Fully ten years ago, Bungie set out to make the game they had always wanted to make– it’s just that they weren’t really allowed to.
Rather, the dev team was shackled by the demands of Microsoft and its need to pump out a new piece to their Halo Franchise every few years. But once that relationship had ended more or less amicably, Bungie was set free from its stifling partner, and able to dream big, able to shoot for the stars and break the limits of what they had imagined possible in gaming.
Is Destiny that game though? Hell, it’s taken this review quite some time to be completed for two main reasons: 1. A serious bout with chicken pox (unfuckingbelievable), 2. A serious devotion to really giving this game a chance; you know, in order to get the full experience as was intended by the developers.
At this point I’ve played the game top to bottom, backwards and forwards, and have put more hours into it than any Call of Duty or non Blizzard/BioWare/Bethesda game I’ve ever played.
To be frank, yes, Destiny has succeeded in being perhaps the most fun, engaging, technically impressive game on the market, and to date on next generation consoles. No one can say with a straight face that the game isn’t visually and mechanically near-perfect and that it doesn’t showcase the abilities of the next gen consoles: Abilities we’ve been promised for so long, but rarely been seen.
The game is incredibly fun, and if it feels remotely similar to you, it’s likely because you’ve played Halo before. The menu screens are so easy to navigate and use, that I instantly felt as if I’d been playing the game forever. The character creation is robust, and at the same time very basic (WHAT??!?!?!? NO EFFING FACIAL HAIR?!?!?!?!? DAFUQ!?!?!). And don’t get it twisted, sister– there isn’t altogether too much difference in the classes aside from the cosmetic, of course, and the super moves, all which made no difference as I intend to play them all. The shooting and cover-based mechanics are also just like Halo, so be prepared for a ton of strafing side to side.
But where this game shines the most, however, is in co-op. The experience simply isn’t the same when one isn’t partnered up with a few of their buddies online and watching each other’s backs and more often than not, giving each other massive amounts of shit for screwing up in some comical way, like for example, a completely misfired super move, or a wayward step in a cave leading to a plummeting death.
CRY ME A (VENUS) RIVER
The story is basic and straightforward, with many, many threads of story left wide open and unanswered by the time the campaign wraps up, and allow me to reinforce something: THIS IS NOT A BAD THING. THIS GAME IS AN MMORPG. IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE OPEN-ENDED.
There has been quite a bit of bellyaching and people have bemoaned Destiny’s story as being too short, non complex, and underwhelming. I say to you sir or madam, PHOOEY!!!! MMO’s are meant to be told in pieces. They are meant to be these long epics that unfold months, years, maybe a decade later.
Sure, if you’re expecting the sweeping SciFi that was Mass Effect, or the emotional tour de force that was The Last of Us, or the damn near perfect storytelling that was Red Dead Redemption, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. If you view an MMO’s narrative as chapters in a book or volumes of a compendium, then you’re fast on your way to discovering that Destiny is a mystery that you — the player — will invest in and go along for the epic journey; not just a trip to the grocery store.
FLY ME TO THE MOON
Another fairly honest concern of players is the 3-player cap on fireteams. While I do agree that I for one would love to be able to have six of my friends all online and wrecking house in some co-op raid or even on the story mode, this isn’t really a game breaker. It’s more of an “awww maaaaaaan” than a “screw you, Bungie”.
Also there is no gear sharing among friends. So if I find this super duper awesomesauce Legendary weapon that I have no need for because I’m already a brick shithouse evil spawn slayer, I can’t gift it to any of my online friends, a feature very popular within most MMOs. One can shift items around your own characters via the vault system, but not to other players in your party/fireteam…yet.
Then there’s those Legendary/Rare drops. OK– I have yet to get a goddamn legendary drop. No freaking joke. As much as I’ve played the damn game — and as much as I’ve farmed the godforsaken infinity cave (it’s a thing; YouTube it) — I have yet to acquire ANYTHING Legendary.
Nope. No purple orbs for me.
It would be one thing if I was constantly lone wolfing it, had zero interaction with the community, wasn’t in a clan and didn’t play the Crucible. Good news for this Disciple is that none of those statements apply to moi! I have friends who almost regularly get Legendary or Rare drops and I’m just over here waiting for my first!
Oh well. Doesn’t bother me.
I just would like to be the guy who gets that rush of excitement and when that purple orb pops onto the screen so I can do my fancy little in-game dance too!!!!!!!!!!!! (Only to take the Engram to the Cryptarch and have him decode it to a Rare or have it be for an entirely different class, likely one you havent even made yet…that happens. A lot).
CHEEZ-ITS & YANKEE DOODLES
Finally, the last gripe I have is found in the Crucible and is twofold. First, if you use a Fusion Rifle in the Crucible, you are 100% bitch made. That’s right, you cheesing, camping, n00b tuber. (Update: I now am also using a Fusion Rifle… if you can’t beat em, join em…seriously though, it’s OP AF….overpowered as fuck).
Also, in the Crucible there has to be some kind of matchmaking patch, because no one can argue that it’s a tad unbalanced at the moment. I am aware that they SAY levels don’t matter in the Crucible, and sure, they may be right, but the weapons are what make all the difference in the world. And people of higher levels have weapons that can really unbalance things for the casual player.
In all, I’ve found Destiny to be more than worth the price of admission. I look forward to the almost limitless amounts of content that Bungie will be hitting us with on the regular. Destiny isn’t a game you can GameFly or Redbox for a day or so and get anything out of.
As I said before, it is an investment, a journey that you and your friends will take together. I can’t stress enough that Destiny is a phenomenal game, surely not without it’s faults; but to sum up the complaints, it’s not Call of Duty enough for those fans and it’s not MMO enough for those fans. It falls somewhere in the middle — Borderlands? — and it’s a game that I will be playing as long as I own a PS4.
Bungie nailed it. They made the game that they’ve always wanted to make. Maybe it’s not the game YOU’VE always wanted, but it’s still an amazing game that has set the bar very high for all next gen titles down the line. End of the day, it’s a TON of fun with limitless potential, and hands down the best game available for next gen consoles.