Destiny 2 – an idea not worth repeating? (pic: Bungie)

After years of playing Destiny and its sequel a reader suggests that the looter shooter genre has already stagnated and may not last long.

I remember a few years back when it seemed like Destiny was going to be the future of gaming. Bungie had broken away from Microsoft and were coming out with this bold new online game that was going to revolutionise how you play with friends. Then it came out and we all learnt what that meant: repeating the same 30-minute level again and again for a slightly differently looking gun.

Now before I start, let me get this clear: I am not having a go at Destiny and I played it and its sequel for years very happily. I do not regret that time, but I also don’t want to repeat it and I think that’s what’s brought an early end to what seemed to be the next big genre.

It wasn’t the first looter shooter, that was probably Borderlands, but Destiny was the first one that put the focus on constantly replying as often as possible, at least every week and ideally every day. The Division had the same idea, Warframe also followed suite (although it’s free to play so it feels less manipulative), and then of course Anthem was the most blatant clone.

The Division did well at first, and I enjoyed it too, but the more realistic setting made it all seem even more repetitive than Destiny, plus the idea of shooting someone in the head and just numbers coming out of them makes less sense when it’s a guy with a gun instead of a weird alien robot.

Things only really got into trouble though when Ubisoft tried to do a sequel a couple of years later, which was okay – pretty much the same thing as before but in a slightly different setting – but didn’t sell nearly as well. Ubisoft admitted that, but even though they’re usually good at saving games that underwhelm at launch there doesn’t seem to be anything they can really do with The Division 2.

It was at that point I realised the irony of the looter shooter is that the genre that was designed to be played over and over again actually had a pretty short lifespan. I got into Destiny and basically became Bungie’s puppet for a good couple of years, and even though I don’t resent that I don’t want to do it again. As people have found the same with The Division 2.

All these games are essentially the same, where you’re shooting bad guys on autopilot and just looking out for that specially coloured bit of loot shining in the darkness, making all those hours of repetition worth it. The problem Anthem had is not just that its loot was bad but the mere act of getting loot is already old.

Everyone knows by now it’s never really going to make that much difference, you’re never really going to change the look of your character that much, and the experience of playing the game is never going to be that much different than basically the first couple of hours.

You might disagree, but the other reason I wrote this feature is that I realised that since giving up these games I’ve tended towards much shorter, finite games. Story based games and indie titles that I know have an ending and that are trying to offer different experiences and locations as they progress.

Even the thought of a big open world game doesn’t appeal as much as it did. I just want to play something focused and tidy, a game where I feel I’m playing it and not the other way around.

By reader Scooter

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk and follow us on Twitter.

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