“The birth of a star.”
With Bungie+ Activision’s newest expansion for Destiny coming out soon, I have been getting more and more excited. However, there are apparently a lot of people who are super annoyed by Destiny and hate the game. My own husband doesn’t appreciate it, and my brother really isn’t a fan of it. Now, I’m a PC gamer (and have been all my life), but I am completely in love with Destiny. I thought I’d share my reasons for liking it – as well as some particulars I dislike – but I don’t consider this to count as a review of any kind. This is just my opinion from playing it on my friend’s PS4, and from watching him play.
One of the most common things I hear is that Destiny has ripped off Borderlands, Halo, WoW, and some elements of GTA all in one fell swoop. I can see how they can get that impression, but Destiny is an FPS RPG with MMO elements mixed into it. It’s a persistent world in which your character is able to interact and play with others on the internet in real-time, but one that can still be enjoyed solo. In fact, it’s this multiplayer, social interaction that really adds to Destiny’s strengths.
The multiplayer aspects of it are so incredibly like Halo, with all the map designs, modes, vehicles, and overall structure. The experience definitely makes me think of Halo, but it’s definitely still not a rip-off, like others have claimed. The multiplayer aspect is tight and direct, with a well-honed sense of direction that makes it fun and exciting without being completely unfair and obnoxious. Plus, you can level up, gaining Crucible Marks and Reputation, in order to further yourself in the PVP environment facets of Destiny’s gameplay. Alternatively, you can team up with friends in order to kill things in pairs or droves. You work together for the dropped loot and experience points, which brings to mind parts of Diablo and Borderlands.
The player menu is extremely simple and crisp. Your gear is displayed in a clean, organized fashion with various categories, with colors depicting the rarity of the items. There is also information provided for each, in a simple manner – such as Level and your Defensive Rating. The way the menu is laid out works perfectly for everyone, even those who have never played any MMOs or RPGs.
With yet another simplistic menu option, you are able to purchase new gear, emblems, and ammo. You can also trade in any encrypted items you may have, and use them to create more powerful items. The progression in terms of armor and weapons is definitely balanced, and is fair in relation to each mission offering up something new. This includes armor and ability upgrades, as well. The rarest gear will also have special properties, which are clearly and simplistically displayed. This works great for a wide variety of gamers, since not everyone reads at the same pace or level. Bungie definitely thought that one through.
The storyline is definitely interesting, but isn’t anything new and earth-shattering. It’s the basic Light vs. Dark storyline we’ve seen time and time again. However, the gameplay and amazing graphics make it compelling enough that I want to see it through. Bungie’s inclusion of the lore (Grimoire scores) are fantastic incentive to keep progressing. These scores can be obtained by encountering new enemies, locations, and/or people. The locations that you visit are visually stunning, and some of the levels have a definite Halo-like design. This, in a way, adds to the progression of the storyline and Grimoire scores.
Still, the game is not without its flaws. (Let me stress once more, though, that all of this is just my opinion.)
The raid is the main issue I have. In order for a player to reach the maximum level – 30 – in Destiny, they have to be equipped with gear that all gives Light 30. Light 30 gear is only obtained as either a super weird type that you only wear one at a time, or the gear from the Vault of Glass raid. This raid is only available once a week for rewards, which either come all at once or will give you everything except the one piece you need. This is because it’s done though an RNG (Random Number Generator) loot system. It can be highly frustrating to keep grinding away, but never get that one piece of armor you’ve been needing for weeks at a time.
The game can also be super repetitive when it comes to your daily missions, or bounties. You do these for faction rep and XP, and they are mostly recycled over from the previous day’s bounties. This is made even more frustrating by the lack of open-word structure within the game. While the planets are far from tiny, you can easily run a lap around each planet’s area in less than ten minutes. It’s not open in the way that Skyrim or GTA V is, so it quickly runs out of new areas to explore.
The PvP system provides some competitive fun for the aggressive multiplayer. It lets you match your Guardian with that of other people. These modes vary between the usual death matches of 6 vs 6, or 3 vs 3, or “capture the flag” (checkpoints). However, the lack of ranking or incentives apart from Daily Bounties is a bit of a downer.
All of that being said, there are far more positives than negatives for me when it comes to Destiny. The game is addicting, and is such an incredibly gorgeous game, with everything being smooth and intricately detailed. The walls, the blades of grass, and just…every little detail blows me away. The environment and each planet’s different horizon are stunning, and playing on PS4 with a big flat-screen is definitely the best way to go. Oh, and a sound bar. I’m pretty much in love with that.
What are your favorite things about Destiny? What do you dislike? Let me know in the comments below!
*All photos belong to Bungie/Activision