It has been a full week plus, as of writing, half a day that Destiny has been out. I have sunk about 30 hours into Destiny, from exploring area’s to find ghosts and gold chests, to farming quick respawn area’s to running a “mining circuit” for Spinmetal or Spirit Bloom. Tackling both Strike missions and general “missions” throughout the solar system is a great way to kill time with friends, as it’s the fun, yet sometimes frustrating aspects of the competitive multi-player (damn you golden guns/blade dancers).
All of these positives aside there are some irksome aspects to Destiny which many people have been victim to. The first hurdle many people, myself included, struggled with was the borderlands comparison. While there is a ‘kill baddies get loot’ mentality behind Destiny, that is something any game with loot based progression has, so not exactly unique to Borderlands. For my money, I put my comparison against actual MMO’s such as World of Warcraft or Everquest. The quest/mission based design and progessing loot grind feel much more connected to one of these games over the Borderlands series.
Blandness is another pitfall that Bungie ran into when crafting this game. The names, both enemy and friendly, seem fairly uninspired and do little to draw the player in. Your enemies are The Fallen, which draw strong visual ties to Halo’s Covenant, Hive and the Vex which fill the rolls of your undead and robot enemies and The Cabal a seemingly industrious warlike hippo race. The lackluster story and weak, in terms of quantity, voice acting do not make me want to invest in anything people are saying as way points direct me in missions and grimoire cards are what fill in any background information I am looking for.
All in all, while it reach’s for the star’s in many aspects, it coasts comfortably in the stratosphere due to the lack of rocket fuel to knock it into orbit. That being said, I am having a hard time putting this game down. As mentioned above, a large part of the enjoyment for me comes from the (mostly) smooth transition to playing alone, to jumping into a fireteam with friends and going off on a whirlwind adventure.
There are small tidbits of “oh wow” to be scattered throughout Destiny as well. Some, like the ability to start on your other subclass on a new character once you have reached level 15 are very close to home in terms of character design. Others are more, potentially, story impacting like being an awoken when you go to the Reef and interact with Fellow awoken.
My Warlock (above) was the main I used to test out the game so far, but I am currently working on a Defender-Titan. The replay value for each character is seemingly high, as you unlock more difficulty levels, to gain better gear, which gives you more light (the most important stat past 20). If competitive multiplayer is your thing, you will get a good number of options to pick in the Crucible to sate that itch, with more to come once their DLC packs drop. The Raids were just released, but I am not high enough to do them, so I will have to discuss those another time.
- Highly enjoyable with friends
- Easy to jump in and out of Fireteams
- Multiplayer is very solid and enjoyable even when low level
- Very smooth (on PS4 where I own) even in intense fights of 20+ enemies
- Story is weak
- Little use of Voice acting talent
- Bland friendly/enemy character naming convention
- Long load times
Even though I am personally having a good time, it is clear there are some area’s that didn’t get polished as much as they could have, or thought through fully.