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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