Stadia is a very new platform for gaming, offering a collection of games to those who want to purchase them, and play them in their Google Chrome browser, or through Chromecast. We’re slowly working our way through each of the games, starting with the free Stadia Pro offerings, and discussing how well they play through the service. In this article we’re looking at Destiny 2, the beloved MMO sci-fi shooter that prides itself on its shooting and the drive players feel to come back and play each day.
Given what we saw just days before Stadia released to the public, I thought that Destiny 2 would be a total wreck on the platform. I was wrong to think this, because once the servers had been sorted out, the game played, and still does play, very well. The controls feel just as precise, and the more I played, the better I felt like I got at the game. The controller definitely takes some adjusting to, because it’s so totally different to the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 or the Xbox controller, but other than that you can pretty much just jump straight in.
The only downside I noticed, other than the two large ones I’ll discuss in a moment, is the visuals. Having played Destiny 2 on a PS4 Pro for the last couple of years or so, I was easily able to notice the visual downgrade on Stadia. With that said, the game looks fine, it just doesn’t look as good as it does on every other platform. This is pretty disappointing, because visuals are a huge thing for me, but it didn’t get in the way of actually playing the game. More than anything, it just felt like I was playing on a lower quality monitor, but really that’s it.
The game was fast to load up, and actually jumped into different areas way quicker than the PS4 version. I now find myself using the Stadia version to prep for longer sessions on the PS4, acquiring bounties or handling the mundane aspects of the game, but saving the big exciting things for PS4.
This is an issue for Stadia on a larger scale, but in Destiny 2 I felt the effects as well. Due to the smaller user base, getting into a multiplayer match was a nightmare. Crucible matches would load up to about 11 out of 12 players, and then we’d all sit there waiting for the elusive twelfth, who I didn’t see before I gave up. This was frustrating, but at least it was’t a problem when Iron Banner, the in-game multiplayer focused event, came around. There definitely need to be more players on Stadia, but over time that should fix this particular issue, as long as Google support the service.
The big issue with Destiny 2 on Stadia is sound. There’s a delay between doing something, and hearing the associated noise. From shooting to jumping and punching, everything has a delay of about one or two seconds, and it drives me crazy. For this reason alone I played Destiny 2 with no sound on whilst using Stadia, and I don’t think that’s going to change. It’s not the biggest problem for me, but for someone who is using this as their main gaming platform, this is disastrous. I’m yet to test whether this is an issue on other games, but if it is then this could be a big reason for Stadia falling at the first hurdle.
Overall Destiny 2 is a fun game to play on Stadia. It’s got everything you need in there, apart from the larger expansions, which is in-line with the free version of the game elsewhere. Whilst it takes a bit of time to adjust to the new controller, once you’ve got there you won’t notice any issues. Aside from the visual downgrade, from PS4 at least, the sound issues are disastrous. I could see people actively not playing the game on Stadia just because of how annoying this can get. Then again, if you have a podcast or audiobook you’d like to listen to, putting that on whilst grinding out some levels for Season of the Undying might be a pleasant past time.