Review by XxTwisted26xX
Destiny: Step Back in Gaming
Now, before you read any further into the review, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I knew nothing of Destiny until a few weeks ago. Before that I was a pure PC gamer until I got a PS4 for cheap and went to the local game store to pick up some games. While there, the girl at the counter told me about this cool new game coming out soon by the makers of Halo where you can fly to other planets, ride a speeder and shoot alien scum... all while accompanied by good old Tyrion. Sure! Why not? The game sure sounded fun so I put down $60 cash on pre-order. What could go wrong?
Everything. Everything was wrong.
I've played every past Halo game, and while they weren't the most amazing story, the campaign had a majestic feel to it. I really felt like I was in a desperate fight to save Earth. Aliens swarmed around me and my fellow marines screamed as they were ripped to shreds around me. It was a living and breathing battlefield. Destiny did not instill me with this feeling. There are 4 "planets" in the campaign: Earth, Moon, Venus, and Mars. The game starts with you awakening on Earth with your Ghost (Good old Tyrion/Peter Dinklage) and telling you that the Fallen are coming for you and that you have to save the Earth. Literally. Your Hero (called a Guardian) doesn't question how he is brought to life or why he should follow the Ghost, he just does. The whole game. I honestly can't tell you what the story is about because it was so poorly delivered. One second you're on Earth fighting these alien called Fallen, then the next you're on Venus shooting robots and you have no idea why except a single objective: "Kill Vex Harpy." Why? What did the Harpy ever do?
There is an amazing cast of voice actors lined up from Peter Dinklage to Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle). Yet there are... no characters in the game. You are introduced to exactly 3 meaningful characters which you see several times, with zero character development. This is just inexcusable and lazy on Bungie, and perhaps the worst storyline in a game I have ever played in the past 5 years.
As much as I hate the story, I must say, shooting things has never been so fun. The feel of every gun feels just right from the fusion rifle to the kick of a sniper rifle. Each weapon feels powerful in its own way. Each character can hold 3 weapons at once: Primary, Secondary and Heavy. There's the classic shooter guns like rifles to more new ones like the fusion rifle. PvP is reminiscent of Halo but with Spartans wearing cloaks and jet packs. Each character also can choose one of three classes: Wizard, Titan and Warlock, which in turn have their own sub divisions. Each of these come with their own kind of grenade and special attack, ranging from the Titan's ground slam ability to the Hunter's Golden Gun (Ah, reminder of the good old days).
Now, where game-play is bogged down is... the story. Yes we're right back to it. In the campaign each mission is set up in the exact same way:
1. Defend your ghost while he hacks a door.
2. Kill something behind the door.
And you do that for about 6 to 12 hours. There is absolutely zero re-playability and is nothing like Bungie's past game. There could have been multiple mission types, yet... they ended up with going with the same bloody exact thing over and over.
Aside from the campaign and PvP there are strikes and raids. Strikes are your usual "dungeon" in an MMO where a party of 3 Guardians enter and kill a boss. Raids are said to be like bigger and harder Strikes but with up to 6 players, with the first one to be released on 9/16/14. Now, there are LOTS of things wrong with the Strikes .... where to begin?
The bosses in the strikes have way to much health. Period. There's a difference between skill and a bullet sponge and the bosses are more akin to being a bullet sponge. For 15-20 minutes each boss fight has boiled down to everyone hiding behind cover and shooting at the boss until they die. That's it. It might be harrowing your first time facing the boss but when you replay the Strike over and over it gets old. And you will want to replay Strikes because that's the only way to efficiently gain Vanguard marks and reputation which you need to buy Legendary gear. Every week there are two certain Strikes of vast difficulty you can do for a "slightly better loot pool." However, there's a problem: There's no matchmaking. Period. Unless you have friends who want to play at the moment you're out of luck. You might be asking yourself: "Can't I just form a party in a lobby or in the Tower?" The answer is: "Nope." There is zero communication with other players in this game other than players on your friend list. No typing or proximity chat. Right now, getting a party has boiled down to everyone posting on message boards like here on Gamefaqs. Terrible oversight by Bungie to have no communication available in a co-op heavy game.
Now let's say you and 2 friends suit up and are ready for a Strike and finally complete it, are you excited for some Legendary loot? Don't be, you have a slim chance of getting it. You will get a blue item at the end of the mission with a small chance at a legendary engram. An engram is kind of like a box you open that gives you random loot. And most of the time it will give you blue (rare) loot. But at a very low % chance you can get a random legendary that can be for any class. So even though there's a low chance of getting a legendary, there's a 33.3% chance it's something you can use.
The graphics are the best I've seen on the PS4, hands down. However, lots of the maps seem to be a rehash of each other. Earth is a tan barren wasteland while Venus is just another orange wasteland with a smattering of leaves. They could have gone a lot farther with the visuals. For example, have Earth be a concrete jungle with players zooming through the streets of a desolate cityscape. Right now, each map seems the same thing in different colors. There's no... world building in this game. There's nothing on Earth that makes it feel like Earth. Mars doesn't feel like Mars.
Solid music and sound. The background music is very emotional and dramatic - even though there's no reason for it. Sound effects are solid. Guns sound powerful, alien death cries sound like... death cries.
As described above, the game is almost unplayable for PvE. There is no sense of advancement and needs lots of fixes to make it functional. Strikes need to be more rewarding, as they are just tedious and dull to do right now except for playing for Vanguard marks. The single saving grace is the PvP, but even that can only hold someone over for so long. This game can be great, but Bungie needs to look at other MMO games (let's be honest Destiny is an MMO) and borrow their ideas: class based loot, boss fight mechanics, more rewarding loot, chat system, the list goes on and on.
The game has a strong foundation of lore and gunplay. However, a poor storyline, slow end-game advancement and the absence of standard MMO quality of life features bring the score down a lot. Would I recommend this game? I would recommend it to be rented from Redbox for $2 just so you can experience this all yourself.
Product Release: Destiny (US, 09/09/14)
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