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Destiny Didn’t Live Up To Its Promise, But Its Sequel Just Might

By Christopher Coke on October 14, 2016 | Columns | Comments

Destiny Didn’t Live Up To Its Promise, But Its Sequel Just Might

Now that Destiny’s last expansion has been out in the wild for some time, it’s safe to say that the game never lived up to its hype. Even though the game had some great ideas and some of the best gunplay on Playstation 4, the execution never met the mark, even though it became progressively better over time. Friends, Destiny: The Beta is done. Now it’s time to look forward to Destiny 2 -- especially if you’re a PC player!

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While Destiny didn’t approach No Man’s Sky levels of pre-launch hype, it certainly had its fair share. And rightfully so! Destiny was Bungie’s first game after Halo, a series that became synonymous with an entire console generation, making Master Chief a bonafide pop culture icon. Who wouldn’t expect great things from their next game? Previews and developer interviews also painted the picture of a much bigger, richer, more dynamic game with deeper RPG mechanics in its class system and much more customization. And, of course, having a well-delivered story was kind of a given.

We know now that even though Destiny was clearly successful and well loved by millions of players, it was also shallower and tragically flawed compared to those early concepts. With each expansion, Bungie pushed a little closer to those visions, expanding the scope of the game and delivering vastly improved storytelling. The Taken King was nothing short of revelatory, and though it is obviously smaller and not as rich, Rise of Iron continued along that path.

But even so, looking back, it’s hard to shake the feeling that gamer’s were forced to settle. Even though The Taken King and Rise of Iron are widely regarded as solid additions to the game, Destiny still falls well short of much of what it promised to be. No surprise given how chopped up it was, and that it succeeded at this level speaks volumes to how fun the core gameplay actually is. But if there was one word to sum up the last two years of Destiny 1 it would be simply this: reaching.

Bungie consistently built onto the things they did well. They made arrogant missteps along the way but by the time The Taken King rolled around, the tide had turned and they were responding to the core issues and making Destiny a better game. They were building toward something, not unlike a beta builds toward an official release. Here, it frankly feels like Destiny is a beta for Destiny 2, a game whose development, we hope, won’t be chopped up and reworked the way Destiny’s was. Like the best sequels, it should take everything that Destiny did best and build upon it -- and with largely the same team of passionate people, as anyone who has followed the industry will tell you is important.

Back in September, Jason Schreier of Kotaku wrote an interesting piece about Destiny 2. The Taken King, his interviewee said, was a reboot to “fix small things” (that profoundly improved the larger game). Destiny 2 is a complete overhaul that Schreier suggests has the developers “starting from scratch.”  Meaning, of course, that everything from Destiny 1 is likely to get left behind, characters included if his sources are to be believed, and I think that’s more than likely.

Destiny did not launch how we wanted it to and, reading between the lines, certainly not how Bungie wanted it to either. With Destiny 2, they’re starting with the best of Destiny, which is should prepare allow them to do so much more. Having The Taken King as a starting point is a great place to be. I can’t wait to see that game two expansions in.

Quick Hits

Diablo 3 has a preview up of the rewards on tap for Season 8 players. Metal pants and a stylish black dinner jacket? Sounds legit.

Have any of you ever heard of an “idle RPG?” I hadn’t until the release of My.com’s Juggernaut Champions. Apparently, the game plays itself and you just watch battles play out. … … … I’m not sure what to make of that. Do people want a game you don’t need to play - is it even a game?  More importantly, if the point is to introduce players to that universe, don’t you want them to stick around instead of dropping your game after the first “epic” mobile battle? Very strange indeed.

In much, much more interesting news, Mordheim: City of the Damned is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 18th and is celebrating with a new trailer! I really enjoyed this game on PC. It’s going to be a harder sell to console players, but is well worth checking out if you like tactical RPGs.

Wasteland 3 met its funding goal after only 3 days. In a letter thanking the fans, inXile Entertainment promised that extra funding will go toward expanding the game through stretch goals. These goals include 37 new cosmetics, a car companion named Morningstar, and a customizable range squad insignia.

Lastly, if you’re into the cute side of life, don’t miss the beta for World of Final Fantasy, coming up on October 17th. Even if you’re not into the chibi art style, you may still want to give it a try as this entry returns to the Active Time Battle system and features an all-star cast of heroes from the long lineage of Final Fantasy games. If you complete the demo, you’ll also unlock the Magitek Armor P to acquire in the full game on October 25th.

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.
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