Destiny Has A Lot To Live Up To - Review
Destiny for Xbox and PlayStation has a lot to live up to: the massively multiplayer online shooter was developed by Bungie, the creators of the popular game franchise Halo. So, can the game live up to the high expectations set by its predecessors?
Before the game itself begins, you first must choose one of three unique classes- Titan, Hunter, or Warlock, and a race. The races are purely cosmetic, but the classes offer different advantages and appeal to varying play styles. Although character customization seems to be lacking compared to something like the Elder Scrolls games, Destiny is first person, so it’s not a major deterrent as you won’t be seeing your character often.
Beginning your journey in the game, you are resurrected in a dystopian future Earth as a Guardian, a protector of the Last City. Your first task is to escape a race of interstellar pirates known as the Fallen in order to reach said City, and you are eventually introduced to a major social hub of the game, the Tower. In your efforts to defend the Last City, you search for a malevolent force called the Darkness, which aims to destroy the Traveler, a powerful being watching over the city you swore to protect. Your travels send you to the moon to face the insect-like Hive, to Venus to fight a robotic, time controlling race called the Vex, and to Mars to face off against the brutish Cabal.
The story of Destiny is simple enough, but how the game plays is almost always more important. At surface level, the game looks stunning, and the soundtrack is beautiful. The responsive feel of Halo is carried over to Destiny, and it truly shows with how great the game feels to play. Once you’ve completed the main storyline of the game, many activities exist in which you can compete against a computer controlled enemy or other players, which extends the lifetime of the game significantly. Replayability is a core component of the game, as countless achievements are always looming over you, and it is possible to create up to three different characters to gear up. Whether you enjoy collecting all of Destiny’s unique weapons and armor, or just trying to get better at competing with other players, there’s bound to be something you’re interested in even after completing the game.
The game’s shortfalls are apparent, despite all of its good qualities. The severe lack of a story causes the game to lose attachment and meaning, and often feels like Bungie simply cut corners in order to meet a deadline when producing this game. Even though the story is a measly four hours long, players are often left confused and with no explanation as to what they are currently doing and why. It’s easy to forget exactly what you’re fighting for in Destiny, and the repetitive level designs and gameplay don’t help its case. Pieces of lore called Grimoire Cards are supposed to help with understanding the game’s story, but they are very inconvenient to access, as you need to login to Bungie’s website online to view them in the first place.
Destiny wouldn’t be itself without a huge array of loot to collect. Many different types of weapons and armors exist in the game, but it’s easy to be at a disadvantage using your favorites since specific gun types are more powerful than others as updates for the game are developed. The act of actually getting loot is completely random, which can result in frustration attempting to gain a specific piece of gear.
The vanilla, untouched version of Destiny is simply mediocre with a lackluster story and a shortage of things to actually do after a point, but the expansions for the game definitely help breathe life into it. The Dark Below, Destiny’s first expansion, tasks you with destroying Crota, the God King of the Hive. New content is added in the form of a new strike, new weapons to collect, and a new raid in which you group up with five other Guardians to defeat Crota himself. A second expansion, House of Wolves, came later on, and introduced a new major game hub called the Reef, home to a race known as the Awoken. This expansion tasks you with capturing Skolas, Kell of the Fallen, and introduces a horde mode called Prison of Elders, where you can face off against waves of enemies and bosses in an arena to claim rewards. A competitive PVP game mode called Trials of Osiris was also added, which appeals to players who favor the PVP side of the game.
The third expansion, The Taken King, adds a lot to Destiny in the form of a revamped questing system, a much improved story, new classes, weapons, and secrets. The story consists of a collective effort between races to face off against Oryx, the powerful son of Crota, who has been killed. Much of the expansion is centered around Oryx’s Dreadnaught, a colossal sized ship where Guardians can encounter a new race called the Taken.
The core foundation of Destiny remains unchanged throughout all the expansions, but a massive amount of new content, an improved story, more variety and improved weapon and gear systems have greatly improved the state of Destiny, surely warranting a purchase.