Destiny 2 Needs Capture the Flag
Destiny is a much different game than Halo. We've known that since Day 1. And while Halo and Destiny share an elite tier of multiplayer excellence, they don't play very similarly. Classic Halo modes like CTF, SWAT and Team Snipers--while often suggested by Bungie veterans--just weren't practical.
But in Destiny 2? Bungie's taken many cues from its previous franchise. The game has certainly given many players reason to praise the similarities. So could Halo CTF work? I believe yes.
Surprisingly it wasn't Destiny's new Crucible that sold me on the idea. It was the Raid.
My fireteam and I boarded The Leviathan the second it was opened to players. The first encounter was in The Castellum. For those unfamiliar, The Castellum is a hub area in between all four of the Raid encounters. To enter the encounters, players need to kill flag-bearing Centurians, steal their flags, and run them back to the door they wish to enter. All the while, players must fend off 'Standard Liberator' Centurions who can reclaim the flag, resetting progress.
It's an enjoyable challenge between actual Raid encounters, so I didn't mind having to complete it repeatedly. I honestly feel like I could play this mode infinitely. It's set up well and the gameplay is engaging. All it's missing is one magical ingredient: human intelligence.
Yes, once again, I crave the most dangerous game. No matter how many Centurions I mercilessly fusion-rifled into the Cabal afterlife, capturing the standard never gave me the thrill I got from stealing it from Blue base, and running it back to Red base. It's a brilliant game of cat and mouse that can't be achieved with AI enemies.
Of course, none of that reduced the enjoyment (or rage) induced by the Raid. This was merely an appetizer for the main dishes. And the Raid itself is an incredible challenge in what's easily Bungie's most beautiful location ever put to screen. Everything that makes Bungie such a master-class developer is on full display: gameplay, art, music, level design. It's all so damnably perfect.
So it's supremely near-sighted, narrow minded and selfish for me to walk out of something as awe-inspiring as a Raid and ask for Capture the Flag. It's a bit like walking out of a 5 Star Michelin restaurant and getting hunger pangs for a Baconator. But, I mean, it happens.
Capture the Flag is that Baconator. Or maybe it's a Five Guys Cheeseburger with bacon, jalapenos, extra cheese and seasoned fries. It doesn't matter, because anything with "bacon" and "burger" is going to satisfy that craving. Likewise, all I really want is a Destiny 2 mode with flags. Bungie doesn't need to put a whole lot of effort into satisfying my CTF craving.
Maps like Javelin-4, Endlesss Vale, the Dead Cliffs and Midotwn are perfect. Just copy that banner from The Castellum, paste it on the maps' A and C flags, cycle the matches into Quickplay and let players do all the heavy lifting. It's a game defined by player ingenuity, and Destiny's maps are designed for versatile play. It's a great mix.
In sum, Destiny 2 has the assets, maps and gameplay to put together a CTF Crucible mode. Like the bacon burger of my parable, it's the subject of a very oddly specific hunger I just can't satisfy and I see all the ingredients in Bungie's fridge. Make me that burger and I'll love you forever.