Destiny Review: Still Becoming A Legend

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Beautiful vistas are the norm in Destiny

There is some truth when Activision and Bungie have said the end of this game is the beginning of Destiny. As you approach the height in levels, you unlock more features in the game. At level 15, you unlock your first subclass. At level 16, you unlock Strike playlists allowing you to pursue the dungeon runs on each planet with your team to work together in leveling up. At level 18, you get access to Exotic and Legendary armor. At level 20, you’ve reached the level cap for your first class, but you can extend beyond that as you work with your other subclasses and collect Light in new armor packages. The first online raids will be September 16, 2014 and the required level will be level 26.

When Bungie, Activision, or I say the game starts later, the story is important as it creates and begins to show this world to you, but the game continues to shine after the story finishes through its online Co-op, Strikes, and to a lesser extent, the PvP Crucible. The gameplay is after all the reason you make it through the story.

Destiny tries to do a couple things very well and that is to create a compelling, intense, variety of worlds to share with friends. It succeeds at three out of the four.

The Crucible is a traditional online multiplayer zone where you play against other players. Teams of 3 or 6 face off in a couple modes where you can control bases or collect salvage. Complete with maps from all 4 worlds, turrets, and sparrows. The matchmaking is done well as it works balancing newer players and those already well on their way to becoming legends. As you level up higher, the more content in the multiplayer becomes available. It’s not as fast as a game like Titanfall, but if you’ve played Halo or Call of Duty, the speed of the game will be a bit familiar.

Even after finishing the game there are currently only two modes available and one is currently a special weekend event. I will continue to play this game and update as necessary, but that is slim pickings in modes unlike what was on display at Gamescom from Bungie. It seems they believe holding back modes for event fodder is a good idea. I completely disagree. Raids can be events. Iron Banner matches can be events. Your multiplayer PvP needs multiple modes to remain interesting. They know this as they put them on display. At best, this is a bad idea to be rectified as I level up more. At worst, these modes will remain unavailable outside events and put behind expansion packs. I’m not sure, but this is a pretty big downside for PvP fans. I surely hope it is the former.

Fireteam about to go wreck the Vex!

The Strikes are present on each world and they exist as dungeon runs where you encounter bigger and bigger bosses as you carve your way to the final boss. Grab your 3 man fireteam with your friends or matchmaking with others the game facilitates. These strike missions are hard and they will ask you to be very comfortable with your abilities and weapons. Your team will have to be in communication on where they are and how you want to approach an enemy to hit its weak points and where the swarms will be coming from to distract you.

The generic story is necessary to an MMO featuring many of the same protagonist, but the generic characters are not.

The rest of the game is all cooperative. After your first mission walkthrough, you can run with friends online or people you meet in the Tower, the central hub of the last city on Earth. It makes the missions move a bit faster as the story pushes you through the swamp of information on what you’re doing each time you touch down on a planet. The game can become a bit burdensome playing by yourself, but watching teammates and helping them, and having that person to help you is a boon to keeping you going through.

Hunter – Miss Demi Noir

This is Destiny. You won’t get what this game is in 3-4 hours. Everything isn’t available to you right away. The story will first expand in December, but right now this is what’s available. I’ve played the game over 20 hours splitting time between an Awoken female Hunter I dub Miss Demi Noir and a Human male Warlock I dub Javier Bombardem. I’ve really enjoyed my time with this game even after I’ve finished it, however, there are some hiccups in this new IP as Bungie tries to introduce you to this world as I’ve alluded to above.

Some complaints are about what the game didn’t attempt to do and these bare no ground on how I rate the experience. I’d love to have a Sparrow racing game put into Destiny. I’d love to be able to do tricks while riding my Sparrow. I’d love some kind of loading screen mini-game as you fly from planet to planet as you give your ship more of a reason to exist beyond pretty sky scenery.

Some of my complaints are about what the game doesn’t do well, such as an over-reliance on an off screen companion app to explain the lore of the game. There are times where you are on a planet not in a mission and a map of the planet is not available, even in said off-screen companion. The generic story is necessary to an MMO featuring many of the same protagonist, but the generic characters are not. You have no concept of why the Awoken and the Exo are allied guardians with the Humans of Earth. Your character is rarely if ever proactive in figuring out it’s role or seeking out help from its people. Even MMORPGs like World of Warcraft explain who your character is and what race they are.

Pondering my existence…


Destiny tries to do a couple things very well and that is to create a compelling, intense, variety of worlds to share with friends. It succeeds at three out of the four. The story takes too long to introduce anything really tangible in terms of non-NPC characters and it doesn’t begin to clarify as much as you would like. Instead, it relies upon the Grimoire in the Destiny app on your phone to provide all of the background information for you. However, the game isn’t unintelligible, it does get deeper, there are more variables, and it maintains intensity and fun in firefights. The vistas look amazing as you can see in these images, which were all screencapped on my PS4. The worlds have entire landscapes built in them for you to explore. The music ups intensity in fights and lets you take the world in outside of them. You’ll see people traveling in groups, you’ll travel in a group, or you may be by yourself and join people for a public event.

It falls a bit short on the promise of its name and its tagline, but Destiny has at least began a fun journey to becoming legend.

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