Destiny 2: An Expansion Disguised as a New Game

I’ll open by saying thank you to Redbox who saved me $56.99 by letting me rent Destiny 2 rather than fork out full price for it and being stuck with it.

Now, if you love all things Destiny and never got tired of the grind, you will disagree with my opinions on this game. And that’s okay. Because truthfully, Destiny 2 was designed for you and your wallet. Destiny 2 was a cash grab, pure and simple.

I got tired of the original Destiny after the Taken King. Yes I realize MMOs traditionally can be a grind. But with Destiny, there just was no joy in it. It felt like there was just no attempt to make things random. Just show up to the same places and watch the same mobs spawn over and over again. It was just dance we had to perform and the music stopped playing a long time ago. Even when the rare boss would appear, there was nothing about it that made it seem special. It was just another piñata to pop that likely had nothing but candy corn in it.

I hadn’t planned on having anything to do with Destiny 2. It wan’t until my 2-year-old accidentally pre-ordered the $99.99 Deluxe edition on my PS4 (Sony subsequently gave me a one-time refund thank goodness) that I decided to even have a look at the game when I thought I might be stuck with it.

The general consensus is the game was a beautiful upgrade, that combat felt fresh, and it felt familiar but definitely felt like a new game.  I started looking at gameplay videos and I thought man I have to be missing something here. Looks like the same old Destiny to me. Shoot the bad guys in their head, watch a lightning bolt pop out where their skull used to be, hope for good loot to come flying out. Hide behind a pillar for a moment if too many enemies are shooting at you. Rinse and repeat. Same interface, slightly changed enemies, same looking weapons. Are these people reviewing a different game than what I’m watching here?

Curiosity got the best of me. On a whim I checked my local Redbox to see if they had the game available on release day and much to my surprise they did. Usually for the popular games it takes weeks before I can get my hands on a copy to rent. Either Redbox beefed up their stock for this release or Destiny 2 just isn’t as popular as the hype would suggest.

So to my impressions. First, it was nice of Bungie to give me a trip down memory lane and celebrate some of my achievements from Destiny 1. Then it cranks into the opening story. I won’t spoil the story for those of you are reading this because you’re on the fence about buying the game. I will just tell you this, the story to me didn’t feel as epic as some are making it out to be. For me it simply felt like it was contrived as a justification for why all your gear and stats are being stripped away from you.

The gameplay felt exactly like it did in Destiny. And just to make sure I wasn’t remembering it wrong, I even fired up my old character in Destiny and played for a bit. There was no tightening of gameplay. It was the same as it ever was. The interface was the same to me except they replaced the gun type names to Energy, Kinetic, and whatever the 3rd one was.

Destiny 2 feels exactly how an expansion should feel, not a full priced sequel. This story should have been packaged up as a tidy little $39.99 add-on for Destiny and the saga could have continued. But instead they package it up as a full $59.99 game knowing full well that the most die-hard of Destiny fans (or my 2-year-old) wouldn’t settle for the standard edition. Oh no. Need to shell out $79.99 or $99.99 so they won’t miss out on anything. Destiny 2 feels more like a business decision than it does a creative one.

Destiny 2 and why you should or shouldn’t buy it:

If you loved all things Destiny and couldn’t get enough of the grind, Destiny 2 is going to be right in your wheelhouse.  You should buy it because it’s just more of the same of what you love.

If you quit Destiny at any point because it got boring, don’t buy Destiny 2. It’s more of the same of why you quit in the first place.

If you’ve never played Destiny and are looking for a new first person shooter to play, don’t buy Destiny 2. Buy Destiny. You can get the original game plus all the expansions in one collection for under $40. Get your fill of the gameplay at a discount.

And if you’re not in any of these camps and are just curious, do what I did and just rent the game from Redbox. I’m sure they’ll have a copy.