Let’s talk Destiny. Not Guardian to Guardian, no; this one’s for all of you who have not yet been to The Tower. Even if you’ve never played, you may have heard the stories: how Activision pissed off a writer and a composer, the “shotgun meta”, how Tyrion Lannister was retconned away (miss you, Dinklebot!)… all very large parts of the last three years, but none of this is where the game IS, right now. What Bungie set out to build was an MMO wherein you can enjoy yourself by your lonesome, hook up with your friends, or run to a stranger’s aid (or run AWAY from a stranger, if you prefer), and do all of this in a massive interlinked world of PvP, open world, and story missions, all framed in a game with damn good gunplay. And y’know what? They succeeded.
Try playing Borderlands and Destiny back to back. Tell me that Destiny’s combat isn’t so buttery smooth that it makes freakin’ Borderlands feel clunky and slow. I dare you. PvP? Oh you don’t yet know the satisfaction of watching a Titan crumple to the ground mid-Fist of Havoc (a two-fisted lightning punch that is one of the class “superpowers” in PvP and PvE), your throwing knife (a basic class ranged melee attack in PvP and PvE) still jutting from his sternum… but you coooouldd… PvE? Fallen enemies don’t speak any human language, but you can still hear when they’re trash talking you.
Open world sidequests can and should be interrupted for stopping and cloudwatching from time to time. The skybox is genuinely beautiful. In all of it, guns, swords, fists, rocket launchers, flying knees to the face, feel so very solid, like they have weight, and force, and that is so gratifying.
Raids? Expect heavy combat tactical challenges, jumping puzzles, time challenges, mazes (Oh God the mazes), gigantic-bosses-what-will-kill-you-dead…
Top it all off with the fact that yes, Virginia, you CAN enter and exit anyone else’s instances (public activities) anytime you want, AND story missions and raids are invite only- except for strikes, which are story missions with matchmaking, WHICH is a good way to meet new friends, quite frankly, and what do you get? A LOT of run-on sentences, and a very large, gorgeous game in which it is easily as much fun as Doom to bust heads in (there’s just the trade off of all that lovely gore for the fact that Destiny doesn’t stop the madness, oh no, the main game keeps going!)
It also has flaws; few, but large ones. The largest being the story. If you know or don’t know; due to Activision making harsh decisions with the original head writer, the campaign as it was originally structured was indeed pulled apart and stitched back together again very, very piecemeal. Major plot points still have not been addressed since their introduction three years ago, story pacing is choppy,even with the reintroduction of original plot points through paid DLC, the rollout of brand new paid DLC, and free updates that had story too.
PvP? No custom matches. Private matches, yeah, but no custom ones. Why?
PvE? There’s no reason to replay the year one campaigns, except nostalgia. No higher levels, no higher level gear, only a handful of armor colors and (nonfunctional) spaceships we might not already have. Again, why is this?
Microtransactions? Bungie has Activision as a publisher- you’d better believe Destiny has them.
Now, they are nice and low impact- the items for sale are aesthetic fun only; there’s almost nothing that affects gameplay. Even the items that affect game play are only give things like minor stat bumps to your character, or allow you to get rarer items more easily from randomized drops. But which of these items are only available for sale and which are available in-game is not consistent.
The update schedule is very solid now, for paid DLC and free updates alike, but it wasn’t until the beginning of year three (last November) of the game that it stabilized (and became at all frequent).
The player who takes all of this together will own a varied, large, very enjoyable game, well worth the purchase price and time- if one pays close attention to the release and update dates.
Join us, won’t you?
“Last week I was filling court orders, now we’re delivering explosions!” -Petra Venj
Igor, Possibly a box