Destiny 2 had all the hype in the world, it’s marketing campaign was pretty good too and now we are here. When the sequel to Destiny was first announced, it got everyone pretty excited, especially the Destiny community as it was a new beginning, after having accomplished so much in Destiny 1.
Bungie gained its fame long ago through the masterpiece that was Halo. It was thanks to Bungie which made Halo the giant it is today under Microsoft, and according to Bungie, Destiny was always in their plans ever since the Halo days. This is why there are a lot of similarities between Destiny and Halo. Bungie, having gained a reputation from the Halo days had a lot of expectations to live up to when Destiny did eventually come out.
However, those expectations weren’t exactly met as the game received mixed reviews. The game had a lackluster story, with little or no direction, very few cut-scenes and gameplay seemed repetitive. However, there was something there, fans wanted to come back and keep playing. Perhaps one of Destiny’s biggest successes was its “Raid” game mode, a 6 player activity that has no directions whatsoever. The game mode not only makes you face off against the toughest bosses of the game, but each activity and boss encounter has a special mechanic to it, which makes it a lot tougher and requires the collective effort and coordination of all 6 raid team members.
Bungie took the DLC route with the game and offered two expansions, a few months after release. The first two were below par at best, but the game STILL had something, the endgame was still rewarding, enough to keep players wanting to continue playing the game. For example, many players went 1000 hours without having the Gjallarhorn, it was such a rare (and overpowered) gun, you wanted to keep trying until you got it.
However, Destiny got a much-needed injection of content and direction in year 2 when The Taken King DLC came around, that is where the game went from a failed experiment to a triumph. Bungie was able to make another classic and it was uphill from here. Despite having issues here and there, more or less every Destiny player was happy. Fast forward to 2017, Bungie announces Destiny 2, showing that they’ve learned from all the mistakes they made in D1, looking to build upon the successes of D1 while omitting its failures at the same time.
However, that was not the case
When Destiny 2 came around, all was fine at first. The game had an interesting story, a proper story, unlike the one in D1, that was a positive sign. The game also had new worlds, new places to explore, a new Raid. However, players began to notice pretty fast that the game had also taken away a lot of things that they loved from D1.
There were many things that were totally changed and omitted from the previous game that didn’t make sense, they didn’t need to bring those changes. The game started off from where D1 left off but that didn’t seem to be the case at all. All the previous locations and enemies were gone, the previous subclasses and the previous gear as well. The game’s best weapons were the same weapons that were the best in the previous game, something was wrong.
For the first two months or so, everything seemed to be okay, but eventually, people realized that things are not going well. There was a huge dip in game numbers, why? because people eventually ran out of things to do. Everything in Destiny 2 was easily obtainable, the “grind” wasn’t the same. The game didn’t have that same feel as the previous one where you would want to come back for more every single week. Leveling up felt like a chore instead of fun.
Again, several promises were made by Bungie and Activision, which they didn’t live up to. For example, the “Lost Sectors” were supposed to be these mysterious places that you discovered and explored, which would earn you a lot of loot, that wasn’t the case at all! Destiny 2, during its beta also allowed players to access “The Farm”, a new social space that players would have to inhabit due to their old one being destroyed by the enemy, it made sense. However, the Farm became irrelevant pretty soon as you completed the story, a new Tower was built and no-one visited the farm anymore. There were no special vendors on the farm that would make people want to visit it, except for one quest.
Now, this was different in D1, there were three different social spaces altogether. Each had different vendors and you’d have to visit each one in order to get different things. For example, only Variks at the Reef could provide the Prison/Challenge of Elders bounties and only Shiro could provide the SIVA Archon Forge bounties. Moreover, Xur would either show up at the Tower or Reef every week, thus giving players a reason to visit the different social spaces Destiny had to offer, not the case in D2. Another key difference between D1 and D2 was that in the former, in order to reach max light level, you needed to complete the Raid several times.
You could reach a certain light level by doing other activities, but only through activities such as weekly nightfall, crucible and Raids and exotic engrams were you able to earn gear that would get you to max light. Although this was kind of the case in Destiny 2, players were able to reach max light pretty easily without ever having to do a single raid. The raid itself wasn’t as great as the ones the previous game had to offer. The raid was more inclined towards mechanics, there wasn’t a balance between the mechanics and DPS.
One main gripe that almost all players have is the new weapon system. Previously, you could have a loadout consisting of a rifle, a sniper/shotgun/Fusion Rifle and a Rocket/Machine gun/Sword. However, in Destiny 2, shotguns and snipers were moved to the “Heavy Weapon” or the now-named “Power Weapon” slot. Although it was cool to be able to keep two rifles at the same time, at the cost of removing your rocket for a sniper or shotgun, it wasn’t worth it especially when “heavy” or “power” ammo is hard to get by.
Another issue was how all the previous content that was available on Destiny was no longer available in Destiny 2. Yes, D2 is a sequel to D1, but it would’ve been MUCH better if everything from D1 was still available alongside the newer stuff from D2. It was highly advertised that we’d get “new subclasses” when there was only one subclass for each character which replaced an existing subclass. The existing stuff should’ve never been tampered with.
The story would’ve been much better too as well as the grind, if you went from the EDZ to let’s say the Dreadnaught, or from Mars to IO, etc. Instead, players were circling the same places, doing repetitive stuff again which was a problem in the main game too. Yes, there is the argument as far as content is concerned that Vanilla D2 has a lot more content than vanilla D1. However, if D1 had the story and everything D2 has from the start, it might’ve been fine, but if it’s already an established game that you’re trying to build on, then you can’t omit the previous game entirely. Sure, the old raids could’ve been removed, but the locations should’ve been kept there.
Removing old subclasses messed with the Lore of the original game as well. For example, the Curse of Osiris expansion showed Osiris, the legendary Warlock using the “Dawnblade” super. Many Destiny fans who’ve been following the Destiny Lore since the previous game was quick to point out that Osiris was always a sunsinger, where did Dawnblade come from? If nothing else, let him be a sunsinger even if players can’t access the ability, that would make him even more ‘legendary’ or add to his mystique.
Moreover, Osiris, the legendary warlock that has deep lore behind him, was reduced to just a few story missions in the new DLC. There could have been so much more that could’ve been explored or explained about Osiris, but it was a missed opportunity. The new raid lair that came with the new expansion, however, was good, better than the raid the game put out originally. However, there’s still much more work to be done with this game.
Again, the new expansion didn’t fix the main problem of Destiny 2: the endgame. The new expansion simply added a few more things to play for, increased the light level cap a bit, and that’s it. A month is all it takes for the game to become stale again given how easy it is to hit max level and get everything. Therefore, nothing was fixed at all, it was again the same thing.
Destiny 2 is far from perfect, many people still play it, and many people have turned away from it. The worst part is, those turning away from it are being forced to, they want to play the game but the game is literally unplayable. The game is buzzing again currently thanks to a new expansion. Bungie has acknowledged all the complaints, and it seems that this newest DLC will start working towards changes that will help improve.
The changes the “Warmind” DLC brings will likely lead up to a large September expansion, quite possibly Destiny 2’s own version of “The Taken King”, perhaps that will save the game. However, as of right now, Destiny 2 is nowhere near its predecessor in terms of quality, despite knowing all the mistakes that were made in the past.