“I will only rent Destiny 2” was the thought that passed through my head over and over as I listened to the official press showing back in May when the original gameplay trailer came out. Listening to the audience letting out “ooh”, “ahh,” and every type of cheer, I sat bewildered and completely unimpressed. Was a sequel to one of the biggest dream-team successes really something to not get excited over? Was my (what I consider appropriate) cynicism taking over? Or, was I possibly correct in a critical look at what turned me off the original Destiny so much?
Matchmaking Gets Applause
I remember being the most dumbfounded when this happened. As the meeting was going, there was pretty standard break down of the different things the audience could expect. When matchmaking was announced, however, there was applause. I cannot stress enough how bad of a taste this left in my mouth for the game. Not because matchmaking was something that I am opposed to, but because we the gamers were cheering for the inclusion of an industry standard.
This is 2017, and here we are applauding Bungie (of Halo) and Activision (Call of Duty) for putting a “feature” in a game that felt crippled without it. That would be as though a car company announced a car with the “feature” of a trunk or the “inclusion” of getting tires to go with it. It is a standard, especially from two large companies well-versed in multiplayer, so catching up to the times and using that as a selling point is completely backward.
Too Much, Too Late
Destiny 2 found its own special pocket of time to come out, for better or worse. If you follow games, you know most big launches shoot for a pre-summer window of release or a pre-holiday launch. This year, with the exception of August 29th which had an insane amount of games released, most of the games worth looking forward to have already come out (so I’m working through them), or they are about to (looking at you, Shadow of War). Remember, this is not an “I will not try Destiny 2” way of thinking but a thinking based on buying the original Destiny day-one and learning from that.
The original Destiny at launch had minor glitches (loot cave, anyone?) but also lacked the updates that would add so many cool features, areas, weapons, quests, maps and so on to the game. In wanting to rent Destiny 2, it saves buying the game at a later date when everything good is available, rather than committing to the process of upgrading.
Years In The Making
Rise of Iron was the final piece of Destiny add-ons, and it was launched September 2016. The original Destiny was launched September 2014. Why is this important? On the one hand, support for games is something that is fantastic to see in the industry and something I will never criticize; a team following up with their game and keeping up with their community is worth its weight in gold.
On the other hand, Destiny is a first-person shooter. What happened in the world of first-person shooters in that time span? Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront (EA), Halo 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Rainbow Six: Siege, Evolve, Dying Light, Far Cry 4, Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, DOOM, Overwatch, Far Cry Primal and Superhot. There are more games, but those are just the better known first-person shooters. Destiny did flesh out what Destiny was in that time frame, but the industry was changing shape and trying different styles, meaning that tweaking, adjusting and balancing the nuances of your game can make even an incredibly polished game like Destiny feel like it’s falling behind.
But… Would I Ever Buy It?
In short, yes.
For the longer answer, if I rent the game and find myself in love with it, I will not hesitate to purchase it. You should always support the companies and people who make things you love. However, as I keep up with the game post-launch and see the initial reactions, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of deja vu. Now that I have seen the product of Bungie-Activision teamwork, waiting to buy, at least for a few months, seems like the best way to enter back into my role as a Guardian.