Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Destiny

After playing the Alpha and the Beta version of Destiny, I was immediately in love with the prospect of playing this. So, 110+ hours of game time later, it’s time to review it! Destiny is a game about evolution, and really is a game you need to put the hours into to reveal the mass amount of content in the game. Destiny is a journey, and although there are a few problems, it's a game with a 10-year plan. Judging by the initial content in the game, it’s just a small part of a massive story.

Destiny is set seven hundred years into the future in a post-apocalyptic world, a world where humans have spread out and coloinsed other planets in our solar system. Before you jump into the game, you need to choose your class. There is a Titan, Hunter, and Warlock class to choose from, and each class will offer different ‘supercharge’ abilities, and a different skill tree. There isn’t a clear indication to begin with as to which class is the best per se, but you can play as all three classes so you can experience all three.


Your future companion “Ghost”, which is voiced by Peter Dinklage, revives you, and his voice acting in this game is diabolical. They have improved on it from the Alpha and the Beta by removing some awful lines (“That wizard came from the mooooon”), and have added a few more robotic sound effects to make him sound even more monotone than he already does. It is such a minor thing, but it really is something that grinded on me from the offset.

The campaign consists of 19 missions spread across Earth, Moon, Venus, and Mars. You can choose to do the missions by yourself, or in a fire team. If you’re a campaign lover, I don’t think you’ll get full satisfaction if you’re playing through it by yourself, as the missions can become quite boring. I managed to make it through the majority of the missions by myself without much of a problem, and the prospect of finishing the campaign rapidly became less appealing. However, I jumped in a fire team and it really was like a breath of fresh air. It didn’t feel as simple as you can also increase the difficulty, which completely changes the way you go about the mission. You can’t just run into a crowd and punch every enemy into a pile of ash (as fun as that can be); you do have to work together to progress through some missions smoothly.

There are six strike missions in total and they're a lot more challenging than the story missions. You can enter Strike missions with a fire team of three, and I've really enjoyed playing each strike mission. If you're the suggested level it's a challenge and you'll have to work as a team for a greater chance of success, as each strike mission will include a boss with a high amount of health. If you are having difficulty completing these missions, you will need to either increase your level or buy better gear.


The Tower is basically a marketplace for you. This is where you can acquire new items, decrypt engrams, visit a gunsmith, and even receive bounties – basically mini challenges – to reward you with Crucible/Vanguard reputation and XP, depending on whether it’s a PvP or PvE bounty. If you want to purchase the best gear, you'll need to earn Crucible marks (which can be earned by playing the Crucible) and Vanguard marks (which can be earned by completing public events and the Vanguard playlist missions) along with reputation to own legendary gear. The fact that you're capped at 100 marks per week is a great thing, as if there wasn't a cap you'd end up with some of the best gear instantly, leading to the enemies being even easier than they are at times, and your overall experience probably wouldn't be as enjoyable.

The game really does open up around level 16 as you can access more content, such as the Vanguard Playlist. This is one of my favourite things in Destiny as it makes the previous strike challenges even harder, as well as the weekly nightfall, which requires a lot of patience and teamwork. You can also complete Daily Heroic stories, which reward you with more upgrading materials and a decent amount of XP. Probably the best thing about Destiny is The Raid, and it really is one of the most amazing missions I've ever played in a game. It's such an elaborate level with a few puzzles along the way, and you really do have to work as a team to complete it. If I were contemplating buying the game, I'd personally check out footage from The Raid mission. If Bungie can add the same amount of quality in future missions, Destiny will only get better.

You can also patrol on Earth, Moon, Venus, and Mars. There always seems to be something to do, and you can search for areas with higher-level enemies, which can often make for a very entertaining battle. You can also complete patrol missions and public events, however they aren't very challenging and can become quite boring. You can search for ghosts, golden chests, and area specific materials to upgrade your gear.

The Crucible is Destiny’s competitive multiplayer, and personally it’s one of the most enjoyable PvP experiences I’ve had in a while. There are four constant game modes: Control (Domination), Clash (TDM), Rumble (Free For All), and Skirmish (3v3 TDM), and a total of ten brilliantly designed multiplayer maps to play on. Every map provides opportunities for close and long-range combat. It offers a fantastic competitive multiplayer experience, and reminds me of a faster paced version of Halo’s multiplayer. However, I can almost guarantee you’ll have a different load-out for PvP compared to your PvE load-out. I used to love using Pulse Rifles and Scout Rifles, but unfortunately they seem ridiculously useless when playing in The Crucible, as fire rate seems to be a key factor in surviving 1v1 encounters. Although they have attempted to make it “balanced” online by disabling level advantages in the four current available game modes, shotguns, auto rifles, and fusion rifles dominate regardless, and it can dampen the experience for those who want to use other weapons. Another thing that is frustrating is trying to kill an enemy with bad Internet connection (No, this isn’t a typical excuse of “Ah I was lagging” etc.) as if an enemy is lagging, they’ll literally jog in a straight line, vanish right before your eyes and the next thing you know, you’ve just been killed from behind by the enemy you were just chasing.


So to sum up my experience after playing Destiny for two weeks, I'd say it's a brilliant game, especially when played with friends. If you can bring yourself to power through the pretty boring early missions you'll definitely start to enjoy the higher-level content. The visuals in Destiny are beautiful and you can't help but admire  some battlefields, even if an enemy is emptying their clip into you. Certain features such as being able to increase the difficulty add a sense of replay value, and you'll find yourself playing missions, whether it's to help your friends out or to look for engrams so you can get past the level cap of 20. The PvP can bring the overall experience down for some players, as many people will start to get annoyed if they're trying to use a scout rifle and somebody with an assault rifle is dominating them. Nevertheless, it offers a brilliant PvP experience and one that I can find myself playing constantly without becoming bored of it. I'm looking forward to the content that will be released in the future, as if it's anything like the raid mission, it'll keep me playing for a very long time. With a 10-year-plan starting so strongly, I’m more than certain that it will be fantastic.

Destiny supercharges its way to a 4/5.

★★★★☆

Sam Terry


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