Destiny was a strange experience. Where the first two weeks were great exploring this new universe, reaching the level cap and going through the different game modes. But then you realise you’re doing the same thing every week and getting nowhere new fast. The lack of story was evident, the strikes had become near pointless to re-run, and the crucible despite being one of the better PvP experiences out there, when compared to a COD or Battlefield was rather small and lacked variety.
In only a matter of weeks Destiny was done. The player base reduced dramatically, as most people I knew were as disinterested as ‘’Dinkelbot’’ and the usual end of year saturation of game releases was about to bury it down the pile of consideration. Bungie attempted to pump new life into the game via the two planned expansions, but these fell flat in terms of content and interest with what seemed like two throw-away episodes that had no consequences once completed and didn’t inspire me to want to replay to try to hit the new level caps. The Vault of Glass raid was the most interesting addition, but once done there was nothing to make me want to replay it, not even the chance of additional gear drops.
The first year of Destiny after the first two weeks wasn’t so much of a grind then a chore to get my money’s worth, this is how it felt to me anyway. Bungie knew it wasn’t going well so they changed direction. New creativity gave us the first major expansion and update to gameplay with the addition of The Taken King. Suddenly there was progression beyond your level, there was a story that was more engaging with cinematics and new life brought to other characters in the Towers. (Where i believe we all first fell in love with Cayde-6). We had a new enemy that not only gave genuine fear during the first play through, but also gave a lasting impression for the life-cycle of the game. Even the decision to bring in Nolan North to replace Peter Dinklage as the voice of Ghost added so much to the playing experience.
The Taken King and Wrath of the Machine expansions added the best elements of Destiny 1 for me. The Raids, the quests, the challenges… Destiny felt like the game it was supposed to be and was a great platform to build upon to develop a sequel. Well…. it should have been!
Now don’t get me wrong Destiny 2 has launched a hell of a lot better than Destiny 1 did. It contains the best storyline across both titles in my opinion, and the shed load of activities available around the new larger open-worlds were enough to give variety in our journey to get to the power limit on your gear. The problem is… once you hit that 305 (took 6/7 weeks for me personally across all 3 characters) you do hit a very familiar wall and now you suddenly see the issues with Destiny 2 that were previously forgivable.
Main problem for me is replacing the random engram drop and ‘God-Roll’ chance with a boring token system and limited chances to increase power per week. I was ok with this at first but as soon a the Faction War and even Iron Banner events involved the same dull token hording for a small chance of event themed gear that were below your current power level. No ranking system, no vendor levels or need to replay missions or strikes. The grind just isn’t there for me, and feels like three-year old Lightening was striking twice.
Curse of Osiris is the first of two planned expansions due to release on the 5th of December. It promises a whole new story, a level cap increase and minor gameplay changes that ‘’address our concerns’’. But is it enough? The first expansion offered the same, albeit a smaller dose of deja vu. If I wasn’t already feeling a ‘’fool me once’’ mentality, I hear that there wont be a new raid but a new activity for the current leviathan raid and the raid will be the only raid available for the first year, just with little add-ons. All for tokens…!
Is that worth 30 bucks? In my opinion, NO.
I wonder what it would have been like to go from Destiny 1 at launch, and then waiting for Taken King which included the first two expansions. No disappointment with the size of the first two expansions, the level increase to catch up on would be significant enough to want to grind through all the content missed readily available behind no walls and the huge improvements made to the game play, lure and Nolan North. It was worth the cost for sure and that is the feeling i want from Destiny 2.
With so many great games coming out this Winter I don’t want to put any more time, money and effort into Destiny 2 until it’s downfalls have been addressed in full. BUT thanks to Taken King’s legacy, I shall be eagerly anticipating next years major expansion and playing through a years worth of updates in hope Bungie rediscover its longevity and what gripped us to Destiny 1 in the end. Bungie spent the majority of Destiny 1 correcting their mistakes, with Destiny 2, they made all new ones. If they need a year again to get it right then I for one am willing to wait.