Afternoon Ramble – Talking through Destiny’s missed opportunities, and what I’d like to see in Destiny 2
Destiny, the highly anticipated title from Bungie, released 2 and a half years ago to mixed, yet still highly positive reviews across the board. Praised for its high paced action and tight controls, it seemed like the perfect follow up the the already dominating Halo franchise. As strong as the release was, It also carried a lot of baggage. It received extreme criticism focusing on everything from a confusing, disconnected story to a highly repetitive mission structure usually revolving around deploying the ghost, fighting waves of enemies, moving to the next location and repeating. Believe it or not, there’s actually a really good reason behind that entire mess, which you can find here, thanks to Kotaku’s in-depth investigations. One of the biggest frustrations I constantly heard about was the player progression in the early months and weapon/ item drop rates. I didn’t start Destiny until the first two DLC’s dropped so I luckily missed a lot of the frustrations. This also means that I may miss a few facts below, so feel free to point those out in the comments.
The Destiny today is an almost entirely different game. With the release of The Taken King, a lot of the nonsense and unnecessary content was scratched for good. Giving Cade-6 as well as many of the other Tower residences a prominent voice really helped the series gain a little narrative traction. An entire new wave of weapons were released; some, having their own intricate narratives for the player to follow before eventually crafting the weapon themselves. And The Taken King herself (yeah, I said it) had an intricately convoluted background as to how the taken came to be. Unfortunately, this almost meant wiping some other things behind. Notably, Peter Dinklages voice as the Ghost from the first year of the Destiny release. Something I had enjoyed.
Now, Destiny 2 is on the horizon with a very near release date of September 8th, 2017. The trailer recently dropped as well, highlighting an unimaginable chaos as the Tower has fallen, and many of the Guardians are left to fight in the streets of the war torn Last City below. Many of your weapons and past achievements have been destroyed and forgotten to the flames. Cayde-6 and Commander Zavala offer two opposing, yet powerful, speeches as the resistance prepares for the final stand against Ghaul, the commander of the Red Legion, and possibly even more than that.
That was a powerful first trailer. It shows that Bungie put the narrative as the forefront this time around, so it hopefully means that we can expect to see some good things. Regardless of what happens though, the grimoire cards should not transfer. Don’t get me wrong, people are going to read them, and it could probably fill in a lot of details. But, no one wants to play a game and then be told to go to a website to read a small excerpt in order to understand the hows and whys of what they are doing. It’s a pretty good way to break that immersion for the player at an almost immediate level. The Taken King seemed to rectify this a bit, by giving more dialogue throughout each mission. But, many people were still left looking through the grimoire cards to really understand anything. In this case, I can only imagine so many people knew that the Taken King had actually started out as Aurash, a proto-hive female.
Speaking of the Taken, its DLC brought an entire new onslaught of enemies. Unfortunately, every one of them was really just a remodeling of an already existing species across the Cabal, Vex, Fallen and Hive. Many of them had new abilities, but looking at the same enemy types over and over kind of creates a weird form of repetition that people grow tired of pretty quickly. Especially when you see the same thing repeated again for the Iron Lords DLC. But, I think it would have been better to see something much darker come from it. The Taken King being the epitome of Darkness kind of makes you expect something really just dark and grotesque to come at you. The new trailer shows a lot of variance. Everything from new version types of the shield bearing cabal to an almost ogre-ish type smashing through a wall. Ghaul will almost absolutely be a raid boss, or even a strike boss, if there is something more more powerful waiting after him. It didn’t show it, but I would like to see the other enemy factions return as well. And definitely in much more of a variety than they are, now.
Another issue was that many of the open world areas are actually kind of small on their own. They just seemed much larger once everything had been connected. The obvious answer here is to make bigger maps for the players to rampage through, but it’s already been stated that a much larger selection of planets will be open for the player to travel, so it will definitely be interesting to run around Uranus, or even find myself on Europa for some crazy reason (It’s a moon, I know). Along with these larger areas, I feel the need of restricting a fire team to 3 people wouldn’t really be necessary at this point. Especially, if the areas are much larger to handle the load. I’ve only played the Crota raid, so I don’t think it would be fair for me to form an opinion I don’t really have much direct experience with.
I know I missed a few things, but I could really write for days on this topic. Be sure to leave any other recommendations or ideas down below in the comments if you have anything you’d like to see in the next Destiny release.