Review by Jason_Hudson
A wholly underwhelming experience
Destiny, a first person shooter set in the future, has you travel between planets with your robot sidekick (voiced by Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage) in an effort to heal the Traveller, a large orb that protects the last city on Earth, before the Darkness envelops the remaining universe.
Gameplay & Story
Destiny's gameplay for the most part works well. The guns feel right, the controls handle well (and they have different control schemes to accommodate a wide variety of play styles) and at a basic level, it is fun to play. However, once the novelty of shooting enemies wears off, you're left with good gameplay surrounded by repetitive, and dull missions.
The story mode of the game, or the PVE mode, is abysmal. Each mission has you do practically the same thing each time, which entails going to a waypoint, letting your Ghost scan/hack it, and fight off waves of enemies until he is done. This is how the game plays out. There is no variety, no excitement, and it ends up being a chore to play.
There are Strikes, which are basically a co-operative story mission that involves an end boss. Unfortunately, these also amount to hacking/scanning an area and fighting off waves, eventually getting to the boss, which is nothing more than a 'bullet sponge', basically meaning that you shoot at the boss for a long time. There is little variety between bosses, you shoot them and you get behind cover when they shoot back.
The actual story of the game is rather weak. It is presented to the player in both cutscenes and voice overs on the loading screens, but it is pieced together so poorly that it leaves the player with more questions than answers. It's a very basic and cliched story, with generic enemies that might have been interesting had the lore been explained to the player outside of a few lines.
The other side of Destiny is the PVP modes. As far as PVP goes, it's fairly standard and really quite similar to Halo. It has its unique flair, in form of 'Supers', which are special moves that you get over time. Unfortunately, these Supers (along with grenades that recharge after using them) can turn fights into a game of 'who has what off of cooldown'. The netcode is very bad. You can shoot a player and not have the hits register for over a second, sometimes not even registering at all.
At the end of the match, extra loot is divided out to players. This distribution is completely random, sometimes the best player on the team will leave with nothing instead of being rewarded for their efforts. This really takes the incentive out of playing to win.
Technology, sound, and graphics
The loading times in Destiny are pretty poor. You can be waiting over 30 seconds at times, which makes travelling to different places (particularly the Tower, the main character hub) a long, drawn out chore.
The graphics are very good. There is pop-in at times, but overall the graphics work very well. The game has some impressive vistas, and is definitely one of the better looking titles on the PS4.
The main issue graphically is the low FOV (Field of View). This can be very disorientating for the player, and really makes it difficult to see enemies flanking you, particularly in PVP.
The sound is great. Nearly everything is fully voiced, with some great performances from the cast. The guns sound like they should, even down to gunfire in the distance. The music is fantastic, and is Destiny's strongest point.
Replayability is really dependant on who you are playing Destiny with.
In regards to PVE, if you're like me and go in either solo or with a couple of friends, you'll find that when you hit level 20 the game becomes rather pointless. You can finish the story, you can play the strikes to get better gear, but there really isn't much point to getting better gear. The main point of getting gear is so you can level up (after level 20 levelling is done through how good your gear is) and do raids. For whatever reason, Bungie decided to not include matchmaking for raids. This means that you need to create groups with other players. With the lack of public communications (Text or voice) outside of groups, this can be a challenge.
PVP is a similar thing. You can get better gear, you can reap some of the benefits of that gear, but as a whole it is pointless. This is because the main PVP (The Crucible) has level advantages disabled, which means that your damage and armour is on an even playing field to everyone else, rendering getting new gear rather useless.
The game can take anywhere from 20 hours to 40 hours, depending on how much you do patrol missions and PVP. You can do the story missions again as many times as you want, but you don't get XP for doing so.
All in all, Destiny failed to live up to the hype generated by the media. It was vastly underwhelming, with very little to redeem the poor story and shallow missions. The PVP mode is really not all that fun, with unbalanced powers and a poor netcode ruining the game. I found it to be a chore to play through, and certainly not worth a buy. If you are interested in Destiny, I highly recommend you rent it.
Product Release: Destiny (EU, 09/09/14)
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