Destiny was a deeply flawed game. The constant loot grind was infuriating to many. The game’s story was poorly told at best, and utterly uninteresting at worst and don’t even get me started on how the game handled match-making. And yet for all of its faults, I spent the best part of 150 hours playing it.
It’s a game that got me through arguably the most difficult time in my life. And as such it’s a game that I have some genuine love for and one that I was honestly rather upset to part ways with upon the realisation that the game had nothing left to offer me. So you’d be forgiven for thinking Destiny 2 was an easy sell to me. Right?
At the time of writing this post on Tuesday evening. The Destiny 2 closed beta has been playable for the best part of 3 hours. I blitzed through the opening story mission. I’ve completed the beta’s only available strike and whilst I didn’t hate what I played I was hit by an undeniable feeling that I just couldn’t be bothered to play any more.
I’d heard it for months. Destiny 2 is less giant-leap-for-mankind and more one-small-step-for-man, and I thought that was okay. After all, I adored Destiny. Even with all its faults I could look past them and focus on what I enjoyed so deeply about the game; the loot grind, the endless feeling that I could push the numbers higher, get a cooler looking gun or earn enough marks to buy something really fucking unique. I loved that.
So what’s changed? Well funnily enough, I don’t think its Destiny that’s changed. From the admittedly rather limited time I’ve spent with the beta, it looks and plays an awful lot like the Destiny I used to love, and yet the prospect of throwing myself back into that game holds no appeal. Where I think the change has happened is within me. The prospect of spending 150 hours playing one game as religiously as Destiny demands to be played isn’t something I can commit to any more, nor is it something I’ve any appetite to do even if I could commit to it. Where before I had almost endless free time to play a game for 5-6-7 even 8 straight hours without adult life calling, that simply isn’t a thing any more.
So as of writing. Destiny 2 looks to be exactly what fans of the original wanted: more Destiny. And this time last year I’d have been all over that. However, times they are a changing, and I think I’ve changed with them. Destiny 2 might be exactly what I want in a sequel to one of my favourite games ever, but maybe Destiny itself was a time and a place thing. Maybe if you placed Destiny on this 29 year old’s desk, he’d play it for a little and then fall away like an awful lot of people did. Maybe I wouldn’t even play it at all.
Either way. After an hour with the Beta version of the game, I feel fairly confident that my time with Destiny is done. And sure, there’s every chance I’ll hear friends and podcast hosts talking about the game over the coming weeks and end up picking a copy up, but I doubt very much that I’ll be thinking about the game in the same way that I did about the original 3 years ago.