When Bungie announced Destiny, players the world over got hyped. An all-new IP in the age of post-Bungie Halo? Sold! It probably helped that back in 2014, there weren’t a lot of AAA titles for the new console generation, much less one that wasn’t part of a well-known series. The fact that Destiny felt so new and out-there for a company that had more or less stuck with one great thing their entire career only fanned the flames of fanboyism.
When we actually got the game, opinions were divided. On one hand, it’s fair to say that Destiny is a unique experience with a potential playtime in the hundreds of hours. On the other, a litany of problems were noted: grinding, poor storytelling techniques, cut-and-paste side quests, and a minimalist approach to classes left some with a bad taste in their mouth. On the whole, though, the game was and is well-loved by many.
Enter Destiny 2. The announcement that Bungie would already be moving on to a Destiny sequel surprised a great many people, who now face the same problem with perhaps a more realist perspective: will Destiny 2 be good? It certainly has a strong framework to work from, but there are already some red flags based on the currently-limited information that we have. So let me play devil’s advocate and give you 16 reasons you should skip Destiny 2.
If you need a reminder about what was great and terrible about the original, check out our 8 Best and 7 Worst Things About Destiny.
16 Destiny 2 Took Half the Time To Make As The Original
As many players noted when Destiny originally came out, it was an absolutely massive investment. This was the first big IP Bungie was making after Halo, after all, and as usual Bungie decided to go big. Even without considering the stunning amount of cash invested in the game’s development and marketing by Activision -- rounding out $500 million according to Activision’s own estimates -- there’s another important factor in making the game the powerhouse that it is today: time.
Destiny took approximately four years to make, around twice as much time as it is estimated Destiny 2 will take to finish. This could certainly change, leading to a delay that in itself would be concerning, but as it stands that seems doubtful; more realistically, Destiny 2 was simply less of the high-stakes pressure cooker that the original proved to be and that could generally lead to a less well-crafted game.
15 Recycled Content Is Likely
To that point, the most obvious and dangerous possibility to the game’s enjoyment could be a large degree of recycled content. If we define “recycled content” as low-effort re-skins, cut-and-paste side missions, and an overall lack of diversification and innovation on a game’s core elements, Destiny was full of it.
While the first incarnation of Destiny had a truly incredible degree of content that helped to mitigate the samey-ness of some of its content, the same cannot be said about the DLC practices that followed in the few years after. This clear lack of ingenuity—or at least unwillingness to keep at the same pace of development—has possibly bled into the sequel, as is apparent by some of the other topics on this list. If that initial level of unique and engaging content is not found in Destiny 2 before the obligatory mountains of DLC to come, it might make the experience much more boring and repetitive than on-release Destiny ever was.
14 No Dedicated Servers To Fix Connectivity Issues…
Fans of Destiny begged Bungie for one thing perhaps more than anything else: dedicated servers. The nature of the game as inherently multiplayer-focused naturally means that connectivity issues are a huge disappointment. Connectivity was so bad in the original partially because there were no dedicated servers to host the thousands of players in-game at any given time. Instead, Bungie opted to use the systems themselves to host games, leading to widespread host migration and an overall dull experience.
While Bungie has promised that Destiny 2 will address the issue of connectivity by using a “hybrid” approach which will reportedly nix the host migration issue altogether—done by moving all of the above diagram to the "worldserver"—the core problem of undependable connectivity remains in question. While this is clearly a step in the right direction, the fact that such a major concern is being treated with a band-aid rather than a suture is troubling, to say the least.
13 ...And The “Solution” Makes Cheating Inevitable
While the issue of host migration and general connectivity troubleshooting has plagued Destiny—and as just seen, could very well become bothersome in the sequel as well—the metaphor of a band-aid versus a suture might even be too lenient; a band-aid rarely causes new problems to arise, after all. Destiny 2’s hybrid solution could very well open the game up to a new, and much more debilitating headache: cheating.
As Kyle Orland of Ars Technica notes, the choice to use this particular solution gives control to the player while using the server as a sort of informational intermediary, meaning enterprising gamers could send “fake data” to the server about their game’s status and muck everything up for others. Orland goes on to remind us that this is exactly the kind of condition that led to The Division’s massive influx of cheaters, something Bungie really ought to consider when deciding whether or not to cough up for the servers.
12 PC Port Likely Months Off... If It’s Good At All
Some of the major questions for Destiny 2 will revolve around the PC port. Considering this is the first time PC gamers will be able to play the game, this is something of a debut to an entire market. If other major developers are the model here, that doesn’t always turn out very well; PC ports are oftentimes notorious for being terrible, even for highly visible games like the Dark Souls series. So for PC players at least, the amount of effort Bungie puts into this port matters significantly.
Even if the PC port is decent, there are still a lot of questions to answer: when will it be released? How much content will be console-only? Will Bungie include all of the amenities that PC gamers are used to—FOV sliders, colorblind settings, multiple forms of anti-aliasing, etc.? None of the questions have answers yet, and Bungie is keeping it close to the chest on this one.
11 Consoles Locked At 30FPS
Despite the major milestones console games have made in the years since Destiny made its first appearance at 30FPS, and the fact that the PC will likely run at much higher rates, Destiny 2 is confirmed to run at the exact same frame rate. That’s a huge problem, as the flow of combat in an action game is directly tied to frame rate and 30FPS on a AAA title is something that shouldn’t satisfy console gamers.
Both the Xbox One and PS4 have shown they can run games at 60FPS—Forza 5 and Killzone: Shadow Fall respectively, for just two examples—so there’s no excuse to artificially lock the rate at half what the system is capable of. Given, these examples are far from standard fare, but considering that Bungie artificially locked all consoles to 30FPS in the original to maintain consistency, this only speaks more to the homogenization of Destiny 2 for mass appeal.
10 PS4 Has The Worst Specs, But The Most Content
Speaking of specs and frame rate, why is it exactly that consoles are locked to 30FPS? Oh yeah, that’s right, because the PlayStation Pro isn’t capable of running the game at 60FPS. You would think, perhaps, that a company would shy away from centering its design process on the hardware with the lowest specs, considering that would lower the quality across all systems (to those who might argue otherwise, I hope you also argue that Call of Duty should be designed explicitly for the Wii U). Not Bungie!
And why is that again? Right, because they have a brand deal with Sony! The console with the worst specs also has system-exclusive content.
To reiterate, the system with the best potential, the PC, is months behind, the system with the worst specs, the PS4, is incentivized, and those stuck in the middle with the Xbox One have to suffer worse frame rates to maintain a singular experience. Weird design philosophy, Bungie.
9 Bungie’s Alternative To Grimoire Cards Is Vague
One of the most loathed elements of Destiny was the method of telling lore. The “grimoire cards” were collectibles that told the story through various actions in-game. There’s a major problem with this, of course; storytelling is best when it’s told through the universe.
For Destiny 2, Bungie has taken to expressing the lore more through the game...supposedly. Rather than being tight-lipped, as Bungie and Activision have been on other topics, they’ve been very explicit in how they intend for “people to be able to find the lore”: it will be in the “adventures,” “story,” “campaign” and “scannables.” On the surface, that’s great! But if you think about it for a moment, what’s actually being said? Aren’t scannables just mechanics-based collectibles? And “adventures” are unique side content, which can be missed altogether. So the quality of story integration inherently depends on Bungie’s skill at content apportionment—better, but not necessarily good.
8 Progress Not Imported
If the grimoire card system was the most complained-about portion of Destiny, then almost assuredly the largest hurdle for this fledgling iteration is that content from your original save can’t be transferred over. All the grinding—dozens, even hundreds of hours—gone in the blink of an eye.
Given, some players prefer the option to start over, and the multiplayer-focused nature of the game makes it difficult to make all people happy, but the general standard I hold for games is this: more player choice is always better. It’s not like games haven’t contended with balancing issues in the past. Considering the extremely heavy multiplayer focus of first-person shooters in the late-2000s/early-2010s, and the fact that, you know, Bungie already made one of the biggest ones ever, it’s not inconceivable that they could have put the effort in to make it work. At the very least, they could have done better tying it into the story than what little we’ve seen so far.
7 Characters Aren’t Transferred Unless Level 20 Or Higher
Speaking of which, there’s one little fact about this whole transferring profile business that’s irked a lot of gamers: namely, that players are being allowed to transfer their character’s aesthetics, but only if they’re level 20 or higher and have completed the original.
If you have the infrastructure in place to do this, Bungie, why not give everyone the opportunity? You’re already dedicating in-game rewards for the longtime, high-level players of Destiny, this just seems extremely petty. It’s doubtful that many players who were going to buy Destiny 2 would be turned off by the idea that Bungie is giving preferential treatment to certain players in aesthetics alone, but it still cues us in on the development process...i.e., that they’re a little out of touch.
6 New Subclasses Don’t Add, They Replace
One of the most shocking changes about Destiny 2 is the lack of change, at least in regard to classes. Destiny 2 will not add any new classes, settling on sub-classes as a way to ostensibly expand the mechanics (read: supers) beyond what they were previously. Weirdly though, Bungie didn’t decide to add subclasses at all. Instead, they’ve simply replaced some of the subclasses with updated versions, or completely different subclasses altogether. The end result is the exact same amount of content as the original. This also quashes a major argument for why more classes weren’t added, that Bungie didn’t want to disrupt the game’s balance, as the balance will have to be different. The balance itself could be a concern, but regardless, it harkens back to the first and second concerns on this list that so little net new content is added.
5 Supers Becoming More Homogeneous
One thing that correlates with both balancing and the new subclasses is the changing of supers. There have been various tweaks to the classes, as stated before, but perhaps the most game-changing element of the new additions is how significant the supers for each subclass really affect gameplay.
As Darren Nakamura of Destructoid points out, most supers from Destiny are either AOE one-hit kills or “roaming” one-hit kills meant to be done in rapid succession; however, there are still a number of supers that don’t fall into either of those categories, diversifying gameplay and allowing for a more specialized play style (and really, just more fun). Destiny 2, whether by purposeful design choice or sheer coincidence, will reduce the number of supers that do not fall into the first two categories. This may be Bungie’s attempt to balance new classes, but it’s a really wrongheaded way to go about it, as players lose out on versatility.
4 Graphics Won't Impress Anyone
If you’ve made it this far, then you know that system limitations will dictate the frame rate for Destiny 2, perhaps in conjunction with the limited dev time the team has to work with. So it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise to hear that the graphics for Destiny 2 are...well, it looks like Destiny.
Sure, there are new textures, and the UI has been manipulated a little, but the overall feeling and impact Destiny had at launch is sorely missing from what little we’ve seen of Destiny 2 thus far. Even defenders of the title have admitted that the graphical fidelity of Destiny 2 is lacking, often resorting to truisms that effectively translate to “this is how all modern sequels are.” One such defender even called this the “crux” of the argument that Destiny 2 “is/is not a proper sequel.”
3 Matchmaking Will Not Be Included For The Dumbest Reason
One thing that makes very little sense, even within this list, is Bungie’s reasoning for not including a long-awaited traditional matchmaking system in a game so heavily reliant on other players. While there will be some kind of system akin to matchmaking, even using the term, matchmaking in the sense of bringing random people together as is the norm for many other games will not be featured. Instead, clan-based searching appears to be the alternative.
I’ll cut to the chase: Bungie isn’t including matchmaking because they’re afraid players will not, and I quote, “behave.” No technical defense, no refocusing of assets, just simple paternalist garbage. This in particular is frustrating because, considering the game’s open nature, if matchmaking were made optional—perhaps at specific points ala Dark Souls, or even just a simple “yes” or “no” setting—those afraid of getting flamed or who simply dislike toxic players can opt out.
2 No Trading System
As we’ve seen, Bungie clearly wants a very guided experience. In other words, they want the game to be experienced in a singular, specific way. This isn’t an inherently “bad” way to design a game, but it is limiting. Nowhere is this more apparent than in item trading. If Destiny 2 is anything like its progenitor—and based on all information, if anything it’s too similar—then it will be a heavily gear/loot-driven experience. So naturally, the question arises, why not a trading system?
Some people have made pretty strong arguments that trading systems affect games like Destiny negatively because it can effectively cut out hours of grinding. But again, it leaves the core problem of grinding, and unlike grinding, a trading system is use-optional. This would affect PVP, given, but there’s a clear solution there: balancing based on player gear in addition to level. But doing so would lead back to a core problem that seems to come up in each and every one of these complaints, quoted from that same defender of Bungie: it “require(s) loads of management.”
1 Tons Of DLC On The Way
Perhaps the most galling thing about everything on this list is the fact that DLC is already planned for Destiny 2. Now, everyone knew this would happen; it’s not like Bungie was just going to release the game and not capitalize on it. But to already be talking about not one, but two expansions speaks volumes about the developer’s priorities—and that’s only what we know.
What if, rather than sticking a hand out again almost immediately after players have coughed up $60 (or your regional equivalent), the team decided to take more dev time to optimize the game? Might it be possible to achieve 60FPS, higher graphical fidelity, or maybe even more content altogether? Maybe when Destiny 2 comes out, it will be of such high quality that lists like this will look silly for even worrying. But considering the sheer amount of problems Bungie has created, ignored, or made questionable solutions to, I think it’s safe to say that more time on the core experience is very worthwhile.