Daily Rant, Video Games

Day 304: The Bungie-Activision Break Up

But forget about that! Have you guys heard the news?! Bungie and Activision are no longer partnered together! Which means that Destiny is going to experience no one’s favorite childhood event.

Mommy and Daddy getting a divorce.

This would have made a better thumbnail, in retrospect.

Ever since the news dropped, the internet has been going fucking nuts! Whether they’re still hardcore Destiny fans, casual players or people who straight up hated the game, everyone is in agreement that this spells a hopeful future. Finally, the developers won’t have the money hungry studio breathing down their necks! Perhaps Destiny 2 will finally become as good as we had hoped, and maybe the inevitable Destiny 3 will launch in a high quality state!

Do I agree with this optimism? Yes. Also no. I’m sort of in the middle on this.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no special attachment to Activision. I wholeheartedly believe that all the scummy business decisions made behind the scenes of these games were their fault. But do I think that all of the game’s problems will instantly go away? Hell no.

In a press release made by Bungie in regards to this break up (which you’ll find the link to at the bottom), they said something that concerns me. It’s not a massive red flag that spells certain doom, but it is something that bothers me. The statement goes as follows:

With Forsaken, we’ve learned, and listened, and leaned in to what we believe our players want from a great Destiny experience. Rest assured there is more of that on the way. We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond. -Bungie, Our Destiny

Like I said, this doesn’t seem like the worst possible news in the world. But there are a few cracks there that concern me. Mostly in that very first line in regards to Forsaken.

To me, this says that they’re satisfied with the product they have now. This includes the many flaws that still plague the game. Could they aim to improve those? Hopefully. They do state that they’ve learned and listened (statements that we’ve heard a thousand times, so take it with a grain of salt), so maybe I’m worried about nothing. But if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say that the game itself isn’t going to change much.

My main issue is the story. Destiny has become known for it’s pitiful story telling, from the embarrassing launch of the original game to the lackluster tales told in the later games and expansions. The dialogue is complete garbage, nothing and no one change because of the story’s events, and most importantly: we don’t know or care about anything or anyone in this world.

Unless you read the Wiki. But I have better things to do than read the most un-thrilling science fiction novel of all time.

Many people praised Forsaken for the improved storytelling. I disagree. Honestly, I thought it was worse than the original game, though I’ll admit that it was definitely more coherent. So, when Bungie states that they’re satisfied with what the game is now, I become very concerned in that regard.

See, I’m a man who loves a good story. Nothing will get me to love something more than giving me an interesting world with likable characters. Unfortunately for me, Destiny has been severely lacking this things ever since day one. They’ve tried to improve their stories, but it really hasn’t gotten much better.

Despite the campaign being such a cinematic experience that takes up a massive chunk of the game, it’s clear that it wasn’t the primary focus. Or the secondary focus. Hell, I’m pretty sure it was at the bottom of the priority list. It’s clear that they were more focused on addictive and fun gameplay and beautiful presentation and music. And they did these things decently well. But you know what would make them way better?

A plot that I give a shit about.

This may be the simple sign that Destiny is simply never going to be for me. I’m looking for an interesting and fun story in a sci-fi setting, and this game will never deliver that for me. Will the game improve now that Activision isn’t involved? Quite possibly. And for those who love the game and want to see it improve, I’m happy. I hope that the product they love gets better.

Could I be wrong? Quite possibly. Maybe they’ll turn it around and the story in the next game/expansion will be absolutely fantastic. It will be a monumental and excruciatingly difficult task, but maybe they’ll surprise me! But, from what they’ve said in the matter, I don’t have my hopes up.

Will the game be better for those getting what they want? Almost certainly. Will it become what I’m looking for? I doubt it.

Bungie’s Official Statement: Our Destiny

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