Back in September 2014, a game was released that changed my life forever, or so I thought. Destiny exploded onto the scene; a game that combined MMO, RPG and FPS all into one gigantic, alien bashing, space opera which made light work of the hours in each and every day of my life. Bungie had moved on from their Halo origins and produced an epic that ensnared me from day one.
Initially starting my Destiny life as a cloaked, ninja robot, I then moved to a more fitting role for my play style: a blue, self-resurrecting, mutant space wizard; armed with a shotgun and the ability to bring myself back from the dead after being spectacularly slaughtered. I was in my element; I fully invested every spare second into the game. The world building was perfect for me; just big enough to be expansive (for my tastes) and just small enough not to be overwhelming. I found myself doing things I don’t normally do in games - chasing collectibles, chasing achievements, chasing that one gun that only has a 20% drop rate after completing a 6-hour raid once a week with people I didn’t know after dying in almost every bout of bright lights, gunfire, and screaming (The screaming lost its comic effect quite quickly). All the mundane, repetitive tasks never became repetitive for me; I had dreams, I had aspirations.
With the likes of Bill Nighy, Peter Dinklage (subtly/ not so subtly replaced for Nolan North, which is a debate for another time...) and the one and only Nathan Fillion, amongst others, manning the voice cast, I couldn’t believe how awesome this all was... the main campaign being the only downfall, but I didn’t care! I loved the lore, the different worlds and enemies, the huge amount of guns, the armour styles, the planets, the everything! I could go on for hours and then I found out they had a 10-year plan!
The game went through several incarnations. Big bosses came and went. New enemies rose up and were quelled by my awesome, cosmic fire which later became Sith-like, fingertip-flinging lightning death and even the story and gameplay were slowly but surely refined into a fluid and enjoyable experience. But then it all changed...
Destiny 2 was announced and to begin with, I was overwhelmingly excited. New promises were made, the teasers looked phenomenal, Nathan Fillion was on point (as always), but there was one update that broke my heart into millions of tiny pieces of light. I could not continue my adventure with my warlock, or any character for that matter. I would have to start from scratch. Now, I am not averse to new characters, sometimes it is very beneficial to wipe the slate clean and build an entirely new episode in a franchise; games, films, and the like do it all the time. However, Bioware is able to carry characters across; to my knowledge, World of Warcraft has let you carry your original character all the way to the present day from way back in 2004. So, why has Bungie ruined my life by doing this to me? It is a personal attack, I’m sure of it. I can fully appreciate there are many pros to the situation: from covering over past mistakes to writing an entirely fresh story; from revamping the gameplay to completely redesigning the aesthetic, but that is not the point.
Maybe I should dissect my frustration. So, to start with, I invested an approximate 1000 hours into this character. 1000 hours! That equates to 41.6667 days straight with no food, sleep or breaks. I get that it is not as much as some people and I also realise it’s my own fault for becoming such an addict, but it feels wasted. Together, my warlock and I crushed entire invasions, accomplished feats that defy the laws of physics, formed a bond that was going to last forever (or at least 10 years). I feel betrayed.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of investing the same amount of time in Destiny 2. The addition of a girlfriend into my life will severely reduce my ability to form the same connection with a game ever again. Granted that is not necessarily a bad thing but my selfish gaming needs are important... To me at least. I had such a euphoric experience playing Destiny. The drama around cast changes didn’t bother me, the lack of plot wasn’t an issue; I just enjoyed it for what it was – a shoot ‘em up grind.
Maybe I’m being unreasonable? It’s more than likely the case. I mean, as time goes on and more trailers and hype-inducing propaganda is released, Destiny 2 becomes more and more appealing. Outside Xtra have helped show me the light with their recent preliminary gameplay review and I was, for the first time since my world was ended by Bungie, impressed and *cough* excited... But that does not do much to offset the deflated feeling I have. Hours upon hours of switching load-outs and changing colours to try and achieve the perfect look... Gone…
I’m sure I can be convinced and I’m sure it will be great but I’m not convinced. It’s like I’ve been through a breakup and I’m not ready to move on. I need fellow Destiny players to encourage me back to the fight. Please leave a comment and help me realise the error of my ways. Hopefully, one day, I’ll see you back in the tower... Or what’s left of it...