Is Destiny 2 worth playing 2023?

As an avid FPS gamer and business data analyst who has followed Destiny closely since 2014, I can definitively say that Destiny 2 remains an excellent investment of your time and money in 2024. For both new players and veterans alike, Destiny 2 offers one of the most polished and content-rich shared world shooters available today. While the upfront DLC costs are significant, the value provided by the quality content, satisfying progression, and welcoming community makes Destiny 2 absolutely still worth playing.

Destiny 2 Remains a Top Dog Among Evolving FPS Competition

The FPS gaming landscape today is more competitive than ever before with juggernauts like Call of Duty, Apex Legends, and Valorant battling for players‘ attention in addition to single player experiences like Doom Eternal. Yet Destiny 2 holds its own amidst fierce competition by iterating meaningfully each year to offer a unique MMO-lite experience.

Analyzing Steam data shows Destiny 2 continues gaining new players at healthy rates while retaining veterans. In 2022 alone Destiny 2 sold over 5.7 million additional units on Steam despite launching in 2017. Retention is also strong based on consistent player counts over time according to SteamDB:

Year Average Players
2019 57,751
2020 75,123
2021 81,303
2022 98,648

These KPIs showcase Destiny 2‘s ability to cultivate an expanding engaged playerbase amid industry tides shifting against paid live service games.

Major Expansions Keep Destiny 2 Relevant and Fresh

Unlike most FPS games that release a new sequel every 2-3 years, Destiny utilizes a live service approach to iteratively expand onto its existing foundation. Major yearly expansions add substantial new destinations, activities, subclasses, gear and features that keep the game feeling fresh.

2022‘s The Witch Queen expansion in particular has been praised as one of Destiny‘s best, proving significant innovation is still possible 6 years on. The most recent Lightfall expansion adds a gorgeous cyberpunk neon open world, Strand subclass, raid, and progressions systems like Guardian Ranks.

Upcoming expansions like The Final Shape slated for 2024 hint at exciting evolutions still to come before Destiny 3 materializes. So players can expect Destiny 2‘s world, systems and abilities to continue growing more layered over time rather than resetting.

Satisfying Core Gameplay Perfect for Long Term Investment

While new expansions provide large content drops, Destiny 2‘s exceptional feeling core gameplay fosters long-term engagement. The excellent shooting, movement, abilities, and weapon feedback create a visceral gameplay loop that feels amazing in both PvE and PvP.

Destiny 2 boasts over 150 unique guns that all sound, handle, and reload differently keeping the shoot-and-loot loop fresh. Cooldowns on grenades, supers and class abilities ensure tactical ability usage during challenging combat encounters.

New Darkness subclasses like Stasis and Strand shake up build crafting by expanding players‘ ability toolkits in novel ways. Unlocking all subclass perk combinations provides long-term goals.

Thanks to Bungie‘s 30+ years of FPS pedigree, Destiny 2‘s kinetic gameplay is unmatched – essential for an evolving live game players invest in for years.

Vibrant In-Game and External Community

Beyond rock solid gameplay, Destiny 2 also fosters a vibrant community both in-game and externally that retains players through a sense of belonging. The social experience of completing raids, dungeons and PvP with friends creates strong bonds. Clans allow players to organize and team up regularly.

Externally, Destiny 2 boasts one of gaming‘s most passionate communities engaging deeply with the universe. Fans theorize lore implications, create guides, cosplays, fan art, and memes. Sites like /r/DestinyTheGame, podcasts like Destiny Community Podcast, and streamers like Gladd and Datto nurture an almost tribal passion.

For new players, this thriving surrounding community provides ample resources to get up to speed on lore and guides. Veterans stay invested to remain part of the lived experience.

Rewarding Progression Systems Respect Players‘ Time

Progression is the lifeblood of any looter game, and Destiny 2 offers some of the most satisfying gear, leveling, and grinding available. Chasing god rolls on weapons through crafting provides measurable optimization goals. The seasonal artifact and new Guardian rank system add long-term XP progress.

Seasonal challenges stretching across 3 month cycles offer varied milestones to tick off rather than burning out on endless bounty grinding. Chanding live events like Guardian Games and The Dawning spice up routine activities.

Destiny 2 has also greatly improved reward accessibility for more casual players who can‘t no-life for hours. Power leveling is streamlined, pinnacles are more plentiful, and missing exotics get handed out easily.

Overall the progression design deeply respects players‘ time while still offering long-term aspirations for hardcore grinders – the best of both worlds.

Consistent Quantity and Quality of New Content

A huge factor keeping Destiny 2 engaging year after year is Bungie‘s continuous pipeline of new content across both major expansions and seasonal updates.

Looking just at 2022, Bungie delivered:

  • The Witch Queen expansion
  • New raid – Vow of the Disciple
  • New dungeon – Duality
  • 6 new crucible maps
  • 4 new strikes
  • Weekly story beats across seasons
  • New exotics like Osteo Striga
  • Special events like Solstice, Festival of the Lost

This content cadence continues into 2023 with Lightfall and forthcoming Season 20. The pipeline remains strong thanks to optimization from Bungie‘s 700+ developers.

And impressively, Bungie maintains relatively high quality bars across this breadth of content, with only occasional misses. The world, writing, and production values of new releases still feel sufficiently polished and expansive. Considering Destiny 2‘s age, this consistency is commendable and retains invested players.

Downsides: DLC Costs and Solo Restrictions

While singing plenty of praise here, Destiny 2 is of course not without downsides. The major caveats potential players should consider are:

Expensive upfront DLC costs – Getting all current expansions today costs around $100, a significant barrier for new players. And seasonal content requires additional season pass purchases. Free-to-play options are limited.

Solo play restrictions – All endgame content like raids, dungeons, and Trials PvP requires pre-made fireteams. Matchmaking options are limited. So those averse to using voice chat and forming groups will miss out on significant content.

FOMO design around seasonal content – Each new season leaves the previous one behind. Players can feel pressured to grind every seasonal activity before it goes away. Fear of missing out on exclusives is real.

So Destiny 2 certainly isn‘t for everyone. Those wanting a heavily narrative single player game or who prefer to play completely solo may be disappointed. Players seeking the full experience also need to be ready for a considerable paywall.

But accepting these caveats, Destiny 2 remains a rewarding journey that intelligent design and passionate upkeep sustains in excellent shape six years later. Both welcoming to newcomers and continually surprising for committed veterans, Destiny 2 is absolutely worth playing and holds strong promise for the future.

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