Shootery Lootery

I’ve spent a little more time with the Destiny 2 beta. It’s amazing what I’ll do to get a shooter fix when Battlefield 1 servers are empty after the update.

My opinion on buying this game on day one is still swinging wildly from side to side, like a pendulum powered by indecision and gamer’s addiction angst. There’s this thing that many gamers will be able to relate with: the strong desire to get a new game on launch. I know not everyone is like that, and many of us have to wait for price drops and budget increases, but the desire is still there. It’s my theory that it’s this pent-up desire that makes so many of us lose control on the ridiculous sales.

Anyway, back to Destiny Vol. 2. It’s not bad. I reckon I’ve said that before. It’s more of the same, it’s ever so slightly prettier, it’s got a bit more story intrigue, and probably the most noticeable change is the ever-present “2” in the marketing.  We get it, it’s a different game *avuncularly conspiratorial wink*.

Seriously though, this feels a lot more like a polished expansion than a new game. Destiny: The Snuffing of the Light. This is the biggest source of my instant nausea when thinking of buying this game. However, there are some counter points that are attractive. The foremost of these is the new story and antagonist. Ghaul is pretty darn cool, menacing and calmly casual while ripping the light from the Guardians. The way the story mission in the beta ends motivates me to play this story. Coupled with the presence of NPCs during combat and play (at least in the first mission), this is a far more attractive story campaign than the first.

And yet, there’s a large element that still puts me off. Destiny is a looter shooter. I like me some shooter goodness. I do not like RNG-based looters. This is a more recent discovery, after having something bothering me when playing both The Division and Destiny over the previous year and a bit. In fact, it’s growing to be antipathy. In a shooter, RNG does not belong anywhere near elements that affect gameplay. Create a random loot system for anything purely aesthetic, cool. When you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a certain gun, that’s when it loses appeal. In the shooters I enjoy, like Battlefield and Call of Duty (judge me, it’s cool), you work toward certain guns. You unlock them by completing tasks and assignments, rather than them maybe possibly sometimes dropping in your lap after a million hours of disappointment and dashed hopes.

Of course, it’s possible to ignore that aspect of Destiny. Just play the campaign, enjoy the story, move on. The problem with that is the first game had a disjointed narrative campaign that only appealed due to the shooting mechanics and because I was playing with friends. A game has to specifically be built around the mechanics, like 2016’s Doom, for me to not care about the story. And that’s not even a good example, because Doom‘s story was worlds better than the first Destiny. Which is a crying shame, due to Destiny having such amazing lore.

So, what is it? Yea or nay? I don’t know yet. I’ll probably decide long after the beta. And if I have enough cash at the time, I’ll probably just buy it on launch anyway. I have enough friends who play it to have potential good times on the horizon. Yet, there is too much vying for my attention. Lawbreakers is out shortly, I still play the crap out of Battlefield 1COD WWII will have to be played, and Battlefront II is going to be a future time sink. So, does my destiny lie with 2. Probably not, but let’s not rule it out entirely.

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