Last week, Bungie finally revealed gameplay for Destiny 2, the much-anticipated sequel to their 2014 release. The sheer amount of information that has been released to the public since last Thursday has been absolutely astounding (given how many information/content droughts Destiny 1 experienced).
From details on the revamped weapon system, to glimpses at boss fights and new exotics, to an awesome premise that promises many possibilities, it is hard to contain my joy. It seems that Bungie has learned from many of their past missteps and are doing their best to make Destiny 2 deliver on many promises they made for Destiny 1.
Now, in the heat of all this excitement, it’s easy to make a snap judgment on the game. Bungie has a knack for inciting hype that few other companies can match. As such, I want to take a look at the positives and negatives that have come up so far.
Let’s start with what seems genuinely good about Destiny 2.
1. The story is going to be focused, purposeful, and more deeply involve established characters.
Most people are aware of the horrible decision made by Bungie higher-ups just before Destiny launched. How the story that had been developed over years was thrown away, and the higher-ups themselves pieced together a new story out of existing missions and cutscenes (think Frankenstein’s monster with less personality).
It seems that Bungie has focused heavily on making Destiny 2 heavily story-driven.
Not only do are they giving players a focused, epic objective in taking back the City and defeating the Red Legion and Ghaul (or Gary if you enjoy Bungie’s sense of humor), but they also plan to weave in personal stories involving all three Vanguard leaders coping with the loss of their powers.
The more intimate and character-driven the story can be, the better, in my opinion, because it gives players people to connect with and new perspectives to view the game world through.
2. The Crucible will be better, all-around.
All Destiny fans have had their fair share of complaints about Destiny 1, but the one area of the game that never seemed to satisfy everyone was the Crucible, the multiplayer PvP mode. Weapon balancing in competitive play is difficult (especially with guns that regenerate ammo) and its significantly less fun to play with only one gun. Connections weren’t great because there were no dedicated servers. Vertigo has never been fun to play on. Etc.
Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that things in Destiny 2 look like they’ll be better, which is because of a few fundamental changes to the game.
Firstly, all special weapons (aside from sidearms) are now heavy weapons, and the heavy slot is now called the power weapon slot. You can have any two primaries equipped at once. One of these primaries will be kinetic, the other will have an elemental damage type applied to it. So, similarly to Halo, shotguns and snipers will be power weapons just like rocket launchers and alien laser beams.
Secondly, while there won’t be “dedicated servers”, per se, Bungie is putting more of the load-bearing responsibility on their end. I don’t pretend to understand how it all works but Destiny inherently must use some peer-to-peer to make its seamless transitions between loading zones for characters sharing the spaces. Connections should be better with the new system.
Here’s to not getting sniped through walls anymore!
3. It looks sick.
Because of course it does! The epic battles they teased, the abilities, the new guns and stories – everything looks bigger and better than before. Cayde is genuinely funny, and possibly my favorite character in the game.
Granted, the art style doesn’t look drastically different from Destiny 1, but I don’t think that a drastic leap in art style would have been the right choice. Destiny is a familiar experience, and the sequel should be everything good about the first game with enhancements all across the board.
Also, did anyone else notice the sun exploding?
Just me? Oh well, all secrets will (hopefully) be revealed in time.
Now for what’s nagging at me.
1. Bungie’s history of hype
Bungie has a long history of overhyping their games before release.
Halo 2 had a lot of things working against it. Bungie such an impressive E3 demo that it physically couldn’t run on the original Xbox, so they used a PC instead. The same segment in the official game was far less impressive. Given pressure from Microsoft, the game was rushed and had to end on a cliffhanger that Halo 3 (somewhat) resolved.
2. No more Grimoire cards
This is more of a personal gripe, but I really enjoy having the game lore in my pocket at all times, readily available in the app. Literally none of it was in the game, but I could find these stories whenever I wanted and draw inspiration from them.
I have no qualms with Destiny 2’s story being filled with the lore, that was one of the biggest problems with the original’s story/lack thereof.
In my perfect little world, the story would be rich with lore and point to a larger story that would be expounded upon in great detail in the grimoire.
I know not everyone cares about the lore or the grimoire, but honestly those dumb little playing cards were probably the reason this game has become so important and interesting to me (that, combined with the fact that Destiny is designed to addict you, but I’ve come to terms with the love-hate relationship I have with this game).
3. Destiny 1 has been spoiling us
As much as everyone loves getting loot, Rise of Iron and Age of Triumph made loot drops really frequent and very high leveled.
To quote the dev team…
“We’ve been generous as f*ck.” ~ Bungie
Year 3 of Destiny was meant as a sort of final huzzah, a victory lap while we waited for Destiny 2. To satisfy the community as much as possible, Bungie made it as rewarding as possible.
This is great for the average player, but it feels almost like they were spoiling us. Odds are that drop rates will be back to their normal, lower rate in Destiny 2, and that might be hard to get used to again for most people.
But that’s mostly speculation. We’ve seen but a short glimpse into the future of the series, and final judgment will come to pass with its release in September.
That’s really all I have to say for now. I’ll have more updates and articles on D2 over the course of the summer, exploring more niche and curious aspects of the game as we learn more.
Until then, keep your eyes up, Guardian. We’re just getting started.