Is Destiny 2 Different Enough?

D2-2Now that Bungie is finally being more public with the upcoming release of Destiny 2, the news has been circulating ferociously. The general optimism has yet to fade with these announcements, but there is some skepticism surrounding the familiarity. From what has been made available so far, we see some enticing features. The graphics have been given a nice boost, while some new weapons and an adjusted loadout system bring a fresh take to the formula. From the video coverage of the new strike, we can see a much more intense, war driven ambiance. It’s still too early to assume that this style is going to remain consistent throughout all of the content, but it’s a nice sneak preview.

Unfortunately, minor tweaks aren’t always enough to keep fans loyally on-board for a sequel. Coasting off of a replicated formula can lead gamers to question the value of your new $60 gear-grinder. Destiny does have a strong following, so I’m sure that a ton of that loyalty is going to find its way over to the second installment. Additionally, Bungie learned a hard lesson from the sub-par launch of the first Destiny, so I’m pretty confident that D2 will release as a polished and attractive product. But what happens when the new car smell fades and the game feel like a series of expansions to the first game?

My Biggest Concerns

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Exhibit A: Destiny 2 is still only going to include three classes. I would have never guessed. After all this time I can’t come up with a good reason for this limitation. I don’t think it would make much of an impact on party balance to add a few extra classes, yet here we are with the same three that we’ve been playing with since 2014. I was intially excited at the announcement of new subclasses, but now that I know these are meant to be replacements of old subclasses, I’m less anxious. Upon further inspection of the skill trees, it looks like the name of the game is now over-simplification. While I can’t speak for the entire community, the lack of customization for subclasses would place huge, generic damper on leveling. Since Destiny 2 is supposed to be about “starting over from scratch” I’m at a loss with the lack of overhaul.

The new loadout system is another light handed alteration. During the hour long reveal premiere there were a ton of different weapons to behold, that were basically just re-skinned versions of the same gear we’ve seen before. The loadout system has merely been tweaked to streamline custom loadouts, letting you equip two primaries and a special weapon. While this sounds cool and everything, it cause some conflict with equipping special and heavy weapons at the same time, which are now pretty much one in the same. This feels less like an upgrade and more like a pointless swap.

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There is a ton of circulation with terms like “Destiny 2 is going to be a new beginning,” or “We’re going to start fresh.” As the speakers ramble on with this as their ammunition, I’m not sure they actually know what it means. We’re still going to plugging hours into strikes and grinding out the same raids until our thumbs are bruised. I think they’re just overly excited about launching this game on the PC. Technically, this is going to be a new beginning for a lot of gamers, and I think the game has a lot of potential to succeed among the PC community. Still, where does this leave the players that have devoted countless hours to Destiny; just completely starting over with the minor changes in place?

There is Still Hope Though

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Much of this has been speculation, and in some respects I’m looking forward to some of the promises that are being made, but I need something that breaks the mold. One of my biggest hang ups with the first game was the feeling of confinement that came with every area. These were essentially just nice looking sandbox zones, that gave you some space to ride your Sparrows to the next map marker. The possibility of having more content available on these worlds bodes well for my level of interest in the long run. In line with this, it sounds amazing to not have to spend half of my play time sitting in orbit (loading screens).

Its understandable that Bungie wants to hold on to the features that originally made Destiny good. There needs to be a level of connection to previous titles. However, If all they’re doing is changing the categorization, then the experience will grow stale very fast. Let’s hope enough has changed to justify a sequel. Are you looking forward to Destiny 2? Do you have any concerns? Are you staying on console, or making the move to PC? Leave your comments below!

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