I Won’t Buy Destiny 2 At Launch

And you probably shouldn’t either.

Well, let me backtrack a bit. If you absolutely loved the original Destiny, then I’d say you’re probably safe. However, you can humor me in my cynicism at the very least.

Destiny is not, and was not in its infancy, a terrible game. It was a victim of hype. Activision hyped the ever-loving crap out of the original Destiny, filling gamer’s minds with the idea of forging their path through the heavens in the pursuit of pushing back the Darkness and restoring humanity to their rightful place of glory in the solar system.

Prior to its release, I was just as guilty of peddling the game to prospective customers, trying to form my own talking points in order to get people to preorder the game so I could maintain my 20% reserves per qualified transaction goal.

And I believed everything I said. I still remember the pitches I had come up with.

“Hey if you preorder Destiny, you get the Vanguard weapons pack, which gives you some powerful weapons early on in the game.”

“If you get the special edition, you get a unique ship and Sparrow speeder bike.”

“Your ship will be customizable, and unique enough so others will be able to know who you are by your ship.”

It was based in conjecture, but I swear I remember watching an interview where Bungie said the ships would be not only customizable, but also more unique than the endless swath of puke-brown trash boats they actually gave us.

The fact remains that Bungie and Activision went on full marketing mode for their pitch of the game to the public. The first hint that something fishy was going on should’ve been from playing the beta, but I gave Destiny the benefit of the doubt.

The truth is that I actually liked Destiny. I loved jumping on and playing with Jennifer. Us tearing around Venus and Mars, my Titan and her Warlock. Us flying our black and yellow ships (because we only found puke-brown ships as alternatives) to different worlds and killing endless armies of aliens. We beat the game together, fighting our way through the final mission with a fervor to bring peace to the solar system. Except we had no idea it was the final mission, and that all we had to look forward to was endless grinding.

In retrospect, I think what I liked the most about it was the potential to live up to the version of it that was in my head. Jennifer has always had a more level head about games and saw the truth long before I was willing to admit it: Destiny was kinda boring.

Once that revelation struck, I checked out for a long time. Then in 2015, I sold our copies after seeing them sit on the shelf for months collecting dust.

But Destiny 2!

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a part of me that was a little giddy when I watched the cinematic teaser a couple months back. Those hairs stood up when we watched the gameplay trailer tonight as well. Jennifer even commented, “I hate that I want to buy it.”

And part of me wants to get it as well, but I’m not going to. Not just because I feel like I got burned by the first game, but because I can already see that the hype cycle is ramping back up again. Destiny looked so cool back at E3 in 2013, and that same pattern seems to be repeating itself all over again. The sizzle reels are being paraded around the internet, with the various talking heads on sites like Game Informer, Polygon, and IGN touting the empty promises of a company that they’ll likely be lambasting for missteps after Destiny 2‘s launch.

Did people already forget that Bungie was telling folks that Destiny‘s story would be epic? That players would explore the solar system with their friends, finding sweet loot and making stories for themselves? That you could “Become Legend”?

Well, all of those promises were technically true.

Destiny‘s story is pretty epic, but it wasn’t given to the player in the manner expected, it was told through exposition from your Ghost. Entire volumes of information were hidden in Destiny‘s Grimoire, which could only be accessed on the website or via the app. What players were able to learn about the setting required the gaming equivalent of doing homework before your next history class.

Players did get to explore the solar system, but the worlds you could visit were rather limited, and consisted only of endlessly respawning enemies. Some areas Bungie hinted that players could visit were either only available as a PvP map, or later added in paid DLC.

There was plenty of sweet loot, but it was doled out entirely through the game’s RNG system, which quickly became an inside joke. The Cryptarch ended up handing out insults instead of decent equipment, though later that was thankfully fixed. Players sought workarounds for not receiving loot from the difficult missions, strikes, and raids in the form of the lootcave (which became another inside joke).

Those stories players made for themselves? That really didn’t happen for the most part. I’ve come to realize that when a developer says that players will create their own stories, it’s really just code for “we didn’t spend much time on writing and animation, so we did the bare minimum and hope you’ll fill in the gaps with gameplay”.

Yeah, I’m Cynical

If there’s any reason for me to feel this way, it’s that I really wanted Destiny to be the epic space adventure that it was purported to be, instead of Diablo III in space. I was looking for a game that I could play through with Jennifer. Something we could continue coming back to for Co-Op shenanigans. Instead, we were presented with a framework for a game.

I’ll gladly wait until Destiny 2 hits store shelves, and then I’ll wait for it to get vetted by others. Then the truth behind the marketing will be revealed. Then it will be known if Bungie and Activision truly learned from their stumblings.

I’ll learn if the $60 game will feel like a full experience, or if it will need to be supplemented with expansions like The Taken King and Rise of Iron to fill in the gaps. If the game’s inevitable expansion pass will be all-inclusive or only cover content like The Dark Below and House of Wolves.

I’ll learn if Destiny 2 will have a story and world that’s worth investing time in, or if it will be a horrifically boring grind-fest.

I’ll find out if Destiny 2 will have content locked behind console exclusivity agreements, or if I’d be getting the entire game.

I’ll gladly wait until I know for sure, and I’d encourage others to do the same.

Unless, like I stated above, you liked Destiny for what it was. If that’s the case, then Light be with you Guardian. The Darkness awaits.

What do you think of the Destiny 2 reveal? Are you excited? Is this your bag, baby?

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23 thoughts on “I Won’t Buy Destiny 2 At Launch

  1. Bungie/Activision’s marketing team is just A+for Destiny. They sure do know how to hype the hell out of it, don’t they?

    However, despite being a long-time player (or maybe because of it) I’m allowing myself to get excited for now, knowing full well the disappointment that will probably follow. Destiny 1 betrayed a lot of gamers’ trust and Bungie is going to have to work hard and present something well-polished and sustainable to earn it back.

    As for me, yeah, I’m gonna play it on launch day. I mean, I’m still playing Destiny 1 three years later, so I’m a bit of a lost cause at this point. But you can be sure I’ll be tearing it to pieces if it deserves as much. I critique it out of love 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nothing wrong with that! It does matter that you derive enjoyment from it, so if you enjoy it, then there isn’t an issue. I enjoyed my time with it, especially when playing with Jennifer. We’re currently playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands and getting a similar experience out of it.

      If it looks like there’s more to Destiny when we try the Beta, I may consider it. Until then however, I’ll be sitting on the fence.

      What platform are you thinking about picking it up on?

      Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s cool. My wife and I both play primarily on the Xbox, so if you’re ever looking for more folks for online shenanigans, feel free to reach out.

          We may end up getting Destiny 2 at some point for the co-op. Just liking once it goes on sale.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup, all of that x2.

    Objectively, I should’ve been angry about all of the stuff you’ve mentioned, but honestly, I just found Destiny so underwhelming that I couldn’t even be bothered to get angry. I just took the game out and never played it again.

    Like you say though, if there’s even a hint they’ve pulled any of the same BS this time, I won’t be touching it with a big stick, and I certainly won’t be buying it until I’m sure Bungie/Activision^ are offering what they say they’re offering.

    ^ Seriously though, it’s always Activision isn’t it!?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably the Gaming version of the “I don’t need to run faster than the bear….” thing.

        Whilst Activision’s being Activision, everybody else just needs to not be Activision! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. For about 18 months, I put a lot of time in to Destiny and while aspects of it were super grindy, the mechanics were often enough to keep me happy. It became one of those games that I played with a buddy and we’d just run around shooting things while chatting. So, Destiny 2 is probably a day one purchase for me but I totally see your side of it as well and I know other friends of mine are in the same boat (although at least one of them is tempted by the gameplay reveal trailer).

    Somewhat related question, did you get a chance to run a raid and did you play any of The Taken King or Rise of Iron? I think the raids were actually some of the best designed and interesting parts of the game but they were also locked behind a high price of entry (that price being your time needed to grind to a high enough light level and a need to have five people to run with). But The Taken King took much of what was great about the raids and brought that too the game, Rise of Iron was less good but still in that same direction. The lead on The Taken King is also heading up Destiny 2 so I’m hopeful that it is on the right track.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We ended up buying copies of the legendary edition of Destiny that included The Taken King. We liked the extra work that Bungie put into it, but couldn’t justify paying more to get Rise of Iron, especially since we play on Xbox and wouldn’t have been able to get the full game (exclusivity agreements suck).

      The raids definitely were fun, but the barrier for entry always put us off. Having to find four other players that are well equipped and capable make it near-impossible to get into the raids, since many of our friends either didn’t play, or had friends of their own that did the raids with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Destiny is another unfortunate case of “I can’t play 1st person games for too long,” and honestly I wasn’t really sucked in to the point of not noticing (like with Prey). I know the game’s supposed to have rich lore, but from some of the videos I’ve seen online, it doesn’t present the information well (that is, it’s through a lot of reading. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some codices, but I also love me some knowing what’s going on without them.

    Needless to say, Destiny 2 is on my “pass” list…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities between how Destiny was released and how No Man’s Sky was released. Both latent fanbases had built in their heads so real an image of an impossible game that their collective disillusions were crippling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Destiny really conforms to the idea of hype culture, doesn’t it? Get people spun up to drive sales, regardless of the perception in the wake of the hype. People can lament that Activision is the responsible party, just as I have, but now that I think of it, it’s really the consumer’s fault too. They’re the ones that keep falling for it every time after all.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. If there’s anything I learned from playing titles like Battlefield / Call of Duty / Destiny – It’s:
    1. Their content will almost always feel incomplete and not as immersive as hopes were led to make it seem.
    2. There will usually be some sort of DLC equivalent in order to unlock what was supposed to be a complete game.
    3. The publishers for them are usually Electronic Arts / Activision / or some other greedy equivalent.

    I prefer single-player games and RPGs personally, but from the short amount of time that I played stuff like Destiny, I was very disappointed.
    I’ll just stick to playing games made by awesome developers like:
    Arkane Studios / Harebrained Schemes / Obsidian Entertainment

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember the first time my husband played the demo for Destiny. I was taking a nap, and I heard what had to be some epic, sci-fi, highly symbolic movie. So I got up and went to the front room and was utterly blown away by the awesomeness. Cue now where he pretty much does nothing but complain about how glitchy the game is, and I want to throw a brick through the TV. While I’ve never played it (it’s not my type of game) I definitely see what you mean by the hype train.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think any of you are correct because it sounds like you’re all contradicting yourselves. I don’t have an argument that proves any of this though, so you don’t have to listen to me. Also, I like Hawaiian pizza.

    Edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation, poor sentence structure, manners, and lack of interesting things to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Since I’m a “Lone Wolf” type player and hate to be forced to join a clan/team to do a mission, and absolutely refuse to play crucible or PvP missions, I’m definitely questioning any game that you can’t play and enjoy fully as a lone wolf. I’ve made it through Destiny (violating my likes only where absolutely necessary to advance the game) and had hoped that Destiny 2 would allow ‘Lone Wolf’ play. From what I’vs seen on the Beta, disappointed looms. Have to wait until after the launch to find out. Also very disappointed that you have to pay for PlayStation Plus to play the Beta.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I definitely fall into the lone wolf category as well. I spend a lot of years playing online multi-player and have gotten much more antisocial as I get older. However, I super loved the spacey aspect of Destiny and I think that is what will draw me back to the second one. I have a soft spot for space games. Though I am right there with you on being forced to play with others. Like, please don’t make me do this.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That sucks that you need PS Plus to do the beta. Xbox made it a free multiplayer weekend for folks checking out the beta, AFAIK. I’m similar in many ways to the way you play though. I enjoy just roaming around on my own, or playing in small groups. Coordinating with two or more people can be a pain, even if you have a clan set up.

      Like

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