PlayStation LifeStyle’s Celebrating a Series looks at some great game series, many of which have been too long without a sequel or new entry, and how the developers could continue telling stories and giving us games within those worlds. We’ve talked about the possibilities with Mass Effect 4, God of War 2, and Uncharted 5, among many other forgotten games like Resistance 4. Today we’re looking at a game that’s a bit more recent and maybe not too long without a new entry, but still due for a refresh (at least in the next couple of years): Destiny 3.
I’ve talked at length before about why Destiny 3 needs to happen now that Bungie has broken free of Activision. I’m not in any way saying that Destiny 2 is a bad game. I’ve rather enjoyed it myself, and it continues to be a daily driver for me. Recent events like the secret Outbreak Perfected mission and its myriad of hidden puzzles to unlock and discover have been absolutely wonderful to be a part of, and Bungie’s regular updates keep the game feeling fresh and exciting. But I feel like there’s only so much this platform can do before it starts to show its wear. Already there are quality of life issues that can’t be easily fixed due to being a part of the game at such a core level. Then there’s the question of power creep and gear creep, where the chase for “stuff” becomes fruitless once we have too much stuff.
The developers have kept Destiny 2 singing high notes, but I don’t know how long they can keep it up. There are also a lot of things I’d like to see in a sequel that can’t easily be added to the current game. First and foremost, I would love to see the character classes lean into their roles a little bit more, and not just on the super abilities. Titans should act as the group’s tank, a frontline wall that takes damage and dishes it out in close quarters. Hunters should be the rogue, utilizing stealthy abilities to sabotage the enemies and open them up to attacks. Warlocks need to be some combination of caster and healer, providing buffs and debuffs for the group. Yes, Destiny 2 does play into these roles more than the first game did, but I’d still like to see that heavier RPG focus.
Along with class roles, skill trees need a bit of complexity. Rumors and leaks surrounding Destiny 3 say that the game will lean into its RPG influences and really cater towards the hardcore players like myself that have poured hundreds, if not thousands, of hours into Destiny. Bungie’s already earned its audience. It made the mistake of abandoning them once with early Destiny 2, which catered largely to the more casual player. It’s not going to make that same mistake again. Destiny 3 will be for those players who are still here as Destiny 2 enters its third year.
Destiny 3–Is This the Real Life, Or is This Fantasy?
When originally conceived, Destiny was going to be a sci-fi space fantasy first-person shooter. I still always remember that concept art with the giant space frogs, a concept that sadly hasn’t come to life quite yet. While Destiny’s got traces of fantasy to it, it leans much more heavily on its sci-fi themes, being a future shooter about magic space zombies with guns that destroy alien gods. More recently, with the Forsaken expansion, Destiny 2 began to embrace a bit more of that fantasy aesthetic. The Dreaming City’s marble towers reminded one of scenes from The Lord of the Rings. It still had that distinct science fiction aspect to it, but it was more fantasy than Destiny’s ever been, and players loved it.
Destiny 3 needs to not only lean into its RPG aspects more, but also embrace that weird fantasy side of things. Let’s see some giant space frogs. Let’s see more stunning environments that evoke high fantasy more than future alien. And I think that’s exactly what Bungie will do. If it wants to make Destiny 3 a clean break from the last two games and convince players to leave behind their gear and progression once again, it has to have something that’s worth building a whole new game for. Something that says “this wasn’t possible to add to our last game.”
After experimenting with the Annual Pass for Destiny 2 and feeling out what content releases, surprises, and activities players like, I think Bungie is getting a really good idea for what they want the next game to be. The seeds and foundation for an epic story are being laid through Destiny 2’s many updates, expansions, and additions. There’s something big coming, and it’s on a level that no expansion could handle. This threat—and Guardians taking on new abilities to fight it—needs to be presented as an entirely new game.
Destiny 3 also makes sense when we look at the next generation of consoles just around the corner. If Bungie can launch it right around the launch of the PlayStation 5, they can have a platform that can be regularly updated throughout the duration of the console’s life, which could help Destiny 3 to last longer than that three or so years that both Destiny 1 and 2 will each have.
Massive constantly updated games like this do need a break point though. People who fell away from Destiny 2 after its first expansion, Curse of Osiris, have come back to the game confused and overwhelmed. A game like Destiny isn’t easy to get into as a new player when the game is entering its third year. Destiny 3 would provide a fresh start for everyone, a fresh start that makes sense to pair with the next generation.
All in all, I don’t want to make too many demands for what Destiny 3 “needs.” I feel like the team at Bungie has learned a lot. They know the quality of life things that most players want. They have a story trajectory that’s really exciting. And they’ve managed to surprise me and get me excited about playing Destiny again week after week. If they can keep doing all of those things, and continue to have what I consider to be the best-feeling first-person shooter mechanics in games, then I think Destiny 3 will be a big hit. As long as I get my giant space frogs.