Destiny Calls: The Release of Destiny 2


Emma Cohen, Staff Writer

Destiny 2, a highly anticipated video game sequel to Destiny, was released on September 6th. This action-packed video game—developed by Bungie, who also developed the popular Halo series, and published by Activision—has already proven to be one of the biggest games of 2017. This popular new release puts forth a complex interactive environment and a massive online platform for hundreds of thousands of gamers to form new friendships.

Destiny 2 is a massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), in which players explore multiple worlds as a guardian—a hero chosen by the Traveler. The Traveler is introduced as an entity that gives humanity a

nd the guardians the light, which enables them to survive and defend themselves against evil. Before even the first Destiny game, humanity was fighting a war against the Darkness, which destroyed all cities but one: The Last City. In Destiny 2, the Last City is invaded by a militant force called the Red Legion, led by Dominus Ghaul, who cuts off the Guardians’ connection to the Traveler.

Unlike its predecessor, Destiny 2 has a more developed plot. It’s a known fact, and often joked about, that the original Destiny never had a real storyline within the game itself. The developers created an expansive universe with a backstory, but this information was not available to players inside the game. If you wanted to understand the lore and the characters and the history, you had to go online and search for it in a place called the Grimoire. This is even referred to jokingly in the second game when a protagonist quotes a mysterious figure called The Stranger from the original, saying he does not have time to explain why he doesn’t have time to explain the situation.

Many people have had a positive reaction to the in-game storyline. “I think the after-effects of the story elements of this game and all the spontaneous adventuring have been rewarding,” said Mrs. Oppedisano, an English teacher at the school. “It’s meditative and relaxing in a way that a lot of these other games haven’t been.” She said that unlike games like Overwatch, another competitive online game, it’s “not purely competition against other people.” She added, “It was refreshing to play this game and say, ‘hey I can kind of sit here and pick up all this loot, which is so pretty, and also feel like I get to practice a role that I don’t get to play in any other games.’”

Yisbeth Smith, a senior at Ridgefield Park High School, compared the first Destiny game to Call of Duty, saying that “Call of Duty is mostly killing people for no reason… But Destiny is more: you’re doing this so you can accomplish something so that after that you can do something else. It’s not so repetitive.”

In Destiny 2, players are able to feel like they’re moving towards something in an interactive and engaging world. “Some games I feel like, okay, I’m reading a book with other people and then I’m having a conversation. But there are some games where I just want to be focused on the story, and I’m just existing in that world as a character or as an explorer–and that’s enough,” Mrs. Oppedisano said. “And maybe that’s what Destiny 2 offers–you are called the Guardian, helping the Traveler, and that’s great, that’s exciting, and there’s the opportunity.”

They’re certainly right that Destiny 2 is not about killing, and the competition is more objective-based. Furthermore, the more challenging game modes require coordination and teamwork in order to succeed. For some people that could mean different things, such as calling up some friends and telling them to join a group, or playing with strangers online. In the Destiny games, there are groups of people called clans, which is a term for an online family.

A common perception coming from non-gamers regarding online gaming is that they tend to lead to a deficit in social abilities. However, many games, including Destiny, provide a platform for social interaction and can serve as a catalyst in the formation of new friendships. Yisbeth explained that she met a person online who today is one of her closest friends. Many people play video games as a form of escape. Video games provide, “a space for those battling social anxiety to learn what it’s like to speak to a disembodied voice and have a sense of, ‘okay this is me and I’m talking to someone I do not know, but we’re able to have some fun,’” said Mrs. Oppedisano.

Through Destiny, millions of gamers have come together and become more than just a group of strangers, whether that be through clans, through personal friendships, or through watching their favorite streamers. These gamers support each other, and have come together on multiple occasions to support others. In the past year, streamers worked together to create a week-long marathon that, with their viewers’ support, raised $500,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. This game has brought together people from around the world and created a diverse and welcoming community. The Destiny community, although tied together by the fact that they play the same game, has, to some, become a family.