Rejoice Destiny fans; Destiny 2 has finally been announced. After a few leaks—including a poster that all but confirmed the sequel’s existence—Bungie and Activision revealed the game will indeed be releasing sometime later this year. Of course, the news was met with huge excitement, and that’s no surprise. Destiny, despite all the flaws (and there are plenty of them), is one of the most popular and successful multiplayer games in the past few years. For hardcore fans, there isn’t much Bungie can change to convince them to purchase the sequel and once again commit hundreds of hours into it. However, for someone like me, who was disappointed by Destiny and only sees untapped potential in this unusual sci-fi universe, Destiny 2 has a lot to prove.
The first game nailed the gunplay and overall mechanics. Destiny feels fantastic to play, as nearly all of the weapons are a joy to control. Bungie has plenty of experience developing first-person shooters. Remember, this is the studio that redefined the genre with the first two Halo games in the early 2000s. So, this isn’t a point of concern for me, as I know Destiny 2 will be an enjoyable gameplay experience. Where the sequel really has me worried is the storytelling, mission structure, and character development.
Destiny’s premise is reminiscent of Mass Effect and Star Trek. The game takes place around 700 years in the future in a time called the Golden Age. Humans have found a way to travel between different planets and solar systems, and have made significant advancements in exploration, peace, and technology. However, an event known as “the Collapse,” caused by a force called the Darkness, saw the sudden end of this Golden Age, with mankind close to extinction. At first glance, Destiny’s lore is fascinating and seems ripe for a slew of interesting stories and characters. However, Bungie clearly didn’t focus on crafting a thoughtful and memorable single-player campaign.
Destiny succeeded, and still succeeds, because it’s one of the very few enjoyable and well-made MMOs on consoles. It’s a genre that doesn’t really exist on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and when you have well-known publishers and studios (specifically Activision and Bungie) working on a high-profile MMO, it’s difficult to ignore. Destiny 2 certainly shouldn’t abandon its multiplayer roots for something else entirely. It already has a passionate and established fan base that expects a certain kind of gameplay experience. Why not add a campaign and story to the expected multiplayer component to draw in players like me? Someone who just doesn’t enjoy the MMO grind.
Destiny has the potential to tell a truly great sci-fi story about the imminent extinction of mankind, the importance of colonizing other planets and venturing into unknown planets and solar systems, and meeting both friends and foes. A huge reason why the original Mass Effect trilogy succeeded was because people were craving a deep and well-crafted sci-fi epic. I truly believe players still want to keep playing sci-fi games with fantastic stories, especially since Mass Effect: Andromeda proved to be a disappointment for many players.
The first world you explore in Destiny is breathtaking. Even though I wound up disliking the overall experience, I still can’t forget the excellent first impressions Destiny made. The art design, aesthetic, world building, and lore are all there for Bungie to dive into and create something profound. The studio certainly has the talent and capability to create a memorable sci-fi adventure. After all, Halo remains one of the most influential video game franchises of all time.