Destiny 2 was released back in September and, as you may have seen from my tweets over the past couple of months, I’ve lost several friends and family members to it. My other-half and Ben have been meeting up online at least once a week to play it together, which means I have to relinquish control of the PlayStation 4 and give up valuable The Elder Scrolls Online time.
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) October 03, 2017
They’re not alone: Activision hasn’t yet revealed how many copies of the game have been sold but it’s fairly obvious to say it was ‘a lot’. Over 50,000 units of the PS version were shifted within the first week alone in Japan and it took the number one spot in the UK sales chart. Although it has been criticised by some gamers as being ‘more like Destiny 1.5 than a sequel’, critics have been positive and the title holds a score of 85 on the Metacritic website.
Alastair Stevenson from TrustedReviews called it a ‘must-by’ because of its stellar single-player campaign, excellent combat and class mechanics, and enjoyable cooperative multiplayer. Kallie Plagge from GameSpot claims it has ‘a much stronger foundation’ and is a ‘significant improvement over the original’. And Alex Hern from The Guardian said ‘shooting aliens in the head feels good in this game, and when you start receiving exotic weapons in the latter half, it feels even better.’
Ben and my other-half echo their sentiments. When I asked them to explain why Destiny 2 is so awesome, they said: “It makes you feel like you’re progressing whether you’ve played for 30 minutes or three hours. The shooting is top-notch – guns feel ‘right’, there’s a good level of variety in them and the impact on enemies is spot-on. And it’s great with mates.”
But me? I just don’t get it.
What genre am I bad at? FPS. What does my other-half want to teach me to play tonight? #Destiny2. There's a chance this could end in tears.—
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) September 14, 2017
The boys bought the game as soon as it had been released and after hearing them rave about it for over a week, Pete decided he’d teach me how to play. I’m not great at first-person shooters (FPS) and was worried the experience would potentially end in tears; however, he was so excited about the possibility of bringing me into this world that I couldn’t say no. It was therefore with some trepidation that I picked up the controller one evening but it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared.
Saying that though, I put it straight back down again an hour later. I couldn’t understand what they found so entertaining about Destiny 2: to me the action felt repetitive and the story didn’t come across as anything particularly special. The most fun I had during those 60 minutes was creating my character (she had extremely cool hair), although it seemed strange that she was completely silent.
I’ve written before that I don’t really enjoy FPS titles or multiplayers because of their potential to inspire extreme competitiveness, and there are some players who take winning incredibly seriously. Adult responsibilities mean I don’t have enough time to improve my skills to an adequate level to be able to compete; and I don’t want to spend the little free hours I do have being slated by my teammates for not being good enough.
This wasn’t the reason for me not enjoying Destiny 2 though because I didn’t experience anything like that – I just simply didn’t like it. I guess in some people’s minds that would make me one of those ‘filthy casuals’. You know, those horrible people who call themselves gamers but aren’t interested in the latest hardcore release or queuing up for it outside a GAME store in the rain at midnight.
Would I refer to myself using that term? No: I play a range of video games as often as my schedule allows; I write about my gaming experiences on a blog; and I’ve attended six expos so far this year, even volunteering at a couple of them. Would I refer to anybody using such a term? No: we’re all purely ‘gamers’ regardless of whether we choose to play the newest shooter, a retro point-and-click or a quick mobile game on our daily commute.
Sticking a tag on someone suggests they’re somehow in the wrong for playing the games they like or in the way they do. That’s totally ridiculous: there are so many wonderful things going on in the world of gaming today and there are new experiences to suit everyone. Wouldn’t it be silly for us to not take advantage of that?
As I’ve said before, a title receiving high-ratings from critics doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should buy it, will enjoy it, or will see it through to the end. As long as we’re open to new experiences and give them a decent chance when they come along, there shouldn’t be any guilt felt at putting them down in something else more fulfilling of our spare time.
So there, I’ve said it: I don’t like Destiny 2. And you know what? That’s absolutely fine.