Destiny 2: why “Becoming Legend” is no longer an option.

Oh man. You know when you meet one of your heroes and it turns out they’re an asshole? That’s how I feel in the wake of Destiny 2. I’ve tried to write a post about numerous times since it was released, but I wanted to defend it until I was blue in the face, the same way I did with Destiny.

I’m coming to the conclusion that I can’t.

It made all the right noises at first. Better story and the characters that we loved actually being characters and not just NPC vendors. The same gameplay that made Destiny so much fun. I just wasn’t expecting to find that everything else had gone to shit.

You might think that’s an overreaction, but the soul has been ripped out of this game. It’s hollow. Among other minor disappointments, everything past the main story mission feels flat and doesn’t inspire the sort of time sink required to progress. The gear system is demoralising. There’s no real PvP endgame anymore.The Grimoire lore has been removed from the Bungie website and in game the lore is either watered down or completely non-existent.

You read that correctly. After three years of complaints that the excellent, rich lore of the Destiny universe wasn’t taken advantage of or accessible in-game, they made it worse.

The first expansion, Curse of Osiris, dropped last week, and it was the first time I’d loaded the game up in just over a month. I was looking forward to it, but my expectations weren’t hugely high, mainly because I knew that it was unlikely to magically fix everything.

Even so, this thing nearly flatlined me.

destiny 2 mercury
Salute to the sun.

It’s a subplot that does nothing to expand or advance the overall lore of the game. The almost unbearably cool sounding Infinite Forest, while looking incredible, is a series of running through triangles, opening doors and hopping from block to block until the end. There are mobs to fight along the way, but you can just as easily run past them, with the exception of a handful marked as “Daemons” which must be killed before you can open another door. It’s more like a uninspiring platformer than an open world RPG.

I mean come on, we never find out what the titular Curse is. Osiris himself barely features. The most famous and notorious Guardian in the game’s lore and he’s barely got a cameo in an expansion named after him. Really?

destiny 2 triangle
Destiny 2: Curse of Triangles.

I know I’m biased. I know. I was obsessed with Destiny and it’s probably not fair to expect D2 to be the same game. But Destiny made huge leaps from the vanilla game to get to where it was when the sequel dropped, and Destiny 2 feels like it’s going backwards at a rate of knots. It breaks my heart.

The next expansion is due in Spring and is widely speculated to involve the Battle of Twilight Gap, which is one of my favourite parts of the lore. Bungie have indicated that they’re listening to feedback from the community, so I’m hoping – desperately, furiously hoping – that it’ll be better.

Please, Bungie?

Eyes up, Guardian: the end of an era.

(WARNING: this post contains very, VERY minor spoilers for Destiny 2 as I’ve seen the trailers and played the beta, so if you’re going in completely blind you might want to stop here!)

Destiny. A game that managed to worm its way into my life like few have. If you’ve even a surface interest in gaming you’ll probably have seen the criticisms levelled at it: a MMORPG with no content, a story thinner than the disc it came on, servers that felt like they were running in someone’s garage.

And I hate to say it, but a lot of them were right.

So why, you might ask, did I spend so long playing this mediocre game at the expense of all other games?

The same reason I do most other things: the people. I fell into a group of players of all ages from all across the world (hi Wise Warriors!) and gained many things. A community, many new friends, an increased knowledge of US timezones…

In just over an hour (UK time!) Destiny 2 will drop and we’ll start a brand new and long-awaited adventure, but it wouldn’t feel right to move into the next chapter of the story without paying tribute to the original.

So in honour of this game that has consumed my life for the past two years, my Warlock is here to walk us through the top five fond memories of Destiny that I’m going to miss when we move into the sequel.

The Weapons

I played the majority of my time in Destiny using three weapons, which given the entire canon (no pun intended) of primary, secondary and heavy weaponry is impressive.

I genuinely don’t know what I’m going to do without favoured primary weapon – Nirwen’s Mercy, the Iron Banner pulse rifle. You could see the player radar while aiming and reload incredibly quickly if you got a good shot. It was the first weapon I saw and felt a deep need for within my soul and I used nothing else once I’d ground my way to it.

We won’t even talk about the shotgun that regenerates its own ammo. It hurts. I miss it already.

gun
Nirwen’s Mercy. My one, my only.

Kings Fall

Kings Fall has always been my favourite raid. Probably because it was the first one I played, but it became the yardstick for all the others. I loved the mechanics, the boss fights, the traditions (teabagging the chest for luck, convincing new raiders that they’d get an exotic if they jumped into the ball at the Warpriest, my emote sign language that everyone understood), the laughs (Lydia getting torn nearly all the time, velcro shoes, that time I sat on my controller and started the Totems by mistake.)

I even miss those awful ships you had to jump from, which took me HOURS to master and still caused me a whole lot of stress right up until the end.

raid
King’s Fall.

Iron Banner

Ah, Iron Banner. I hope I don’t have to miss this for long in D2.

Anyone who’s ever played this game with me knows how excited I get about this once-a-month sweatfest. I usually avoid PVP modes like they’re on fire because I get absolutely gubbed – but I found out that the Iron Banner loot distribution was based on a Random Number Generator system (RNG – the three most frustrating letters in the game) and I decided I could cope with getting ruthlessly crushed by ‘Sniperboi66’ repeatedly for some gear that would level me up for the raid.

What I wasn’t expecting was to both enjoy it and be reasonably competent at it.

IB scores
Space magic. *Blows finger gun*

Sure, it sucked when you came up against the people who were tampering with their own internet connections to manipulate the game, but running riot with five clanmates in an Iron Banner control match is the best.

Plus Lord Shaxx is the best character in the game and I play Crucible matches just so he’ll shout at me. “TWO FOR ONE.”

iron banner
The Iron Lords are watching.

SRL

Sparrow racin’!

This might be THE most fun I’ve had in this game so far. Honestly, I can’t even pick one specific moment to use as an example because they’re all gold. It’s literally just racing what amounts to a Star Wars pod racer round and round a track but with far, far more competition. The hatred of the spinning fans, the indignation when we were racing against random players and one of them had the audacity to overtake us, the sudden acts of violence among friends that resulted in someone getting pushed off a cliff…

This is another one that had better make a comeback in D2. Christmas won’t be the same without it.

sparrow
Couldn’t get into SRL, so I had to pretend. 😦

The Tower

This one hurts the most.

The beta threw us right into the first story mission of D2, which is the Tower under attack and burning in ruins and I am GUTTED. I spent as much time in the Tower as I did in any of the missions, whether it’s turning in those disappointing engrams, throwing weapon parts into the faction leaders in a desperate bid for decent gear, or just hanging out with my friends waiting for everyone to show up for a raid. Hide and seek in that tree, throwing the purple ball around, trying to stand on each other’s heads, dancing in a circle while we chewed the fat for an hour or so.

It burns tomorrow, and I’m really sad about it even though it’s just a video game.

tower

*

I’m genuinely more than a little bit sorry to be leaving this game behind. Even though I know it’ll still be there if I ever want to log in and fly around Venus for nostalgia’s sake, even though I’m going into D2 with the same mad clan I’ve been part of from the start (I’ve even taken two days annual leave so I can play on US time), even though from what I’ve seen from the beta makes for a game that is vastly superior in many ways to the original. I’ve made friends all around the world through Destiny, my entire weekend schedule for a long time was organised around raid runs and Crucible shenanigans and it became a Saturday night social life in its own right. I’ve got so many good memories from this game.

Let’s make some more, team. I’ll see you tomorrow. ❤