It’s hard to play Destiny and not say to yourself: “Why didn’t they do this?”
It’s a game that I struggle to find exactly how to convey how I feel about it. It is a piece of software I have played a good bit of and enjoyed. I definitely got more than my money’s worth. The game is a decent game, though there are strange oversights in game design choices. It’s obvious things were left out due to prioritizing and time constraints. When you put a game like this in front of me I can’t help but feel like the game I wanted is the same game the developers wanted, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices. The game was released too soon, but if it waited any longer it would’ve had to go up against some games that are already guaranteed hits. With that said, anyone that has more of a grasp on the games industry than the average consumer can understand why the game was released when it was. Though it doesn’t justify it. It’s a case of where business outweighs passion. Everyone has to make their money.
The shooting in this game is solid. It’s fun. It’s one of the huge parts as to why I kept playing this game. The core mechanics of the game are great. The shooting felt solid. Your weapons and actions seem like they carry weight. I was worried about the controls feeling floaty, but it is easy to get immersed while doing any of the missions that Destiny offers. Another thing the game does right is the world. At least with the way it looks. Looking up at the sky makes you feel like you’re a small part in a huge game, but when you’re going through the zones of each planet(or moon). You start to realize that the world isn’t that large. This isn’t really a problem for me as the world in most games of this nature aren’t particularly that vast. It’s all about knowing what to expect. I didn’t expect the world to be the size of a MMO. When running through caves and old facilities, everything looked well detailed. The environments not being the slightest bit destructible did strike me as odd. I do wish there was a dynamic weather system or perhaps different gravity on each of the planets. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was able to do this, but Destiny couldn’t. Strange. It’s small things like that, that stop the game from being a great game. It’s a fun game when everything is fresh and new, but without those small features like being able to start a mission while you’re already on a planet, dynamic weather, and a bit more variety in the way encounters and missions happen. It quickly becomes this nice looking, well handling, but mundane shooter. They’ve showed new content for the game with the next expansion that was announced before the game was even released. I’m sure everyone wants new content, but some quality of life changes seem more appealing to me than having another handful of missions, strikes, and gear to go through. The missions right now often have me summoning my Ghost to examine some object while I “defend” it. Shoot, reload, repeat. The strikes are also pretty much the same with the exception of a bullet sponge boss as the end that summons waves of enemies that you have to dispatch until you have downed the boss. I’m expecting there to be a huge patch that jumps the game into a state of where it should have been when it was released, but right now Bungie has to show that they really want Destiny to be this great game. In its current state and since the release of the game I’m skeptical. Even with the recent changes to the game. They are welcomed, but it feels like this stuff should have been in the game when it was released.
The other big reason that I continued to play this game is that I have friends that play this game. Though a few of them are starting to peel off from it. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have spent as much time with the game as I did had I not had friends that already played it. The game not having any kind of in-game voice chat doesn’t help either. I often sit and stare at the screen when I’m in the tower asking myself “Why can’t I talk to these people?” Who releases a game in 2014, that is online, with no kind of social interaction other than four emotes. It’s baffling. I see the potential that the game has, but I’m concerned that it won’t meet that potential, or it will do so too late. Maybe deep down I was expecting this evolving world to happen. At least I wanted it to be that, but I knew that some of the things they talked about during the press conferences seemed to good to be true. Once I played the alpha and the beta I knew exactly what the game was going to be. It’s funny, I hear some people say that the alpha/beta turned them off from buying the game, because the full game can’t be much different. They were right.
There is as online competitive portion of the game called ‘The Crucible.’ It’s fun, just like Halo’s online modes were fun. There’s something to be said about bringing a character that you’ve been leveling and gearing up into an arena type atmosphere. You feel like it’s your turn to show others what you can do. It’s possibly just me, I always like games that have RPG elements and you get to put your characters up against others. Though the only time your level and gear matter is when the “Iron Banner” event is going on. Did I mention they have events? It’s something that offers a new ‘game mode’ for a duration to add some variety to gameplay. So far it’s only been rep farming to gain gear. To me, that’s not really all that game changing. It’s just locking out content the game already has. Though it being an online game about progression, it would’ve been nice to get some kind of reward for performing well in The Crucible that others would notice. The Crucible is presented as this activity that guardians do for glory, but me finishing the game with a good K/D ratio and not receiving a reward when a guy who joined the game right before it ended does receive one is disheartening. They took the easy way out and decided that everyone should be able to progress toward crucible gear no matter what their skill level is. I agree with this, but for someone to dedicate time and effort to getting better. There should be some kind of incentive to want to do well in Crucible. A safe decision, but one I wish they would have reconsidered. Once again this portion of the game is fun, but it’s lacking features that modern-day gamers would expect. The game modes are lacking and the ability to not be able to voice chat with your team is frustrating. Some of the netcode could use some work also. I shouldn’t be able to melee a player with both of us dying as a result. They promote The Crucible as this serious gametype, but that happening takes away from it. All in all I find myself having fun in The Crucible, but feeling just like another player when it comes to my rewards and my chance at gear at the end of the match makes me wonder. Why am I trying to win so hard? If I only gain a bit more rep. People can tell you’ve been in the Vault of Glass(which is claimed to be the hardest challenge Destiny has to offer) or that you’ve completed the Nightfall of the week. Why can’t people know that I excel in The Crucible?
I’m torn on how I feel about the game. As a game that you play for a couple of hours with friends or by yourself it’s decent. However, they intend on this being something you’ll be playing for years to come. In its current state I just don’t see it being something people will be playing years down the road. The free game Warframe which shows some similarities to this game releases content updates that cost nothing. I’ve already paid for Destiny and I feel like that’s all the money they deserve from me.
Unless I see a huge update that fixes the problems this game has I can’t justify spending money on the DLC that they have obviously had planned for a while now. It seems shady.
Another huge part of the game is the Vault of Glass. It’s a mmo raiding styled activity that is tailored for a FPS. A great idea. Going through the raid the first time it was fun for me. I’ve played MMOs before and I was excited to try out raiding for an FPS. The mechanics of two boss encounters are clever and require teamwork. It added a nice dynamic. However it leaves me to wonder why didn’t the strikes or missions with bosses have as much thought put into them. The portion of the raid where you sneak around feels like it doesn’t belong in a game though. You and five other people sneaking around just seems disjointed. I feel as if they could have came up with something more clever like splitting the team into three groups where they have a switch to press at the same time to disable the sentries.
So a great deal of issues. Missing content that was obviously there if you check out old E3 videos. Just so many things that seem to have went awry with this game. It’s a fun game at its core, but it’s hard to be too excited about it in its current state and for upcoming DLC.