Zack Drayton, Guest Reporter |

I remember playing “Destiny 1” in its original form. The graphics were amazing, the gunplay was spectacular, the universe was an excellent concept and my God, it was all endless fun. At least, it was until the end of the very over-hyped campaign.

The “story” wasn’t so much of a story as it was an introduction to the “Eververse,” as the game’s producers call it. It worked out in the end, but at the beginning, the game definitely felt like something was missing.

“Destiny 2” does not have this problem. The campaign opens on great cinematics, an immediate bombshell, well-written villains and events that literally change the game’s universe. The quality of writing mostly remains a present factor throughout the campaign, and the campaign overall is a pretty excellent chapter in Eververse’s story.

The highly praised gunplay is back. The powers are a little re-worked but are still as enjoyable as before, if not a little better, with massive ergonomic improvements to Hunter’s Arc-Assault subclass and Titan’s Void Defense.

The graphics look a little more like animation than reality in some ways but are still incredible. There are new world maps to explore, new variants on all the same villains to fight, a new raid, new strikes and… And that’s the thing, as far as I can tell, aside from some better character development for the Vanguard, that’s where it all stops.

“Destiny 2” is a huge improvement over “Destiny 1.” Bungie really upped their game. But, there’s a problem. Bungie and Activision, the game’s production companies, really mistreated their players during the release cycle of “Destiny 1” and its expansions.

“Destiny 1,” at its release, cost $60-100. A pretty normal price for a big-title game that just came out. And, after the release, players had the option to pre-order the first two expansions for an additional $35 or buy them separately later for $40.

Now, these prices are actually pretty standard for large add-ons to big title games, except for one issue: every add-on brought with it higher level gear-gear that was stronger than what came before it, gear that made a player’s current gear borderline obsolete.

Getting top-level gear in “Destiny” isn’t necessarily hard, but it is very time consuming, and “the grind” can definitely be a struggle considering how most gear dropped at random, with no regard to what you already have.

After getting to the max-level gear in the base-game, the first expansion comes: “The Dark Below.” Another disappointment from a story perspective. It was very short, and poorly written. The raid that came with it, “Crota’s End,” was fun, but glitchy, and once again, rewards were given at random in most cases.

After two rounds of disappointing story, and grinding to get characters up to the top level, a second add-on was released: “House of Wolves.” With this installment, players finally got well written, enjoyable characters and plot. New cinematics and an excellent challenge series, called “Prison of Elders,” and a third round of new gear to get that made almost everything from before worthless.

And what came after this? Yet another expansion, which not only made everything from before borderline worthless yet again, but cost an additional $40. All of that, not evening talking about the periodic nerfing of weapons.

Many of the game’s best and most powerful weapons were heavily reduced in power after people complained about them in the games player vs. player modes. Even while players had the best and currently most powerful guns, they still had to deal with guns being taken down a notch.

The fact is, the company is probably going to do this again. Or something like this. And when it’s all said and done, players will be out $200 or more.

“Destiny” is a great game, but its production company is highly intent on taking gamers’ money and doesn’t seem to care about what the gamers get out of it.

Currently, a base copy of “Destiny 1” costs $5 and all the add-ons together in a bundle can cost as little as $40. Now that the game is done adding new gear, the gear will be viable throughout the game’s lifespan, rather than just a few months before having to buy a new addition and re-earn everything.

My conclusion: wait. Wait until “Destiny 2” is this cheap. Wait until Bungie and Activision are done fiddling with the damn thing and taking your money. Then, get everything in a heavily discounted bundle and enjoy the full experience. $200, a massive headache and massive time consumption vs. $50 and a relaxed rewarding experience – what makes more sense?

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