Back in 2014 when Destiny was first released on the PS4 by Halo heavyweights Bungie, I was strictly a “FPS belongs on PC” guy. Murdering virtual simulacrums of sentient beings is the most fun with a mouse and keyboard, of that there is no doubt. As such, I decided to skip Destiny when I eventually got my hands on a PS4 a couple of years later. I was sure that it would eventually find its way to PC, and resolved to wait patiently with my trigger finger lodged securely in my asshole.
The PC release announcement never came, but the sequel, creatively titled Destiny 2, was released on PC. I jumped straight in on release day, but immediately felt out of place. I always have a problem starting a game series by playing a sequel, it’s like defying the natural order of the universe. I felt like an imposter just sauntering into the ranks of the Guardians like “Hoo boy, what a hectic few years, eh guys? Can you believe we totally killed that god-king spacebug? And what about the rampant, uncontrollable nanotechnology huh? Crazy times, crazy times…”
I felt bound by my own neuroses to purchase and finish (to the best of my ability) the original game and catch up to the rest of the watchers on the tower. I wasn’t disappointed! Destiny is still a great game with a surprising number of players still knocking around on its servers. All of the main story can be played through solo anyway, but if you want to try out Strikes (Destiny’s 3-man dungeon-type scenarios) or the Crucible (PVP) the matchmaking system will usually see you right. A couple of times I was dumped into a strike on my lonesome, but I was always joined eventually by a fellow late-bloomer or a loyal veteran getting their weekly MMO style checklists done.
The only problem is the content that can’t be accessed unless you have a pre-existing party, and I’m speaking specifically about the raids. Huge, six-man scenarios that rely on teamwork as well as individual skill to clear. With the majority of the organised playerbase moved on to the sequel, coupled with my crippling fear of strangers, I was incapable of finding a group to play with. Let me emphasise that many fans of Destiny explicitly point to the raids as some of the most fun you can have in the game, with puzzles, tough enemies and desirable loot rewards.
With this in mind, I would advise anyone thinking of trying out the original Destiny to go for it, by all means, but keep in mind that without a few like-minded friends it’ll be a bit tricky to experience everything the game had to offer at its peak. If, unlike me, you don’t mind jumping into a franchise halfway through and faking it until making it, I’d direct you towards Destiny 2, where there’s still time to find an active clan or enough random people to see everything the game has to offer. Oh, and if you’re worried about missing out on the lore from Destiny 1, don’t worry about it, there isn’t any.
I jest, but Destiny is notoriously terrible for telling stories through the medium of video games. There’s a rich world to explore if you feel up to digging through a fan archive of the now inaccessible web-based “grimoire cards” that previously shed a small amount of light (get it) on the subject. Or if you have some time to kill, check out this video. You’ll be up to speed in no time. Or, uh, in an hour and a half.