Destiny is a game that has seen a lot of highs and lows since its release in 2014. From the widespread criticism it received at launch to the relative praise surrounding the game after the arrival of its first expansion and third DLC, The Taken King, Bungie has weathered the storm and consistently worked towards improvement. After The Taken King completely renovated the base game, even replacing the voice of Peter Dinklage as the ghost with that of Nolan North, Destiny continues to change and adapt. With this in mind and with the rumoured 10 year plan for the game in motion, we take a look at where the franchise will go next and what we would like to see.
Coming from Bungie, the creators of Halo, Destiny had built up a significant level of excitement in anticipation leading up to its release. More than 4.6 million players downloaded the beta, experiencing the first few steps in Bungie's ambitious "shared world shooter". Offering a unique mix between FPS mechanics found in games such as Halo, and reflecting some MMO elements like group activities and raids found in shared world games like World of Warcraft, Destiny was set to deliver something new and innovative. The level of scope the studio were planning for the game was clear, with Bungie COO Pete Parsons saying in an interview at the time: "We want people to put the Destiny universe on the same shelf they put Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Star Wars". However, rumours had started circulating that publisher Activision had struck a $500 million dollar deal with Bungie, securing a ten year contract to develop, promote and distribute Destiny as well as giving them significant control over the franchise, which concerned fans.
Upon release Destiny experienced a backlash, with bad reviews from critics citing the bare-bones story as its main failure, but no doubt the insistence to publish the game on the old-gen consoles was another factor that held it back somewhat. On top of this fans feared Activision's involvement could see the game become a glorified cash cow, churning out expansion after expansion at the cost of the player. With the rumoured leaks looming over their heads, Bungie announced plans for DLC, almost confirming the fears of most players, that Destiny would be cut up into premium paid-for content.
Retrospectively, it's evident that there were internal issues within Bungie concerning the development of the game, particularly in regards to the story. It was rumoured that months before the planned release senior staff at Bungie decided to totally scrap the story-line and rewrite an entirely new one, which certainly accounts for the criticism the game received after promising such a grand experience. Many people stated that it felt unfinished and hollow, lacking the in-depth content players were expecting. Also the leaks concerning the ten year contract may not have been as authoritarian as first feared, with Bungie reassuring fans they still held complete developmental control over the franchise.
Through all this controversy Bungie stuck by Destiny, remaining outwardly vocal in the community, constantly listening, and responding to fan feedback. Going on to produce four paid-for content drops, public opinion around the game slowly began to change with the tide turning around the release of the first proper expansion and third DLC, The Taken King. Taking on-board players' feedback, Bungie began to make changes to the game, bringing in better rewards, fairer mechanics, and importantly a more in-depth, narrative-driven story. The Destiny that we see today is worlds apart from the original game that hit stores back in 2014, as Bungie have painstaking reworked the majority of systems that govern the game-world changing it forever.
Destiny's most recent expansion, Rise of Iron, continued the game's evolution and is the most accurate representation of what players might see in the anticipated sequel, Destiny 2. Rise of Iron brought with it a deluge of new and old activities for Guardians to partake in, including a new raid, Wrath of the Machine, new strikes, wave-based PvP areas like Archon's Forge, as well as custom matches and sparrow racing. The changes did not stop there, though, as Bungie added a cinematic story and quests for players to explore and some interesting new customisation options, such as Ornaments that allow you to customise exotic weapons. Moving forward it is these recent changes that will start to shape and define Destiny 2.