When Destiny was originally released in 2014, I was very much aboard the “Hype Train” as some may call it. I picked it up thinking it would become my new favorite game as it was looking to be a perfect hybrid of the RPG-ness of Borderlands (my favorite franchise) and the cinematic storytelling of Halo. Unfortunately, once the game released, I started to realize just how disappointed I was. Reviews came out after release, and was met with mixed reception.
Destiny was by no means a bad game, but yet it just didn’t feel like the product we were initially promised. There was little to no story, and every mission felt the exact same. Not to mention the tireless grinding it took to finally (if ever) getting a legendary or exotic weapon. What the game did have though, and the reason the game survived, was the fluid and addicting gameplay. In my own opinion, I’d say Destiny has some of the best shooting mechanics ever. The game felt polished as well, with rarely any bugs are crashes. Just like many franchises first titles, there was potential in it, and it just had to be realized. Fast forward three years and four expansions later, and Destiny became a much better game since it first released. This was due to Bungie taking feedback from the fans, and boy did they listen. An actual (attempted) narrative, a clearer loot system, balanced matchmaking, and missions full of action set pieces were the main indications of Bungie learning from their mistakes.
Game Director Luke Smith opened up the press conference and put full emphasis on how Destiny 2 will have much more cinematic storytelling this time around, full of fleshed out characters and a fully realized world to experience. In order to better present this, a gameplay demo was given, showing the opening mission called Homecoming.
What impressed me the most was how seamless the game looks to move from cutscene to gameplay. In Destiny, the cutscenes would only happen before a mission was given, or right after a mission ends. In Destiny 2, however, the narrative is presented throughout the entire mission. I actually understood what I was doing and where I was at. In the first game, I just felt like I was being told to go to a location, kill the bad guys, then come back to collect loot and XP. Destiny 2 looks much more immersive this time around. In one section, the player jumped to a cutscene right away where an epic dogfight ensued, and then immediately dropped to a new location, where player control was brought back in seconds. From the trailers and this demo we have seen, it appears Bungie wants to set the tone to that of a summer blockbuster. An epic tale of good vs evil, while also having fun with its colorful cast of characters. I for one am looking forward to this change of pace.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t fix what ain’t broken.” It’s something we hear a lot in the gaming medium. Destiny 2’s shooting mechanics look very similar with a few added mechanics of course. The shooting should still feel the same, as it’s what makes Destiny…(well) Destiny. There are few notable surprises that I was able to catch a glimpse of though. For one, we get new weapon types such as miniguns and freaking grenade launchers! The fun and addicting factor of the original game’s masterful gameplay seem to not be tampered with too much, and that’s a good thing. This time around, I’m hoping to actually understand while I’m killing hundreds of bad guys at once.
We also got a look at the three new supers players can unleash on hundreds of enemies. Dawnblade gives the player a flaming sword that can shoot out fire projectiles, so enough said. The Sentinel has a powerful shield to melee and throw at enemies (pretty much Captain America in space). Then finally, the Arcstrider, which gives the player a mystical staff to destroy enemies with. I was slightly underwhelmed to find out there was not a brand new class seeing as this is a full fledged sequel, but I digress. Each new subclass looks just absolutely awesome to me and I can’t to try all of the out.
As far as the world goes, there will be four new areas to explore. Instead of the boring patrols the first game had, Destiny 2 will have worlds that require exploration. There will be side missions, treasure hunts, and NPCs players can actually interact with. My favorite of the four worlds was Titan. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and has a unique layout as there’s no landmass. It’s all buildings built on a methane ocean. This could make for some exhilarating boss fights and PvP. I’m a sucker for ocean environments in video games (above water, not underwater).
Bungie took plenty of time to talk about the Destiny community and how much support it will have throughout. Raids will now have matchmaking. With a whole new clan system put in place, players can easily find other people to play with and get a nice idea of who they will be with prior to joining. Getting six people together at once in the first game was never an easy journey, so this is a welcome addition I’m excited about. The biggest announcement came right after this though, as Blizzard Entertainment came in and let us all know they will be hosting Destiny 2 on Battlenet. Needless to say, the PC players in the audience went wild. While they did take plenty of time to unveil the community features, there was still much emphasis on how playing alone will be just as fun as playing with friends.
Destiny 2 is shaping up to be a huge release. With millions of current players, there’s no doubt in my mind that it will be a financial success. Am I once again aboard the hype train? Slightly, the only reason being is that Bungie seems to have listened to all the feedback and is trying to make sure we get the game we wanted three years ago. With a beta coming out this summer, players will get a good idea of what to really expect later on. Destiny 2 is set to release on September for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.