!!!

This was a truly heartfelt moment that was evidence of how fantastic Rick and Morty can be in its more serious, darker moments. This made it all the more shocking when we see that it was actually Evil Morty who delivered this speech which, in turn, helped him become President! Evil Morty was a character that was introduced in Season 1 of Rick and Morty and this is the first time we have seen him since. This was such a great call back to make and I am sure we will see this story-line be developed in future seasons.

As you can see, the strongest episodes in Season 3 of Rick and Morty really impressed me and even the weaker episodes were still very enjoyable. Episodes such as ‘Rickmancing the Stone’ and ‘The ABC’s of Beth’ will not rank amongst the best episodes of Rick and Morty but they were still good. Moreover, I thought that even though ‘Morty’s Mind Blowers’ was effectively a clip show, it was cool for the twist to be that these were clips we had never seen.

Evil Morty in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 7 The Ricklantis Mixup

Learning From Your Mistakes

It also proved how the showrunners learn from the weakest aspects of previous seasons due to the fact that ‘Morty’s Mind Blowers’ was also a great twist on the interdimensional cable episodes. To me, when we had an episode like this in Season 1 and 2, they were always the weakest episodes of that season. ‘Morty’s Mind Blowers’ was a huge improvement from those type of episodes.

The only thing from Season 3 that was a bit underwhelming was the season finale. While I still liked the episode, it did not reach the same heights that the finale of Season 2 did. Still, I am really nitpicking here which proves how I consider Season 3 to be a great season of Rick and Morty and TV in general. Now I am just bummed out that we are probably going to have to wait a good while before Season 4 comes out.

Destiny 2 (Video Game Campaign Review) – A Giant Leap Forward

Destiny 2 is a first-person shooter developed by Bungie and published by Activision. It was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and it will shortly be released on Microsoft Windows too. This video game is the sequel to 2014’s Destiny and the various expansions which followed. The story of Destiny 2 focuses on an attack on the Last City, humanity’s safe-haven protected by Guardians. The attack is made by the alien race known as the Cabal who are led by their emperor, Dominus Ghaul. Ghaul infiltrates the Last City and strips all Guardians of their Light. As the player, you must set out on a journey to regain your Light, find a way to defeat Ghaul and take back the Last City.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Destiny 2

I have been playing Destiny since Day One and I was hugely impressed by how that game got progressively better over time. Bungie took the criticism from the fans and, with each expansion, improved different aspects of the game. With that in mind, I could not wait for the next instalment in this franchise. In fact, this has probably been my most anticipated video game in 2017. I had a lot of faith in Destiny 2 to continue the upward streak from Destiny and its subsequent expansions, especially from a story perspective.

Dominus Ghaul and the Red Legion in Destiny 2

My Thoughts on Destiny 2

Compared to the campaign that launched with Destiny, Destiny 2 is a significant improvement. The campaign in Destiny 2 is much more cinematic and has a larger focus on coherent narrative. I really liked this campaign. Obviously, the gameplay cannot be massively improved from Destiny because it is pretty much perfect for a first-person shooter. The gameplay is as stellar as ever in Destiny 2 and I loved how vehicles were a part of the gameplay experience for this launch campaign. Indeed, it reminded me of the glory days of Halo (which is basically everything before the train wreck that was Halo 5. God that campaign was awful).

I also thought that much more effort was put into the cut-scenes for this campaign and it really paid off. Apart from looking beautiful, they also added to the story that was being told in Destiny 2 both from a dramatic and comedic perspective. You feel the dramatic weight of the hopelessness facing the Guardians in some cut-scenes and you can also appreciate the more humorous moments when they occur, especially when Cayde-6 (Nathan Fillion) is involved.

Cayde-6 holding a chicken in Destiny 2

Cayde-6 = Legend

Certainly, Cayde-6 became one of my favourite characters in Destiny. He was brilliant comedic relief in that video game and he continued to entertain me in Destiny 2 whether he was stroking a chicken, interacting with Failsafe or poking fun at Zavala (Lance Reddick). Nathan Fillion does a great job in voicing Cayde-6 and I am looking forward to seeing more of this charismatic character in the future.

Still, the element of the campaign in Destiny 2 that I loved above all else was the score. The music in this campaign was fantastic and it really elevated the emotional impact of the story, especially after The Last City is lost and the Guardians lose their Light. The music that plays during that part in the story is outstanding and the score was consistently great throughout the campaign.

Gameplay in Destiny 2

The Flaws of Destiny 2

As you can see, there are a lot of positives when it comes to the campaign in Destiny 2. It is a huge leap forward in terms of storytelling but, obviously, there are things which I think could have been better. For one, the loading times in between the cut-scenes were a bit too long which did have a detrimental impact on the flow of the story. I also thought that the boss battle at the end of this campaign was a bit underwhelming.

However, my biggest complaint with the campaign was the fact that a symbol appeared every time before we had a cut-scene that focused on the Cabal. I should say that I really liked how we had cut-scenes which focused on the antagonists as it fleshed out characters such as Ghaul. Yet, the symbol that appeared before these cut-scenes removed the mystery. We never see this happen in films or TV shows and it weakened a campaign that was aiming to be more cinematic. Still, in general, it does succeed at being cinematic. The campaign in Destiny 2 is a much better launch campaign than Destiny and it gives me a lot of faith in Bungie to deliver even more in the future expansions and instalments of this franchise.