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Friday, 26 September 2014

Review: Destiny

Has Destiny lived up to its hype?
I've been playing Destiny for just under a fortnight now, (it came out later here in the UK), so it's time to review it. I'll be sorting my review into different sections so here it is!

Graphics- I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful the graphics are in this game. It is not an understatement that this is a beautiful game. Each map is well designed and looks great with some nice little features in each section but my favourite map in regards to graphics and little extras has to be the Moon map.
You can see the detail on the Moon just from this image off of the internet
I particularly like how on the Moon map you can see the Earth rotating slightly and the decaying carcass of the ISS floating miles above; some nice detail which makes the game more enriching. Another good map for graphics is the Venus map where the foliage looks so beautifully designed that it feels like I am actually among a forest in the far future. Even the central hub called The Tower where you go in between missions is well detailed and they paid extra attention to making it a look as detailed as possible with you even being able to see ships flying around in the distance if you look carefully.

Gameplay- In regards to gameplay Destiny plays a lot like Halo which makes sense since Bungie made both games and the gameplay is very good in this regards. You can play as three separate classes: Titan, the typical Master Chief style of warrior, Hunter, a stealthy fighter used to sneaking up on opponents and Warlock, a fighter who can use a force-like magic called Light to blast your enemies apart.
The three different classes
Each one plays so differently and adds a whole new way of fighting battles. In my current playthrough I'm the Warlock class and my stepdad is a Titan and both play so differently but work so well in the game. It adds another level to the FPS genre which I thought had long started to become repetitive but Destiny adds extras other than the three classes. You have jets to fly around the map and even a bike that you can summon to blast around which adds further enjoyment. Destiny is a quasi-MMO with a typical campaign mode and a multiplayer mode where you can fight other players but one is much better than the other and I'll talk about that one first. The multiplayer mode is fantastic with it combining the best parts from all the great multiplayer modes of games like Halo, Call of Duty and Battlefield with the gameplay of Destiny. The different class types adds a new level of strategy which keeps you looking out for opponents; my stepdad being caught out by this on one game being repeatedly killed by a Hunter. I'm not a fan of FPS multiplayer but Destiny has captured my attention and I can easily say has the best multiplayer on a FPS since outside of a Battlefield game. It has even made me wonder why I stopped playing multiplayer on FPSs.
Oh yeah that's why
However the campaign mode is a massive let down. When I heard that Destiny was to be a MMO I assumed it would be like Star Wars: The Old Republic where you could have a massive free roam map and just get in a ship and fly to Mars or the Moon whenever you want with people joining in to help you fight a hordes of aliens. Well I got hordes right. On the campaign you just grind and grind your experience points up basically doing the same missions in different settings fighting the same enemies which slowly start to look like rejected enemies from Halo, (if that turns out to be true with Bungie making both games I wouldn't be surprised). Initially when fighting a horde it is challenging as you have to take into account the different enemy types coming at you but after the fourth horde it gets much easier and increasingly dull. Each mission gets repetitive with fighting through an army of aliens followed by a 'boss' fight consisting of fight a horde and a high level enemy, (occasionally at the same time), or do the same while defending your Ghost, (I'll explain in the campaign section). Another gripe with the campaign is how you start off always in the same area and not in different new areas. The game designers had made some beautiful sections and I wondered why they couldn't have just designed a small area for you to teleport into before going into the area where the mission is. Finally I dislike how in the campaign they throw everyone of different levels into the same map. On multiplayer I don't mind this but as enemies level up to the nearest player's level this can be bad if you arrive later to an area. I was level 5 and nearby was a level 14 player and it was virtually impossible to kill the enemy without them taking most of my life in two or three hits.

Storyline- Two words: Wasted opportunity. You start off being woken, or should I say being brought back to life, by a Ghost, a flying prism with the power to open doors, decipher computers and other such things who tells you that you died on Earth in Russia where they built ships to go colonise the solar system centuries ago. Thankfully he is voiced by one of my favourite actors Peter Dinklage.
He must have owed me because a Lannister always pays his debts
Shortly before that scene you get some exposition about centuries ago when humans first went to Mars they found a giant orb in the atmosphere of the red planet called The Traveler which drastically improved the planet's technology allowing humans to terraform planets like Venus and colonise them. Then The Darkness came, (who I don't think believed in a thing called love), who was the enemy of The Traveler who lent its power to alien sects who crushed the human race and made them hide in a few cities scattered across the solar system. You play as a Guardian who must fight the darkness. In this paragraph I have given the entire exposition that the game gives. Well it gives more but you have to go out of the game, onto a website and then read up about the game's lore. I would understand if it was Star Wars or the Witcher who has had an established lore for years so didn't need to have it in the game but this is a new franchise! I've managed to read the lore on the website and it is detailed and enthralling and I just wondered why it isn't in the game. All the great game series that have lore like the Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age and Mass Effect have this in the game so why couldn't Destiny? Also the story is pitifully short at 8 hours, just over the same length as the Red Dead Redemption DLC Undead Nightmare which is disappointing.

Final Thoughts- Despite some glaring issues (such as the removal of the Loot Cave!) Destiny is good but could have some improvements. Well when I say have I mean a lot. Luckily there are plans to add more DLCs, expansions and other extras over a period of ten years but I am worried that Activision who also makes the game will get greedy and charge extortionate prices for these extras on consoles while those lucky to get it on PC later may very well get the full game and extras for much cheaper, which I definitely did not do with Dragon Age: Origins. I am optimistic about the future for the game and with such good gameplay, the best graphics that I have ever seen and the prospect of this being increased in the near future it is time to give it a score. For the multiplayer, graphics and gameplay I am giving Destiny 6.5/10 but with the lack of story and dull missions on campaign mode I cannot give it any higher.

Thanks for reading and leave any comments on the review as well as suggesting future posts. Also if you think I shouldn't do another game review just say, I don't want to annoy people by posting bad/boring/possibly bias reviews.

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