Destiny – A Game With No Competitor

It did strike me as odd, as I played through the Destiny 2 ‘beta’ on PC last night that no other company has tried their hand at taking dollars away from Destiny.  This is quite shocking, actually, when you think about it. Gaming studios are much like movie studios – they tend to launch the same kind of movies and themes around the same time to not lose out on market share and dollars. We see this all the time in gaming too. Overwatch and Paladins are fighting for the resurgent twitchy team shooting space originally built by Team Fortress 2, and you can add Gigantic and Lawbreakers to that list as well (among others). Success breeds spawns of similar design, some of which may end up being more successful than the original. There is effort to do this, at bare minimum.

League of Legends popularity spawned DOTA 2, Heroes of the Storm, SMITE, and a whole other slew of MOBAs. There are usually a lot of competition among popular genres at any given time. This is why it completely shocks me that no other studio is battling for the CO-OP RPG-PVE shooter environment that Destiny has built. There isn’t a title I know similar to Destiny and when there is a multi-billion dollar property out there, ripe to cash in on and around, I just can’t fathom why other studios aren’t taking a shot at the space.

There are really low hanging fruit to capture here. Destiny 2 still refused to offer LFG matchmaking for their Raids – arguably the most requested feature by the player base. It was completely ignored in favor of a method of picking up singles into pre-made groups. This was clearly done so they could save themselves the man hours of tweaking the difficulties of the raid and/or reprogramming rewards based on difficulty. The entire rest of the game is already based on auto-matchmaking so we know there is no  lack of expertise or network code for it. With their ties to Blizzard there is also internal expertise on how to do a proper casual raid LFG style stystem. I still haven’t seen the raids in Destiny 1 (and I never will) and that will most likely be the same in D2. In this day and age of accessibility it just doesn’t make sense. Less than 20% of players were able to enjoy that content.

The road less traveled?

The second improvement is still the story. While they plan on much improving the narrative in Destiny 2 they did double down on the zombie narrative, that I made a complete mockery of, way back in 2014 when it launched. The story was so broken upon launch that the best sense we could make of it is that we are a zombie army, arisen to terrorize the universe. It made as much sense as what they were offering at the time. In Destiny 2, Bungie actually enforced silliness that with the Zavala origin story video showing that Guardians are indeed, immortal. He dies, is brought back to life, keeps fighting, dies, rinses, repeats. Not at any one point do the bad guys try to really, really kill him. They shoot him once and then walk away. (cut off the head, burn the body, launch into space… try SOMETHING).  I also made fun of this more recently as it continues to be completely absurd. In Destiny 2 the story does revolve around losing the ability to be reincarnated and I sincerely hope that is gone for good, and this is Bungie’s way of finally killing off the immortal zombie apocalypse from a good-guy perspective narrative.

Every time I complain about the story, I feel compelled to mention how every other part of the game works near perfectly – from the missions, to the open world mission opportunities, to the RPG aspects, and tight shooting mechanics. I know it sounds silly to say this next line – but it is a multi-billion dollar franchise that hasn’t even met it’s full potential yet. Which is why I wish another studio would take a crack at it, to build upon the solid foundation. With Destiny 2 feeling more like an expansion than a whole new game at this point there are probably a lot of  Destiny players open to a new experience as well.

And for some reason, no one is interested in giving them a run for their money, to take a piece of the pie, or to build something even more coherent, tangible, and fun.

That shocks me more than the terrible story narrative.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Isn’t Destiny in some way a spiritual continuation of Halo and so it plays alone with itself in “that Halo space”? I don’t remember Halo having any exact competitors either, but I wasn’t into it, so maybe I didn’t pay attention.

    1. It’s a good mix of MMORPG and FPS – you have quests, and strikes (dungeons) and raids (raids – heh) and gear. Halo had a good single player storyline from what I remember but Destiny has solo play or auto-matchmaking, character classes, rpg abilities, etc. It’s a blast to play.

  2. It is fairly odd that there isn’t another major company trying to put out something similar to this type of game. I would argue however, that this style of game was popularized with the Borderlands series, and I’d argue that Destiny is much more like that game than it is like Halo. The major difference between BL and Destiny is that there was only 4 person co-op in BL, and none of the phasing or instancing, nor were there raids/strikes or PvP modes. I could see Gearbox making a few tweaks and changes and making a Borderlands game that could easily compete with Destiny, and honestly I’d rather play that game than Destiny 2.

    I did enjoy the original but only played through the campaign and to level cap. I didn’t do raids and I never did any PvP. At this point I’m going to see what the reviews look like when this one releases and then decide if I’m going to play it or not. Would have been a lot more fun playing with others rather than solo, I imagine.

    1. I was trying to find a title that was even a close comparison – and I did think of Borderlands (but I never did play it). I just find it so odd – its arguable one of the most revenue heavy games since 2014 and its just about to get bigger – people love shooters, and rpgs, and Destiny is a good mix.

      I know someone could do it better, and quite shocked EA when the Anthem route (copying the far less popular and successful The Division instead of Destiny).

      Dare to dream! I still hope someone does.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.