Destiny is from the same developer who gave us the halo franchise and with this brand new first person shooter we get a few MMO elements thrown in for good measure. If you’re a gamer that hasn’t been stranded on a desert island for a year or so, you've no doubt heard about this much hyped, long awaited game.
It's been touted as a next generation experience in the same vein as watch dogs, with an advertising campaign that probably cost nearly as much as what it did to actually make the game. That brings me to my first real issue with Destiny and its hype machine that being the term 'next-gen experience', unless of course you can have a next gen experience on previous gen hardware such as the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
Especially when making Destiny a cross generation game looks to of affected aspects of the game such as graphics, which are nothing mind blowing and would even come close to games made leading up to the release of the Xbox One and Playstation 4, such as the last of us. Having said that graphics aren't everything and it's not that Destiny looks bad, with detailed character models and enemy types, Destiny definitely holds its own. Its main let downs are when it comes to textures and re-hashed locations such as landscapes and corridors.
The story in Destiny does very little to grab your attention with the back story being more interesting than the one that is actually taking place. I’m kind of looking forward to a game from Bungie set during the era when the traveler first arrived on Earth and its enemy soon followed resulting in a huge battle that is only vaguely mentioned in this game. With a story that lacks the ability to engross you in its proceedings I was a little miffed when I went back to play through some of the story missions only to find that i had to sit through the cut-scenes again in their entirety. While i understand not allowing you to skip cut-scenes on the first playthrough, not being able to skip them on future playthroughs is something that seems to be a bit of an oversight. I like replaying the missions yet having to watch the same cut scenes again and again is definitely something of a deterrent.
Character creation gives you plenty of options to give your guardian plenty of personality as well as different classes to add to the re-playability. Upgrading your character is simple and gives a nice little bonus to what could have been nothing more than a generic shooter. With class specific armor and abilities and gun play that is carried on from Bungies previous titles, the gameplay of Destiny is a real highlight... depending on the way you approach it.
My time playing Destiny was mostly by my little lonesome and it's playing it like this that really bring out some flaws, particularly with the enemy AI.
Despite a few spots I never really found Destiny to be too much of a challenge considering the fact that for the most part I could just hang back and pick the enemies off one by one. Other times I found myself backed into a corner thinking that things were about to get intense only to find that the enemies backed off when they reached what I could only perceive as being an invisible wall. Meaning I could just go forward, see an enemy, pick them off and have them do absolutely nothing about it. That and clearing out an entire room of bad guys using pretty much nothing more than the melee attack made a lot of the missions a cakewalk, especially on those earlier missions.
After leveling up a bit I had more fun going back and replaying missions being an overpowered badass throwing caution to the wind and leaving my enemy dead at my feet not even breaking a sweat, trying of course to forget about the fact that I could just hang back and pick them off. Having since played through some story missions and strikes with other players you come to the realization that Destiny is way more fun played like you and your companions are an unstoppable force in the solar system.
The boss battles for the most part are action packed and varied, and if you don’t have your wits about you, you could easily be overwhelmed by the non-stop barrage of enemies, making for some epic battles. With the challenging boss battles I really got a great sense of accomplishment when I finally downed the often times massive adversary. Once again though, I sometimes found myself let down by an aspect of Destiny such as level design. When I would find an easy way to just pick the big guys off with little to no effort.
Strikes and patrols are pretty much just side missions with strikes being the more satisfying of the two. Being matched up with two other guardians and working together to complete objectives ending with one of those epic boss battles is really something that brings across that sense of comradery. Helping each other out from reviving a fallen team mate to distracting a boss that may be giving your fellow guardian a little bit too much heat, make the strikes in Destiny definitely worth replaying and are really hard to find fault with.
Patrols on the other hand are pretty much just free roam sections with re-spawning enemies and minor missions scattered across the landscape consisting of pretty much nothing more than kill enemies and collect whatever they drop. Patrols and free roaming wear thin pretty quickly and if you see some cool structure you would like to explore off in the distance you’re kidding yourself if you think you can get to it to have a look around as our annoying friend Mr. Invisible Wall rears its ugly head again.
The world of Destiny is pretty big if only there was something in it besides a couple of loot crates in each section. The feeling that it has been held back by older consoles is quite evident. Not to mention the feeling that unfortunately it’s another victim of the hype machine and the quest for that truly 'next-gen experience'. Once you push all that to the side and realize that, yes, it has flaws like repetitive mission structure and wonky enemy AI you can sit back and enjoy a pretty damn good First Person Shooter with other attributes chucked in to help make it even more enjoyable. It’s a game that comes down to at times having good reflexes and with its fast paced action sequences, can be quite a thrilling experience. As long as you don’t expect it to deliver the world, you and your mates can just enjoy it for what it is and not what the hype machine was saying it would be.
I’m giving Destiny a 7.3 out of 10
I'll be giving my thoughts on Destiny's multiplayer in the next few days so be sure to check back and subscribe to our channel for more independent game and movie reviews.