With the release of Destiny 2 right around the corner, fans are eagerly awaiting the final product. The recent beta provided a small glimpse into what could be an incredibly satisfying sequel, one that could overcome the mixed reception the original entry garnered from fans. While diehard players have defended the strong potential hidden within the first game, many others saw Destiny as mediocre and believe the sequel won’t be able to compete with the biggest shooters of today without some heft changes.
Bungie has attempted to keep many of the specific details about Destiny 2 under wraps, but there have been enough reveals that point to a game that has a clear vision of building off of the strengths and weaknesses of Destiny. Here are the five top reasons Destiny 2 could forever overshadow the first game and deliver the satisfying shooter experience always Bungie intended for the series.
1. The story will be told in many forms
A major criticism of Destiny was its “throw you in” approach to the plot. It was never fully clear why your role as a Guardian was significant or even why missions throughout the campaign were occurring. A majority of the storytelling was instead relegated to Grimoire cards, hidden pieces of lore tied to different aspects of the universe, including classes, races, and even the importance of Guardians. The downside was only dedicated players were able to fully understand the story—and the majority of the lore itself wasn’t even accessible from within the game.
Thankfully, Bungie has stated Destiny 2 will deliver a more cohesive and expansive story through several avenues. First and foremost, the campaign is said to outline the role of the Guardian and its connection to the Traveler and its Light. A clear and structured narrative journey will invite new and old players into the Destiny universe from mission to mission. Even apart from the primary campaign, Adventures and Quests found as side missions will add more depth to the story. Even better, there will reportedly be over 80 missions in total, meaning even after the campaign is over, there will be more of the story to uncover without having to go on some scavenger hunt throughout the game world.
2. The villains will be well-defined
Another major issue in the first entry was its lack of a clear enemy and, in turn, a motivation. While the Darkness was an intriguing concept, it was merely teased in the first game’s storyline. Bungie missed an opportunity to expand the game’s lore and add weight to its central conflict: stopping the Darkness from spreading across worlds. From the very first story trailer for Destiny 2, we’ve had a perfect idea of who the villain is. Cabal leader Dominus Ghal invades The Tower with his Red Legion army in the opening moments of the game, sending the Guardians to flee for survival.
Players will have a clear motivation to learn more about Ghaul and his armies, as his strike to take back the Light immediately poses questions about why and how other enemy factions will factor in. It’s undeniable enemies from the first game will reappear, with the robotic Vex already confirmed, but there could be even more expansion on how these different factions interact outside of fighting the Guardians. Are they allies? What is their purpose in attempting to control different planet’s ecosystems? Once a villain gets players to wonder and ask questions, that means a story is worth exploring, and it seems like a fantastic idea to introduce those threats from the start to hook in every player.
3. Guardian subclass expansion
While the original Destiny at times felt like a hollow copy of Bungie’s beloved Halo series, fans who sunk enough time into the multiplayer content were able to see the important ways the game did feel different. Unlike Halo’s focus on varied weapons and vehicles, the Destiny games’ class and subclass structure makes them more akin to role-playing game. This shift opens up brand new avenues that differ from the typical shooter formula.
The first entry, however, didn’t make the most of the possibilities within each class’s skill sets, offering a limited variation from class to class. Destiny 2 has promised to explore and expand its gameplay through new subclasses. Each class will have an exclusive subclass skill to power-up throughout the game, in addition to the special attacks that define these subclasses. And there’s an imaginative new batch of specials for the new subclasses, as well, like the throwing shield for Sentinel Titans, the flaming sword for Dawnblade Warlocks, and the elemental staff for Arcstrider Hunters. Leveling up each subclass now takes the form of a skill tree, with even more subclass-specific nodes among the branches. That’ll allow much greater differentiation when when comparing, for example, one Warlock to another. Overall, this will make each player in multiplayer modes a valued opponent or ally, instead of a carbon copy of every other player in that class.
4. PvP and PvE format overhaul
Bungie’s May 18th live event has still been the major source of what to expect in Destiny 2, and while the story was a major focus, we also learned about the significant changes coming to the Crucible. In the first game, the multiplayer PvP modes had six players to a team, which is relatively standard in most shooters. Crucible modes in Destiny 2 will now opt for a 4v4 format instead, creating more intimate battles. Maps will be smaller to accommodate for the shift, as well.
This narrower focus will likely provided more opportunities to organize teams strategically, with the variety from mixing and matching classes, armor, weaponry, and subclasses being more crucial than ever. Instead of just seeing clans full of powerful Titans, Destiny 2‘s PvP system will mean players won’t be able to rely on pure strength, as a group with two Warlocks, a Hunter, and a Titan will be have a strategic advantage over the brute force approach.
Thankfully, the same goes for PvE, as Bungie has confirmed enemies will be equipped with new abilities and weaponry, which will give the player variety in how to approach a battle during a raid or random enemy base encounter.
5. Inclusion and expansion
Destiny still has a dedicated fan base that puts an enormous number of hours into PvP battling, and while that has kept the importance surrounding the game afloat, the best approach to the sequel is to carry every current fan over, while inviting players who have never experienced Destiny before to join. Many shooters, especially the first Destiny, have a complicated meta-game to learn, which can alienate more casual players. Bungie has put a focus on reintroducing the gaming community to the world of Destiny with this sequel.
According to what the developer has revealed so far, those that want to explore the various planets and universe lore should receive a satisfying game through larger areas, and the Milestones feature for guidance, while already-invested PvP Guardians will have even more customization and control to make daily battles a fresh and fluid experience.
Where Bungie can get extra credit is through the new Guided Games system, which essentially offers casual gamers a way to get acquainted with their more hardcore counterparts. Guided Games will remedy the lack of matchmaking for the original Destiny‘s high-level content in a novel way. One to two players can join a queue as “single-riders” and be matched up with a clan or team that needs extra people to help play. Not only does that allow those without existing in-game friends to participate in a wider variety of content, it’s also a great way to meet people and ultimately join a clan for yourself—effectively upgrading from casual player to dedicated fan. It remains to be seen how effective this system will be, but it’s definitely a tremendous step in the right direction in making Destiny 2 more than just another somewhat satisfying shooter.
Destiny 2 launches for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 6th, with the PC release to come October 24th.