Review by Manwithopinions

Reviewed: 10/01/14

Next Gen shooter my ***

"Destiny is a next generation first person shooter with rich cinematic storytelling set in huge worlds to explore. Create and customize your guardian. Defeat your enemies. Become Legend in intense cooperative, competitive and innovative public gameplay."

This is a quote on the back of the box. Unfortunately NONE OF THIS IS TRUE! Destiny was marketed and hyped as this amazing next generation FPS for years now. The VidDoc Bungie set up back in 2013 satiated our desires with amazing features like upgradable weapons, unique classes, and huge expansive worlds to explore. Most of which is just overhyped nonsense. If you are one of the five people who did not get this game, rest assured you are not missing out on anything.

In Summary: Destiny is a boring, lazily designed FPS with poor mission structure, bad level design, and a terrible story not worth talking about.

Bungie knew better than to release something like this and somebody needs to chew them out for it.
Let's get the good out of the way first.

Gunplay/ character creation 7/10: The point of an FPS is to have fun, solid gunplay that is fast and responsive with enough variety of weapons to keep the game interesting. Destiny's gunplay for the most part is fun and satisfying. Players begin the game by picking three classes: Titan (Which is the soldier class), Hunter (A pseudo-stealth class), and the Warlock (Mage character; incidentally I chose this class so for the rest of review I will be talking about this game from the perspective of that class). Unfortunately aside from a small number of specials each character does, they all function the same. They can wield the same weapons an they all get some kind of jetpack to fly around.Oh and there are elemental weapons in Destiny like in Borderlands, but unlike the latter game, Destiny's elemental weapons are superficial and don't add any depth to the gameplay. Borderlands (Which for the record Destiny rips off with shameless unoriginality) fixed this problem by giving the FOUR playable classes different skill trees that emphasized certain weapons over others.

So for example the Hunter class from Borderlands has a skill tree dedicated to giving bonus damage to pistols and sniper rifles while the Hunter class in this game has no such progression. This was implemented to give each of the classes a different feel and encourage them to use those weapons in combat to maximize their usefulness. Destiny does not have a system like this. In fact, none of the three classes have such distinctive abilities so it boils down to which one looks cooler to you. Another thing Destiny takes from Borderlands is gun looting. Borderlands 2 upped the ante by giving you thousands of guns, some of which had their own sub-genres. Destiny only has a handful of the stock weapons we have already seen before (Auto rifles, scout rifles, pistols, ect.).

One final thing I'll mention is that the actual character creator is lacking in features. You mean to tell me this game had a 500 Million dollar budget and all I get for customization is three races to choose from and a small number of faces? I'll talk about the disappointing customization later.

Graphics 10/10: With a 500 million dollar budget, I expected this game to look beautiful and it did not disappoint me. Environments are amazing with well detailed textures and realistic clothing physics. Of the planets you do visit, the Earth and Venus are the most detailed. Trust me, your jaw will drop at how beautiful the scenery looks.

Music/sound 10/10: Finally it's not worth skimping over the music as well. The soundtrack is amazing and gave me nostalgic thoughts of Bungie's superior efforts with the Halo franchise. The sound design is spot on with guns making impactful noises I would expect from future weaponry.

...Aaaaand I'm done talking about the positives and the tone of this review is going to change drastically now.

Alright Bungie, I think it's time you and I had a talk. Oh and you too Activision.

Story/Gameplay 2/10: Could somebody explain to me just what the Hell happened here? Bungie? Activision? You were developing this game for how long? Since ODST? And this is the Single player campaign we got? 6-8 hours to complete you say? 6-8 hours of some of the most boring, lazy, repetitive mission design I have ever seen in a AAA game? 500 Million dollar budget you say? NO!, WRONG! This is next gen! I expected more effort here! I don't care if you have other stuff planned in the future. You should have know people would finish the campaign in a heartbeat.

Ok...The story is terrible. How terrible you ask? Well, you start the game off dead, but the Traveler (That big orb thing that is featured on the box) brings you back to life and hands you a ghost ( Voiced by Peter D. from Game of Thrones) and tells you that you are part of a resistance movement to push back again an alien threat known as "The Darkness." Yes, you read that right, your generic enemy for this game is known as the darkness...wonderful.

Apparently the Traveler gave humanity advanced technology and longer lifespans and there was much rejoicing, until the darkness showed up and ruined everything leaving only one city on Earth to protect. It is up to your character, and everyone else's, to push back against your enemy. AND THAT'S IT! That's all you get. You learn nothing about the alien factions both your allies and the enemy. You learn nothing about the Traveler, or the Speaker, or anything!

If you actually want to learn what these things are, you have to go to Bungie.net and look up the Grimoire (The online lore book) to make sense of it.

"Wow Bungie, you made this fantastic universe and if I have to get an explanation I have to stop playing my game and read it online?" THIS IS NOT GOOD STORYTELLING! You're supposed to weave the exposition into the gameplay, not relegate your entire lore onto your website! WTF!?

I want to make a distinction for those who are confused. Lore is the backstory of the world while the plot is what is happening right now. The STORY is bad because you learn nothing about nobody and the immersion of the game world is crippled because you have no idea why you are doing these things. And while the lore is expansive, none of it is accessible in-game. Which means you are left with very little sense of purpose for most of the game.

The ending is also terrible, as it leaves you with more questions rather than answers because what little interaction you have with characters you learn nothing about!

Sigh....so yeah, the story is an abject disappoint by any stretch of logic. The campaign plays out on three planets: Earth, Venus and Mars also Earth's moon. What I find hilarious is that The campaign is only on these planets, but some of the multiplayer maps take place on Mercury! So why don't we go to Mercury? Or the other planets?

So what about the gameplay in the story? Well just like the narrative it too is severely lacking. Every mission you are tasked with going to a particular point, having your ghost try to open a door, or scan some file, and you defend him for about 3 waves of enemies. Every mission....EVERY MISSION. I can't think of any mission where you don't do that. The only stand out mission I can think of is you get to wield this cool looking sword and kill enemies with it....about three waves of enemies to be exact. They want to be nice and come in three at a time I guess.

No, that's it, dead serious. That is all you do in this laughably short campaign: Fight waves and waves of aliens while your ghost scans something. Not to mention those cool spaceships you get are nothing but loading screens. Can a guy get some flight simulation or Star Fox gameplay here? What a missed opportunity! Wasted potential.

But what about the end game? What else can you do? Well aside from the multiplayer (Which I'll cover later) you can do Strikes, which are basically boss fights where you and two friends fight a boss with stupid amounts of health; Raids, which task you and 5 friends to invade a vault or some other building to loot it; or patrol a planet.

Patrolling has a handful of side quests which task you with the following:

Kill an arbitrary number of the same enemies you're already been fighting, obtain an arbitrary number of items by killing the same enemies you've already been fighting, Standing in area and hold square to scan the environment, and Stand in one spot and appreciate the pretty skybox...while being shot at by the same enemies you've already been fighting.

Are you starting to get the point yet? This game is an absolute grind-fest with very little to do outside of the main campaign.

Multiplayer 5/10 "But wait!" Cries Activision, "What about the multiplayer? That's fun right?" Well kind of.
Actually I'd like to harp on the customization again real quick if you don't mind. One of the things touted in the VidDoc Bungie made was that you can make your character look cool and tailor him to your own liking, and they are almost telling you truth. I had this really cool looking Camo-duster for my Warlock that was quickly replaced by a stupid looking robe because it had one more "light rating" which is another stupid mechanic of the game. To level past twenty you need to have armor that has a higher light rating ruining any sense of personal touch you may have wanted with your character.

Anyways back to the multiplayer. Fun as it is, it too is disappointing. Only 5 game modes to play:

Control, which is CoD's Domination mode; Clash, Team Death match which is 6v6; Rumble, a Free for all mode with only 5 people; Skirmish which is Clash only 3v3; and Salvage, which is just 3v3 headquarters.*

*For some reason, this game mode is only available at certain times...

No capture the flag, no big team death match, none of these modes allow for more players. If your argument is that these modes will be included in an update then I'm sorry to say that is a weak excuse because the game should have shipped with these modes to begin with. In fact, this entire game should have been more substantial, period. There is absolutely no excuse for the lack of content now, especially at 60$ asking price with 30$ more for the expansion. No excuse.

I was originally going to give this game a 6 because I did have some fun with it for a time, but after all of what I've learned about the game's development, I could not justify it. This game is painfully average and overhyped as well as overpriced for what little content there currently is.

I would recommend you get this game at 30$ and then get the expansion.

God, what a disappointment...Bungie, Activision, I want you two to go to your rooms and think about what you've done here. You have betrayed my trust...There is nothing innovative, or next gen about this game.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: Destiny (US, 09/09/14)

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