One thing will always be entertaining to me; when I am so good in a game that it pisses people off. Played some Destiny PVP hoping for a Mote of Light and kept killing some enemy player over and over. He and 2 other players had to gang up on me for him to finally kill me and he then proceeded to teabag. I spawned, pulled out my sniper, took his head off from across the map and started dancing.
It’s not all terrible moments at least.
The more I read the Destiny forums, the more I really want to kill these people.
"You can’t say Destiny is bad because it doesn’t have that much content since it’s not finished yet."
If it’s not finished yet then why can I walk into a store and buy it, AT FULL PRICE? It’s a cash farm for Activision and apparently there’s at least tens of thousands of ignorant sods trapped it in already, that are willingly staying.
I fucking hate people like that. They need to all fucking choke.
A little introduction for this review; I have played, at the time of writing this, for about 55 hours. I am Level 26 and, for those that actually care about this, I have a 2.02 K/D in the Crucible. Suffice it to say, I’ve played the game to an extensive enough point that I now feel as though I have sunk enough time into it to finally discuss it properly. If you want the short version, scroll all the way down.
About two years ago a friend of mine preordered Destiny. This was prior to having seen any gameplay footage at all and I advised against it, encouraging him to at least wait until we saw something concrete. At the time, if I recall correctly, the newest Destiny-related video that was out was about a 2-4 minute long accounting of the developers saying how amazing and innovative Destiny was, two years before it came out and before we ever saw actual gameplay. That was a red flag. Between then and launch, Bungie made many promises in regards to the explorable zones, game activities, and the overall lifespan of the game itself.
I played the Alpha and the Beta fairly extensively prior to launch and I wasn’t particularly impressed by what was shown. After all the grand promises made it didn’t feel all that special. But I gave Bungie the benefit of the doubt and waited for the full release despite the opportunity to actually play the game throwing up yet another red flag. A 4-6 hour long story, 4 explorable zones, and vanguard mark cap later, it struck me why those red flags had been going up. It did not take long to reach Level 20, and not much longer to get to where I am now at Level 26. The equipment and weapons I currently have are not the result of obtaining them through a fun, smooth series of events, but instead running around in circles or killing myself after dispatching a few select enemies. All so that I could partake in higher level variants of strikes I had already grown tired of and prove a better contest in the unbalanced PVP.
Before I tear into everything specifically wrong with Destiny, I want to take a breath and comment on everything it has done right. The shooting and general gameplay controls and mechanics are, for the most part, enjoyable, the set up for the world of Destiny does appear intriguing, and, well, that’s it.
I’ve played plenty of games that have had short single-player campaigns. Length is not the problem with Destiny’s campaign. The problem is that is has no substance. Many areas in Story missions are reused in Strikes and Patrol missions. There’s very few places that feel as though they were crafted with the campaign missions in mind as opposed to the free roam aspect. More than that though, one thing came to mind in the campaign; of the, roughly, 5 characters we meet not one of them has a name. They do not appear to play any substantial role in the story other than telling you where to go and what to do. Even though The Stranger, as she is referred to, appears to be doing important tasks those tasks are never revealed. Were they truly as important as they were made out to be? What even were they? Since I don’t know a thing about the few characters that were sort of introduced how can I possibly begin to care about them as characters? There are few enough as it is that hardly have a personality to them.
Now I’ve seen people say “it’s all in the Grimoire cards, just read those.” And to that I say, no. The cards are not integrated smoothly into the game whatsoever and are a very cheap way to skirt responsibility for establishing the lore. I don’t recall having to look up the lore of The Last of Us, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, or really any game I’ve ever played, save for maybe Dark Souls. But Destiny isn’t Dark Souls. It wasn’t marketed as a Dark Souls, it wasn’t developed as a Dark Souls, and it doesn’t get to get away with the things Dark Souls did. Even in that game the lore was given sparsely through items gathered throughout the world (in the game, at that) and the rest was to be inferred. It was meant to feel lonely and oppressive. Is Destiny, a multiplayer-focused game, supposed to feel lonely and oppressive, forcing you to scrounge up lore details from the things you find throughout the world? Because it’s not.
In short, there’s few, uninteresting characters, reused environments that were already fairly bland to begin with due to being constructed for free roam first, a laughable attempt to make you feel like your Guardian is the “Master Chief” of Guardians by painting them as the main character, a terrible lack of lore integration, and repetitive mission design (I honestly can’t even remember a mission where I didn’t have to hold out against an incoming horde of enemies).
Still, what I said before sums it up; Destiny is a multiplayer-focused game. So why doesn’t it feel like it?
I have been doing my Overcharge bounty in Free Roam lately. Why? Because that way I can also do Patrol missions and possibly run into Public Events. In doing this I realized something that the Free Roam lacks; a sense of comradery. I should feel glad when a fellow player moves in to assist me, but I don’t, not unless there’s a Public Event going on. Every other time, whether I’m just killing enemies, working on bounties, or what have you, I get kind of annoyed when someone comes running over and starts shooting at the same group of enemies as me. It’s not their fault, they’re just playing the game. But there is definitely a fundamental lack of something there. Random players pop in and out of the map and without any means of proper and easy communication with them, they might as well be AI decoration. There should be more to the untapped, basic element of teamwork with individuals that may not be in your fireteam. There’s plenty of games (mostly MMOs) that do this well, most notably Guild Wars 2.
There’s also only 4 explorable zones and boy are they empty. There’s not much variety to the design of the zones, not much reason to explore beyond the standard areas, and not much to even do. Public Events don’t happen frequently enough to spice anything up and even then, it’s more of the same; kill waves of enemies or sometimes one really tough one. The Patrol missions are “go there, scan this” or “go there, kill that” or “kill everything” with yet again, very little variety to them to matter. Since these Patrol missions are the fastest way to boost your Vanguard rank aside from Bounties, it would be nice to get some truly interesting and, dare I say it, unique objectives.
And really, that’s the major problem with Destiny. It lacks anything that makes it special. And what it could have that would have it stand out is suppressed and tucked away, out of the actual game.
Strikes and Raids…um…Raid
The Strikes are fun enough. It’s a shame that there aren’t more to them than the standard rinse and repeat procedure of “kill enemies, fight boss, kill enemies, fight boss” with maybe a “kill waves of enemies” or two thrown in for good measure. It’s also a shame there aren’t more Strikes. More than that, it’s also a shame that they share a lot of the same locations as the Story missions and the Patrol missions. They get repetitive fast, and tougher enemies that deal more damage than before doesn’t spruce them up any. I’d comment on the one, single Raid that practically demands you find a full team of 6 max-level players to even have a chance at, but I haven’t gotten so far as in the door yet so I’ll stick with just calling out the main issue of there being only one Raid that quite a lot of people can’t even enjoy.
A level 20 legendary weapon, scaled to be matched with an uncommon level 5 weapon is still, always going to be more powerful than the lower level weapon. The same can be said of armor. While level advancement may be fast, it doesn’t excuse the Crucible’s balance issues. To boot, the maps aren’t particularly unique, but at least they aren’t just locations pulled exactly as they are from the Free Roam/Strikes/Story, thankfully. I’ve also noticed how broken spawns can be at times. I was firing at an enemy at Point A in the Rusted Lands map and he killed me, ran out the back and down the stairs, straight into…me, where I had just respawned. He didn’t even have his health back yet. There have been times where I’ve spawned next to enemy points and just taken them. Even when my team is in the lead these bizarre spawns just keep happening. I once spawned behind an enemy who was sniping, and I don’t mean a ways away, I mean quite literally within melee distance. Couple the bland maps with bad spawns and unbalanced weapons/armor with the absolutely atrocious random rewards system and you get a completely lackluster PVP experience.
Oh, and there’s only a small handful of game types, no way to customize them, have private games, edit maps, or review saved footage in a “theater” mode unless you record everything. Even then, it’ll still all be in first-person.
Other Bad Things in List Form
I paid about $60 for a game. I was promised a game. I was promised a vast world full of fun things to do as well. But I didn’t get any of that, at least that’s not what it feels like. I got a sample; a foundation. Destiny doesn’t feel finished yet and still, it was sold for a full $60. This is an Early-Access game marketed and priced as a complete experience with the promise of more content to come so long as you pay for it instead of just wait for it. It’s defended by a developer that I thought I could put my faith in. It’s defended by yet another rabid fanbase eager to play the role of white knight.
And it sucks. It really, honestly sucks. I want to love this game. I want to sink more time into it. I just want that time to go to something that I enjoy as opposed to the various methods Bungie has used to artificially extend the lifespan of the game. There is so much potential there for a truly excellent experience, but that’s all there is; potential. Bungie took some risks with Destiny and oddly enough, at the same time, took none at all with how they presented it. There is definitely something to be had here, it just isn’t realized. The problem is Bungie/Activision’s plan: to set up a foundation for expansions. When I buy a game, I’m looking for a complete experience within that game. It can be set up for a sequel, sure, as long as what’s in the game still has a good amount of planning in it so that I’m not left feeling like I missed something. With Destiny, I feel like I’m missing a whole game. This isn’t the Bungie I know. I’m fine with the idea that this could really be an Early-Access style game, but I am not fine with the blatant lying being done to milk it for cash. I don’t like the idea of having spent a full $60 being promised a full experience and then being duped into having to spend more money on DLC to complete the clearly not full experience.
I’m going to keep playing. Like I said, there is some fun to be had, and certainly with friends. It just sucks knowing that it could be better and it’s not. Those 6/10’s are deserved reviews people. Don’t be that kind of person. Don’t be the stereotypical rabid fan. If you like something, it doesn’t mean it’s objectively good. And this is something that should be complained about. If something has a problem, you discuss the problem and hopefully try and get it fixed. With enough people “discussing the problem” so to speak, that’s when the problems start getting sorted out. Gamers have a voice. Don’t let that voice get stamped out by developers, publishers, or even other gamers.
My hoard of treasure is overflowing so it’s time to pass some onto a handful of worthy adventurers!
- You can enter by reblogging and liking this post. Follows are not necessary (but always welcome!)
- Entries are valid until October 5th, 2014
- Six winners will be chosen at random and the prizes are shown above! Ill be giving away a set of Gold, Silver, Copper & Platinum Coins! Ill also be throwing a set of Trade Bars and 3 of those groovy d20 tokens at some random adventurers!
- Will ship internationally!
*No shipping to Antarctica
If anyone is interested in picking up a set of these coins for your own be sure to check out Campaign Coins!
If you don’t like SAO, fine. If you start calling SAO shit, get fucked.