We have to talk about Destiny 2…

Author: Greg Hobbs @hobbs

Let me start by stating the obvious – I have had a lot of fun with Destiny 2 since release and have ploughed perhaps more hours into it than it deserves in the first month.  But for the first time post launch I’ve hit a bit of a wall.  Not a struggling to level up wall, but a wall of realisation – what the fuck am I actually grinding towards?

I have yet to complete the Raid and now have three characters at 300 power level (all three classes), but now struggle to justify why.  Of course, I have bought the season pass for the first two DLCs and I do wholeheartedly look forward to these.  But what in the first month has made it such a time sink?

For example, yes, the story campaign is better than the original Destiny, but the first mission alone was an improvement on the non-existent plot of the 2014 release.  The story is safe – enormous evil twat fucks your shit up, you get the band back together, then you return the favour to said evil twat.  If anyone thinks that counts as spoilers, you shouldn’t give the game too much credit – it is the most average and safe single player campaign plot that really tries it’s best to follow most clichés possible.  The introduction of cut scenes explaining motives and giving personalities to the characters around you is hardly ground breaking.  Either way, I’ve played through it three times – there is something going on here and I’m struggling to explain what.

I find a distinct lack of variety on almost all parts of the game.  All three classes are incredibly similar, yes there are subtle differences, punch (TITAN), palm smash (WARLOCK), knife (HUNTER), but there is virtually no severe game changing abilities or tactics within each class.  I was lucky in that in the first Destiny I only had two characters, and had never played as a Warlock.  I booted up Destiny 2 and figured it would be like a whole new class and experience – only to find it feels exactly the fucking same as a Titan, only with a slightly more frustrating jump mechanic.  All weapons are extremely samey, especially considering the weapon talents have been standardised across the board.  Most scout rifles feel the same, as do pulse rifles, hand cannons, auto rifles, and don’t get me started on side arms (those arseholes drop for me all the bastarding time).

Ultimately, I think some of my issues revolve around build and character diversity.  I honestly believe there is no differing playstyles.  When Tom Clancy’s The Division was released, it’s constant comparisons with Destiny were understandable, and The Division has significantly more issues than Destiny has ever had, however one thing it does have in its end game is a clear cut tree of build diversity and play style.  A lot of the gear sets in The Division that can be grinded out can offer a new way to play.  When it comes to Destiny 2, all I’m looking at is increasing that bloody power level number.

Yet I keep playing.

Tuesday weekly resets provide a refreshed checklist to work through.  I listen to podcasts when playing solo, chilled out lying flat on the couch as concentration isn’t really required for most PvE content.  The hit boxes for head shots are hilariously large – I feel like a blind person would still get a 50% precision shot hit rate.  The nightfall strikes are challenging and enjoyable, and it is always still a great experience teaming up with the lads for a run.

I think what I’m most curious about is what the actual hell happens to the brain when loot drops.  A brain scan of this shit would seriously explain a lot.  I enjoy loot based games (clearly) and I genuinely believe there are many chemical substances out there that wouldn’t have a hold on me like this RNG shit show.  But I am beginning to get annoyed and frankly bored with the gear that is dropping for me.  Maybe I’m naturally reaching a stale point after nearly 100 hours of play.  I will not argue that I have got my money’s worth with Destiny 2.

However, it should be noted the fact that the time of release has helped this – the entire industry seemed to completely avoid releasing anything around the Destiny 2 behemoth.  As we go into October, I am extremely curious to see how long I last on this game when the release calendar kicks into batshit territory with multiple high quality games coming out on a fortnightly basis:

We should call Destiny2: “exactly what is it?”, and indeed it’s a strange way to describe a first person shooter.  It is a technically brilliant and plush FPS, that feels great, looks great, and in a way, is relaxing.

I’ll never truly know why I love the loot so much, it’s all so similar, or care about my power level being 301 instead of 300 (it still takes the same number of bullets to put down enemies compared to when I was Level 5).  It’s a conundrum and to be honest, an absolute mind fuck.  An extremely well made, head shottingly satisfying, easy going, mind fuck.

Nightfall anyone?  (I need help.)

Follow me on Twitter @hobbs_30 or you can follow the DZR guys as a collective @DarkZoneReport and check out the latest episode of DZR Engage.  (Oh, and leave a bloody iTunes review will you?)

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