In the past month, a lot has been said of Destiny. Bungie’s new shooter has got some pretty contrasting response from different people. Some hate it, some love it, and even others are indifferent about it. Think what you may, Destiny is this year’s biggest game, and this is what the IndianNoob think about it.
Destiny is a MMO, which means you need to be always online, when playing (even the single player mode). But unlike most popular MMOs, the social interactions/distractions (whichever way you swing it) with other players is not in focus as much as your own quest and gameplay. There is no chat window, which in turn means you spend more time playing. Some quests require a certain number of players to start, but it keeps going on even if some of them leave in the middle. Players who are not in you party can play alongside you, if you are sharing an area on the map, but as soon as you move to a Darkness Controlled Area (basically Boss-Battles), you and your fire-team are on your own.
Destiny wants you to play the game with other players; and not play with other players in the game.
Destiny is very bare on the back-story. There are so many things happening in the game that you don’t know about. For eg. what is the Iron banner? What are these clans that are selling you stuff? The info is all there of course. But its not in the game. All this info is stored in Grimoire cards (comparable to a codex) which can only be accessed on Bungie.net on a browser or through the Destiny app. Consequently, there is not much that you can do to kill time in Destiny apart from playing the game itself. If you want to dig dipper in the Destiny mythos you need to turn to other sources.
The cut scenes are few and far between, and the complete single-player storyline gives you a very jumbled up feeling. The story lacks cohesiveness and direction and more importantly a timeline. The end game mission, especially felt sort of slapped on without much thought put into it.
The end-game content on the other hand is surprisingly big and fun. There is so much you can do once you level up to 20 and are done beating the Black Heart. In fact, it seemed to give an impression that the team at Bungie focused more on the end game content rather than the story itself.
That being said, Destiny would have shined as a Single player game purely on gameplay. The gameplay is top-notch, and borrows heavily from the shooter RPG genre of Borderlands. You shoot enemies, they loose HP, you keep on shooting until they die and then you level up to find a gun so that you can kill enemies even more quickly.
The level design also stands out as fair. Not a single firefight felt as if the map was bias towards anyone. There were ample cover areas, and yet the spawn points were such that you couldn’t stay in one place for long.
And don’t get me started on enemy AI. Boy is that good. Enemies spot you, and instead of just standing there and shoot, their first instinct is getting into cover. During a fire-fight too, enemies move from cover to position more intelligently than I have seen in other games. And this applies to even the lowest level of Aliens you will shoot. It truly feels as if the minions put a price on their lives.
Competitive Multiplayer is also available in Desinty (in a mode known as Crucible). The modes available are more or less staple of the Multiplayer genre inclduing King of The Hill, and Deathmatch. The noticable difference in Destiny however is a complete absence of lobbies and Load-Outs. This might frustrate long time multiplayer fans, but for players who are taking the dip for the first time (the game is already always online, why not give it a go) it is very streamlined.
Gun-play is another thing that I really need to compliment. The controls are crisp and highly responsive. Getting headshots is a matter of practice which come quickly; each weapon type has its own mechanic and while you will have a preference for most of the game; you would rarely complete a mission with the same 2 set of guns.
Levelling up is most important in Destiny. Multiplayer unlocks at Level 5, with different modes unlocking thereafter. A new sub class is unlocked at level 15; and then there is a level cap at Level 20 (Kind of). Once you reach 20; then leveling is done in 2 different ways. Kills still earn you experience points, which are used to level up your abilities, weapons and armor, but do not increase your overall level. The overall level is increased by equipping items which add light (an attribute like Strength, Discipline etc) to your character. The more the light, more the overall level.
But this is not the only leveling present in the game. There is a crucible level for completing multiplayer missions. Vanguard Level for completing strikes, bounties, and missions. Engram level for decoding various engrams (new equipment); and many more level which you will run into as you play the game.
While the game has a currency (glimmer), most of the items can only be bought if you match the different level requirements. All that info can be a little overwhelming at first, and I was mostly stuck with lower level gear through most of my game inspite of having huge quantities of glimmer.
Visually Destiny is stunning. The vast ruins of Russia, the cold white expanses of the Moon, the deserted cities on Venus are all beautifully created and inspire you to stand on edges and look beyond. The game also performed without a hitch through all my playthorughs. I did get booted out of the game twice, and ran into mid game loading a few times; but that was because my internet was running at 512 Kbps. The frame rate was consistent throughout which says a lot about the PS4 and the game itself. I only wished if there was a third person camera option in Destiny, so I could capture some of those jaw dropping beautiful vistas.
The soundtrack is another which pulls you deeper into the experience. The music feels epic in every sense of the word, and you can feel the tempo rising as you slowly move towards your goal. Normally music is something that just runs in the background with me hardly paying any attention to it. But in Destiny there are periods of gameplay silence and the music fills in that perfectly, rising like a crescendo every time you are running into an ambush.
|(+) Excellent Gun Play||(-) Poorly Conceived & Executed Storyline|
|(+) Awesome Sound Track||(-) Lack of info in the game is overwhelming|
|(+) Great End Game Content||(-) Leveling system extremely confusing|
I have been playing Destiny for 2-3 weeks now; and while the main storyline is not as long as I would have hoped. I see myself playing Destiny for the next 2-3 weeks as well. I am especially invested in the 3v3 skirmish multiplayer and those epic co-op strikes.
Destiny is a good game. Its not epic, its not ground breaking, its not game changing, its not awesome. It is quite simply a very good game. So the Destiny review in a nutshell is “Go Play”.