Through the fire and the flames, we go again with controversy in the gaming industry. I’m sharing with you the reasons I believe Destiny 2, despite its reception upon release, will only get better from here on out. I will be asking a lot of questions, as well as giving my most honest answers for you to view and dictate into your own opinion.
Destiny is a looter-shooter fps game that’s been around since September 9th, 2014. Destiny was developed and released by Bungie (The same developers that made every Halo game up to Halo; Reach,) in partnership with Activision with a mixed bag of feedback. While some said that the story was severely lacking, others loved the nitty-gritty grind that came with finding rare, shiny weapons for you to use in the game. It had it’s ups and downs and still does. Fast-forward to now; Destiny 2 was released on September 9th of 2017, and had an alternate release just recently to PC on October 24th, also of this year. So, we can safely say that Destiny as a franchise has been here for a while, and has no intention of leaving anytime soon.
So, what’s so bad about the sequel, as well as in comparison with its predecessor?
The release of Destiny 1 was a whole new step for Bungie. Looter-shooters have been around for awhile, examples being games like Borderlands, Warframe, and many others. Bungie was stepping into a game genre which wasn’t too explored. They wanted to create something unique and fresh, of which they actually accomplished, but with some messes along the way. The original Destiny had four major problems with it at launch, another coming later. These four problems consisted of a story without any real meaning or content to wow the player, a lack of content in gameplay, a struggle with the balance between player abilities and weaponry among PVP, and the utterly boring grind it took in order to get the best weapons and armor available.
The story was in short, bleak and unworthy of being under the Bungie name considering their past experience with the Halo series. Bungie veteran Joe Staten was at the head of writers for two whole years worth of story into the making of Destiny. When his years of work was presented to the administration, he was shot down. Bungie scrapped the story and started fresh, a whole two years into the development of the game. This is not to say that with the initial story, Destiny would’ve been more successful. We can’t say that at all because the story was never told. The belief is that the development team didn’t end up having any time left in order to flesh out characters, create meaningful dialogues, and tell a story that would really involve the player into this new world. They really fell short, and I personally believe that this was the fault of Bungie’s administration, not for dumping one story and jumping to another but executing it with only limited time before release.
As you got into Destiny, the content was all there. Although the story was lacking, it was still there, and there were plenty of side-quests to embark upon. Even more difficult versions of them. Then, the heart of Destiny content came out as their first raid, The Vault of Glass. A challenging, mission with the incentive of bringing double the people you would for normal missions. And at first, this was a success. However, as the game flew further down it’s timeline, players began to complain that there was nothing more to do, they had knocked all they could, got to the highest level possible, and all the missions began to get bland and boring as they played them over and over again. Bungie responded with paid expansions to their game, which came with another issue. These expansions simply added to the already-existing content. No new areas were created. People were paying for missions that already existed in the vanilla version of the game. And this enraged some, while others felt indifferent with what they’ve been given. This problem existed for another new expansion in a lower fashion, as it did add a new area and new characters, but still fell short. This continued for the life of Destiny 1. Two steps forward, one step back.
The one very controversial issue that Destiny struggled with was “the grind.” Every week you would play challenging missions, do never-changing trials, and compete in a broken player-versus-player system that favored those who would end up having just the right weapon to outmatch all the others. The grind was unforgiving. From getting duplicates of weapons to being simply boring. However, players, found this to be very addictive. They just wanted that one weapon that everyone had to have. While they disliked the process, it was just too addicting for them leave. Updates were made to better this process but ended up failing as it’s people’s progression turned to tunnel-vision with raids and high-end competitive pvp. Unfortunately, it never got any better.
Now, enough talk about the first Destiny. How does this all relate to the sequel?
While Bungie wanted to expand on their semi-successful new IP even further, the problems that came with Destiny 1 ended up following to Destiny 2, converting themselves to a “new and improved” game. Destiny 2 lacked story. While it was better, some of it was irrelevant and unpleasantly surprising. While the content seemed to be in wide expanse, the way people play games nowadays made the content seem a little short on change. While the grind part of Destiny wasn’t as apparent as you first ran through the game, the endgame of Destiny 2 is a complete grind, and not a good one. It came across as not having great incentives, not giving a great probability of further progression, and ending up stale, just like the first game of the series.
Okay, so it all sounds like a roundhouse kick to veterans of Destiny. How could it possibly get better?
One reason why Destiny might get better is actually because of the release of another game similar to Destiny in 2018. Some might ask how that could possibly make Destiny better, but the truth is that the current Developers of the game are uninspired. The rise of a new IP that compares itself to the already-existing Bungie looter-shooter would have the developers wake up from their sleepy, lazy content production. The game? Bioware’s Anthem. This is a little bit of assumption, as we don’t know everything about Anthem. We’ve only seen and heard little things here and there, whatever Bioware was willing to tell us during the last EA E3 conference. What we can see from the videos that have been released is that it will be a third-person shooter with a loot system, multiplayer, and definite RPG-like elements, but that’s about it. The deal with Anthem’s release is that it may just end up competing with Destiny. There is no triple-a title on the market right now that can compete with Bungie’s own looter-shooter. Some might suggest Warframe, but in reality, Warframe is very different with a free-to-play system, a hero-esque character system, and much else. With the hype in the release of Anthem this 2018, Bungie is tasked with one action that any major business would have to take. They will fight back. This competition between looter-shooters will inspire both developers to do better, listen to what the community wants, and provide them with more. In the long run, I do believe that these games will actually end up indirectly helping each other to becoming some of the most popular games of 2018 going into 2019. The addition of a new looter-shooter may even inspire more on their way, as the trend might catch on to curious, explorative players of both RPG and FPS games. While I’m not shaming games like Call of Duty or Battlefield, FPS games like these have lacked innovation and serious content based on what the players have wanted. Games like Destiny really decided to explore this grey area, and while it wasn’t very successful at first, and is still struggling, this could very well be the future of a lot of FPS games.
The other reason that I can see clearly has to do with the progression of the first Destiny’s content. Destiny was made by a pre-release team of developers and then handed off to a post-game team of developers soon after release; completely new people working to make the game better after release. They did well in some ways, not as much in others, but really made Destiny a staple for some people, and that’s what counts. Destiny 2 is no different. Bungie went with the same exact game-plan and rather recently completely gave the development over to a new developer team. They have even teased what’s going to be coming up in the next season of content, as well as doing their best to address known issues and many other little issues with the game’s current state. They could end up really changing Destiny 2 for the better, and I have high hopes as always with a game I seriously enjoy.
Either way, Destiny 2 is only getting better from here on out.
With competition with Bioware and the switch of developers working on the post-game, we will soon get to see how far the team at Bungie will go in order to address the current concerns with Destiny 2. This coming December 5th is the release date for the first Destiny 2 expansion, Curse of Osiris, as well as the start of a whole new season of content for the players to experience. As I said earlier, Destiny isn’t going away anytime soon. This is mainly because of a ten-year contract Bungie signed with Activision to keep making more for the game, as well as sequels.
There is potential here, and I’m willing to see it through and provide what I can in terms of news and information directly to you, the viewer and possible player of a 3-year long game series. Let’s all hope for the betterment of Destiny, and a fantastic universe to explore with a hand on our hip and a kick in our step. Personally, I love this franchise despite negative feedback it receives. I realize the issues that have come with Destiny 2, mainly being its loss of content, but I don’t let those affect how much fun I have. I find myself coming back to it again and again, finding new ways to spend my time, reading up very interesting lore, and keeping myself up to date with Bungie’s news. I see the potential, and I’m willing to stick with this game until it meets my expectations.
Bioware’s Anthem: https://www.ea.com/games/anthem