How does the saying go, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”? Well, I guess shame on me then. This is my experience with Destiny 2.
When the first Destiny was announced, I instantly hopped on the hype train, soaking in every bit of information I could get my hands on. I would look for new videos with any tidbit of new information. I pre-ordered the collector’s edition the moment it was announced, took part in the closed and open betas and even started up a clan months before the game was released. During the closed beta, I had fun running through missions and collecting the loot that dropped. The gameplay mechanics were great and as a Hunter, I was jumping all over the place trying to find perfect vantage points to snipe my enemies. The open beta is where I started to question things a little. There didn’t seem to be any changes from the closed beta, maybe some fixes to glitches and bugs but the enemy AI was still lacking, the mission design was lackluster, and the RNG loot system was annoying. Finally, the game released. I went to the midnight release, waited in line for quite a while and finally had it in my hands. Got home, popped the game in and began my adventure. My friend and I stayed up for hours going through the campaign, trying our hand at PVP and grinding for engrams. We quickly began to notice a pattern with the missions. Get to point A, scan with ghost, horde mode. Every mission was designed this way. There was barely any variety. The strike missions were the only exception but even these had one or two parts before the final encounter that was a horde mode defense. We finished the campaign and felt it was lacking, no real ending only a sort of to be continued feel which is what it was with paid DLC to come later. Anyway, my point being, the hype train for me crashed and burned. My time with Destiny was short lived and I moved on never looking back.
Fast forward to the present. When Destiny 2 was announced I saw the trailer and the gameplay footage and thought to myself, “more of the same”. I wasn’t going to fall for the hype again. I avoided it as much as I could. Friends would talk about it and tell me about new supers that were introduced and how the storyline was a hundred times better than the original (in the sense that it had an actual story) but I remained strong and didn’t care. Finally, two weeks before release I decided what the hell, my friends are playing it so maybe a lot has changed and I’ll get to play the game Bungie had promised in the beginning. Well, two weeks have passed since release and I am already regretting my decision. Let me run down what I feel are the good and bad points of this game. Please remember this is one player’s opinion only and if you haven’t played the game there may be spoilers ahead so fair warning.
- The Graphics – Just like the first Destiny the game looks fantastic. The worlds you go to are lush and colorful, the attention to detail is great however I feel in some areas you could tell they got a little lazy or felt players wouldn’t notice too much such as how fire’s look or waterfalls.
- The Sound – Destiny 2 sounds great. That’s all I can really say. The music in the game is fantastic and draws you in.
- The Game Play – Again like its predecessor, Destiny 2’s gameplay is great. For a first-person shooter, I feel it’s top notch and the verticality with the jumps and hovers makes it a lot more fun especially getting those wonderful headshots midair.
- Side Missions/Public Events – One of the things missing from the original Destiny was side missions. Destiny 2 adds these to the game in the form of adventures and lost sectors. To add to that they have brought back public events and high priority targets. These additions are a nice break from the campaign and loot grinding.
- The Story/Campaign – I wanted to add this in the Good category but the flaws from the story just don’t sit well with me and make it fall under the bad category. The story started strong, You meet the antagonist Ghaul who steals your light leaving you a mere mortal. This for me started out great, I figured, “ok, I’m mortal, have to build up my skill, no supers makes this challenging so I will have to rely on the skill with weapons”. Nope, get your light back in less than 15 minutes. If that was the case then what was the point in you losing it in the first place? So you meet up with the Vanguard who are shocked you have your light back, why didn’t you as the main character tell the Vanguard where the shard is so they can get their light as well? How come they got to go into battle with the threat of annihilation but you didn’t? Finally, that final encounter with Ghaul was laughable. For a seemingly God-like character he was quite average. I had a harder time with a boss fight on IO than I did with Ghaul. Disappointing all around.
- Mission Design – While there is some added variety to the mission design (which is much appreciated) I still felt like a lot of the missions were horde mode. It wasn’t necessarily hold off the horde for your ghost, but was a mixture of horde mode defense and take out the giant horde in the middle of the battlefield.
- DLC!!! – Once again Bungie/Activision have given their fan base a partial game. Two DLC packs have already been announced taking the story even further. I don’t understand the point of releasing a game at the full retail price of $59.99 when the game itself is not complete. Look at a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, I’ve easily put 70 hours into the game and feel I got my money’s worth. It was a complete game with a beginning, middle, and end. While this game does have DLC coming out for it they are adding it on top of an already complete game. Bungie/Activision gave their fans a 15-hour campaign with a “to be continued” ending and shipped their product with an ad for DLC in the sleeve pretty much telling fans it’s not a complete game.
While the good has more points to it the bad outweighs the good in my opinion. A game’s story is the meat of the game and when you have a broken, lazy story it just falls apart. Also, the fact that paid DLC is being advertised for the game on release day is absolutely absurd. Remembering that the first Destiny, if you followed the expansions and didn’t bother to pay for the season pass, you would have paid close to $180 dollars for one game. If this is how Bungie/Activision plans things out, the public is better off waiting for all the expansions to come out then finally wait for the inevitable definitive edition that has all the DLC and patches added to it and only pay $59.99. With this, you don’t even have to worry about paying the extra for a season pass. Again this is just one player’s opinion who will not be returning to the world of Destiny.