I just posted this in the bungie.net forums, and spent a bit of time writing it up so wanted to share it on my own site. I’d like to preface this with the fact that Destiny 2 in general is quite a thing to behold. The graphics are amazing, and the endless places to explore are quite impressive. This post focuses on the Leviathan raid, and my first experience and impressions with it.
First Year Destiny Player: I do not like this raid, and here’s why
I love raiding. I mean, really love it. At the peak of my Destiny raiding, I was running all three characters through Vault and Crota every night, and running more raids to bring friends through. Wrath was perhaps my favorite raid. Not the best memories, as all my friends had moved on, but I loved the aesthetics and mechanics of that raid.
In Destiny 2, first I have to admit that I was truly disappointed that the cabal were going to be the main antagonists. Cabal were silly in D1; dumb, easily defeated. They were not taken seriously. So to make them a main antagonist is to try and flip that fact, and it wound up sort of flat. Second, they’re hideous, not “cool” like the Fallen, Hive and Vex. Seeing a cabal’s face, especially as a main antagonist, for the first time was sort of like seeing Darth Vader’s face for the first time. It left me… wanting.
So on to the mechanics of this raid.
I jumped in a little late, this week in fact, and I jumped in blind, never watching any videos or letting people give me spoilers. The second level this week is The Gauntlet. At first it seemed kind of cool, something different. It was challenging to get coordinated myself, and then for everyone to be coordinated together. But then, as soon as we were coordinated after a few tries, it was over.
Same with Baths, which again just seemed sort of silly and absolutely missing any sort of “cool” factor.
It almost seems like there is a completely different team working on the development of this raid than the team that worked on D1 raids. The Leviathan raid feels nothing like D1 raids. There is no wonder, no sense of fighting tooth and nail to conquer a level with a team, of being overwhelmed with masses of enemies for an extended time. There’s no linear adventure, storyline. This makes the journey not feel so much of a journey as just visiting different rooms. No sense of fighting along a path towards the enemy: the Boss. There are no complicated multiple steps in each level as there are at Gatekeeper in Vault of Glass or Bridge in Crota. There’s no sense of actually accomplishing anything.
To make matters worse, the gold trim in Leviathan looks like gold paint on an old carousel ride. It looks like globs, and something is off with the color. It’s gaudy in a bad way, somehow.
So we have:
* Antagonists that cannot be taken seriously, missing the “cool” factor
* Environment not aesthetically pleasing
* No sense of journey, of moving along a path towards an end destination
* No sense of being overwhelmed and fighting tooth and nail with your team for an extended amount of time
* No levels within levels where the steps being taken to complete that level evolve or become increasingly more difficult
* Simplified challenges that end so quickly it doesn’t feel like you’ve actually accomplished something.
Don’t get me wrong, I have the greatest respect for the artists and story writers and everyone else who has worked on this game, but that doesn’t change that the end experience for this fan with Leviathan, is basic disappointment.