When talking about the best first-person shooters out there, one publisher that always rises to the top of the list in discussions is Bungie and no game has made more of a splashdown in the last few years than Destiny. Whether it’s the rocky start or the 2.0 reboot, a Destiny review would not be complete if it didn’t discuss where this game began and the current state of play today.
Created by Bungie after a long successful run in the Halo franchise, Destiny was a promise of things to come for next generation systems. It was supposed to be a successor to Halo and a new beginning in a new sci-fi franchise. It promisied to deliver innovation while still sticking to what made the Halo franchise beloved among fans.
On some levels, Bungie succeeded in their goals to make a new frontier for their fan base, but on other levels, they completely alienated those that were expecting more from this new endeavor. In this Destiny review, we will discuss these issues as well as the future of the franchise.
|Type of game:||First-person Shooter|
|Multiplayer/Co-Op:||PvP and Co-Op|
|Total Play Time:||15 hours|
|System Requirements:||PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4
Xbox 360 or Xbox One
|Price Range:||$11.00 to $50.00|
The World of Destiny
Set 700 years in the future, Destiny is a game that combines elements of a first-person sci-fi shooter while incorporating some traditional role-playing game elements to make a limited shared universe for the players. The game has two environments, a shared player vs. environment section and a matchmaking player vs. player section which both operate independently of each other.
In this Destiny review, the atmosphere of the game and the initial character selection will be discussed along with the expansion packs and the overall ratings of the shooter.
Atmosphere and Design
Designed with a completely new game engine, Destiny was all about building a game with the forward thinking towards new game consoles. With a rendering system designed to handle 1080p graphics and offer vibrant colors and rich illumination, Destiny pops on the screen fluidly and it’s probably the game’s most impressive feature. This game is beautiful to look at, whether exploring the wastelands of Earth or the exotic flora and fauna of Venus.
Taking place after the Golden Age of space exploration, the setting for Destiny is over 700 years in the future of mankind, where a mysterious event known as “The Collapse” has led to the breakdown of the colonies all over the Solar System. Led by a powerful entity called the Traveler, mankind fights back against the Darkness as powerful soldiers known as Guardians.
When discussing a Destiny review, one critical thing to mention is the awesome music. Made by a team of composers led by Martin O’Donnell, a frequent composer on the beloved Halo franchise, the Destiny Original Soundtrack consists of 44 instrumental compositions that include contributions from the legendary Beatles songwriter, Paul McCartney.
Led by an artificial intelligence drone named Ghost, each player in the game is represented by one of three player characters called Guardians. Using an experience point and loot system, Guardians gain ranks and abilities through leveling and gear. In the original release, after level 20, the only way to increase levels was through the Light System, a leveling system based on gear, not experience, but after the 2.0 update, this system was changed back to an experience point system for leveling.
In Destiny, there are three types of Guardians:
The Hunter class is a ranged DPS Guardian focused on fast movement and quick strikes with several sub-classes including the Gunslinger, the Bladedancer, and the Nightstalker.
The Warlock class would be closest compared to the mage or wizard class in most fantasy tropes. Focusing on abilities to help recover and attack in close combat as well as ranged combat, this class also has several sub-classes including the Stormcaller which can send lightning bolts to chain among enemies.
The tank class of Destiny would be the Titan, a high-damage, high-armored, close-quartered Guardian typically found in most RPG-style games. His sub-classes all focus on heavy damage including the Sunbreaker class that uses the Hammer of Sol to strike down foes.
When players first enter Destiny, they realize that they are actually not alive but in the process of being resurrected by the AI drone known as Ghost. Quickly, they find themselves investigating the remains of Old Russia with the help of Ghost to guide them to a jump ship that takes them to the Tower.
Most activities in the game take place on the Tower, from getting new quests to PvP matchmaking. Also most factions are set up on the Tower as well as marketplace functionality for buying and selling loot, as well as upgrades. It is a typical RPG-style hub and is one of the features of Destiny that is lacking.
After the player arrives at the Tower, they meet the Speaker, who informs the player about the threat of the Darkness and then is instructed to return back to Earth and Old Russia. Once there, they enter the Cosmodrome, a derelict facility used in the past to explore the solar system and fight off a new enemy known as the Fallen. After several missions on Earth, the player is then sent to the Moon to confront more Fallen and find a way to stop the Hive.
From there, it is almost rinse and repeat, going from Earth to the Moon, Venus, and Mars. While in this Destiny review, we give high praise to the game play and stunning graphics, the overall story is lackluster and almost completely forgettable.
Other than the release of new raids and strikes, content on the player vs. environment side of Destiny was limited in the several expansions that came out over the years. With the release of new story content and Update 2.0, The Taken King brought fresh life to the game with the addition of new sub-classes and a new enemy called the Taken.
Still, the game fell short on the initial promise that this was a game for both the casual RPG player and the hardcore first-person shooter fan.
The main focus of Destiny always was on player vs. player which was the bread and butter for Bungie when it designed the Halo series. With an event system known as the Crucible, players can participate in various style matches ranging from “Control”, a six-on-six capture the flag match, to “Skirmish”, a three-on-three deathmatch with players able to revive other players.
DLCs and Expansions
In this Destiny review, we are going to stay away from all the expansion controversy involved in Destiny over the years, and just focus on the content of those expansions.
After its successful beta test run, Destiny was officially released late in 2014. Its first expansion, The Dark Below, came just a few months after, followed quickly by House of Wolves in 2015. Ending “Year One” in Destiny brought The Taken King which was the first substantial DLC brought to the game since its release. The end of “Year Two” bought the DLC Rise of Iron and the first time expansions were only released to current generation systems like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Since then, focus on the game has transferred to the release of Destiny 2 in the future.
While it did receive mixed ratings (7.8/10 IGN, 76% Metacritic), many have embraced Destiny as a success. For those who love first-person shooters and the competitive nature of player vs. player matchmaking, then Destiny has a lot to offer as a game. With fluid dynamic gameplay and very responsive controls, matches are fun and fast-paced. But the overall grindfest that this game represents with dull repetitive stories and the constant use of the same zones for missions, this game falls short for those who enjoy a more deeper RPG experience.
If you have any questions or feedback to this Destiny review, feel free to comment below.