Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Destiny has been out in the world for about a week now, kicking off the fall season of high-profile game releases. The lead-up to the game has been incredibly positive, with over four million gamers playing the beta earlier this year. Now that the full game is available, we’ve gotten the chance to see if the game can stand up to the hype. With such a huge game, we decided that a joint-review would better capture the full experience. Below you can read Agustin Guerrero and Andrew Dearborn’s very different thoughts on Destiny:
The opening cinematic of Destiny is beautiful. There’s really no other way to put it. It’s not just the gorgeous graphics and design work that make it beautiful. It’s the potential for a captivating science-fiction story in our universe that left me awestruck. As the cinematic ends, you hear Peter Dinklage’s voice as he awakens your character from stasis. The Darkness is coming and it’s up to you to fight back.
Unfortunately, that’s the highest point of the story. From there the players take up arms and begin a seemingly endless slog through unoriginal and repetitive firefights. The mechanics are sound and everything plays well, but it all feels uninspired. The story is presented through a few cutscenes and narration provided by your Ghost, a robot companion voiced by the aforementioned Dinklage. The storyline seems almost like an afterthought, which is incredibly disappointing based on the premise. Dinklage delivers the story with apathy. His lackluster performance might be partially explained by some of the bad writing and cookie-cutter dialogue prevalent in the game.
Almost every story mission in Destiny can be summed up as follows: Go to point A and kill every enemy, go to point B and hold down the square/X button, protect that spot against waves of enemies, repeat. The four planets you visit each have their own enemy type, but the progression on each planet is laughably formulaic. The story culminates in a boring final fight and a obligatory congratulations speech.
Aside from the story missions, there are also Patrol and Strike missions to complete. Patrol missions are in an ‘open world’ and are only useful for leveling up your character. The open world has nothing to offer but landscape and sporadic enemies. You then kill a set number of those enemies repeatedly. There’s almost no reason to explore. After one or two Patrols, you’ll likely never want to do another one. Strike missions are a little more interesting. You and two other Guardians run through a level and fight increasingly difficult enemies for loot. It’s fun, but it can get repetitive.
The competitive multiplayer modes are the only redeeming part of Destiny, but almost every mode revolves around killing your opponents. In previous Bungie games, objective based multiplayer was a nice change of pace from Deathmatch. Destiny could benefit from adding “Capture the Flag” or something like “Oddball” from the Halo series.
I wanted to love this game. I was ready for Bungie to change the landscape of first person shooters once again with their newest hit franchise. However, Destiny feels like a lifeless game. The pieces of a good game are all there, but the spark of creativity fizzled out much too soon. You’ll have fun playing Destiny, but probably not as much fun as you hoped.
Let’s start at the beginning: character design. I like the character design in Destiny to a point, but I find it a little lacking overall. I would have liked some expansion from the beta version and, let’s be honest, a beard would have been nice. I just find the faces to be a little overly pretty; I would have preferred some more ruggedness in the features. The majority of faces just don’t feel like they would be soldiers. It was still very well done and thankfully not overly complicated…. I hate playing around with nose size.
The story is pretty good, but kind of forgettable. It’s seems small and broken up, at least to me. I enjoy playing the story missions and love that I can solo the story missions and I honestly feel like there is a lot more story to come. I am just a little surprised that I am pretty much done with it after unlocking Mars. I was hoping to explore the reef and unlock more of Earth and Venus, but perhaps there is more to come.
I have suddenly been playing an awful lot of Crucible though, which is prolonging the story. The Crucible, like virtually all PvP scenarios, is that frustrating combo of victory and crushing, frustrating defeat. The four modes are all fun but I prefer “Clash” and “Control”. “Clash” is a six-on-six murder spree. Playing “Clash” with a friend on a fire team is great, and the small team tactics can be absolutely amazing. “Control” is a(nother) six-on-six game, this time with the goal of capturing and holding territory. It can be frustrating though, especially if half your team bails on you. Three men have no hope holding territory against six.
Overall I really love Destiny. I fell in love with it during the beta and, for the first time in years, actually pre-ordered a game. There are things that need to be fixed, and I am sure that they will be or I just have not unlocked them yet. I was grumpy about the lack of drops I was receiving and my armor looking like a random pile of randomness, but once I unlocked shaders, everything got better, and once I leveled up I started getting better drops. There are still aspects of this game I have not played, like the strike playlists and I only now have reached level twenty so I am just starting to experience light levels. This game is complex and fun to play; the graphics are awesome, and the controls are intuitive for any FPS player. 5 out of 5 for this fan!