I like Destiny, but I don’t love it. I’m hoping I’ll love Destiny 2.
Bungie recently revealed a ton of details about the online shooter, which is coming out on September 8 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (a PC version is also coming, but Bungie isn’t being specific about when it will release). The first Destiny was fun when you were playing with friends, but it had a lot of problems. The story was lame, and it was hard to find people to play with.
Still, I had a great time with it for a while after it launched … and then I stopped playing after a few months. A year later, The Taken King expansion brought me back in … for another couple of months. Last year’s Rise of Iron kept my attention for an even shorter amount of time.
But I’m thinking that Destiny 2 might be able hook me for longer. Specifically, these five things have me excited about the sequel:
The original Destiny made it hard to make any new friends. Other massively mutliplayer online games (MMOs) have an advantage when they’re on PC. People can just type things on their keyboard into a general chat that tons of people can see. In Destiny, talking to someone meant navigating confusing menus to send them a private message through Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network.
Clans should make finding people to group with easier. If you join one, you’ll have a bank of players that you can potentially run with. A simple menu will show any clanmates that are online, and then you can just invite them to play with you.
I can play Raids without five friends
And even if I don’t want to join a Clan, I could still get into some Raiding. Raids are the hardest dungeons in Destiny, featuring challenging and unique bosses. I did the first one, Vault of Glass, and it was super fun. But Destiny does not give you the option to group up with random players, and this ended up being why I didn’t try another one. If you want to do Raid, it has to be a group you make yourself.
You need six players to Raid. Finding a reliable group of five friends to do this content with (which can take several hours a week) can be challenging. After I beat Vault of Glass with my friends, we were never able to sync up again for another Raid.
But Destiny 2 is introducing Guided Games to solve that problem. Clans with fewer than six players that want to do a Raid can bring non-Clan members to fill in those roster spots. So, if I’m not in Clan, I can still push a few buttons and get matched up with a group that’s doing one.
Destiny is a sci-fi series, so you get to travel to a bunch of different planets. But all of those locations felt uninspired in the original. Earth was a drab, abandoned wasteland, and the Moon was … well, the Moon. Mars was red, which … sure, OK.
But the new planets (well, they’re mostly moons, but you get it) in Destiny 2 look a lot more interesting. Titan is an ocean world with platforms and buildings built over the water, and the planetoid Nessus really looks like an alien world with its red forests. I look forward to exploring these places.
The original Destiny has an awful story. At least I think it was bad. I do not remember much of it. I know somebody gave me a gun at the end of it or something. It was a pretty bad gun. The plot was inconsequential and lacked interesting characters or memorable dialogue. The expansions starting fixing this problem, making former background characters like Cayde-6 more integral to the story.
It looks like Destiny 2 is going to be more interesting. Unlike the convoluted, barely explained plot of the first Destiny, the sequel has an easy-to-understand setup. Bad guys have destroyed your fortress and captured the Traveler (that big orb thing you always see floating around). You gotta, you know, go get them.
Sometimes, a simpler plot works better, especially in a game where you spend 95 percent of the time shooting things. Bungie also promised that we’ll run into mini-stories while exploring on our own, something that the original lacked.
Less time wasted in space
In Destiny, you always had to go up into space if you wanted to do anything. Want to go back to the Tower to check your mail? Go to space first. Want to play team deathmatch? You have to fly to space. Want to get your ass to Mars? First you have to get your ass to space.
So, before you can do anything that isn’t on the planet you’re already on, you have to first go through the slow process of loading into space, which is a glorified map menu. In Destiny 2, you can start those activities straight from where you already are. No more wasting time watching your ship fly through some sort of warp speed tunnel while you wait for a menu to load.