Welcome to part 2 of the Frugal Gaming Destiny review! As Destiny’s content differs the more you play, our review is in 3 parts. At this point I’ve just reached level 20, completed the story missions and have spent a good few hours with it’s competitive multiplayer modes. And the main problem I’m having? I want more.
It seems the main criticism Destiny is receiving is from a lack of content, but I disagree with this. On the surface, it might seem that 4 worlds and 20-ish missions is a little light. But as I progress, the replay factor is becoming more and more apparent. Heroic Strike missions where difficutly is ramped up. Random world encounters that band together everyone currently in that zone. Weekly and daily specialised missions to earn special loot. There’s always something to do, and as the DLC inevitably starts to roll out, Destiny will only continue to expand and grow.
No, when I say I want more, it’s because Destiny is so satisfying to play. I simply don’t want it to stop. I’ve battled every alien race now, and each one is different and challenging. You can’t get close to the Cabal. Don’t aim for the Vex’s heads. These little nuances and AI differences make for a real variety, and keep the gamer constantly on his toes. An MMO is always going to be repetitive in it’s nature, but the gameplay is so satisfying and balanced here that this isn’t an issue. Bungie have spent their years refining the FPS, and it shows all throughout Destiny.
I would have liked to have seen more variation and enemy types within each species, but then I stop and think. If there’s 4/5 enemy types for each faction, then we’re already looking at more enemy types than any of the Halo games. Once again, I want more. Not because there isn’t sufficient content there already, but because it’s so good, I don’t want it to end.
The story (or complete lack of it) is undoubtedly a disappointment. I can’t recall any of the characters names, or indeed anything that happened during my playthrough. I love narrative in games, so this was especially disappointing. The game does well in setting the scene and tone through the design of the levels and of the warring factions, but it still felt like a large part of the game was missing due to a lack of narrative.
Another complaint I have is the complete lack of instruction or explanation the game gives to almost all of it’s mechanics. I’ve found myself collecting Spinmetal or Spirit Bloom, with absolutely no tips on what to do with them. It’s often the case that games these days hold a player’s hand far too much, but it feels that Destiny is trying to establish it’s own game language and methods without including the player. As time has passed I’ve found out processes and techniques from perseverance and other players, but it would have been nice if the game was able to show me these things from the start.
As you can see, these criticisms are all fairly minor, as the game is fantastic. It’s deceptively complex in it’s scope and ambition, something for which perhaps it’s not given the full credit it deserves. As it’s combining the best bits of already great games, it’s hard to see Destiny as a new entity, rather a collection of already-done features. But Destiny IS doing something new, as this kind of game hasn’t been seen before. World of Warcraft has this kind of scope and world environments, but lacks the engaging gameplay and graphics. Call of Duty has this kind of graphical prowess and gunplay, but it’s nowhere near as in-depth and open-ended. As I continue to gain gear and delve further into the Crucible deathmatches, I see a game that still has a lot to offer, 20 hours in. I’ll be concluding my review in part 3, after I’ve played more of the higher-level level content and advanced further.
Destiny has started something that will only get better. Along with Titanfall and Watch Dogs, the next generation of gaming is off to a slower start than we initially expected, but the potential we are seeing is truly exciting. And I can’t wait to play more.