Destiny is a universe jam packed full of adventure. Unfortunately, most of those adventures end up being repetitive and unimaginative.
You are The Awoken, a being resurrected by a mysterious floating orb known only as The Traveller. Not long after finding your bearings you are given the daunting quest to stop the coming evil called The Darkness. Once given your first weapon and fair share of armour, you and your trusted Ghost set off into the deep recesses of space to find a way to defeat the looming threat.
The premise for Destiny is a simple one, but it gets the job done by giving you an excuse to fly around in a ship going to different planets and shooting aliens in the face. One the initial plot is force fed to you through cutscenes, the game seems to forget that there was ever a story, or at least goes to great lengths to try and avoid a story.
All missions tied to the campaign all involve traveling into an enemy stronghold to let Ghost (also known as the Dinkle-bot) scan a thing, kill waves of enemies, wait until he decides he’s finished, then listen as he rambles on about how “extraordinary” the discover was before the mission ends and the subject is never talked about again.
This repetitive nature means there’s little variation in the games main story, and for players to get any sort of variety they need to turn to strike missions (Raids) and the crucible (multiplayer PvP).
Playing these modes separate from the campaign allows you to take your character and level them by battling against both high level enemies and other player characters. This acts as a double edge sword as it allows players to earn high level loot and experience, but it also allows players to power level to a point where the story is no longer a challenge and it becomes a tedious grind fest with little reward. It’s a shame that this is an option, since playing Destiny’s story mode with the correct levelling is an incredibly engaging shooting romp.
Destiny takes the standard mechanics for a sci-fi shooting game and mixes in a few MMO elements to help spice things up. When you choose either story missions or free roaming, you’re dropped into a starting location for each planet and told to get to a mission start point somewhere across the map however you can. Be it on foot or by Star Wars speed bike (known as Sparrows), you are left to your own devices.
During this time you explore, other players can be found running around and performing their own missions. You can team up with the players and fight off enemies together, but it’s not long before you have to part ways. Destiny likes to play the illusions of being a persistent MMO, but leaves out the core mechanics that make it slightly underwhelming.
There is no world chat system, meaning unless someone is in your party, you can’t use a microphone to communicate with them. Most annoying of all, if you enter a dungeon or story mission with another player by your side they will simply fade away in front of you, as the game suddenly decides it wants to be a single player affair.
Destiny’s raids are also a good example of a good MMO mechanic not fully implemented. Raids consist of three guardians venturing into an enemy base to fight a giant boss in hopes of collecting some sweet loot. The three man team works well, often having players silently assign roles of the healer, tank and sniper to one another. It’s during these raids that Destiny feels most like a multiplayer experience, but it’s also the time that Destiny’s biggest flaw rears its ugly head.
Destiny’s loot system is broken.
When playing online with or against other players, you are sometimes rewarded with rare loot drops or blueprints to build rare weapons. It would be expected that the best players in the match would be rewarded these items, but instead Destiny goes for randomly giving players loot, with their performance having zero effect on what rewards they get.
This leads to many players not bothering to participate in matches, or some purposely letting themselves die to make the game end faster, all so they can earn new weapons. This has made the PvP a difficult mess to play, and Bungie need to address this issue before the game become unplayable.
It may sound like I don’t like Destiny, but don’t get me wrong; it’s a fantastic space shooter. But with the amount of hype that was built around it, it’s hard not to feel a little let down by the end product. With Bungie constantly updating and changing the game every week it’s clear that Destiny isn’t complete yet, but what’s there is a highly competent shooter with some fantastic moments and a lot of room for improvement.
Should you play Destiny?
hold off until Bungie patches and fixed the issues that keep this game from be legendary
Review copy supplied by Activision