Returning to Destiny 2 is a nightmare

Connor Knudsen
three guardians streetwear destiny

For players who have been fans of the franchise previously, making the return to Destiny 2 feels like more of a challenge than it should be.

As an avid player of the original in the franchise, Destiny 1, I’ll be honest in saying that I’ve taken the occasional break in playing Destiny 2 since its release in 2017. Sometimes, these breaks have been for just a month, sometimes for six.

Each time I return to the game after taking my sabbath, I’m met with an onslaught of cutscenes, pop-ups, and “you need to go talk to this person, on this planet” notifications. I feel like I’ve taken off work and am catching up on emails, and returning to a beloved game shouldn’t feel that way.

I wonder just how many players have had this experience their first time back, and simply opted out of returning a second time. How many fans of the franchise simply can’t keep up with the grind of it all?

gjallarhorn close up
Fan-favorite Gjallarhorn will soon make its fabled return to Destiny

The problem(s) for returning Destiny players

Too much, all at once. For me, the worst part of coming back takes place in the first 30 minutes of logging on. From there, it gets easier.

Pop-ups, a cutscene, dropped in for a mission I’m not fully clued in on, tons of Tower notifications, new planets, new armor, new guns, new UI, light levels I’m now far behind on, old guns not being any good now, old missions gone… you get the picture.

Maybe this is because I’m an organized and generally “caught-up” person, but I genuinely get anxiety loading into all this. I don’t know where to go first, what’s most important, or what to just ignore completely. In all honesty, I usually just end up on a site like this (great site, by the way) to get caught up and find out the latest.

A few weeks back when I had this very experience, I did just that. I Googled what was happening, got some sort of a bearing, and just ended up flying to Europa and doing public events with a friend. It was fun, as Destiny always seems to be, but we had no goals or purpose in what we were doing. We got some blue pieces of armor and called it a night.

destiny 2 dlcs
Despite some stumbling blocks for returning players, Destiny 2 has a bright future with these expansions

Destiny is too good of a game to have this sort of experience happen to players. There needs to be something, besides just being thrown into a mission, that tells players what is most important and what their options are in a more organized and concise way. Who knows, maybe this could be a great way to utilize each Guardian’s Ghost and have the little floating robot orb integrate formerly hibernating players back into the world of Destiny.

Between limiting the information thrown at players at launch and touching up the Quest UI to make it more user-friendly, Destiny 2 has plenty of room to improve its experience for those coming back to its beautiful world.

If you need some convincing of Destiny 2’s beauty, the video below captures one of its greatest cinematic moments, starting at 28:50.

So, is Destiny 2 worth coming back to?

This is a question I’ve asked myself numerous times over the past few years, with varying degrees of the same answer. But, in the end, that answer always ends up being the same, resounding, yes.

While many of the main storylines from days of old have wrapped up and the game is now in a much different place than it used to be, I still think Destiny 2 is an amazing game. This is especially true for players returning to the game who have access to its DLCs, as each brings its own set of quests and content for players to dive into. I happen to play primarily on console, so I have access to each of the DLCs through Game Pass on Xbox One. This means that, although the reentry is a bit cumbersome, I may be a bit on the spoiled side for complaining about too much content when logging back in. The worst thing would be the opposite.

And, while the current season may feel like it’s dragging on for quite a while when it’s all said and done, the Witch Queen, Lightfall, and Final Shape expansions that have been announced for 2022 and beyond look like they’ll continue to create worthwhile momentum and content. Destiny 2 has, thus far, been a much-improved storytelling experience from Destiny 1, and these future DLCs look to drive that home in an even bigger way.

crossplay destiny info graphic
The new crossplay feature brings players from both consoles and PC’s together at last

Not only has Destiny continued to improve on its storytelling, but it has also made a lot of great corrections and additions to the game. Crossplay is a great example of this, along with improvements made to the game’s anti-cheat capabilities. The developers seem to be listening to the wants and needs of their base and responding with things that players want to see. Compared to some others out there, Bungie has done a great job continuing to innovate their game.

For those reasons, plus a lot of personal nostalgia tied to the early Vault of Glass raiding days in Destiny 1, I make the choice each time to come back to Destiny 2. For all those out there who have once played and are hesitant about coming back, I hope I can meet you in the Tower for a dance-off very soon.

The world could always use more Guardians, after all.