Destiny 2 is coming out on September 6th (but in late October for PC).
Destiny 1 left a lot to be desired. It had a shell of a story. This was later “improved” in subsequent expansions to having a story, if by having a story you mean a few cut-scenes and someone talking over the sound of you killing things. The game’s design feels over-complicated by the trend of entertainment products as all-consuming services, setting you on a trail of tedious checklists in pursuit of a “reward” (usually a new gun). In fact, every “activity” (as the game calls them) lists the kind of “rewards” you’ll receive by doing it. Part of me groans at this and longs for a time when, hey, maybe playing the game itself was the “reward”.
But that was Destiny 1’s single merit. I kept coming back to it, because playing it felt damn solid. Enemies die perfect deaths with animations that are so meticulously crafted that seeing your hundredth fallen head-shot kill is just as satisfying as the first. A precision-kill on a cabal soldier is followed by a hiss and pop as it’s helmet de-pressurizes and flies into the air, carrying literally the exact same exhilaration as cracking open a cold one with whatever boys you have handy. The haptics on the controller rumble feel really good. The guns have a satisfying weight, sound fantastic, and the whole simulation is full of a thick, rich physicality. The engineering is solid, the potential is there for something great.
This isn’t even mentioning the raids, which were by far the most enjoyable activity in Destiny 1. I had played Final Fantasy 14 a few years ago and got into raiding, but I stopped because the game-feel was paper-thin. Enemies had no collision, you’d walk right through them to dodge attacks. It was an active-time spreadsheet, but boy did it feel fun complete a challenging task as part of a network of people in cooperation. What if they dropped these mechanics into something I actually enjoyed playing! That’s what a raid in Destiny feels like, and it’s pretty fun (usually)!
But hey, Destiny 2! It looks a lot like Destiny 1 with tweaks. We still don’t know a whole lot about it, other than Bungie proudly proclaiming it has things like “NPCs” and “Side-Quests”, as if those were things they had invented and were doing for the first time. The zones are bigger, guns no longer have random rolls on them, and the PvP has been slowed down with abilities dampened to make it rely a lot more on teamwork and gun-skill.
It could be cool! It will at least be fun to play. Feel free to join us!