I love Destiny. I really feel the need to make that clear. When I first stepped into the Beta for Destiny a number of years back, I instantly fell head over heels with its gameplay, design, hidden lore and interesting encounters. I’ve slugged over 2500 hours into both Destiny, its DLC, Destiny 2 and Destiny 2’s DLC. Going off my review scores for Curse of Osiris (4.3) and Warmind (4.8), you wouldn’t think that I held the franchise in high regard, but I do. In fact it’s because I love the series so much that I feel the need to be extra critical.
Destiny 2 vanilla was outstanding. The story, the tension, the build up to something grand and exciting was something that Bungie failed to truly deliver with its immediate predecessor. Sadly, the trek since then has only been downhill. Destiny suffered from a similar structure, being that The Dark Below and House of Wolves were short, mediocre and uninteresting DLCs. Many lost interest in the game at that point, or at least until The Taken King was released. This DLC is arguably the best DLC is the franchise’s entire lifespan.
The Taken King may have been steeper in price, but it was much more akin to an expansion than TDB and HoW combined. Guardians enjoyed a plethora of new activities and missions, heaps of new gear and some interesting new gameplay mechanics. Rise of Iron tried to follow in its footsteps, but failed to stand just as firmly. Moving back to Destiny 2, we’re looking at the same sort of road-map, albeit at a marginally better frequency. Word on the street states that a larger expansion is coming to the game this year.
I suspect that this expansion will not only challenge The Taken King, but take the “best DLC” mantle from it too. Looking back at the end-credit cutscene from Destiny 2 vanilla, you may recall seeing mysterious pyramid ships being activated, following the Traveler’s awakening light. These ships have long been teased by Bungie, going far back as to being included in Destiny’s concept artwork, otherwise known as ‘Race 5’. What’s especially interesting about Race 5 is that they’re shrouded in waves of black smoke.
Could we be ready to fight the darkness once and for all? I certainly hope so. More importantly and something the franchise has needed since Destiny vanilla, a new race of enemies to take on. Since Destiny vanilla, we’ve been fighting The Vex, The Fallen, The Hive and The Cabal. I find it hard to include The Taken in this, seeing as they’re literally just reskinned models of the aforementioned four, something Bungie tends to do to less than great effect, made apparent in almost every DLC for Destiny and Destiny 2.
In any case, Bungie NEEDS to give us something grand. We need an expansion that’s great in size, large in scale and more intriguing than anything that’s come before it. Sure, an entirely new race would help with that, but Destiny needs less of the same and more new stuff, now more than ever. Curse of Osiris did very little to throw anything new into the mix outside of the Infinite Forest, which even then, wasn’t built upon enough to justify its fascinating backstory. The biggest shame of that DLC.
Warmind is better than Curse of Osiris, but only marginally. This content still has us fighting the same recycled enemies in the same recycled locations with the same recycled design choices. Bungie knows full and well that they’ve messed up with the post-launch plans and hope to fix this and win back stray players in the long run. Sadly, Curse of Osiris and Warmind were developed before this proverbial wake up call, but that’s no excuse and more of a “we’ll see much better” later in the year.
My biggest problem with Curse of Osiris and Warmind is that both of these DLCs take liberties with the lore of the game. Both content drops revolve around iconic lore pieces, yet neither plot is bulky enough or lengthy enough to carry the weight, leaving many of us underwhelmed. This is why it would make a lot more sense for Race 5 to be introduced via something heavier and better paced. With Destiny 2’s first true expansion set for the end of the year, Bungie has a lot of ground to cover and a lot of making up to do.
It helps that much of this upcoming content will have been developed post damage-control, so Bungie’s acknowledgement of what’s needed, grouped with fan feedback, should certainly pull through. Though, it falls to Bungie to honor their promise of meaningful content thereafter. Mini-DLCs will not cut it and it’s clear that Bungie remains unequipped to deal with this format. That simply needs to change if Destiny – as a whole – wants to live until the end of Bungie’s overall vision.
Though, again, I’m hopeful that Bungie will nail this correctly. They did that with Destiny and The Taken King/Rise of Iron. Sadly they also fell victim to their own beliefs following The Taken King, Rise of Iron and Destiny 2 vanilla. Sales is what will hit them the most and given Destiny’s popularity, I cant see this being that much of a problem, ever. Still, when all is said and done, Destiny 2 DLC 3 will serve as their saving grace or the straw that breaks the camel’s back, solely dependent on how much Bungie have really taken on-board.
DLC 3 needs a lengthy story, fresh content, a fresh (uncut) raid or two, heaps of new strikes, completely new ideas, new end-game content that actually lasts, a vast amount of PvP, some engaging PvE events and more. Might we see a new Guardian class alongside Race 5? Hell, with a new race on the way, the next raid has the potential to stand as tall as the Vault of Glass, but until we see the proof in the pudding, we’ll have to sit on our hands. No doubt we’ll see more at E3 2018 or thereafter, but as it stands, Destiny 2 isn’t in a good state.
Mercifully, Bungie’s commitment to change and address feedback, grouped with all of the above, may just be enough to save the franchise. Fool me once (Destiny to The Dark Below to The House of Wolves) shame on you, Fool me twice (Destiny 2 to Curse of Osiris to Warmind) shame on me. I wont be fooled a third time. For me at least, Destiny 2 DLC 3 will determine whether or not I finally hang up the gear, something I imagine a great many of us are feeling the same about, right now.