Bungie and Activision have officially announced Destiny 2. They’ve given gamers a heads-up on the release date and the platforms that it’ll be arriving on. They did this by releasing a humorous new trailer for the game, getting gamers all hyped up… but there’s still the question of whether the gameplay will be improved or not over the original?
The two minute trailer they revealed on their official site completely avoided showing any actual gameplay. Which leaves us room to speculate on what they’ll do when they finally reveal the gameplay. But most importantly it also leaves us room to talk about what can hopefully be improved from the original Destiny. Heading into Destiny 2 when it launches this September for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
This is an absolute necessity here. Bungie made a name to fame with completely revolutionizing how AI worked in the original Halo: Combat Evolved. They had adaptive AI that scaled to the player’s skill, giving gamers a highly replayable experience for years to come. Destiny didn’t do that. The AI in the original game is extremely stilted and contained. A lot of times they only spawn in a specific area and kind of stay there. Some special raids will give you some slightly different enemy patterns, but most times the AI is situated around arena-style spawns in arena-style environments.
It would be pretty cool if Destiny 2 reintroduced players to the kind of dynamic AI that Bungie was known for during the original Halo trilogy; AI that was relentless, adaptive, smart and cunning. It can really take you out of the game when there’s a deep lore to an enemy, but they behave almost like every other enemy in the game. Creating very distinct patterns and tactics for the AI could greatly improve the play experience of Destiny 2.
In accordance with increasing the AI to behave more… alien, they also need to improve the gunplay. A lot of the shootouts in Destiny are basically just spam until the HP depletes. Grab the weapon that does the most damage or buffs a certain build and you spam, spam, spam until the enemy dies. It’s a little bit like Borderlands, but you’ll spend less time scrounging through your stash to find something useful to take into battle with you.
What would be great would be having different weapons that could impair or incapacitate enemies. Such as shooting them in the legs to slow them down, or in the arm to weaken their weapon. We saw this in games using NaturalMotion’s Euphoria, such as GTA IV or Red Dead Redemption. Shooting someone in the hip caused them to drop their gun and crawl while shooting someone in the leg caused them to trip and fall. Adding dynamic or physics-based AI reactions during gunplay would really raise the bar for Destiny 2, as well as increase the immersion factors during shootouts.
For a shooting game Destiny didn’t have a whole lot to shoot. The environments were mostly static and destructible environments just weren’t a possibility due to the limitations of the Xbox 360 and PS3. Now that Destiny 2 is coming to PC and is no longer bogged down by the cross-gen inhibitor of seventh-gen hardware. We can hopefully see far more dynamic, destructible, physics-based environments.
Heck, Bungie teased a lot of destructibility in the reveal trailer for Destiny 2. So hopefully, it’s some small indicator of what’s actually going to appear in the game. How awesome would it be using the environment as a weapon? Or how awesome would it be shooting out the floor from beneath foes to see them fall into an endless pit? There’s a ton of possibilities here, and with a lot more horsepower to work with on the PS4 and Xbox One now that the game isn’t going to be cross-gen, maybe we’ll get to see Bungie explore those options a bit more.
Exploration and Scavenging
When it comes to exploration the original Destiny was sorely lacking. Environments were fairly linear for a game that was all about exploring planets and venturing across the galaxy as a Guardian. This was revealed to be part of a design limitation in order to accommodate — that’s right, you guessed it — the Xbox 360 and PS3. Small environments meant trekking through a lot of samey looking areas across different planets.
Hopefully, for Destiny 2 we’ll get to see a lot more open spaces and a lot more variety in how exploration can take place. In accordance with destructible environments, it would be cool if players could blow open an enclosure and go spelunking, or unearth a hidden chest tucked away behind a hidden crawl space, deep in a thick jungle. Deeper exploration means more scavenging opportunities, and more scavenging opportunities mean more meaningful replayability. This feature worked out great for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, so hopefully we’ll see something a bit similar in Destiny 2.
New Vehicle Types And Combat
Vehicular use in the original Destiny was limited to various customized Sparrows, the personal transport vehicles for Guardians who need to quickly travel around a planet from one location to the next. The Sparrows were cool for what they were, but it was a huge step back for Bungie coming from the awesome vehicular gameplay and combat featured in the original Halo trilogy.
What would be awesome is having more vehicle types in Destiny 2, such as transport carriers for multiple characters and NPCs. Carriers could easily open up tons of new mission types, including escort missions, or convoy missions, or even raiding missions. Different vehicles and vehicular combat would also greatly add to the depth of the game, giving players a bit more variety as opposed to the monotonous loot and grind mechanics of the original Destiny.