I have a love/hate relationship with the original Destiny. Bungie’s first offering after parting of the ways with Microsoft and the incredibility successful Halo franchise was filled with so much promise and excitement. At the time rumours circulated that the game had a budget of approximately $500 million, a claim Bungie has since refuted.… It had a star studded cast of voice actors, most notably Peter Dinklage of Game of thrones fame. Voicing your faithful side kick and multitool….your Ghost. It was a first person shooter MMO that quite brilliantly integrated single player and co-op play as part of the single player campaign. The artwork was staggering, the weapons and skill tree mechanics where good, not necessarily anything ground breaking but they were solid, and it was a lot of fun….initially, after awhile though it became a tedious grind, and my lack of skill especially playing against other people and my constant respawning….(see what I did there ???)……meant that I soon got bored with it, not long after I finished the single player campaign.
It lacked a serious crafting mechanic to upgrade weapons and armour and more importantly it lacked any real narrative, Bungie created a wonderfully deep back story, to ground the destiny universe in, and then completely failed to capitalise on it. Even with a follow up DLC it didn’t really do much to extend itself life as an MMO, so as is the way of things it got shelved.
Several years later an announcement of a new DLC “the Taken King” claimed to create more engaging story lines, new game refinements, and variety of new weapons, armour and vehicles. Most surprising, Peter Dinklage was to be replaced as the voice of ghost by Nolan North, and if you don’t recognise the name , you most have certainly hear his voice, in both video games, and animated TV and movies. (Uncharted and the Justice League animated franchises to name but a very few.) The single player campaign story lines had more depth and featured more heavily the Leaders of the Guardians, most notably Cayde6…voiced by the irrespirable Nathan Fillion, and lets face it Nathan Fillion makes everything better.
For me at least this DLC has breathed new life into a game that I had quickly become bored with, it also didn’t hurt that thanks to my 2 gaming personal trainers, my skills in the multiplayer arena improved dramatically…..I’m “solid” to quote a much used phrase.
It was no surprise then that the pre-release trailers for Destiny 2 featured Cayde6, (still voiced by Nathan Fillion) quite heavily.
September 6th Destiny 2 dropped in Australia, and I was once again excited at the prospect of a new instalment in the Destiny franchise. The opening sequences did not disappoint, The Tower, the last city and indeed the world has fallen to the Red Legion, you are powerless, the light radiated by the traveller gone, contained by the Red Legion for its own nefarious purposes.
I found this a really interesting path for the game to take, the Guardians weakened, having to develop new strategies to fight off the invaders, however sadly bungie wasn’t brave enough to persist with plot device and within a mission you have regained your light. That minor complaint aside, I’m throughout enjoyed the new game, the art work, and music help to immerse you in future world, a world of decay and beauty, of desolation and hope.
Many of the familiar game mechanics and NPC’s are still there, the scenery changes but the jobs remain the same, it seems. There are some refinements to the things like the weapon and amour upgrade system, and the new “director” mapping system which lets you see available missions in a given area and provides a fast travel system allowing you move around the map with far greater easy than the original game (especially handy if you don’t have a sparrow and need to shlep everywhere on foot.)
Thankfully there a fairly solid narrative to keep the missions flowing nicely and series of cutscenes which focus on the leader of the Red Legion and his plan to steal the secrets of the traveller for himself. The missions themselves often have specific objectives in mind rather than just cutting a swath through your foes to kills the boss at the end. In the first few missions you are trying to assist a group of survivors establish comm’s out side the city. Loot crates that were peppered through the original game are still there, however rather than random loot and glimmer (the in-game currency) you get faction emblems which can be redeemed for reputation with that factions NPC. Just as you could with in the original, however this time you receive an engram which return a random piece of equipment.
While only only several missions in…(I have just made it to Titan) I’m not disappointed….Its not exactly setting my world on fire, but I’m enjoying it. Its more like a new season of your favourite TV show, there new characters, as well as old favourites, new tech, locations, and villains…but very much has the sense of the familiar…..including a huge soccer ball (but now with bonus goals)!