With Destiny having such a huge build up, with a massive advertising budget and the world’s eye on Bungie’s first cross-platform title, it was bound to be the case that everyone had their own ideas and opinions. At TGR we decided that a single voice wasn’t enough, so we pooled our resources and came up with our very first multi-review: a series of shorter reviews from several of our writers, all with different backgrounds and expectations. Who thought what? Read on to find out.
Review #1 – Matt
I have only had a brief spell with the MMO World of Warcraft but many, many hours with Halo so was excited and a little nervous over Destiny. The concept is new yet familiar with a decent gaming pedigree behind them – could Bungie deliver?
I’ve spent a lot of time with the game and am at level 26, having seen all of the content within it now. The gameplay is excellent I think, sounds of guns are good, the AI and combat brilliant. What’s odd though is that the mission structure never really changes – go here and kill everything on the way, or go here and ‘scan’ something which requires you to defend while it’s scanned. That’s it. That’s really it, for every story mission.
Emphasis is on co-op and a fire team of three is the best way to enjoy the game by far. It helps at the no respawn section as well, but the most challenging parts are where Destiny sheds it’s ‘shared world shooter’ MO. You see other players around the world going about quests (well, in a ‘large’ open world lobby of about 16 per world) but the Darkness sections which are your critical story bits oddly revert to your fire team only.
Hitting the level cap is just the start I found. Then you require Light, which is available on Rare or higher armour and must be levelled up. It’s levelled up by requiring different types of resources which you have to scavenge for, or by buying better armour which you need specialist currency for. This is achieved through repetition. The same thing over and over albeit with higher difficulties and various modifiers (no ammo drops etc) gives way to better prizes, but how much do you need to do? My playtime is 56 hours and 30 mins, and I do not have enough of the various currencies to go past level 26. A reminder, this game was out over a month ago, and I have a full time job. The multiplayer helps break the story repetition however there are 4 default playlists which are all slight variants on classic death match. 26 of my hours have been spent in multiplayer.
Last week I tried the Raid. Friends only, and you need six at level ready to go. You don’t need six to launch it, but you will need them to progress. This is the most interesting part of Destiny. Protecting different areas at once in teams, group platforming, various curses requiring cleansing, blindness and time travel all feature. So why is Destiny’s most rewarding section behind such a high wall, a reward of persistence? The requirement of level and friends is surely going to mean that a lot won’t ever get to experience it (you will need a fair bit of time too, and you must communicate) – I think this is Bungie playing the long game. Stick with us, you’ll go far. But today the instant gratification needed for some will be too much, and there’s only so many times you can do the same thing over and over. Yet, I keep going back so that must say something about Destiny.
Review #2 – James
Destiny was a game that came with so much hype, there was always a fear that it wouldn’t quite live up to it and I had these fears when I previewed this game a few months ago. I must state that I played the Beta and despite being slightly underwhelmed I still got this game on release day thinking that the problems I had encountered would be just down to it being a short demo version of the game. Sadly that wasn’t quite the case.
I don’t hate the game and in fact I think the core gameplay mechanics are brilliant with some of the best FPS action I have ever played, the controls are tight and it is a joy to play for the opening hours of the game. Bungie have made the mechanics work perfectly, the problem is what holds the skeleton of the game together. Firstly the story is laughably bad, it is so bad that there really doesn’t seem to be anything, I have read online the rumours about the story being drastically cut late on in development and whilst they are just rumours and should be treated as such, it does feel as though something is missing from the final game as it just never explains anything. If you are looking for exciting narrative and an engrossing world then you wont find it in Destiny.
As I have said the core mechanics of the game are great, but after a few hours you discover that all of the various missions and strikes are the exact same, you shoot the same enemies, gradually getting bigger through the mission before protecting your ghost as he opens a door or hacks into a computer against three waves of enemies. This only changes in the later levels when you will fight a bullet sponge boss instead of waves of enemies, it is grinding at the most mundane level and I quickly grew tired of it.
One of the most frustrating aspects of the game is the loot that you do, or in this game do not get as you progress. So many times I would defeat a bad ass boss only to be rewarded with… well… nothing and this just does not fit into the MMO gameplay that I was expecting, you can not trade items with fellow players and often get rewarded with items or weapons that are far inferior to what you already have, the reward for getting through long and boring missions was like a kick in the teeth. I do expect Bungie to fix this but this surely had to have been one of the first aspects of the game you sorted out when creating an MMO.
I have not played too many MMO games, I tend not to have enough time to get the most out of them but with Destiny I was really keen to explore, but Bungie just made a hash of it, there are only four different worlds with little to explore on release. All of the weapons are the same for each class and whilst the aliens you fight (you are never really told why) have some very cool looking weapons, sadly you will never pick them up or use them. As I have stated I don’t hate this game, I just feel very disappointed and long before the end, bored.
Review #3 – David
After playing the alpha I was left hoping for great things from Destiny, however as the weeks went past I started to think about what I had seen and wondered if I should purchase the game. The day before release I was talked in to buying it, therefore I was not a person that was being drawn in by the hype.
I downloaded the game on the PS3 (mainly due to the free upgrade offer to the PS4) and was immediately taken back on how good this looked on the older generation of machine. Yes the PS4 has crisper graphics and more vivid colours, however the playing of the game is fluid and it is clear that this is one of the last games that can stretch the ability of the PS3.
The game took me back to the alpha and joining up with a friend of mine we had a laugh redoing the Earth missions running around and investigating the hideaways that contained Fallen that were immune to our bullets, leading to the fastest runner avoiding death, leading to a lot of laugher, mainly at my expense.
This is where I think the game excels as the game is great with friends, however playing on one’s own I found really boring, mainly as the missions are very repetitive, being go here, press X to send out your ghost, and then fight a wave of enemies, then mission over. Doing that on your own I found quite soul destroying, so much that I only now play the game if people I know are playing. During strikes at the end of each planet the game puts you in teams of 3, as these missions are virtually impossible to complete on your own which is great, however a lot of players do not use a headset so there is no discussions to work out how to go about playing the mission. This therefore stopped me playing this with the general public.
Is the game worth getting? If you have friends that want to play the game, then I would advise to get it. If you are playing it on your own, the lack of story, where characters are brought in to the game without explanation only to then be left out again will have you scratching your head puzzled as to what is going on. If this is you, then there are much better single player games out there for your money.
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