With the annual pass coming to a close and the release of Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, it’s safe to say that the overall game is in one of the best states in its history.
However good the state of the game may be now, the game was unanimously considered a massive failure by the gaming community two years ago. Everything great the game was built upon was tossed out the window leaving a shallow and bland experience.
Bungie, the game’s developer, wouldn’t let that be the game’s fate. They worked tirelessly to turn that failure into one of the biggest games on the market.
So without further-ado, this is the journey of Destiny 2.
Release of The Game
Vanilla Destiny 2 (the game at launch) started out as a huge success. Critics loved the new story and gameplay mechanics. The player count was seriously high. Within a couple of months however, that praise quickly vanished.
The endgame was reached pulling back the layers of the game. By giving players what the first game seemingly lacked, the fun was stripped away. The depth and RPG elements were abandoned and the rarest items were doled out like candy. The dedicated player-base was left in the dust as everything was catered to the ‘casual player’. As these players always do, they moved on to the next big title.
With the player count and sales dwindling, it seemed like the only way to go was up. But that wasn’t the case.
The Curse of Osiris
As if things couldn’t get any worse, The Curse of Osiris launched to perhaps even greater criticism.
So much could’ve been done with the Infinite Forest and lore behind Osiris, yet all of that potential was blown. The story was short and forgettable. The level design was mediocre at best, and the new location of Mercury was all too small and lifeless.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the community was in a full uproar, yet Bungie wouldn’t address it until the new year. Players felt upset and betrayed, but they weren’t ready for what Bungie still had in store.
While not quite the turning point that the game needed, Warmind was a more than solid expansion that laid the groundwork for the future to come.
Big changes were made to the game including valuable PvP updates and much needed depth. There were finally secrets to uncover and, more importantly, a reason to play again.
Besides changes to the core game, the new content was good too. Besides an average campaign, it introduced interesting exotic quests, a large new planet with Mars, a brand new game-mode with Escalation Protocol, and a new exotic catalyst system that changed the way exotics work.
The game was now improving little by little with each consecutive update, but the fall expansion would be the determiner its fate.
Forsaken was a strong return to form for the franchise. It fixed almost every issue players have ever had with the game including a PvP overhaul, an actual story, and the implementation of even more RPG elements. The list could go on and on.
Upon these improvements came new game-modes, such as Gambit and the Blind Well, as well as a multitude of new locations, secrets and lore that kept the game feeling meaningful and fresh for all players alike.
Forsaken was a critical success, yet Activision (the game’s publisher) was unhappy with the sales, further raising a long brewing tension that would help lead to their inevitable split with Bungie.
The Annual Pass
The Annual Pass fundamentally changed Destiny. By straying away from the previous model of major fall expansions with little content in-between, Bungie was able to create an ever-evolving world that gave players something new to do week-after-week.
It wasn’t without its pitfalls however. Season of the Forge was lackluster, Season of the Drifter was too Gambit-focused, but by Season of Opulence all of the wrinkles were ironed out, leaving a fun, satisfying experience.
This time period also marked Bungie’s split with Activision, finally giving them full ownership of the franchise. For the first time in the game’s history, Bungie was free to do whatever they wanted.
Shadowkeep, New Light, and Beyond
The release of Shadowkeep and New Light mark the first steps into what the future of Destiny will entail.
Shadowkeep kicks off a year of content that sounds absolutely epic. Players are getting all of the content they’ve come to expect (i.e., new locations, story, game-modes), and they’re getting a full year of ambitious seasonal content that promises to tell an evolving story that culminates in an event at the end of the final season.
Destiny is going free-to-play, at least the first year of content. With Destiny 2: New Light, the base game of Destiny 2 will be free including Curse of Osiris, Warmind, and every playable patrol zone. These will give new players a welcome place to jump in and experience the game after all of the improvements.
It’s hard to imagine it was only two years ago Destiny was in such poor condition. Bungie has put in so much love and care into turning this game into a place where players can hang out and have an affect on the world as a whole.
The game might be in the best state its ever been now, but the future only seems to be getting brighter. By giving players such an accessible way into the game and putting so much effort into making the best game, Bungie is truly taking Destiny 2 into a new light.