What Did You Think of Destiny When It First Came Out?


There’s plenty of praise for ‘Destiny 2,’ but it wasn’t always this way.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/paajb7/what-did-you-think-of-destiny-when-it-first-came-out


Personally I don’t have big groups of friends to play Destiny with, so it got pretty stale pretty quickly.
The recycling of enemies in the expansions (which I didn’t buy to be honest) was annoying. I’m led to believe that the sequel still offers no new enemies.

I could forgive it in Halo, because you only played the campaign a few times (and even then you got Brutes, the big walker things the flying bugs, there some additions) but in a game where you are expected to play the same levels over and over? That seems rich.

Honestly I often feel like the Grinch when it comes to Destiny. I just can’t see why everyone is so pumped. As I follow a lot of game journalists on Twitter all I can see was Destiny 2 delight. I would like to give it a go but it is totally pointless as I have no tolerance for solo grind and know I would soon sour on it.

I’m not really who this question is aimed at but to come at it from a different angel, I feel like I want to love Destiny but it has so many admirers it doesn’t need to bother with me.


When Destiny came out, my only experience with Bungie was the Myth games. I didn’t have any love for Halo, and mostly didn’t care. What drew me to the game was the accounts from befuddled critics that were grappling with the tensions that had clearly arisen from a game that had too much money for its own good. This weird, inconsistent mess that played well but was obtuse and for some reason hid all its (well written and interesting) lore on its website.

A loot game that was billed as a loot game but was so miserly with its drops that people had “fixed” it by camping specific sections of the game and shooting into the void of a spawn area for hours until they managed to get loot that was worth the while? Massive big-name actors made to woodenly spew sci-fi trash? This sounded like the most expensive practical joke in history.

At any rate, I was still nowhere near ready to upgrade my console the November after it came out, but a demo came out for PS3. Mapping emotes to the d-pad was a stroke of brilliance and I found myself falling in love with how fucking jacked this lavishly produced train wreck actually was. It actually performed reasonably well on PS3, even if the graphics were clearly not what the devs had intended.

At that time of my life, there was a lot of family strife. My grandmother was in and out of the hospital, my mom didn’t live in town, so was staying at my place for weeks on end. I had a lot going on at work and at school. Destiny became the game I’d play to turn my brain off, just for a bit. A ritual I’d perform when I woke up and before I went to bed. I would pick up bounties, found a cozy spot in the Cosmodrome and hang out until the public event started, running bounties while I waited. Over and over again. (I amassed a lot of spinmetal.) It was a very solitary experience, even as I watched other players wander into and out of the area. I liked it that way. I did eventually join a clan and run a few raids, but I still come back to just running bounties by myself.

When Austin talks about No Man’s Sky on Waypoint Radio as a game he plays to unwind and just process stuff, I can relate because Destiny was like that for me. It’s a little bittersweet to close the book on the first game. I’m holding out hope that Destiny 2 will be weird and broken in stupid ways (and ideally ways that aren’t gross, like that whole shader thing). We’ll see how that shakes out.

I already miss my grimoire cards, though.


Nothing. But I am a little excited to play Destiny 2 when it comes out on PC. I was able to buy it with WoW gold so I don’t feel too bad about pre-ordering it whatever happens.


I only played the vanilla version of Destiny and I thought it was a huge piece of garbage.

Not only was it bad (Bungie’s oft praised ‘shooting feel’ is good but nothing spectacular and the story/lore was transferred to the player terribly), not only was it massively lacking in features and content, but it was also rotten in terms of its core gameplay loop. A loot treadmill that wasn’t engaging or rewarding in any way and just preyed on those with a weakness for loot grinds.
To me this made the game not only bad, but ill-willed as well. Which is probably the most damning aspect of the entire experience.
Patrick’s article reminded me of the sadness when it managed to reach Giant Bomb’s top 10. Not because of the simple difference in opinion on a game being good or bad, but because I feel that game was kind of a scam on top of being bad.

Games which use addictive tactics like this make it hard for me to get a good feel of how many people actually like them. I know all too well that addicts can’t be trusted, no matter how much you love them.

“Addictive” is not a compliment.

Sorry I’m not the kind of person Patrick wanted to hear from the most. I have friends who do/did have that ambivalent relationship with the game but even they agree that arguments like “It’s a good podcast game” or “I use it to hang out with friends/as a social experience” have little to do with a game being particularly good. Especially when the game doesn’t even do a good job of facilitating these kinds of experiences.


It seems Patrick and I are on similar wavelengths. I know he doesn’t necessarily want to hear from another Destiny dropout, but hey what the heck.

I came off the Destiny 1 beta pretty lukewarm. I wasn’t in love with the controls like everyone else seemed to be. I’m a huge Halo fan, so I had pretty big expectations. Halo 4 had come and gone so quickly, leaving nothing but a miasma of doubt and frustration about my favorite game series. I started pinning all of my hopes on Bungie to fill the Spartan-shaped hole in my heart. The real Halo 4 was going to be Destiny. How could it not be? Bungie hadn’t let me down yet.

Destiny did not deliver my unrealistic dreams. The lore was non-existent, the shooting was floaty and weird, enemy A.I. was downright simple, and the idea of changing up your gun for stats instead of play style preference furrowed my brow. I do not like MMO-style mission structures most of the time, but I was willing to give it a try if the other components were there. They weren’t, so I bounced.

Though I hate to admit it, hearing about all the problems in the first year of Destiny (and the teeth-gnashing debates in Giant Bomb’s GOTY podcasts) gave me immense satisfaction. Dodged bullets often do. Destiny is not a terrible game. I hear people actually like it, especially after paying more to make it good. Destiny isn’t The Real Halo 4 from The Real Bungie. That means it was not the game for me. And, according to how fast I played through and deleted the D2 beta, it still isn’t.


As a big Halo fan (who even likes Halo 5 and Wars 2!), Destiny could only be described as a massive disappointment. Here was one of my favorite developers charting into a profitable niche that I could not follow. I’m feeling a similar apprehension with Bioware and Anthem.

It’s just tough for me to reliably game with friends. Not only do my regular gaming friend dwindle in number as adult responsibilities take up a greater percent of their time, but the ones that remain are scattered among competing platforms and work schedules. With no core group to game with, games like Destiny become slogs.

It’s because of this that I feel a growing disconnect with the gaming press, who by dint of occupation have plenty of gaming friends who log on every night. So while they praise games like PUBG and Destiny, I begin to tune it out more and more. Oh well, I guess that’s just me.


It’s honestly hard for me to remember what I felt about destiny at launch. I do remember getting it basically day one? I remember doing particular things though. I remember cheesing the super hard nightfall strikes for months. I remember dropping in and out with the first two expansions. I remember trying to figure out how to get certain exotics, and playing a lot of pvp because I was good at it. And I remember going to the loot cave at least a couple times. I think I was probably one of the people who wished there was more here, and who saw all its flaws, but still liked playing it to unwind and chill.

One thing I want to say is I remember coming back after probably house of wolves and trying to solo a nightfall like I used to, and I absolutely couldn’t anymore. It was disappointing in a funny way, but it’s obviously better that I couldn’t take on the heroic group content on my own anymore.


People who don’t like Destiny are absolutely obsessed with the fact that some people like Destiny. It’s fascinating. I know it’s a huge game, always in the news, so maybe it’s getting a lot of attention from them because of that. But at this point it’s getting a little sad.

Destiny came bundled with my PS4, which I got at the Destiny release. So I didn’t have any other games to play. Luckily I really liked Destiny so that wasn’t a problem. I loved running around the beautiful worlds, and shooting things was fun. It didn’t need to be much more for me.

It wasn’t (isn’t) a perfect game, but nothing is (well, except Shenmue). It was filled with weird, stupid design decisions, and so is Destiny 2 apparently. That people who didn’t like it at first think The Taken King was this big turning point might prove that their demands weren’t very high in the first place. Throw in a “quest” system because we need to see one number going up in one tab in addition to all the other numbers going up.

Destiny is one of my favourite games of all time, but I probably just took it for what it was. I didn’t need anything from it.


I agree with this 100%. Vanilla destiny was shit, Taken King was passable at best. The game fucking sucked. Me and a buddy blew through the whole thing so fast and there was nothing to do. Nothing that was promised was there. The VO was a mess. The story was more incoherent than FF7. All of this Destiny praise continues to baffle the shit out of me because I feel like people just accept garbage as long as it get’s fixed in 2-3 years time after you pay another 100 dollars.


As a mainly solo player the first Destiny was quite fun up to a point, the story was over quite quickly, and the side content that was there was not satisfactory.

The first two DLC packs weren’t much to speak of, I liked the House of Wolves though and what it added to the game, the wave based trial mode is still fun with matchmaking.
The Taken Kind did much for the game by adding all these improvements largely taken as granted today, and it finally made Destiny the fully fledged experience it always deserved to be.

I’ve liked my time with Destiny, but to say it started out sparse is putting it very lightly.


I hated Destiny, but i couldn’t stop playing it. I bought the game at launch after being pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the beta (first-person shooters are very hit and miss for me.). It reminded me a lot of the first Assassin’s Creed, in that the game established a great template for a game that wouldn’t actually exist for a year. These feelings developed pretty early on during my time with the game, The graphics and art style were impeccable, and I’m not sure I’ve ever played a game where the pure shooting felt as good. But it became immediately clear that had nothing below the surface. The missions all devolved into “go here and shoot things”, there was no incentive to explore, and the story was nonexistent.

And I still kept playing the game nonstop, everyday for two weeks until I slogged through all of the single-player content. Destiny enacted a slight existential crisis in me - Am I really this easy to please?

  • yet I kept pressing forward despite thinking that most of the game was slight to the point of offensiveness. When I was done, I felt gross and annoyed that I let myself spend all this time with a game I mostly disliked. I ended up selling it to buy Fifa and never thought about it again.


I grew up playing Halo and all of its sequels and I have absolutely loved the direction of the Destiny games. I REALLY enjoyed it. I also try not to hold destiny’s hype, or the image of Halo against my opinion of destiny. I think that’s where most of its criticism comes from.

I really liked how the storyline was set in multiple open sandboxes. While the story was linear, the environment wasn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I would jump to join someone else’s fight. I often didn’t even need much of a reason, if there was a guardian in danger, I was going to help.

I also loved the idea of having to travel on the open world to each mission or strike, almost like these were real places, and not just “missions”.

My biggest appreciation is that I can seemlessly take any weapon I find in the game and use to kill players in the crucible. Normalizing weapons is important and hard to do, and destiny by far has has the best system to normalize weapons and armor.

All of these were greatly improved when the Taken King came out. I mean,these aren’t new ideas. none of these are, but Destiny has put them together so well that I give it the credit that it deserves.


I was disappointed with vanilla Destiny because it just wasn’t good enough at the thing that it actually wanted to be, which was MMO Diablo/Borderlands. The shooting was peerless but I hit the progression wall on the way to light 26 and stopped playing. As much as I can empathise with Patrick’s position that the game wasn’t enough of a single-player experience for him, I feel like this is a unfair criticism of Destiny. If the game had showered you with loot and and was full of shit to do, irrespective of the story or lore, then nobody would have cared. Destiny had a content problem, both in terms of its amount and how it was structured. When I ran out of new content, or I hit the point where I had to grind to experience what little of it was being kept behind progression caps, I fell off. The core of Destiny at launch was absolutely fantastic and everything surrounding it was either bullshit or fundamentally compromised.


I remember playing the hell out of the beta, and consequently being disappointed that the full game added much less than I’d hoped in term of worlds/missions, but what was there was fine and I felt like I got my money’s worth regardless.