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Destiny 2
  • Playstation 4
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
  • RPG
  • Shooter

The Destiny community is in an absolute frenzy this weekend, following an explosive Destiny 2 gameplay reveal and a parade of additional announcements about the game (and its highly anticipated PC port). A smattering of Bungie staff and decision makers outlined the many changes we’ll see in the Destiny sequel.

Most of the people fortunate enough to get hands-on time with Destiny 2 this week seem to be impressed by what they saw. But the lack of new information about Destiny 2 ’s narrative content didn’t go unnoticed by everyone in the community. And I’m pretty disappointed by the apparent lack of new alien species in Bungie’s next shooter.

Before we go too far, I want to take a minute to recognize the many, many quality of life changes revealed during this week’s Destiny 2 event. I may never directly benefit from the introduction of Guided Games, which formalize the sherpa runs that have become popular with Destiny players. Nor am I likely to engage with the sequel’s clan reward system. But it’s not hard to see why such additions are important and widely celebrated by Destiny fans. And I can’t even begin to imagine how many thousands of hours we’ll collectively save without being forced back to orbit anytime when traveling to a different planet. But none of those changes address my biggest problem with Destiny or the four expansions that followed the game to market.

It’s been more than a year since I played Destiny with any frequency, mostly because I got tired of exploring the same planets and zones day in and day out. The same goes for raiding. It’s fun a few times. But I’m not trying to see the Vault of Glass every week. Or even once a month. But as someone who blew their entire first paycheck on an Xbox and a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved, I was desperate to fall in love with Bungie’s first new IP in more than a decade. I’d spend hours playing on the weekends and loved having a companion activity during the six-plus hours I spend watching football on Sundays. But it didn’t take long to feel like I’d seen everything the game had to offer. It wasn’t long before my sense of wonder and amazement gave way to a bitterness that grew with each missed opportunity to significantly expand the game’s roster of enemies. And it rocketed to new heights when Bungie started reskinning the game’s existing enemies instead of creating a new intergalactic army for players to fight.

Eventually, it became clear Destiny’s underpowered game engine deserved most of the blame for the lack of map expansion in the years after launch. But that excuse doesn’t hold up now that the studio is working on a sequel. Why are we still fighting waves of enemies we’ve seen thousands of times before? How could Bungie come away from Destiny’s three year life cycle unaware that many players want more content (not just better presentation) from the shared-world shooter?

I’m not the only person who feels this way either. So many people have hopped online to complain about the oversight that a thread asking people to stop complaining about enemy variety climbed to the top of the Destiny sub-reddit’s front page on Friday. It was joined by a thread poking fun at fans with the audacity to hope Bungie might make structural changes to the shooter.

We’re still three and a half months, and two major industry shows (E3 and PAX Prime), removed from the Destiny 2 release date. It’s always possible that Bungie will let players return to Venus, Mars and Earth’s moon at some point on/after the Destiny 2 release date. And it’s just as possible that Bungie isn’t revealing some new addition to the series’ pool of enemies because the studio doesn’t want to spoil some portion of the game’s story. It wouldn’t be the first sci-fi property to use one seemingly unstoppable enemy as a distraction while a more powerful foe bides its time. But I’m not going to be thrilled if I reach the end of the campaign without seeing people and places unmentioned in this week’s Destiny 2 gameplay reveal. Even if there are narrative reasons for the Guardians to abandon the places we’ve already visited, why wouldn’t Bungie create enough new locales to avoid giving people the impression that a lack of content will still be a problem in 2017?

For now, I’m trying to focus on the positives. Bungie is clearly going out of its way to make it easier for groups to enjoy Destiny 2. The game’s most experienced players are being given incentive to help bridge the gap between themselves and the least experienced Guardians in the community. And it looks like Bungie continues to improve upon the personality-driven storytelling introduced in The Taken King. But I’m not going to spend another $100 on Destiny 2 expansions if the sequel doesn’t ship with more story content than its predecessor. And I suspect I’m not the only one.

Destiny 2 is in development for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game heads to consoles on Sept.8; however, there’s currently no word on a specific date for Destiny 2’s Battle.net debut.

Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes and follow Scott on Twitter for more Destiny news in 2017 and however long Bungie supports the Destiny franchise in the years ahead.

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