PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Unless you were living under a rock last week, you took note of the highly anticipated release of Destiny, the MMO-styled first person shooter from Halo developer, Bungie. As of now, reviews of the game have drawn a partisan divide between two camps of players who have come to see the game in very different lights. Unlike an actual review, this article will focus more on the qualities that I noticed within my own experience without gauging the overall quality of the title.
For a game that is built to be exclusively online experience, the ability to communicate with others is relativity lacking. Talking to other players is only allowed when you have joined a fire-team with them. This would be all well and good, except for the fact that I rarely encountered a situation where a level was too difficult to beat on my own. In all honesty, I believe that a reasonably skilled player could run through the majority of the campaign solo. While it does seem like a worthy undertaking for Bungie to modify the chat options, rarely during my running-and-gunning, or crucible battles, did I encounter another person with a headset. Given that this type of first person shooter requires little in the way of co-operation between players, the chat feature seems less important in the grand scheme of things.
After my first couple of runs in Old Russia, I had begun to notice that some of the levels were pretty similar. By the time I unlocked the Moon, the realization dawned on me that most missions on a given planet use the same map layout, just with a different point of entry. There were some missions that had areas specific to the task at hand, but these were few and far between. Due to the overall size of the game, I didn’t really mind that the developers had decided to reuse maps, especially since I wasn’t on any one planet for an extended amount of time. Unlike some games, Destiny‘s reusing of maps is a little more forgivable considering that each planet has potential to increase in diversity with updates.
Reading through some of the reviews from other websites, I found that most people were unimpressed with the depth of the story. The whole fighting between the Guardians and the Fallen was a little confusing at first, but how often does a first person shooter have a captivating story to tell? FPS games are built to be dialogue heavy; these games find their merit in multiplayer modes, slick game mechanics and the best graphics that any given system can render. As an example, think back to the critically acclaimed FPS, Left for Dead–the entire game had maybe 30 seconds of back story. Sometimes it doesn’t take complex plotlines and Game of Thrones-style suspense to make a good game. Often, we can find the sublime excellence in simplicity. The minimalistic nature of Destiny’s plot helps to steer it away from being too linear, and gives each player their own experience as a Guardian.
On a closing note, I differ from the most of the internet community. Where they see Destiny as a game that fails to meet its hype, I see it as a game with the potential to become much better with expansion and updates. Games are no longer static entities which are set in stone, now they can be living things that change and evolve based on consumer demand. Numerous MMO’s look different from their original incarnation, and so too might Destiny come to change in time.