Destiny has been out about 2 weeks now. Given the hype surrounding the game, Destiny showed plenty of promise when we had our time with the beta couple of weeks back. To give our readers a broader perspective on the game, I had to dive deeper into the mechanics, missions, and classes to explore its MMO aspects at the same time. After a good 2 weeks, I have a level 24 Titan. For those who aren’t familiar, Destiny was announced first at E3 2013 and developed by Bungie. In a nutshell, Destiny is a first person shooter infused with MMO elements and addictive looting. So how does the game fare? We lay it down for you in our Destiny review.
Destiny takes place in a near future, a post apocalyptical setting. Technology is thriving and humans are not alone. Mankind is on the verge of extinction and while aliens now occupy Earth, moon, Venus and Mars. You are one of the many guardians commissioned to protect what’s left of humanity. Your journey begins on new Earth and you’d be frequent flying to “the tower” the last standing safe haven for humanity. It is at the tower that you’re officially introduced to the game mechanics. As you dive into your role, you pick 1 of 3 classes, the Titan, Warlock and the hunter. The 3 classes deviate in play styles with Titans preferring a more melee, close combat approach. Warlock players prefer to wield their force like powers and hunters are extremely agile and quick in their approach. Each of these classes have the option to further specialize into specific classes at level 15. While the idea works for the most part, I must say more could have been done in the design of the roles. For instance, a Titan should be able to tank fights in a strike while a hunter is chipping away at the boss. Unfortunately, all 3 classes play too similarly to each other.
The game in itself is menu driven and there’s a main story and an attached advised level to participate. Pick your destination and you’re off ready to begin your mission. Most missions involve moving from one point to the next before a climatic boss fight. The fights can get pretty challenging with endless hordes of enemies heading your way. The game shines particularly in moments like this. Synthesizing and mustering all your abilities, you customize your guardian to fit your type of play. Weapons and loots are a big part of the game. After playing this game for some time, the loot system is far from perfect. Mobs basically drop loots in accordance to your level. For rare/legendary/exotic loot drops are in the form of engrams. These engrams need to be brought back to the tower and “decrypted” if you may. Bungie has already indicated that the loot system will be addressed in an upcoming fix. Gear collection is strongly inspired by popular MMO RPG’s out there.
Visuals and sounds are great plus points for destiny. In our hands on we acknowledged Destiny’s sense of size and praised it’s boldness for giving players vast and varied environments. The final product does not disappoint. The varied environments are well designed and do not feel like a copy paste. Each area feels intricately designed. Big environments are however not without its shortcomings and bugs. Players were quick to pinpoint loop holes like the famous “Loot caves” which have been fixed by bungie a few days back with the company stating that that was not the intended way they expected people to be playing the game.
To judge this game fairly, the developers have also advised players to stick with the game beyond the first 20 hours before arriving at a judgment. To be fair to them, Destiny while not perfect has quite a decent end game. Players hunt for “light” gear to level beyond 20. These light gears are acquired by a player either joining 1 of 3 factions collecting faction points. Strike missions, crucibles, bounties, main story quests will reward a player with currency which can be used to acquire legendary gear. The catch however is a huge sink investment of time to obtain such currency making it not exactly a pick up and play friendly game.
Destiny has quite a lineup of gameplay modes. PVE include strikes which allow you to pair up with your friends to participate in. This is mostly good fun but is severely lacking an in game communicator to strategize boss fights. This comes as a surprise as most MMO’s require some form of coordination. Apart from the built in dance moves, pointing and waving, I felt the severe lack of being able to express myself. Crucible matches the PVP pits players against players in variants of capture the flag, vehicle fights, competitive multiplayer, and team death match. The experience is very much a positive one. No noticeable latency issues were experienced. Most of the fights would ultimately reward players with gear, XP and crucible marks which could be used in game to exchange for legendary items.
Reviewing this game has been one of the tougher jobs I’ve done in a while. It isn’t exactly the most original idea but not taking away anything from the game, Destiny is still immersive and ultimately fun. It mashes gameplay elements from various shooters and tries to produce a masterful end product. Its story and missions can grow quite repetitive especially after 20 hours in. You don’t get a clear sense of its end because all the gear hunting eventually results in the same thing you’ve been doing for the past 20 hours. While we’ve yet to participate in the raids to comment about it, the gear hunting process has been quite a drag and prior to its loot update we’re holding out to see if the loot system gets a more balanced fix. We still recommend giving this game a shot, after all it made 500 million within its first 24 hours. Destiny might be a “been there done that” affair for some people, but if you enjoy games of this genre, feel free to check this one out. Destiny is available on last generation consoles PS3, X360 and next gen machines PS4 and Xbox One.
Stay tuned for more updates on Destiny and keep it lively on POPCulture Online.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
by Kenneth Choong
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