Destiny can make a claim to being the biggest game of the year with some degree of certainty, Bungie’s new release, their largest ever has been hyped, criticised and praised even before launch, so what
’s is the truth?
Well, it’s pretty darn good if you ask me, the whole feel of the game is very polished and despite my fears about content (following the beta play) I’ve found there is actually quite a lot to do. For those of you who played the Beta, you have already experienced the general gameplay, for those who have not I shall attempt to break it down.
The story itself is hardly the most gripping if I am honest, but the plot revolves around ‘The Traveller’ a huge orb like structure that allowed for significant human expansion, unfortunately for humanity ‘The Traveller’ has enemies, most notably the ambiguously named ‘The Darkness.’
Once ‘The Darkness’ caught up with ‘The Traveller’ the proverbial sh*t hits the fan and humanity eventually falls back to the one remaining safehaven city. You as a guardian are awoken to take the fight back and restore our place in the galaxy.
To be honest, if you play this game with friends you often don’t pay much attention to the cutscenes, the story is a little irrelevant to the experience and it has been said Bungie believe the game truly starts after the story finishes.
Most missions surrounding the story involve going to one of the Earth, Moon, Venus, Mars or a few other locations to complete the next segment of the narrative, mainly culminating in killing a lot of enemies, holding off a horde whilst your AI ghost hacks something or defeating a final boss.
The real joy of Destiny for me is the Strike missions, significantly harder missions that allow you and a fireteam of three people to challenge highly rated boss battles for better rewards, these can take anywhere from forty-five minutes to two hours depending on the level of your character.
Speaking of rewards, Destiny is truly a game for those who love a loot drop. Fighting waves of enemies in the hope of getting a rare piece of armour or weaponry. If you like games like Diablo, then I think there is some substance to saying Destiny would be enjoyable for you.
Upgrading your character is all important in Destiny, there are three races to pick from, and three sub-classes within that. In general terms however there is little difference between the Warlock (mage) Hunter (Sniper) or Titan (Assaiult) classes. All can use the weapons in the game, however each has a few special skill sets that differentiate them. Early in Destiny it really does make no difference, the later you get the more their abilities influence the gameplay however.
Ok let’s get to a key point, Destiny is not an MMO. Aside from the Tower, a sort of citadel (think Mass Effect) rarely do you come across more than four or five other player controlled characters. It reminds me more of GTA Online more than a Warcraft. Having said that the newly added Raids are more becoming of World of Warcraft than anything I’ve played on consoles previously.
The levelling system in Destiny is a little strange, the cap is twenty, which you can hit within a pretty short amount of time. Fortunately the weaponry and armour is what you really want to level anyway and that appears to continue going for someway.
Aside from all of this, Destiny contains a standalone multiplayer area called the Crucible – this is where you find the normal Team deathmatch, domination style game types. If you like Halo MP then this’ll suit you down to the ground and the more you play the better equipment you can unlock, this can also be used in the general gameplay. Personally I am more interested in the other bit, but for some this is a great addition.
So did Destiny live up to the hype, well yes and no. Is it an MMO for consoles, no, is it fun, enjoyable and the best game I have played on next-gen? – resoundingly yes.
I do feel DLC will play a major part of the future of my enjoyment, which is a shame, however there is plenty of action to work your way through before that day comes. I feel more variety could have been put into the weapons and enemies you fight on a grunt style level. At the same time, I find the boss battles very entertaining and enough of challenge to make it worth the effort.
Well done Bungie, you may not have made a game with the atmosphere and story of Halo, but you have made a wonderful edition to the world of gaming, a true next-gen title that looks fantastic, plays well and keeps your grinding for gear day after day.