One of this September’s game downloads included with a Playstation Plus subscription was Destiny 2. Not either of the first-year expansions, nor the most recent Forsaken expansion—only the “vanilla” version, i.e. the original base game. That was perfectly fine by me, however as I finally had the chance to check out Destiny remorse-free.

I’ve been interested in trying out Destiny for a long, long time, ever since the heyday of The Taken King’s warm reception at the absolute latest. The prospect of all the money it would take to get into it, however, always kept me at bay. That didn’t necessarily come down to the cost of getting into the base game—late into the first Destiny’s lifespan, the vanilla version eventually got reduced to about $20 USD, which wasn’t that bad—but instead the eventual cost of getting every other expansion afterwards if I wanted to continue beyond what was still an apparently bare-bones base game.

That shit was gonna add up, and it was going to be steep. Paying a twenty-buck starter fee to only either realize that A) I didn’t like it or B) I was going to be throwing even more money at it to “properly” experience it? Not worth it.

This PS Plus opportunity with Destiny 2, however, had a couple of big things going for it. First, the offerings in the base game were apparently meatier and significantly better this time around. Second, and even more importantly, no additional money down outside of what was already paid for PS Plus. (I’d also be remiss to not also disclose, in the interest of humility, that it’s my fiancée who pays for it on our system)

That made for an easy decision: I downloaded it, and have been playing it over the last few weeks. And what do you know!! It turns out that Destiny 2 is so Very Much My Bullshit, it’s as if they made this game with an audience of Specifically Me in mind!!!

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Borderlands 2 had been holding me down on the feels-like-Halo front for years now, but it apparently did little to keep me from starving for the genuine article, because godDAMN did it feel so good to once again play a proper Bungie shooter after so many years. For them to then also offer their own take on a Borderlands-like gun ‘n armor collect-a-thon and end up with something pretty good? Safe to say, I’ve been hooked.

Lucky me that the Playstation 4 has been my console of choice this generation. Also lucky me that I heard about the offering in time to take advantage of it, because if I had waited until today, the beginning of Shocktober, there’s a good chance I would have missed the opportunity. That would have been a shame.

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Actually, scratch that; the whole matter of free downloads for Destiny 2's base game being exclusive only to a specific game system, for just a single month, is stupid. With the game in its second year, and three expansions under its belt with at least another two upcoming, vanilla D2 really ought to be available for free on all platforms from here on out.

The motive for making it free for a limited time was obviously more than just sheer generosity. Activision and/or Bungie definitely wanted to entice new people to the game with the tantalizing price of free—maybe due to less active D2 players than they hoped or expected one year in—with the hopes of convincing them to plop down money for the expansions.

On a personal level, here’s the thing: Their gambit worked. I wouldn’t have tried Destiny 2 without a free offering, but I now want to play all the way up to Forsaken, and I am fully willing to shell out the cash for it.

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It’s not going to be cheap, either! For Curse of Osiris, Warmind, and Forsaken altogether, with the base game already in my possession, I am looking at a $60 USD price tag—$20 for the expansion pass for the first two expansions, $40 for Forsaken. That does not include already-announced future expansions, which would cost even more money.

$60 USD, and possibly even more for whatever comes out in the future, is an obscene amount of money to spend for the sake of keeping up with a game that came out a year ago. When looking at pricing demands like that, offering up the vanilla version for free as some kind of demo version, so that people can have the chance to judge whether that’s an acceptable use of their money, is the absolute least Activision/Bungie could do to help us out, quite frankly. It would be nice, in fact, if other similarly-functioning “live service” video games out there offered the same courtesy.

Because what if somebody wanted to get into Destiny 2 late, but either don’t have a Playstation 4 or missed out on the September 2018 PS Plus period? It doesn’t look like vanilla D2 is being offered as an option anymore, so buying everything up to Forsaken may very well be the only way to do so! How much will that set them back?

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Well, if we take a look right here on the Destiny website...

...then choose the PS4 as our platform of choice, just for example’s sake (though XBox One and PC have largely the same results)...

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...and take a look at the prices, we get...wait, that can’t be right.

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Is this...is this for real.

So, you’re telling me that even if someone does not already have the base version of Destiny 2, it’s still $60 nonetheless to get up to Forsaken.

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Well holy shit, Activision! You’ve clearly already written off vanilla D2 as the “free component” of your game at this point! What excuse is there for not then actually making it freely available?!