Destiny 2 Impressions From a Skeptic

I had never played Destiny, until last week when I bought Destiny 2. I wasn't super interested in it at first. After reading people's initial disappointment with the first game in 2014, the name dropped off my radar. Later on, people started coming around to it, saying the game was fantastic with a community to play with, I didn't have a community so, I managed to go the entire three years without touching it. Last week, I realized that through The Black Gamer's Revolution, I finally had that community of players that might make the experience worth trying so, I jumped in.

 Credit: Activision

Credit: Activision

When I first started playing Destiny 2, I was playing a game of catch-up. Most of the PS4 community on my Discord group was already ready for end game content so, I knew that I would have to do some playing alone. During this time, I realized that Destiny 2 is a very thoughtfully made game. After spending a lot of time on each of its four unique planets, I can say that moving through Destiny's world is as thrilling and satisfying as exploring in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Like Breath of the Wild, Destiny 2's worlds have a really unique sense of verticality. You never stay on the ground for long. Whether it's jetpacking up steep cliffs or leaping into dark tunnels, Destiny keeps you moving and gives ridiculously fun tools for doing just that. I was completely hooked.

By the end of Friday, I had finished the main storyline, explored every map from tip to toe for collectibles and hidden areas, and I was ready for the next exciting task to complete but then I realized, the only thing that was left was grinding. More specifically, doing the same events over and over again, exploring the same planets, opening the same chests, looking for better gear. And though Destiny's reward cycle of gaining slightly improved equipment through a randomized system is intentionally and monstrously effective at keeping one's interest, I could feel my enthusiasm waning. I had all the fun I could have alone. 

 Credit: Activision

Credit: Activision

Thankfully, with Friday came with the opportunity to play Destiny with some friends and I realized that Destiny 2 has an undeniable "it" factor. That "it" factor is about how Destiny 2 nurtures the idea of partying up. In many games, partying up comes with as many positives as negatives. Yes you can get help with certain quests, but you get less experience, you can explore together but, only one person can have that one piece of loot you find that, maybe, both of you need. It creates a system where people only play together when they need to and the rest of the time it is more advantageous to go it alone. Most MMOs approach party systems like this and eventually those games become incredibly lonely.

 This is my good gender non-conforming Warlock Credit: Activison 

This is my good gender non-conforming Warlock Credit: Activison 

Destiny 2 does none of that. You gain just as much experience exploring as a group and there's no competition for loot. It creates a system where not only do you need your friends for certain things but if you just want to hang out, you lose nothing for it. Now a lot of this has to do with the good company I keep but, I had the most fun playing a video game as I've had in a long time playing Destiny this weekend. The experience of going around the worlds as a group, helping each other find things we needed for quests, fighting monsters together and shooting the shit, without having to deal with other players trying to kill us, is everything I've ever wanted in an online video game. In situations that would normally frustrate me, I had people with me to complain with, to back me up, or abandon me for a joke. 

Destiny 2 gave me one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences in the last few years this weekend, and I didn't even get around to doing the first raid. But oh boy am I ready and I had fun getting to that point. I'll be curious to see if I'll end up sticking with it, but I'm certainly going to be here for a while.