Ever so often a game is released that changes the expectations of gamers. It changes the way we look at the genre, and becomes that one game everyone is playing. If you aren’t playing it there’s a level of jealousy those would be players have against everyone else. We haven’t had one of those types of games in a long time. We’ve had a ton of games that modify the way we enjoy certain things about the genre. The last time gaming felt truly revolutionized was Halo 2 (no I don’t count the Wii). With Bungie being behind the last truly great revolution, it seems only fitting they do it once more with their latest franchise Destiny .
Now before the inevitable haters scream at my review, let me explain. I know there have been MMOs, FPSs, and RPGs merged, molded, and conformed into some great titles of the last console cycle. Defiance, DCU Online, and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to name just a few, but there’s one single thing all of those are truly missing: accessibility. I’m not saying those titles are incapable of handholding the player to comfortable levels, but with Destiny there’s something more approachable going on. This is the single reason Destiny stands above all other attempts at bringing this type of gameplay experience to consoles.
Shooters really haven’t advanced as far as controls in the past “forever” and this is very true for Destiny . Why should it? The control schemes work and they work well, no real need to change them. It’s because of this the controls in Destiny are simplistic and consistently fun to play. Yes, it does play very close to a Halo game, but honestly what did you expect from the developers who made Halo ? This is not a criticism by any means. Instead it is very much a point of praise. After all, the first players who will pick up this title will be those who have played Halo and love Bungie. Like I said earlier, “don’t fix what isn’t broken”.
One area that excels past the Halo standard, to me, is the story. It’s about aliens and space. Hell, it’s even about a savior of mankind in a sense. Often I find myself gladly being lead down this expansive world Bungie has created. It does allow for some player imagination as well. This is a great thing in my eyes. Whenever the player is able to take the world they are playing in and feel connected on a personal plane of storytelling, gaming achieves a whole other sense of wonderment. Which is why MMOs generally are designed for players who are not afraid to expand upon a world with their own imagination. Bungie has done a wonderful job bringing that element in the world of Destiny and anyone who has that mindset of playing will find the available story elements, world, and universe that much more enjoyable.
Destiny is broken down into little story sections for you to travel to and explore. Some of those levels allow you only to complete the story mission, some allow you a more open map exploration (at your own risk) and then you have the strike team maps. These are probably my favorite. These are hard as hell, and really require you to find a good solid team to help assist you in conquering the missions of pure, insane, damaging fun.
There are also huge amounts of weapons, gear, and even space ships you will get throughout the game. These weapons really cater to the way you play the game. Well, not really the ships and coolest thing in gaming, The Sparrow, ‘cause I am still waiting for Bungie to allow us to fly the ships, but at least you can jettison around the maps with the Sparrow, mentally reliving the only good scene from Return of the Jedi. That side rave and tangent put away, I love the weaponry in Destiny . While the weaponry in Destiny is very typical to a space epic, the gear is also very typical but enjoyable to collect and modify as you go through missions. Certain ones will have upgradable features that further increase the doubts you have about changing the armor you’ve been challenging the world with for non-upgradable higher level armor.
Those decisions will really start changing as you progress into the Crucible. The Crucible is the PVP area and loads of similarities in what you’d expect from and FPS, controlling the territories to name one. But it is still as enjoyable as the main gameplay even for players that typically shy away from the online multiplayer in games, due to one reason or another. For example, I don’t typically enjoy the way online gaming has molded into this weird social experiment of abusive natures of gamers, and yet I have enjoyed the experiences in the Crucible thus far.
Of course, my level of enjoyment of Destiny is only further complimented by the absolutely gorgeous graphics on display. I have spoken many times before about solid graphics in gaming; Destiny to me raises the bar for next-gen finally. The opening cinematic is absolutely breathtaking. I dare any sci-fi geek to watch that sequence and not have an astronomy nerdgasm. The world after that is still wondrously colored and visually realized. Destiny appears alive and that is the bar that needed to be raised and can’t wait to see what comes next graphically.
Now as far as the sound of the game, I have already acquired the melodic music that plays on the main menu of the game. The rest of the score is just as solid and enjoyable. The consistency in the sounds also helps the game maintain its need to keep you in the game. The voice acting is something I specifically wanted to address. During the time of the beta, many complained about the dry delivery of the dialogue from some of the characters. Specifically Peter Dinklage as your robotic ghost. First off, he’s a robot, and while it would be cool to just have him deliver epic monologues and quips as he does for Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones , he’s still a robot. His delivery in the beta was solid and here in the main game it is even more so.
I could sit and talk about Destiny all day long, but my wife summed up best what Destiny was to gamers. “It’s like Halo and Borderlands got together one night for some great fun and had a beautiful baby.” I personally think she hit the nail on the head, but there are obviously a few things that imply other genres stepping in as well. It’s because Bungie knows the areas they need to play it safe, and because Bungie knows the areas they want to attempt to explore and make better that I am glad this is the game I have waited for all year long, and why I feel this is another example of why the next-gen console cycle is ready to take off into new, exciting, and interesting ways. Destiny , simply put, might just be the game of year, but definitely makes you want to join the next generation.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 5.0 Graphics
Stunning doesn’t even come close to describing how wonderful it looks. 4.5 Control
Solid control layout and execution. 4.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
This musical score may rival even Halo’s wondrous soundtrack. 4.5 Play Value
Hours upon hours of game to play, and the best thing – it feels like you never want to stop playing. 4.5 Overall Rating – Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend|
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid||2.5 – 2.9 = Average||3.5 – 3.9 = Good||4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy|
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor||3.0 – 3.4 = Fair||4.0 – 4.4 = Great||5.0 = The Best|