Destiny 2 is easily my most anticipated release this year. There, I said it. I won’t try and hide my love for the series and the setting that Bungie unleashed three years ago. While this year has given us games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Persona 5, the game that I most want to play is Destiny 2.
But, Destiny is dead right? That’s what all the comments still say—three years after the original, and people are still pre-emptively faulting the sequel based on their claims that Destiny was flawed.
You see, I have been a fairly dedicated Destiny player since the Alpha and have put about 700 hours into the game. While the game’s story has always been a bit lacking, and not what I had hoped for from Bungie, the social experiences have been second to none. Bungie has definitely crafted a fantastic loot shooter. The gunplay mechanics are precise and there are interesting settings and characters, but it’s the friendships I’ve made that really stand out.
I moved away from my family about seven years ago, leaving my brothers a good 13 hours away. We chat here and there, or post on Facebook, but we’ve maintained a little group chat since launch where we chat about the game and other games and set up gaming sessions. The social aspect of Destiny has always provided me with an opportunity to break up the week: I can pop online with my brothers and other buddies, and we can run some strikes, do some Iron Banner, or even raid. We’ve gone through the Vault of Glass, taken on Crota and Skolas, and taken down Oryx and Aksis. Those raid experiences, especially, are some of my favorite gaming experiences, and it’s all thanks to Destiny that I’ve shared them with my siblings.
That doesn’t even take into account the various clans I’ve been a part of. Meeting like-minded gamers, and gaming with them, has been great. I play at really weird times—usually really early in the morning—and because of that, I’ve made friends in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and more. Even when Destiny’s faced content droughts, we never strayed so far as to stop playing entirely. We would keep our clan culture intact by picking up other games to play together as we awaited new content in Destiny.
Now, after a fairly mild year of Destiny playing—going back and replaying a lot of the same content, but just at a slightly higher difficulty—it’s exciting that we’re about to get a trove of fresh content. And this isn’t just any content update; in fact, it’s not really a content update at all: it’s a full-on sequel. Bungie has claimed that, for Destiny 2, they have learned a great deal, streamlined their delivery, and prepared even more content for players to eat up. There are some things, however, I’m not looking forward to, such as the 4v4 crucible modes—the Beta was a bit disappointing. That aside, there are apparently countless missions to beat, each full of accompanying voice work, and around 60 hours for just the story content. This pleases me greatly, because Bungie definitely did bungle the delivery of their first iteration in the series, a game that should have been remembered for its fantastic sci-fi setting.
I’m well aware that when Destiny came out, it wasn’t what a lot of people thought it was going to be, and there were countless design flaws. I know because I played through it, I grinded my way through it, and when Bungie tried to smooth things out, I was there to enjoy the boost in its quality-of-life features. I’m sure that there will be other games that will be better suited to the title of Game of the Year, but really, the only game that matters to me this year is Destiny 2. Hopefully Bungie has learned a lot over the past few years and will have Destiny 2 to show for it—a successful follow-up title that even the haters will want to try.